Matching Russet Outfits Part 1

Part 1 contains the male half of the outfits, click Part 2 for the female half! We scored some lovely red wool from a local vendor, and had enough to make two outfits out of it. It’s rather thick stuff, like what you would expect a wool coat to be made from, and will make us a warm pair of outfits indeed. We are loosely aiming for 1560’s in northern Italy, especially Moroni paintings for men’s attire. The doublet is pretty standard Milanese fair, but we had to travel a bit to Venice for the type of pants he wanted for this outfit.

In Progress Pattern, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

The pattern was originally taken from the various men’s doublets in Patterns of Fashion 3, melded together to get something that is about the right proportions, but drawn up to his measurements.  We have used this pattern before to make him doublets, but I modified it so I could try out the ‘grown-on’ collar method.

In Progress, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Instead of a seam all around the collar/neckline, the back is all one piece, and the front gets the seams.  I was very excited to try this out, but found myself disappointed when he tried it on.  All sorts of crazy wrinkles were forming; such big ugly things too!

In Progress, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.comIn Progress, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

I tried looking back at the POF book, and it provided a possible period solution: pad stitching.  Adding some interlining to give it structure, and pad stitching those two layers together.  I took two bits of brown wool fabric I had around, one covering much of the upper shoulders, and the other just the collar area, and pad stitched them on one side, doing my best to encourage the fabric to curve nicely.

Padstitching, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Then I pad stitched again on the other side, this time adding the red outside fabric.  I tried to make the stitches that went through all the layers as invisible as possible, but I didn’t worry myself too much over visible stitches, since at least one of the extant POF ones had the same visible stitches from the pad stitched interlining.

Neck Back, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

In addition to padding the back piece, I shortened the collar a bit, and made new collar pieces for the front to create more flare at the top.  Not a huge difference there, but enough to matter I think.

Integral Collar, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

And it looked so much better after that!  Not completely smooth, but so much better than it had a few pictures ago, right?

Doublet Fitting Back, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Now, it was looking pretty good, but something still seemed off.  When he pulled the doublet on, it was still doing some odd twisty thing, and making persistent wrinkles between the armpit and neck.

Fitting Doublet, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

 The arms had been sewn on incorrectly!  I was silly and matched the back of the arm seam to the side back seam of the torso, which evidently do not match up for this pattern. That mistake is what was causing all that bunching behind the shoulder/arm.

Before and After, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Here’s a little comparison picture showing where the seams were before and after. At least two inches of rotation adjustment there!

I should really know better!  I understand that the highest point of the sleeve pattern’s ‘bump’ should go wherever the top of the wearer’s shoulder will be.  For some reason, I thought “No, clearly the back seam of the sleeve and the side back seam of the body should meet, and make a neat little point where they come together.  You must ignore all other knowledge of how to set in sleeves.”

Well, once I had the problem figured out, I popped the sleeves off and sewed them on again, with a much better result in fit.

Venetians, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

With the doublet mostly done, we sewed the pants up in quick order, using the simple non-poofy example in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 3, referred to as Breeches or Venetians in the book.  While the pattern in the book is for a pair of pants from 1620 (mental note, double check that number), the pattern used is really quite similar to the lining used in the other earlier pants, and when it is sewn together, it looks similar to this boy’s pants, or much like this fancy Nobleman in Hunting Attire.  The ‘pumpkin’ shaped pants appear to be a bit more common in 1550-1580’s Italy, but at least there are a few of the longer and slimmer style.
Red Buttons, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

His buttons came out so cute! I think that flat fabric buttons are really a nice change of pace from the usual round ones. My husband did almost all the work you see here: buttons, buttonholes, eyelets, and waistband lining.

Sept Crown, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Here’s his outfit in an incomplete but wearable state.  Eyelets have been added to the waist band of the pants and will eventually be added to the doublet so his pants stay up better and prevent the white shirt gap in the back.  The hat was made for a previous outfit, but it matches rather well, don’t you think?

With most of the construction done, it was time to start thinking about trim for his outfit.  I knew I wanted to slim black silk strips to the seams and edges, similar to the various portraits below.

Inspiration pics, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

From left to right we have:
Portrait of a Gentleman (‘Il Gentile Cavaliere’), about 1564-5, Giovanni Battista Moroni.
Portrait of a Man holding a Letter (‘L’Avvocato’); about 1570, Giovanni Battista Moroni.
Portrait of a Cavalier with His Hunting Dogs, ca. 1570-1580, Bartolomeo Passarotti.
Pierson La Hues, 1581, Gillis Congnet.

