Week 2: Oxford Gent

4:00 AM

I'm so excited to be able to compete in Week 2 of Project Run and Play.
Thanks anyone who voted for my Plaid Jacket outfit last week!  I really appreciate it.
Today we're competing with our boy look.
Click HERE to check out all the amazing looks, and hopefully you like mine enough to vote for it!
Voting poll is on left sidebar.

My favorite boys style is vintage inspired, but modern enough not to look like a costume.
 This particular little set includes:
 faux-flat front elastic waist trousers, collared waistcoat, and a long-sleeved tattersall dress shirt with elbow patches.

For this look my son was the model at our local library.

Our library is really old, built over a century ago in 1907.

Because boy's clothing is pretty basic, for me, it's all about the details.
The greatest inspiration for this look is 19th century British gentlemen's elaborate suiting--without the weird billowing button-crotch pants.  I've always loved the mens' costumes in period films with their high starched collars and layered waistcoats and jackets.
It doesn't make much sense, but CS Lewis got mixed in the inspiration here, which made me think of using chocolate corduroy and adding the corduroy elbow patches to the shirt.  A little professor vibe mixing in.
The last man that inspired me was Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), one of my favorite literary heroes and the reason I really wanted a pocket watch to be involved somehow.  


The blue dress shirt is made with a simple tattersall plaid.  I cut the body of the shirt on grain, and chose to have the yoke, pocket, sleeves and button placket on the bias or diagonal.
My favorite element of the shirt has to be the white contrasting cuffs and again the stiff, standing collar.  

Detail of bias button placket and chest pocket.

I've only sewn one dress shirt before this one, so I was really proud of my little plackets, as I had to just come up with my own little pattern for the placket, cuffs, and collar.  I used one of my son's existing dress shirts as a pattern for the body and sleeves.

The shirt also has elbow patches, which are obviously traditionally on jackets, but I thought for a little boy, it was functional and unique to have them on the dress shirt.


This waistcoat has two waist welt pockets and an additional little chest welt pocket.  Boys always need a few extra pockets for all their treasures.  One pocket in this case is for his cousin's pocket watch we borrowed, which he loved because it had a train on the front. The waistcoat is lined in chocolate satin.

The biggest design element that makes this waistcoat unique is the the standing collar.  You can find vests with lapels, but the whole standing collar isn't common and I really like the look.
Here's what the waistcoat looks like when buttoned up the whole way:

  I also chose to sew the hem straight across like the Victorian styling rather than traditional pointed vests.  

These were the easiest piece of my look.  I made the front of the pants flat with a faux fly, slant pockets and the back has elastic to keep them up.  I made a straight leg, but kept it pretty loose through the leg as my son has his dad's ham-hock thighs.  

I love this outfit.  I think from a distance it looks just like a pant/vest set and blue shirt, but if you look close, you notice all the unique details from the collars to the subtle tattersall plaid.
 Altogether a classic little suit with some historical fashion elements, while sitll leaving room for some little boy under all the gentleman.

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  1. LOVE IT! And with those sneakers it's the perfect mix of modern and classic. So handsome and boyish!

  2. Looove this outfit! I've got to figure out that vest!

  3. I love this! I need to make an outfit like this for my 5 year old. Good luck!

  4. This is such a beautifully made outfit. I've always thought that dressing little girls is more fun than dressing boys. But if I had suits like that for my boys, I wouldn't have thought so.

  5. This outfit is like jawdroppingly cute. And so original. And really well made. So so good! All those little details are just amazing and look like so much work!

  6. great job Jessica! The collar is my favorite part!

  7. totally amazing. I love all the inspirations you had for the outfit. This came out so good. Why can't project runway be as good as this competition?

  8. Amazing creation, Jessica!!!
    I think my favorite piece is the waistcoat! I love how you made it with buttons right to the top with the stand up collar....but i love how you added blue for a splash of colour,...not that it brought out the little man's lady killer blue eyes or anything! Amazing work, Bravo on making it through to this next level!!!

  9. Your designs have been wonderful so far! I love this week's look. I really love your inspirations too.

  10. Love your look! Your little boy is a great model too!

  11. Ooooo! I love the vintage look, too. This is so cute. I think my very favorite picture is the one of him sitting on the library steps with his tilted little head. Adorable!! Good job, Jessica! Nice details on the shirt!!!

  12. You made a WAISTCOAT! How many people even know what that is?! And you used Great-Grandma's antique buttons?! It's completely wonderful!

  13. oh I absolutely love this look on the little man! You did such a fabulous job! I was running all weekend and didn't get a chance to vote. :( Boo! Which is sad cause yours really was the cutest! I can't wait to see what you do with the sewing through the decades!!!! :)

  14. oh my! i just saw this today for the first time. you should head over to my blog and see something i made which is so similar it's insane. I swear I didn't copy you - and i'm so impressed that you can do welt pockets. i tried and tried and couldn't make them work right. i really like the standing collar you used too. anyway, just wanted to let you know i thought i was being somewhat original. just goes to show it's all been done. :)

    jess @


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