Friday, August 14, 2015

Time Travelling - the Gentleman

Hey guys!

Sorry it took me so long again... but life has been taking over the last weeks.

Anyway finally I get to show you the main project that has kept me busy for a few months earlier this year.
Somehow I had agreed to make a victorian inpspired outfit for my boyfriend, so he had a matching suit to accompany my Bustle dresses.
He wanted something that could also be styled a bit steampunk-y as he really likes this style.
So I told him that I'd made the basic suit and he could pimp it to his liking afterwards.

The suit-style itself was a rather fast decision. Frock coat, trousers, waistcoat, necktie. Plus a purchased matching shirt, as getting proper material for making one plus counting the time would have been much more effort than just buy one.

I had thought about drafting all patterny myself, but as the trouser drafting instructions are a quite complicated matter, I decided for a first try I'd use a commercial pattern.
The perfect model I found in the McCalls 7003 pattern, it had all I needed: frock coat, trousers, waistcoat, necktie.
Thanks to my boyfriend, who uses my apartment as a second office, I've got a laser printer here, so I opted for the printed version of the pattern.

The whole thing is mounted on 128 pages *eek*. You need space to assemble the sheets.

As I wasn'r sure what size to use, I made mockups in size L, but could downsine almost verywhere to size M in the end. I just left the upper part of waistcoat and frockcoat in L, as he has a rather broad back and shoulders.

Originally I had wanted to use only stash fabric, but the grey wool I had here was to light an thin for a historical inspired suit. For a modern one it would probably have worked. So we went fabric hunting and in the end decided on two brown wool fabcrics (plus a matching viscose-blend lining). I wanted a high wool portion as I wanted to do ironwork on trousers and frockcoat to mould them into shape.
I will just share a few progress pictures with you as the whole thing would just be too much...

The first pictures show the ironwork on the trouser legs. You can see how much I was moulded with the pattern on. This was due because my boyfriend has o-shaped legs. I did this at work, as you need an industrial iron for this.
My co-workers from the mens' department were a great help through the whole project.

Next time I will draft my own pattern to make it more historical acurate and to accomodate the "imperfections" of his build. That's probably easier than changing the commercial pattern.
So the final fit is not perfect, but as best as can be and he's really happy with it.

The waistcoat went fairly smooth (it's not so different from womens' waistcoats), although I had to recut the back as it had not enough width around the hips. Luckly I had enough fabric and could use the cut piece later for something else.
The buttons came from my stash, my boyfriend picked them. I had added single welt pockets to the front as he needed a place to put the pocket watch I got him for his birthday.

The frock coat was a whole different matter. It took a really long time to get the fit right. My boyfriend also stands very errect, so he needs more length over the front and less at the back. After being really desperate, my co-workers ordered him in for a fitting *lol* and in just a few minutes all was fine *yay*. Now I know how to fit in this case, I learned so much making this frock coat.

Getting the right material to begin with had been a struggle. Finding the proper interfacing and undercollar felt non-wholesale is not easy. Luckyly I could look up the interfacing at work and finaly found the felt for much less than I had expected. Also I had to order the buttonhole silk, as most shops only sell the polyester stuff now, this had been a challenge as well. But for handmade buttonholes I just don't like the polyester thread, as it is harder to handle. For machine made buttonholes it's fine though.

The necktie (that had escaped my mind until just before being done^^) was a quick thing...and assebled easily.

I fixed the folds and added a button.
Also to add a bit steampunk style I made him a brooch. He made a tulleband with gearwheels to put on his Top Hat (which came from my parents vintage stuff and fit like a glove).

To complete the outfit he got blue sunglasses and a walking cane.

Okay... next time I'll show you my outfit to go with it...
Stay tuned :)

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