That last one isn’t Italian, but forgive me for my little indulgence.  These four were closest to what I was going for, and helped me decide on placement of the silk trim. nobleman-in-hunting-attire-1561, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

For pants, I had to go back to the Nobleman in Hunting Attire.  It’s a little bit difficult to tell exactly where his trim is placed, but it definitely goes down the side of the leg and around the knee, which is what I was thinking of doing, although with many less lines than the Nobleman.

If you are interested in this style of pants, here’s a few more pictures I found while trying to find some from the mid 16th century in Italy.  Note that many of these are not mid 16th, nor Italian.

Federico Zuccaro – Scenes from the Life of the Artist’s Family, 1579.

Half-Length Study of a Man Standing in Frontal View, Leaning on Armor and Accompanied by a Boy Attributed to the Workshop of Federico Zuccaro (Zuccari) (Italian, SantAngelo in Vado 1540/42–1609 Ancona).

Portrait of Jan van Duvenvoorde, c. 1579 – 1580.

Oratorium boy? Late 16th century, rome. Pinned from the Anea Files.

Swanenburgh,Isaac Claesz van Workers spinning and weaving wool Oil on wood (c. 1600).

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, with Sir John Harington, in the Hunting Field by Robert Peake the Elder (British, ca. 1551–1619 London) 1603.

Prince Henry Frederick, eldest son of James VI & I and Anne of Denmark, (Palazzo Reale, Turin). 1608.

 

Onto pants embellishment!

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

I sewed his lines of black silk bias trim the same way I did on my own dress bodice.  As you can see below, I pinned the trim in place first to make sure I liked the placement, and that I had enough trim.

Opened side, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Normally, I would sew pockets in before I add the waistband, when all the pattern pieces are still nice and flat.  But since the pants were already constructed (honestly, I just simply forgot that I wanted to add pockets to these!) I had to seam rip the red waistband, and the white waistband lining.

Stitched, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

To make the slits for the pockets, I simply cut an opening about 7-8 inches long, and folded the edges down.  Just one fold, and a mixed running/back-stitch to tack it down.

, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

6 out of 8 of the pants in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 3 have pockets, and are made of fustian (3) or leather (2).  One has a pocket slit, but no remaining pocket bag.  My pocket is about 18 x 12″, which seemed like it would be about the right size for a cellphone or wallet plus a little more.  The ones in POF range from 15 x 6.75″ to 44 x 13.5″.

Pocket Opening, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

To avoid any fraying issues, I double folded the two edges of the pocket.  Then I folded them in towards the center of the linen, and stitched down the bottom edge.  Ta-da, it’s a pocket!

Gathering Pocket Top, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

So you need to make the top edge of your pocket a little smaller, either by gathering it like above, or pleating it in a bit, or even sewing the top corners off (rarely do you really need much at the top of your pocket for storage.

Red Placket Length, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

I did not want to have the white linen peaking out of his pocket when worn, so I used a piece of scrap to become a sort of facing/placket in the center of the pocket.  I forgot to do this before I gathered the top of the pocket, so I had to remove the gathering thread.  Most of my projects involve a lot of sewing, seam-ripping, and sewing again.  If you are curious, two of the extant pants with pockets I mentioned earlier use a strip/section of ‘fashion’ fabric behind the opening to match the rest of the pants.

Red Placket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Here’s the scrap set in place.  It is just a little longer than the slit in the pants.

Red Pocket Facing/Placket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Since it’s wool, I didn’t fold the edges under, just whip stitched it in place right at the raw edges.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

The linen pocket was then sewn to the pants opening, right at the top with black thread, twice for strength.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Instead of gathering like I showed before, I tried just folding the edges toward the middle.  I ended up doing one pocket folded like here, and the other gathered at the top.  Not sure yet which I prefer.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Then to sew the pocket to the opening!  The extant pants either did this, or used a strip of binding around the opening to join the two fabrics.

I used a lazy back stitch.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

I tried to sew the linen a little bit away from the edge of the white, to prevent it from peeking out.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

With the pocket done, I can sew the waist band back into place, on both front and back.

Pants Pocket, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

And done! He said that the pocket was quite useful during the event, and as you can see here, the red bit of wool inside the pocket successfully created a uniform appearance to the side of his pants.

Male Back, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com Male Front, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com Full View, Red Men's Outfit, from 1560's Italy, based heavily on Moroni portraits on MorganDonner.com

Posted in Clothes, Pre-1600's Tagged with: , ,
One comment on “Matching Russet Outfits Part 1
  1. Megan Woods says:

    Great job on the outfits you should be very proud of yourself.

    Thanks for posting the pocket assembly, I was having a difficult time visualizing this in the making of a pair of venetians for my son.

    Hopefully my pair will turn out as nice as yours!

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