Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reworking a Regimental

I lurk on a Yahoo group that focuses on the American Revolution. A guy – let’s call him Eric, because, well, that’s his name – asked for some help in shortening the length of a Lottery Coat he’d picked up. He simply wanted to know how far above the knees the skirts should be as this coat wasn’t custom made and was too long. Now this group takes its research seriously, and for the most part they honestly just want to help others avoid mistakes they’ve made. In this case though, it felt like Eric was taken to task for buying suboptimal coat. Sort of like a school of piranhas descending upon a cow carcass. In defense of his acquisition (he bartered for it) Eric mentioned that he simply wanted to wear it to IGOLD and not look like an idiot. Or words to that effect.

At that point, I contacted Eric, told him to mark the alterations and send the coat to me and I’d take care of it. This was a completely selfish move on my part – I didn’t want an ill-fitting regimental reflecting poorly on reenactors or to have him show up on the 6:00 news in that story about those wacky gun-rights advocates looking like he dressed up in a costume from the community theater.

The coat arrived and I was … not impressed. Not only had the seams not been pressed during (or after) construction, the fabric didn’t appear to be pressed – ever. The lining was cheap cotton osnaburg. So, I cut out the lining from the waist down and replaced it with linen. I left the wool edges raw, and turned under the linen. I shortened the cuffs. I replaced the hooks that held it together at the front. I added the missing pleats in the skirts. I just wish I’d had time to rework all the button holes and make the pockets bigger. Eric will be replacing the brushed aluminum (!!) buttons with something appropriate in pewter.
New linen lining on the skirts.
And more pictures later - they're not downloading tonight.

So, if you’re at IGOLD next week on the 10th, and if you see a gentleman in a Continental uniform waving a Gadsden flag, please go up and complement him on his turnbacks. He's promised to take lots of pictures.

Thanks, Eric, for letting me use your pictures and your story!

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