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Posts Tagged ‘boys 18th century shirt’

A painting by

“A Running Boy” (1802), a painting by Jens Juel (located in State Art Museum, Denmark).

The best thing about having a number of children is that it gives you a lot of scope for sewing new costumes for them! At least, that is ONE of the best things.

My 7 year-old boy was the last one of my children to need a costume for the Melbourne Regency Picnic. Since I have posted my previous constructions steps for shirts, breeches, waistcoats and jackets, I decided not to detail it all again here as there were substantial similarities in their construction. Instead I have posted a finished picture of each garment instead.

One of the images I used in my inspiration was a painting by Jens Juel, called “A Running Boy” (1802). He is wearing long trousers with a tie above the ankle, and his jacket is double-breasted and appears to have quite short coat tails. He is wearing a striped waistcoat with wide lapels, which also appears to be double-breasted. His shirt has a fold down collar with a fine ruffle at the centre front opening, and the cuffs do not have ruffles. He is not wearing a cravat, and is holding a hat in his hand.

Shirt

This shirt was made in a similar manner to the MY Mr Knightley shirt, but the ruffle was hand sewn, with a rolled hem and a whipped stitch gathering (as I did with the Skeleton Suit shirt). It is made of white cotton broadcloth.

The shirt, with a ruffle

The shirt, with a hand hemmed and gathered ruffle.

Fall-Front Trousers

Judging from how many paintings I have found, long Regency trousers were becoming quite popular during the first decade of the 1800’s, with both men and boys sporting them for casual wear.

I made these is a similar way to the Skeleton Suit pants I recently finished. These pants were longer and done up with a tie around the leg, just above the ankle, as is evident in the painting above. They were made from brown homespun quilting cotton and have faux metal buttons.

The front, with a fall-front and ties above the ankle. His hand is in the pocket.

The front, with a fall-front and ties above the ankle. His hand is in the pocket.

The back view

The back view, without the common V-shaped gusset in the centre back. Boys clothes did not appear to always have this.

Waistcoat

This waistcoat was constructed in a similar way to the Midshipman waistcoat I have made, with a stand-up collar. This particular waistcoat had wide turn-back lapels as well, with two welt pockets and double-breasted at the front. It is made from a curtain remnant I found at a second-hand shop, and has self-covered buttons. The lining is cream cotton broadcloth.

The front view, double-breasted with two welt pockets.

The front view, double-breasted with two welt pockets.

The back view, with a tie to bring in the fullness.

The back view, with a tie to bring in the fullness.

Tailcoat

This jacket is an earlier style of Regency tailcoat, with the curved cutaway at the front and the wide fold-down collar. It was made in a similar way to the Midshipman tailcoat I had made before, however this one is unlined and does not have any pockets. Pockets might be a later addition, as I find they are always useful!

It is made from a green wool-blend cloth, with large self-covered buttons. The fabric hardly frays at all, so the seams have all been left un-neatened.

The front view

The front view

The back view

The back view

We are now all set for the Regency Picnic, and I look forward to sharing some photos with you!

The costume in action!

The costume in action!

Related Posts

MY Mr Knightley: Making a Shirt

Making a Skeleton Suit – a boy’s shirt

Making a Skeleton Suit – a boy’s pants

The Making of a Midshipman: Waistcoat

The Making of a Midshipman: Cutaway Tailcoat

Sources and Relevant Links

The Melbourne Regency Picnic is being held on Sunday 6th March in Elsternwick, Melbourne (Victoria, Australia).

Image Source: through Flickr. The original is held at the State Art Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Costume for a Regency Child – by The Oregon Regency Society

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Detail of "The Hulsenbeck Children" painting, by Philipp Otto Runge in 1805-06.

Detail of “The Hulsenbeck Children” painting, by Philipp Otto Runge in 1805-06. One of the children is wearing a short-sleeved skeleton suit, with the frilled collar of the shirt showing.

In less than two months I am attending the 2nd Annual Melbourne Regency Picnic, in Melbourne, Australia. I have been busy making costumes for the remaining members of my family who have yet to be so privileged! I desperately needed to think of a costume for my two-year-old boy and I soon decided on making a skeleton suit.

Skeleton suits were first seen as an item of children’s dress during the 1780’s and continued to be used until the 1840’s. They were really a form of the modern romper suit, used particularly for boys. Skeleton suits were often a jacket and pants combination that were buttoned together at the waist. Sometimes the suit included a waistcoat. Underneath the suit, the child often wore a white collared shirt with a ruffle on the collar and cuffs.

A boy's shirt, with a deep square collar edged with a frill, c. 1770s. From Historic New England.

A boy’s shirt, with a deep square collar edged with a frill, c. 1770’s. From Historic New England.

This first post in this series is about making the little shirt to go underneath the skeleton suit. Boy’s shirts during this era seem very similar to men’s shirts, in that they are largely made from rectangles and squares.

The main difference seems to be the deeper, fold-down collar, often trimmed with a frilled edge, that was turned down over the top of the jacket. The front of the shirt had a large opening that was also edged with a frill, as could be the sleeve cuffs.

Pattern

The pattern I used for the shirt was based largely on what I know of 18th century men’s shirts, and so was very similar to the ones I have made before. The only difference was that I made a wider collar and added the frills.

A boy's shirt, American, late 18th century. From the Museum of Fine Arts.

A boy’s shirt, American, c. 1790’s. From the Museum of Fine Arts.

I found the site, “Making a Men’s Shirt” (by Marquise) to be invaluable for detailing some of the historical aspects of construction.

Construction

As the construction steps are very similar to the previous shirts I have made, I will not detail them extensively here.

Collar: I made the collar in the normal way, except that it was a different shape. It was a lot deeper and the front edges (or corners) of the collar I made curved.

The shirt collar, wide and curved. This has been sewn right sides together and turned the right way, with one raw edge turned up.

The shirt collar, wide and curved. This piece has been sewn right sides together and turned the right way, with one raw edge turned up. The unturned edge is sewn to the garment and the turned-up edge is handsewn down on the inside of the shirt.

Frills: Whilst the rest of the shirt was made by machine, I decided to make the frills by hand. I measured the length of the seam where the frill would be sewn and doubled it to get the length of the frill.

I did a rolled hem on one edge of the frill, and then did a whipped stitch gather on the other edge. Once it was gathered to fit, I whip-stitched the gathered edge to the edge of the collar and centre front edge.

The collar frill, gathered with a "whipped-stitch-gather" stitch and attached to the collar with a whipstitch.

The collar frill, gathered with a “whipped-stitch-gather” stitch and then attached to the collar with a whipstitch.

The same type of frill was also attached to the cuffs in the same way. (These techniques were all used in my post A Regency Day Cap.)

The shirt all finished

The shirt all finished

This is how it looks on the little man! Unfortunately the light was not very good, so hopefully there will be better pictures to come.

The Back View

The Back View

The Front View

The Front View

The next post in this series will be on making the pants for the skeleton suit.

Related Posts

MY Mr Knightley: Making a Shirt

The Making of a Midshipman: Shirt and Stock

Sources and Relevant Links

The 2nd Annual Melbourne Regency Picnic – the Event on the Facebook page

Image Source: “The Hulsenbeck Children” by Phillipp Otto Runge (1805-06).

Image Source: A boy’s shirt, c. 1770’s – Historic New England

Image Source: A boy’s shirt, c. 1790’s – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Historical instructions from 1769 on making an 18th century men’s shirt – by Marquise

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