Celefinniel's Kensington Project page


I finally finshed all the undergarments and started on the suit. I wound up using the Mill Farm breeches pattern since the muslin I made from that version fit really well on the first try. I read somewhere that it took a week to sew a man's suit. I'm taking much longer than that and still haven't done any of the button holes or buttons yet.

One trick I did try, was using two different colors of thread. I have the 50/3 linen thread from Wm. Booth in ivory and light green. If I were using either one alone, the color stands out, but by twisting the two together it seems to turn out a close match for the fabric. I saw this method documented on one of the historic sites where they twisted ivory and brown together for a beige suit and it seems to work!

You can also see that the celadon 100% linen I ordered on spec for the lining is spot on in color. I had to take a lot since it was a close out sale, but I can probably find something to do with any I have left over.

January 16, 2012

Waistcoat is cut out and the pocket inserts are installed. I did the first ribbon dyework and began the ribbonwork and embroidery today, so here is the first completed pocket flap.

March 3, 2012

Waistcoat assembly completed. Now I can see whether the muslin for the coat will work, or whether that will need adjustment before cutting. One lesson learned is that Britex has more colors (and cheaper) silk buttonhole thread than any I found online, its just that their online catalog isn't google crawled so it doesn't appear in a search - only when you actually go to the site. http://www.britexfabrics.com/

Britex also supplied a beautiful silk duchesse satin remnant for the back of the waistoat. I think when the buttons are on there may be some additonal fitting on this, but I don't want to be pre-emptive. Once a needle goes into that silk, I can't ease the seams back out again.

March 10, 2012

Coming up on St. Pat's Day - started the dreaded buttons and holes and found them less of a terror than I anticipated. Had to work on those because the muslin from the first coat pattern could not be used. Ordered Mill Farms coat but can't stop working while I wait for it to come. Did the buttons for the shirt and installed the stock buckle. I made a point of practicing with a sample in the same number of layers of fabric before I tackle the real item. That means extra work, but it also gets the "bugs" out. Even the corduroy is not really that bad. The silk thread is trickier than the linen though.

I re-opened the back seam of the waistcoat. There is an example in my file of a french one that is partially laced up the back to assist with better fit, so will probably re-work this one to use that option.

March 19, 2012

Linen undergarments completed. I have not tacked the ruffles in place since they have not been starched yet. I'll probably do that just before Con since we want them to be crisp for the presentation. The back of the waistcoat is re-finished with loops so I can run a tape through and tighten (or loosen!) it. I just need to be sure to document the authenticity of that in my paperwork.

The muslin from the new frock coat pattern is working much better than the other. A little adjustment at the waistline is really all it needed. I think I may finish the trousers this week before I cut out the coat though.

March 28, 2012

Buttons and buttonholes done on breeches, except for breeches legs. There will be some adjustment there before I can do those, but the buttons are covered. The linen lining for the coat went together on Monday, but I had to take yesterday off to let my fingers recover from the sewing. Will be cutting out the coat fashion fabric tonight. Crossing our fingers that I really have got the "top" of the fabric right since it has been a while since I cut the waistcoat and breeches. Audio book is "Time and Again".

April 11, 2012

The coat lining has been assembled and the pocket flaps are done. I'm working on the tails before starting the front edges. We still need to do a final fitting to make sure he's happy with the sweep and curve of the front.

April 20, 2012

Finished the breeches! Here's a shot of one of the knees with the buttons and buckles in place.

Embroidery on the coat is still in progress but we may make it by the deadline if I can stick to this speed. Audio book is "Dracula, the Undead". Still refreshing my brains with the weekly pilgrimage to Barsoom. Luckily every time it closes in one theater, it seem to open in another.

May 2, 2012

Reality check - no way can I finish the rest of the embroidery and all the buttonholes on the coat by the end of the weekend and I refuse to sew in the car. This project has been given an official new deadline of Costume Con 31 in Denver. It is better to do it right than enter it half finished.



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