Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I received an offer I could not refuse. These crack shots are the Oxford Light Infantry. They can be seen at Old Sturbridge Village, and represent all that is sexy and good in New England militia from the first quarter of the 19th century.

All their brass plates and buckles are silver plated. Their coats and trousers are the latest European military fashion, and look at that shako. What could be more Federal than putting eagles on everything?  Needless to say, I need to see what this is all about.
My obsession with fatigue caps gives me an easy place to start. A painted leather visor and silver tape really set this thing off.  Did I forget to mention my deep love of wheel hats?

The OLI fatigue hat is more of a muffin than a wheel, with the top gathered, but it is super easy to make.

The band is slightly bigger than the wearer's head and has a linen stiffener in it. Here it is inside out. The bottom edge is turned under and stitched to the linen.

I ordered some 4 oz. leather to make the brim, and Derek Heidemann was kind enough to supply me with patterns, silver tape, and buttons for the coat. Remind me to pay that guy.

Here is the top of the cap with the cotton lining part way in. I am going to get Taylor Shelby to help me gather this to the top of the band. It can't be TOO different than covered buttons, can it?

I haven't decided if the tape goes next or the bill. The last step is to add a cotton band liner for my giant sweaty head.

For those paying attention, I haven't forgotten about the stock. Here is the silk slowly covering the outside. The buckle will come from an 18th century repro I no longer use. No stains yet, but those wrinkles are handsome.