Thursday, February 28, 2013

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Men's Regency Inspiration


I've been a bag blogger, I know! It's just that, well you know how it goes - brain fried with all kinds of in-progress projects, future projects, crazy stuff happening.

My "big" project this year is Mr. C's Regency duds, for Maggie and Albert's Regency wedding, in October. I'll be making him a shirt, breeches, waistcoat, and tail coat.  Some of those items frighten me considerably more than others, but I'm armed with my new book The Victorian Tailor: An Introduction to Period Tailoring, patterns from Kanniks Corner for the waistcoat and shirt , the surprisingly period Simplicity breeches pattern , and the tailcoat pattern from Country Wives.

I arrived at these pattern choices after much researching, hunting for reviews, looking at anything I could find on men's Regency clothing.  Compared to women's attire, there isn't much to go on!  However, here are some inspiration images I did find...

Costume Parisien 1803
Dames a la Mode - via
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, by Thomas Heaphy, 1802
via Stiching Reverence

Mr. C has requested (or demanded?) a navy blue tail coat with gold buttons, an ivory taffeta waistcoat, and tan breeches, though I don't know yet what to make them out of.  He also wants a top hat and tan-cuff boots (ha!).  It will be my job to fit the dickens out of the patterns, tailor the snot out of the tail coat, and make it all look perfect on him.  No pressure!

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16 comments:

  1. Mr. C's doing you a great service by telling you right off the bat what he wants. Trust me.
    Sina went months saying "whatever you want honey" then, when presented with the Mughal outfit he was supposed to wear to go with our cousin to the event he needed the costume for, complained loudly about the "kurdish" pants (that's what Tehrani Persians call loose drawstring trousers) he had to wear and refused to put them on.
    He wore jeans instead. I was mortified, but thankfully they were just going to a Steampunk event and my cousin is much more forgiving than I am.

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    1. Oh dear! I'm a little afraid of that, especially with the way these clothes are meant to fit. I think I will begin "preparing" him before we ever even get to the toiles!

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  2. I must say: Mr. C has quite a sense of design in him! In my head, this ensemble is looking quite smart indeed. When I get a man I have to make him a suit like this. :D
    Good luck on this outfit! I'm excited to hear about thew tailoring!!
    Oh, and also, good luck finding those boots. :)

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    1. I've been on an epic boot hunt and I think I might have found some but...we'll see. I will share later if I am successful :-)

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  3. Hot Regency men, aren't we both lucky?
    So far I'm loving the Kannik's Korner shirt pattern (though it's all handsewing, eek!) and Curtis is doing a really good job making up the Kannik's Korner waistcoat pattern. I'm still pluggin' away at the Fitting and Proper coat pattern; it looks like it will end up well, but OH! are coats intimidating!

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    1. I'm really hoping you blog about your tail coat-ing, so I can come along and lap up the information - hint! hint! If anybody can kick butt on it, it's you :-)

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  4. How nice! I can't wait to see what you do with everything. I've been wanting to make myself some nice Regency garb for a while, and it'll be nice to see someone else try things out before me! Good luck with it all!

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    1. I will try to be as in-depth as I can with the tricky stuff. I've never done tailoring before, so...eek!

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  5. Wow -- I love the green revers on the navy coat, and the back seam detail is, as you noted, truly fab. I would commit HISTORIC HERESY myself, if your man isn't a beanpole, and choose some breeches fabric that has (raise those bouquets of garlic for protection!) a wee bit of lycra in the wool mix. The world won't be the wiser and it will keep a smile on his face all day. (And you can delete this post if you're afraid you (or I) will be stoned or shunned for my audacity??!
    N

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    1. Hahaha, your blasphemous comments are welcome here. :-) I agree with the idea, especially as the breeches are worn quite, erm, close to bits that my modern Mr. is not used to having things so close to...

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  6. BWAHHHHAAA! Yes, I remember the first time I handed a MR the low end of a tape measure and asked him to help me measure his inseam (I wasn't interested in flirting, you understand!) and he wondered why it was needed to start THAT high, and then I showed him the (period-correct) sketch. I think that actor actually BLUSHED.
    N

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  7. A few years ago I made my husband an outfit for a Jane Austen picnic that PEERS put on: http://dollfieville.com/gallery/blog/austen/picnic/jap035.jpg
    I used the following patterns:
    Coat: http://www.patternsoftime.com/proddetail.asp?prod=RH201
    Waistcoat: http://www.patternsoftime.com/proddetail.asp?prod=KK4202&cat=18
    Shirt: http://butterick.mccall.com/b4486-products-5567.php?page_id=385 (which I modified - no lacing and a stand-up collar)
    Breeches: http://jas-townsend.com/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=413

    All of the patterns were easy to follow -- in fact, he even made the trousers himself with little or no sewing experience. While he is more used to dressing formally than most men today, he said that the period pieces were still very comfortable and he had no problem dining and dancing in them.

    Good luck with your project -- I can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  8. Here is a tailor's manual from the period that might help http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006498117

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  9. Just out of curiosity, will there be a line of men's historical footwear in the future of your shop? A friend of mine was actually quite sad that there was not a "male" version of the Tavistock boots x'D

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  10. its a shame there isn't more patterns for regency gents like there is for ladies.

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  11. Oh, big afterthought--don't know if your tailoring guides talk about putting a nice shaped wad of shoulder pad that drapes down onto the chest, but they should. When we made tailcoats for a Dickens production back in 198errmrrrmmmmm, our costumer had us do that and it really gave the great curved-breasted silhouette to the coats, and filled in the hollow in front of the arm. Took a bit of wearing for the actors to get used to, but it worked.
    Best,
    Auntie N

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