Sunday, February 15, 2015

Finishing Touches

When it comes to pleats, it's good to keep that sh*t tight. Anchor the tops to the reinforcing panel and each other. Two long stitches through each pleat keep the folds from opening too much. Tacking the pleats to each other and the coat is the final step.

The coat is flipped on the form constantly, and buttoned to check fit. Since the back pleats droop below the fronts slightly (after the side seams are trimmed,) the lining bottom is cut free, and the pleats are trimmed to match the front. Buttons inside the pleat folds finish the bottoms. Buttons at the hip seams are secured with leather cord to the reinforcing panels like this

 Time to fix some neglect of the cuff panels. Mid-century regimentals often had huge fake sleeve flaps. Three decorative buttons make the faux flap look secure. All they need is some close worked buttonholes to set them off. We're all about appearance here. It's hard to beat elbow buttons for style, or a cuff large enough to hold tobo or spare rounds.

Here is a problem we may not be able to fix. Not easily, anyway. Oh well, it fits fine fully-buttoned and open. The NEXT coat will be better.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Here is the collar halfway off the coat. The old center-back seam allowance is visible, and the collar lining is free to shorten the collar to match the coat seams.

After the seams are pressed open, the collar lining pieces get trimmed and everything is overcast back in place. Over to the side seams.

The underlying waistcoat seams helped line up where the coat seam should be. All the material is removed from the back. With the skirt linings turned back, the canvas reinforcing panel is pinned back in place.

The folded pleats will hang from this, and it holds the hip button cord. An equal amount of material is removed from the back pleat edge to match the side seam.

Behold: the glory of the inside of a mid-18th century British-style regimental coat. Leather cord holds the buttons, and the half lining is apparent. More hemp canvas stabilizes the shape.

All the tack stitching is cut off the pleats and they are ironed flat. Next: the torture of refolding.