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  • Pattern Question

    Hello all,

    I'm looking for advice on where to find an accurate pattern. I've been asked to make a US Senior Officer Frock Coat, and the patterns I've found online look pretty underwhelming.

    Could anyone point me in the direction of a good pattern supplier?

    Thanks,

    Eric Rivet
    Brownhelm, OH
    Eric Rivet

  • #2
    Re: Pattern Question

    Eric,

    While I don't have a lot of expertise on high end men's civilian/military garments of the mid nineteenth century (others who are participants on this forum, certainly do), I would say there probably aren't any "off the shelf" patterns that faithfully will produce an authentic Federal senior officer's frock for two reasons. First, the tailored cut and construction details of such a project are really beyond either the typical "costume" maker's level of ability or, quite frankly, interest in putting in the effort to accurately reproduce one, so there is probably little market for such a pattern beyond what you have already found. Second, it was an era of individually tailored garments, custom fitted and exquisitely detailed, for such high end customers, so generally they were each unique to the individual for whom they were made. There are several individuals currently out there capable of making such a pattern for you, some who will help guide interested folks in developing it themselves using period methods, and even coach them in the period tailoring techniques needed to achieve reasonable results (all for a charge, of course) so you might want to explore that route. If you are doing the work for someone else the final pattern development would obviously require using their measurements but be aware that some are specialized and not typically used in today's garment manufacture

    From the examples of such garments that I have studied, the workmanship and skill in professional execution of period Officer's clothing was simply superb by today's standards, at times almost unbelievable. Good luck in your project let us know how it turns out.

    Dick Milstead
    Company of Military Historians
    Liberty Rifles
    Last edited by rmilstead; 06-22-2020, 10:56 AM.
    Richard Milstead

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    • #3
      Re: Pattern Question

      Hello,

      Jim Ruley used to draft officer's coat patterns from Devere's 1860s system of tailoring. Perhaps he still does:

      https://www.1860sciviliancelebration.com/jim-ruley.html

      https://www.authentic-campaigner.com...ck-coat-makers

      You could also get a copy of Devere's 1866 centre point system and draft your own pattern... Mr. Ruley used to offer a copy of Devere's on a computer disk, along with a set of his "graduated rulers" for quick pattern drafting...

      Here are some illustrations of a double-breasted military frock coat pattern by tailor William Glencross (published 1866), which you could compare to existing patterns, or perhaps even modify an existing pattern to match:

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      Here's the link to the whole volume:
      https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...view=1up&seq=7
      James "Archie" Marshall
      The Buzzard Club (Saltmakers for the south)
      Tampa, FL

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      • #4
        Re: Pattern Question

        Hi,

        Thanks for the explanation in detail.It is useful information.
        Peter James

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        • #5
          Re: Pattern Question

          Jim Ruley prepared a frock pattern for me in 2007. Through the years, I have made a number of coats from that pattern and it has served me well. Jim has also made himself available for instruction and advice in construction.

          As with any pattern, I recommend making a mock-up before committing your shears to a costly piece of cloth.
          John Wickett
          Former Carpetbagger
          Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

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