Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How to make an 18th century jabot, stock or cravat.

Men's neckwear in the 18th century took several forms.

The first was the stock, a gathered band of fabric that tied or buckled at the back of the neck over the shirt collar. It could have an attached jabot that mimicked the cravat, or could be worn in combination with the cravat. The most common fabric was linen, followed by cotton and silk. It was usually white, but occasionally black.

The second was the cravat (about 1660-1830), a long piece of fabric or lace that was tied in many different ways. It could be wound around the neck, the collar, and tucked into the waistcoat in a variety of fashions. It reached it's peak around 1800 with the wide use of starch, and then gave way to neckties in the mid 1800's. Again, the most common color was white, but any color could be worn, and there was a language of the cravat, just as there is a language of flowers.

The third most common neckwear of the 1700's was the jabot, or ruffled stock. This was tied around the neck or shirt collar, and the collar was folded over it. It could be made from lace, linen or a combination of both. The most common color was white, but other colors were seen as well. This was often worn in combination with the stock.

To make a stock, gather 1/4 - 1/2 yd of 13" wide fabric into 2 tabs of fabric, about 3" wide. Attach those to ties or a band to go around the neck & collar.
Use linen or cotton for starters. Silk is good if you aren't going to be doing hot things (it's very warm).

To make a cravat, roll a narrow hem on a strip of fabric (linen or silk) 10 - 15" wide x 105" long (or longer) and tie till your heart's content. Military cuts were often much shorter: 42 - 72" long.
cut a 56" x 10" strip (on bias or straight), then fold in 1/2 (so it's 28" x 10") and cut a triangle from center to edges. Make neatly rolled edges & done!

To make a ruffled jabot, follow the directions below.
Cutting / Ripping.
2 base pieces (these should be about 6" x 8", or there'bouts).
However many ruffle strips, 2 - 3x wider than your base pieces. I used 5 (originally 6, but one came up short, so I got rid of it).
Rip a 1 1/2" strip of fabric about 25" long for your binding & tie.

1. Make a small rolled hem on all the ruffle pieces to create a finished edge. If you can use the salvage for one side this will save you a lot of time.

2. Make 2 rows of gathering stitches along the top side of each ruffle.

Set ruffles aside.

1. With right sides together, sew side, bottom, side, leaving one end open to turn (this will be your top edge).

2. Clip corners, turn & press.

3. Mark 1/4" - 1/2" from top & bottom with chalk/fabric pen, then evenly divide the space in-between by the number of ruffles you have. (remember to count your top & bottom marks).
Set aside.

Sewing ruffles on.

1. Find the center of the base & first ruffle & mark.

2. Pin together in the center & at the sides on the bottom line.

3. Gather the ruffle into the base and secure with pins or sew on a machine.

4. Repeat with each ruffle on the next line up.

5. Remove gathering threads.


1. Find the center of the band & the center of the jabot, mark and pin together as shown. Buttonhole (hand stitching) or overlock (machine) the raw edge, then straight or back stitch just below.

2. Turn the band over & create a finished edge on the fold with a blind hem stitch or top stitching. It will be folded like double-fold bias tape... in fact, if you are lazy you can use double fold bias tape for this.

3. Finish the band on either side by turning under the raw edges (like double fold bias tape). Remember to turn the ends in and make a neat band.


Gail Kellogg Hope said...

As a side note, you may have to hand-tack the ends of your ruffles down if they flip up oddly.

F said...

Thank you very much for this lovely walkthrough! It'll really help me with my latest project. <3

Unknown said...

I'm going to a steampunk wedding and needed to make a jabot. the instructions were so easy, thanks to you my outfit is finished nicely! Sue, australia

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

Sue, have a great time at the wedding, sounds like it'll be a blast!

Teribear68 said...

Excellent tutorial. Even as a beginning sewer I found this easy to follow and the piece turned out beautifully.

Lille KrÄke said...

I wouldn't say it's 'lazy' to use bias tape; it has a finished look that is sometimes preferable. But nice tutorial, it's something I can share with a friend who doesn't know how to make them but wants to learn.

rickcow61 said...

Thank you so much for the history and the instruction!!! I am finishing a pair of 18th Century Men's fitted leggings and will make a Crevat to replace my stock (which I hate). I do enjoy making these items instead of purchasing items that are machine sewn at twice the price.

Karen said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I just made a small one for my grandson who has to dress up as George Washington for a book report. I had very thin white fabric so i folded the ruffle in half and sewed around three sides and turned it. Then I ruffled it. Came out great. Wouldn't work if fabric wasn't so thin.