Thursday, April 28, 2016

Federal Era Revised

Five years have passed since we tried our hand at an early 19th century tailcoat. John Lewis Krimmel provides some great inspiration, rocking out at the Wayside Inn. May have to forego the bullwhip, but checks and a cigar are always welcome.

The older the sewing efforts, the more horrifying the garment. The tailcoat pattern included some guesswork. It's remarkably helpful to have someone who knows surviving clothes well locate all the problems with the copy.

This sexy beast is in the URI Collection (1967.13.17) and known as the "Stonington Plaid." Details can be found here. Everything we want: mismatched pattern seams, fake pocket flaps, tail and breast pockets, unlined linen. Aside from input from Dr. Hammer, the Laughing Moon pattern will be our start point. A cotton fitting pattern will be used for sleeves and collar testing.

Considering how well it fits, the 2011 coat has serious issues. The neck opening is huge, probably why it doesn't hug the neck on the right side.  The front panels are the wrong shape, so the arm openings are strange. The back pieces are way too big, and for some bizarre reason the back sleeve seams are not centered. While we are at it, all the current early 19th century trousers are not tall enough. Might as well make news ones.

This was good, but we can do better. Next time: fitting pattern.

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