place is worth a visit. The last 18th century barracks in the country is right in the heart of Trenton, NJ. The structure is largely intact, right down to the fireplaces and masonry marks. Soldiers and prisoners from the Seven Years War to the Revolution lived and fought around it.
Another great event created by young people, and it was an honor to be invited. Whenever bullshit strikes, I recall the twelve-year-old (with the unholy light in their eyes) who takes a single careful photo. He/she already knows how the musket works, they want to talk about bayonet evolution over time. As they return to talk again and again, their mother apologizes and I tell her it is like looking in a mirror.
They are half my age and already exceed me in sewing skill. They find new cultural nuggets I have never seen before. The twelve-year-old grew up, and keeps me inspired to do this till I can't run anymore.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
A quick pin up of the legs proves this pattern still fits. If there is any question, best to cut the legs with extra material on the inseam. Finish the outer leg seam of the lining and insert it BEFORE attaching the waistband. Stitch through the body and lining.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Make sure the top edges of the bearer and breeches line up, and back stitch along where the pins are in the photo. Overcast the edge of the bearer to the inside of the body if desired. The lining is going to overlap, so it isn't really needed.
Monday, March 16, 2015
There is magic in hearing Lord Cornwallis's compliments read while standing on the muddy ground where hundreds died in 1781. Keeping weapons functioning, powder dry, and cooking food in the wet is a challenge. The winter uniform fared remarkably well. Back home, it is time to assess damage and make repairs.
Starting from the top, the hat slowly uncocked itself and is now soft. It is steamed back into shape, and shellac applied to the soft spots. The coat needs little attention: mud is brushed from it with a stiff brush. The right waistcoat pocket bag tore and needs to be stitched up. Ruffles are cut from the shirt before it is hand-washed. They will be ironed and replaced when the shirt dries.
The winter trousers are still in fat configuration and need to have three inches cut from the waistband back. Eyelets will be redone, and the popped seam inside the left thigh fixed. The stirrup straps stretched and need to be cut shorter. Water and a stiff brush remove most of the mud. Belts, sling, and shoes are cleaned with soap and water. Shoes get a healthy dose of shoe grease, and some black ball. White leather is painted with white ball and polished with a glass bottle. The brass belt plate gets a high polish.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Bearers are similar, but there is no need to turn the top edges, just whip them together. Two or three eyelets finish the back of each waistband, and two or three buttons and buttonholes will close the front. If the wool stretches, add hemp or linen canvas linings to the waistbands (before buttonholes and eyelets) to stabilize them.
Backstitch 3/4" of the side seams to get ready for attaching the waistbands. If fit is okay with the pattern, the center front and back of the lining pieces can be finished as well.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Very happy with how the old rag turned out. The fit is better, and it kept me alive once again over this past weekend. There was a minor scare on the blog today. Long story short if Google asks you if you want to save space by deleting some stuff, just say no. It took an hour to find the triple secret Picasa/Google + trash can that had ALL the photos to Drunktailor and put them back. On to better things.
Since this post proved popular, why not knock out a quick and dirty pair of cloth breeches? The 7th Regiment of Foot didn't start out in overalls. Winter regulations originally called for a pair of white wool breeches with marked buttons, no pockets, and button closure at the knee. These will be fully lined. Ignore the pocket in the photo, we don't need it. Next time waistbands.