Monday, September 22, 2014

Quickie Project: Jodhpurs!

With Steamposium fast approaching and the local thrift chain stores full of costumes, inspiration is everywhere and I'm all too easy to sidetrack into little demi-projects. Yesterday I found a pair of vintage 1951 military field pants for six dollars that I thought could easily be made into a pair of jodhpurs.

Jodhpurs are those puffy-legged pants you see on British adventurers of a certain era, or old-school equestrians, or 1930s movie directors with megaphones. Like this:

Like a lot of vintage pants, they are high-waisted, sitting at the natural waist instead of the hips. That's what made the field pants I found so great -- they had a generous rise and fit at the waist.  They were also full through the seat and thighs, which I hoped would be enough to give that poofy look without me having to set in gores or anything.  I didn't get any "before" pictures because I was too excited and started cutting, but here's a link to a pair exactly the same, and a picture in case the link dies.

I put them on and marked with chalk where my knee was and pinned along my calf to how tight I wanted the lower legs to fit.

I left the inseam alone and only removed fabric from the outside edge, to keep a more finished look. I basted the path I intended to cut and sew to make sure of the fit before proceeding and then, with crossed fingers for luck, I cut out and stitched the new outer leg seam. I left five inches of the cuffs entirely alone so I could figure out a buttoned flap to fasten the cuffs snugly.

They're not perfect-- I think I may take them a little higher up the knee -- but the fit is good, and when I put my hands in the pockets, they "poof" correctly. They could be a little fuller, but I'm not going to mess with that. They're fine for costume wear, and that's what I intend them for, so it's a good effort.

The nice thing about jods is their versatility. You can dress them up with a shirt and jacket, or down with a undershirt. Just like jeans, I guess. I tried a few things from my wardrobe to see how they looked.

I've also learned that snapping selfies with the timer gives me enough time to strike a pose, but not enough to work up a smile. Don't I look serious? Any suggestions on what to wear with my jods? Put them in the comments. Thanks!

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