The Flossie Potter "Founding Fathers" wardrobe pattern is based on historical sketches and other artwork as well as descriptions from historical fashion books about 18th century attire. America's founding fathers would have worn clothing that resembles the garments represented here.
Two similar yet distinct styles are given in this pattern. One would have been worn by an affluent gentleman who might be influential in his colony. The second would be worn by a laborer; perhaps a silversmith, shopkeeper, or farmer. The gentleman might also have worn these clothes when not in public.
A laborer would wear his WAISTCOAT (pronounced wess-kit) unbuttoned. His SHIRT also would have been partially unbuttoned. A painting of Paul Revere shows him in a similar outfit with the cuffs of his sleeves tucked inside rather than rolled up.
A gentleman would wear his waistcoat and shirt completely buttoned. At the neck he might sport a cravat (a very long piece of light-weight fabric such as silk) which he would have wrapped twice around his neck and then tied in a knot or bow. It was fashionable to tuck the ends through a button hole. (This pattern does not have a cravat, since it would be very easy to cut a long strip of fabric without requiring a paper pattern piece.) However, there are instructions for making another style element, the FRILL. This was a waterfall of lace that would be worn cascading down from the front of the collar.
The gentleman's CUTAWAY COAT had split tails that could be worn down or folded up into triangles that exposed the lining. The coat usually was worn open, but it could have a long row of decorative buttons and would have been highly adorned with trim.
And, of course, they both wore BREECHES.
Something intriguing about these outfits is that the shirts were very long - nearly to mid-thigh length. Could it be for extra warmth? Could it be to use as a night shirt? Let your imagination decide.
Pair this pattern with Flossie Potter's "Colonial Accessories" (tricorn hat and shoes) to complete the ensembles.
This intermediate level PDF sewing pattern has 19 pages of instruction with full-color photo illustrations, 8 pages of printable summary instructions (to save on printer ink!), and 11 pages of pattern pieces.
This PDF sewing pattern is designed to fit 18" dolls such as American Girl®.
Recommended Fabrics: cotton, batiste, brocade
1/4 yd of medium weight fabric such as cotton
Remnant for lining
Iron-on interfacing (5" remnant)
Buttons (1/4"), desired number
Optional Snaps (small), same number as buttons
1/3 yd of medium weight fabric such as cotton or broadcloth
Buttons (1/4"), 8 - 10 as desired
Snaps (small), same number as buttons
2/3 yd Pearl Cotton thread
Cut Away Coat:
1/3 yd medium weight fabric or light-weight upholstery fabric or brocade
1/3 yd lining fabric
Interfacing 12" x 12" (approximate) remnant
(Optional) decorative trim
Shirt #1 (plain):
1/3 yd light weight fabric such as batiste
Buttons (1/4"), desired number
Snaps, same number as buttons
Shirt #2 (fancy):
Same as shirt #1 but add:
8 1/2" of Lace (3/4" wide)
9 1/2" Grosgrain ribbon (1/2" wide)
30" of 3/4"-wide lace (length can vary for preference)
Zig-zag sewing machine
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 44 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.Download, Print, Sew!