Thursday, July 23, 2015


This little chap turned out well. The fronts of the legs are about 1/4" too long, but we can fix that at a later date. Also, the two-button waistband is annoying. Even one more button on the bearers would take some strain off the fall buttons. Oh well, frugal government contracts. Speaking of which, another way to save money on regular clothing issues is to use cheaper material.

Broadcloth, or just "cloth" is carded and fulled to make it dense, hard-wearing and warm. It holds a cut edge and is very stiff. Perfect for military uniforms that are supposed to last a year or more, cloth is no fun to wear in summer and it isn't cheap. Civilians often switch to worsted wools, or "stuff" when it gets warm. These long staple fiber weaves are plain or twill woven and more open. They often fray when cut but are less expensive.

Time to revisit the mid-18th century to look at an interesting waistcoat design popular with sportsmen. This fine fellow is Francis Burdett of the Markeaton Hunt, circa 1762-63. He and others like him can be found at the unspeakably good 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center. The web page is here, and you should spend hours looking. Markeaton seems to have had a uniform of sorts (why no pockets?) But the red, double-breasted hybrid waistcoat appears elsewhere. It's a similar design to the Regimental coats of the period.

There is room in the collection for another mid-18th century waistcoat, and in true drunk tailor fashion it will be shoddy and made of stuff.