Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Disreputable Young Farrier's Underwaistcoat: A look at the levelling (or elevating) of outer and inner garments, Part II.

A farrier of questionable integrity in stable jacket/sleeved 
waistcoat and breeches.  I suppose if it was a bit colder, 
this could be worn as an underwaistcoat.

       While having made sleeved waistcoats before, I wanted, this time to take a look at the conversion of a waistcoat to be used as the aforementioned underwaistcoats referenced in the Gazette.  I say conversion, as the extant underwaistcoat (Jefferson's) was certainly a working-life alteration from a garment of late 18th c style.  The overlapping of the front panels and closed vent in the back suggested to me that it was, perhaps a double-breasted waistcoat or "jacket" that was altered to meet Jefferson's specifications.  For an example I looked to walk back Jefferson's threadbare underwaistcoat to its late 18th c prototype, perhaps something similar to the one worn by the gentleman "sportsman" depicted below.

Detail from "Autumn", Collet, 1779. [1]
        Never having had my hands on the garment, this is, at this point only educated conjecture, based on the research conducted at Monticello and the representative period engravings of similar garments, I have been able to find.

         Starting out, I knew I wanted to make the lining pieced as close as my skills would allow, since the lining was added during the working-life of the garment.  This, and the close-fitting nature of the body and sleeves, required me to make a new pattern, rather than rely on those I had made previously for waistcoats and jackets.

The pieced lining was comprised of ten panels, vice the four
of the outer shell.
Not wanting to cut up a perfectly good pair of wool socks, I cheated...
and simply backed the outer shell with an additional layer of scrap wool.

         The piecing actually went more easily than I anticipated.  That being said, I had this thing on and off the form three times.  Three alterations to get the fit I was looking for, which as fitted as 18th c clothing was, I highly recommend having a form. 
Throwing the garment on a form at various points in the project
continues to prevent me from ripping out seams and voicing expletives.

        So I'm fairly well pleased with the end product, which will debut under the old hunting shirt (and perhaps a wool waistcoat, depending on snow and temperature) at an event this weekend.

The completed under waistcoat...or stable jacket.  Not sure which it is.  I suppose
that is determined by whether or not I wear a waistcoat over it as in "Chairs to mend".

I chose to use shell buttons to have the garment wearable, however, I plan to
add thread "Death's Head" buttons at some point.

I chose to cross stitch my initials and the numerals 9 and 7 as on 
Jefferson's waistcoat "sock" lining.

 The numerals are actually 9.7 in the extant piece.  Not sure what
 the significance of that might be.

 [1] Collet, John., "Autumn", Carrington Bowles, London, 1779.  Retrieved from, 25 Jan 13.

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