15th Massachusetts Regimental Coat Construction – Part 1

The coat in its raw form…material and pattern.

Laying out the pattern in tailor’s chalk

Cut, cut…cut!

A complete coat body…ready for sewing. Now on to facings.

Once again, tracing the facing pattern in tailor’s chalk.

All the facings cut out.

Now the art work begins. Laying the pockets on facing wool. Tack down with a basting stitch and then trim, leaving only 1/8 inch remaining on all edges except the hinge edge.

Pocket tacked down with pins to the front panel…ready for sewing.UniformConstruction08

Tools of the trade. Linen thread, beeswax, hand-sewing needle. The entire coat, except for the collar buttonholes, will be stitched in natural linen thread, 35-2 weight. Wax it up with beeswax. Now let the sewing commence.

False pockets sewn onto front panel. The top corner is approximately 6” from the lapel edge.

This is a good view of the pocket trim. For attaching the pocket I use a simple running stitch since there will be no stress on the seam. The backside stitch looks the same as the front. The front panels have to be put aside now as I wait for the regimental buttons. The buttons are attached then the skirt lining

On to the back panels. The edges are turned under, pressed and then pinned. Lots and lots of pins. You can baste stitch these to hold in place in lieu of pins…but pins are quicker and easier.

Back panels are stitched. The only part that is not stitched is the portion over the panel seams where the front and back are joined. The skirt lining will be tacked in place once those seams are sewn and pressed flat.

Here you see stitches.

On the body side, you don’t see them…or minimally.

The skirt linings get a slightly different stich to hold in place. You don’t want thread showing through onto the coat face…it can show on the skirt obviously. To make this stitch you just stick the needle in enough to grab a little of the body wool but not all the way through…and then bring it back up. This way you see none or little of the thread on the coat body. This is mainly important at the top of the skirt lining that runs approximately mid waist.

End of Part 1


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