Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Historical Sewing - Mid 1800's British Uniform

With much gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, staring at it awkwardly in fear, wracking my brain over how historically 'accurate' it is going to be, taking my brother shopping with me at the fabric store, some more staring, and going back to the store... oh you get the point. It has taken me almost a year to finish this coat. My brother asked me last summer if I could make him a very specific coat (and this is coming from the guy who rarely asks for anything) - a British officer's uniform from the Zulu War. We worked out a trade, and I sorta set to work. It certainly ranks #1 hardest project I've ever done in my sewing career. I can point out all of the oops, shortcuts, the what-was-I-thinkings, and the 'that-shouldn't-have-worked-but-it-did-anyway.'  I've never done any sort of man's garment before, let alone a lined, tailored jacket! But I survived to sew another day. ^_^

The lo-down:
Pattern: McCalls 4745 (A)

- The pattern is originally drafted for American Civil War, not the British Zulu War. So the color is obviously different. ;)
- lapels on the shoulder drafted from one of my brother's trench coats
- gold braid and decorative buttons added to collar
- My brother has a very strong, athletic build, so, even with cutting it to his measurements, I had bring in the waist even more and put more ease into the shoulders.

- The gathers on the sleeves weren't long enough per the instructions, so I had to spread the gathers out even farther.
- The coat tails... a living nightmare. I couldn't figure out the directions after studying it and rereading it. The pictures with the instructions hardly corresponded with what you were doing... I eventually wound up on a pattern review site and I went through everyone's suggestions on how they survived and managed to finish the coat. Those were life savers.

So the final verdict? Would I do it again? Eh... Maybe. :shrugs: Maybe if I can work up the courage to do it again. ;)
Now Jake just needs to find the hat, boots, accessories and what-not to make the whole outfit complete. Then we can get some better pictures with him all decked out in the apparel. My part of his ensemble is finished. Onward to finish the Everest of a project to-do pile.

No comments:

Post a Comment