Thursday, 27 December 2012

Jim: Everyday Jerkin/Doublet Part 1

The brief: A warm jacket style top based on an old piece I started years ago. Mostly to practice my altering skills and allow Jim to allow himself more kit, without worrying over cost and effort.

The build: This used to be a velvet waistcoat, lined in sheeting. It will be altered at the shoulders for a better fit and cut up to a high waist. The offcuts will either be used to add some tabs, or to create sleeves. There is some similar enough/different enough material that will be used as the sleeves if necessary. A selection of light gold lining has been chosen for slashes in the sleeves.

Velvet Waistcoat
The fabric: Red (curtain) velvet waistcoat from about 5 years ago, lined in red sheeting and with some bargain bin trim. Additional fabric are all offcuts from curtain shop closing down sale, plus some sale ribbon from the Indoor Market.

Cost and time: Cost is very rough, as some of this material was bought over 10 years ago, but my best guess is somewhere between £6-8. Currently sitting at four hours, having finished the body.

Process:  Our starting point.

Overly long for the period we're playing, doesn't do up at the front, doesn't sit right on the shoulders and has never actually been sewn shut at the armhole. Oh dear.

The first thing to do was to re-pin the shoulders on Jim, so that I knew we had a good fit. They were quite far out from where they should be.

Doublet Mod Shoulder Alteration

I then checked Jim's natural waist level onto the waistcoat and cut it straight off. After that I un-seamed the bottom pieces, giving me two lower front quarters, and the back half. I chopped the back half straight up the middle, turned all the pieces inside out, and then seamed them up to create four doublet tabs.

Doublet Mod Tab

As Jim wanted detachable sleeves, it was easiest to pull the shoulder seams apart at this point, and sew the armholes closed first, including ribbon ties into the sewing. After this I sewed the outer shell at the shoulder on the machine, then pinned the lining together to hand sew.

Doublet Mod Armscye1Doublet Mod Armscye2

Doublet Mod Front Ties Spacing

Doublet Mod FrontI also needed to add front ties to pull the doublet closed at the waist, although only a few. To save myself having to reopen the front I added them on top and covered then with some ribbon, which also added a bit more flounce. In retrospect I should have just reopened the front. While I sewed the trim on neatly many years ago, it turns out I didn't sew it the same distance away from the edge on both sides.

After this it was a simple enough job to pin the tabs to the outer shell, machine sew it, and then hand stitch the lining in place.

Annoyingly, somewhere along the way, one of the front tabs has hung down more than the other. I'll fix that tomorrow, and other than that, everything is very nice indeed.

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