Threads For A Founding Father: Ben Franklin's 18th Century Waistcoat

Recently, I had been revisited by one of my older sewing challenges: An 18th century men's waistcoat. I have always wanted to make one at some point, but never had the courage or a simplistic pattern to get started... this is where Dr. Benjamin Franklin comes in. A Ben Franklin impersonator approached me with a preposition to make him a waistcoat for an upcoming event. I saw this as an opportunity to tackle the challenge from a couple of years ago.

All of the materials were provided and being my 1st ever sewing comission, I tried to be very careful to measure and cut everything; measure twice and cut once is an old seamstress proverb I'm told. The pattern was from Butterick's historical series.

When I started the project, I was anxious. Not only was this my first sewing commission but ths was my first time making this waistcoat from start to finish. A few years ago I made an attempt at this project for my husband and I had so much trouble with it that i had to ask my friends who were more experienced for assistance. Eventually, I became so frustrated with it that I gave up and moved on the next project. Now I am ready to tackle it on full force. 

By the first week, I had everything cut out, pinned and pieced together. Everything was ready to go, but there was only 2 stipulations; 1) my job. As a manager, it's a bit challenging to get any time after work, so I had to borrow as much time as possible by pulling all nighters or doing sewing before I had to go to work. 2) something I never expected to feel intimidated by: Buttonholes. 

For once in my life, I never thought I would feel so intimidated just by adding slits you put buttons through! But i wanted to be 100% sure that these were done correctly. At first i practiced by sewing buttonholes by hand on some scrap fabrics but at my client's request, the sewing machine was faster. After a few more test runs (plus misplacing the foot that makes the buttonholes), I finally nailed it! My goodness it was so much fun and a heck of a lot easier than hand sewing them. 

I forgot to put the lining together with the fabric first, before adding the buttonholes!!!! 

All in all, I think this challenge has been a success. I do plan to make another one in the near future just to practice on.


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