Sunday, July 12, 2009
We are making two pairs of riding breeches for this show and I am always happy to find vintage examples of garments to look at and to compare to.
This pair dates from 1941 according to the label inside at the back.
The wool is incredibly dense and heavy-I'd guess it is at least 17oz to 20 oz weight, and it could be blended with some synthetic fibre since the label recommends washing in warm, NOT HOT water with "Lux".
This is a detail of the inside of the leg opening, it has handmade buttonholes and very small buttons, the bottom is bound with silesia , creating a facing to the inside, where it has a little jog around the bottom buttonhole. The inside knee suede pieces are stitched on by hand both on the outer edge as well as about 1cm in from the raw edge.
The fabric is so dense that instead of bagging out edges such as on the fly extension, the wool is pinked and silesia is stitched behind, or in the case of the fly facing, the silesia binds the edge.
They have cut the fronts to make the pockets and then left all the excess fabric inside the breeches, where it sits in between the pocket bag and the front of the garment. You can just see a corner of it here in the lower right.
These breeches are cut in the way that you see in the period drafts of the time. There is ample seat room for sitting on a horse, the seams and darting near the inside knee are cut raw and whipped together to reduce friction between your knee and the saddle. The fabric is heavier than most overcoats are these days.
All of these characteristics are beautiful and functional , but not quite what is needed onstage, which is one of many reasons that I while I collect and study and dissect the period drafts, I can rarely use them verbatim for my work.
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