Recreating historic costume: The Regency Cook's new trousers

This is Part 1 of our guide to making a pair of historically-authentic drop front trousers for the modern-day Regency Cook.

Words and pictures by volunteer and seamstress extraordinaire, Jinx Amklev.

1. Finally found a pattern - only made in USA by the Laughing Moon Mercantile with £20 postage charge. 

2. Found an amazing website - vena cava designs - which sells corsetry supplies and f...fortunately historic costume patterns...joy! (Is there any other website where you can put a crinoline kit, a hot air gun, a parasol frame and aglets in a basket?)

3. Pattern arrives and weighs in at about 1 kg, containing 6 different patterns for drop front trousers - absolutely the heaviest pattern I've ever come across. 

Page of photographs of eight types of trousers

4. Next challenge choose from trousers, cossacks, sailors trousers, pantaloons, moshettos and pantaloon trousers - I think trousers sound and look the safest.

5. Measure Chef. 

6. Purchase cotton twill from eBay - good source of inexpensive but appropriate Regency fabric

7. Cut out some odd pattern pieces and wrestle with enormous pieces of paper. Trace correct size from immense pattern pieces using baking paper and vast amounts of sticky tape.

Photo of pattern pieces spread out on a table

8. Open the instruction book - clearly the bulk of the 1kg package - containing 61 pages of information. The introduction is somewhat off-putting by saying that the instructions are merely suggestions….try not to panic.

9. Review the instructions for the chosen view A and recoil in horror at the majority of illustrations which look like origami.

Page of instruction diagrams for making a garment

10. Following a much needed yoga retreat - cut out the fabric pieces. These don’t look as if they belong to any pair of trousers I’ve ever seen - now I know why they call it the Laughing Moon Mercantile

Jinx holding up the paper pattern in front of herself

11. Part 2 to follow.

Jinx Almklev