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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Orc40k
Date: 08-25-2005, 10:38 AM (1 of 6)
Well I've done it again. I took on a commission for a "Jack Sparrow-ish" outfit and am working from a historical pattern that, of course, has no instructions. I have a front leg, a back leg, a fly, a gusset (no idea where it goes), waistband, and cuffband (for the buttoned legs which end just below the knee). IN addition to the button fly, which I DO have directions for in a Folkwear pattern, the breeches have what's called a broad-fall opening in front. (If you have a clue as to what I'm talking about, please read on.)

:bang: :bang: Here's the problem: the back crotch seam is fairly straightforward - stitch the seam up to where the little triangular opening is in the center and then turn those flaps under. The problem arises with the front! Due to the wide angle where the crotch joins the waistline I can't figure out just where crotch ends and waistline begins. The fly appears to be the closure for the center of the "fall" and there are slits and buttonholes at the outside edges. But there's no indication of how much of the front gets stitched to tha waistband and how much just gets hemmed for the flap.

Anyone out there who's made something like this? Best I can figure, they are "French Fly Breeches" from around 1750. OR does anyone know of a message board or discussion group that's ACTIVE and specialises in that sort of thing?

Thanks for all the help!

User: Orc40k
Member since: 06-29-2005
Total posts: 47
From: Magot
Date: 08-25-2005, 02:47 PM (2 of 6)
By Henry Cooke

The breeches were made with a full or half fall which should fit smooth across the front. In the 1760's and into the 1770's the waistband was placed so as to ride on the hip bones, but during the 1770's and into the 1780's the waist rose to, or slightly above, the natural waist. The fit should be close in the leg and easy in the seat to permit sitting or squatting. The bottom of the breeches should come down underneath the kneecap, but no lower than the flat at the top of the shinbone. Breeches frequently matched the color and materials of the coat, though black breeches seem to have been fashionable during this period.

As far as I can work out it hinges at the bottom and flaps up flat for lacing or whatever fastening is used to attach the breeches - check out about the wasitband though. You could always look at some portraits in a portrait gallery to get an idea of how the finished item should look.
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 08-26-2005, 08:43 PM (3 of 6)
I remember My GM telling me about how sewing was different when she was a young girl and she said men's pants had a gusset in them at the center part of the crotch, and she hated to sew them. She said when the modern pants patterns came out without the gusset , everything was so much easier.. I have always avoided gussets for that very reason..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: fronno
Date: 08-27-2005, 06:47 AM (4 of 6)
Hello Barbara,

Try this book:

CROONBORG (Frederick T.), The blue book of menís
tailoring; theatrical costumemakerís patternbook for
Edwardian menís costumes (New York etc., [1977]) 4/,
X, 238 blz. Met afbn. Oorspr. Verschenen onder de
titel Grand edition of supreme for producing menís
garments, 1970.
VDB 5470 fol.

In here you will find all you need about those kind of trousers.
With kind regards,
User: fronno
Member since: 04-26-2004
Total posts: 79
From: warwomandesigns
Date: 09-01-2005, 08:21 PM (5 of 6)
Oh they can be a pain, but I went into a search engine for handicap garment patterns & found some really good instructions for the fronts. Backs with that v lace up gusset can be a bear, so ya may want to search for Colonial or Pioneer clothing, many of these makers show a front & back view of someone actually wearing them.
Stitchin in Time
User: warwomandesigns
Member since: 09-01-2005
Total posts: 5
From: Orc40k
Date: 09-14-2005, 04:52 PM (6 of 6)
You folks are super. I followed all the advice -- looked at portraits and pioneer re-enactor sites, looked in additional tailor books. I solved the problem when I found a photo of the inside of a pair of reproduction narrow fall breeches. Seems my 1750 pattern was missing a few choice pieces - like the fall lining and a facing piece that gets sewn into the waistband and provides a little privacy when you drop the flap.

I've moved on to the weskit, which is coming along swimmingly and should be done by the weekend if my fingers don't give out. There are a dozen or so hand-worked buttonholes that have to be done. Any volunteers? :bluewink:
User: Orc40k
Member since: 06-29-2005
Total posts: 47
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