1780’s Man’s Embroidered Suit and Waistcoat

This is my first crack at a completely coordinated and embroidered man’s 18th century suit! It has been a long standing dream of mine to make one of these! I had a 6 week deadline to make it so it is not as elaborate as many of the originals. The next one will be even better, I promise! It is difficult to place these embroideries so that they line up correctly when the coat is cut out and sewn together. Now, as in the 18th century, the embroidery is usually done before the garment is cut out.

This suit is made in the 1780’s style using JP Ryan’s Gentleman’s Frock Coat pattern. The fall front breeches came into style because both the waistcoat and coat are now cut away in front. This makes a nice clean line where the breeches show in the front. This coat does not button – it is intended to lay flat on the chest and sweep backwards at the sides, much like a modern formal tailcoat (which is a descendent of this garment). The pockets, sleeves, and stand up collar are outlined with a metallic braid trim.
The breeches are fall front and are made from the same olive twill fabric as the coat. They are trimmed with embroidery around the knee bands and have embroidered self fabric buttons that coordinate with the coat. The waistcoat is made from a greenish-blue silk embroidered in a floral pattern. I did not draft out the embroidery for the waistcoat – it is made from a piece of designer decorator embroidered silk. The thread colors for the coat’s embroidery were chosen from the colors of the waistcoat embroidery. The waistcoat is lined in white linen, and the back is constructed entirely in white linen. The pocket is outlined with coordinating embroidery, and the buttons are self fabric embroidered with thread to match the coat. The suit is shown over an 18th century cotton shirt, purchased from Jas Townsend and Sons.