Once more unto the breach, dear friends Part 2

Finally, a completed pair of 1770 fall front breeches. I took my sweet time with these blasted things for a variety of reasons.

This is a pattern I've never worked with before, from a company that I've never used before. I'm a creature of habit & adjusting to a new pattern & a new company was a trial. I've heard good recommendations from others about the company but in all truth, I was less than impressed. From now on I'll be sticking with patterns that I choose, even if that means adding a pattern cost to orders.

There were several parts of this pattern that didn't "combine" well with my sewing personality. For starters, there were no finished measurements on the pattern and none of the on-line retailers that carry the pattern seemed to have measurements either. I'm not sure how W decided that this was the proper size for him without measurements. Another issue was that the pattern is given in more "words" than my visual brain could deal with. The instructions include steps such as "Seam from J to K"; "Match points D, E, H & J". I found myself constantly having to refer to the finished drawing; the only image included in the pattern but thankfully labeled to match these alphabetical points. My final complaint was the lack of actual historical information. The pattern only includes a list of other books, fine if you have easy access to those books or have read them before, less than helpful it you don't.

Add to that, the oddities of the fabric. This was suposed 100% wool from my stash. Although on further examination, it might be a blend after all. The material has a nice nap to it. I took my time making sure that the nap laid in the proper direction on each piece. It was extra work, but the finished product is nice & smooth.

The final stall was all the hand sewing. They are sewn with my usual hybrid method of machine foundation with hand finishing. The most labor intensive part was the buttonholes. I am still refining my hand buttonhole stitching. The individual stitches need to get closer together for starters. Yet when I do manage to get the stitches tightly next to each other, I have more trouble keeping their size consistent. Thankfully I'll get plenty of practice when I get to the finishing stages of the great coat. I also decided not to do any top stitching on these, as they will not be a washable item thanks to the wool and the inner and lining laid together neatly enough without the extra sewing.

Please pardon the modeling photos. J is a reluctant model but I insisted. These breeches do very little for the male figure, and even less on a hanger. I did cheat a little in the name of getting flattering photos. What you don't see is the nearly 2" extra gap in the waist that I pinned up so that they weren't falling down at J's feet. Although he has already laid claim to them if W changes his mind.


  1. Yea, but they are so much easier to get use the bathroom in during the middle of the night.

    Seamus, The distillin' Scotsman

  2. JP Ryan's pattern is the best for front fall. Now if I could just find a great front fly pattern. Any recommendations?

  3. I haven't used the JP Ryan patterns. After this project (back in 2008 wow!), I got the general idea & all the subsequent pairs I have made were without a pattern.

    The same goes for Fly Front breeches. I used the Reconstructing History patterns for my first pairs & since then any other pairs have been pattern-less. Sorry I can't be more help with patterns.

    My advice would be to ask around & see who might have a pattern to let you read. I have even been known to read the directions before purchasing a pattern from a seller. I find that more than the pattern pieces themselves, it's the way the instructions are written, how many graphics they use & what types of supporting information, that really make or break a pattern for me.


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