Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hooks & Eyes & Bays

As seen here, three evenly-spaced hooks and eyes hold the regimental coat closed. The bottom pair lines up with the fourth buttonhole in the lapel. The coat seams are pinned together, inside-out, on the form. The now familiar linen tape holds the lapel buttons on, sewn to the canvas interfacing.

The ends of the hooks and eyes should be even with the fold in the lapel, and strongly stitched to the interfacing. The buttonhole tapes on the lapels SHOULD line up when the coat is hooked.

Here is a closeup of a pair. I purchased these from William Booth Draper, great folks with a fantastic selection of 18th-century stuff. To cover this mess, British military coats were lined with Bay (a loosely woven plain wool,) for nearly 300 years. Prior to 1768 it was the same color as the coat facing. After, it was white or buff.  The front linings have separate skirt pieces, and since the pocket flaps on the coat are fake, there are internal pockets in the lining waist seam.

Here is the slit between the skirt lining and top, where the pocket will go. Once again, this will be a welt-style pocket. I'm excited to be using the Kochan Phillips Bay for the first time. It frays like mad, so building pocket welts out of it is a challenge. Once the pocket bag and the welt are done, the front edges of the lining are turned and pinned over the lapel edges.

The folded edge of the lining is overhand stitched about 1/8" in. Only the heads of the hooks and eyes peek out. For now, the raw edges of the lining are pinned around the neck opening, shoulders, sides, and bottom of the coat.  Back pleats practically vanish from enlisted coats in this period, but the lining can be folded and stitched overhand to what is left on the sides. The top of the pleat is left open until the side seams can be fitted and the pleat folded.

Here is what the finished pocket looks like:

Oh yeah, and for the first time EVER I made two left coat linings, put in a backwards pocket and everything! See what happens when you get too comfortable? Time to cut out a bunch of back-stitching and try again.

This is drunk tailoring at its finest.