Monday, May 25, 2015


Snug without constraint: the secret to breeches is that simple. Their cut brings them right against the joints where movement is limited. The only exception is the backside which expands slightly for sitting. Imagine the wearer sitting astride a horse and the shape makes sense.

The fit at the knee is complex. While the front is convex, to accommodate the kneecap, the back is concave to fit hollow. The outside seam is slightly longer than the inside. There are tabs at the bottom of the button stand and buttonhole flap, so they can be pulled straight under the knee band.

Once the inside lining seam is closed, cut the wool seam allowance from the button stand top, and the leg front. Turn all the edges of the leg opening lining  and running stitch them down. The transition from concave to convex is visible in the gap. Whip the lining edges to the front and back of the wool. The half inch cuts visible at top and bottom of the picture are where the knee band starts.

Since these are button closure, the knee bands need only be as long as the leg openings themselves. The wool is thin, so the edges of the band are turned and running stitched to the turned lining edges. As with the waistband, turn the top edge of the lining. Match the band to the leg edge front and back. Backstitch the leg band on.

Once the knee band is pressed up, whip the knee band lining to the leg lining. The free ends of the band can be back stitched vertically to the button stand tab and front. All that is left now is buttons and button holes.