Friday, March 24, 2017

Queen's Rangers at Sully Plantation and Fort Ward love them!

Fort Ward is an odd little 18th c event in Alexandria, VA.  Held over the Washington Birthday weekend, its a day for folks to come out and engage in living history in an a-historical battle at an American Civil War Fort.  Go Figure.

The thing is, its only one day, so you normally only get local folks.  This year, I decided to make a weekend of it and coordinated with Erin Rock at Sully Historical Site in Fairfax for a one day drill.

What a great site and opportunity to engage with the public, bust some rust on the '64 and try out the new Bacon Shovel (skillet) I knocked together.  More on its construction, later.

That evening we stayed at my best friend's house in Vienna and replayed the battle of Hobkirk's Hill using the game system Carnage and Glory.  More on that over at Legio XXVIII Lillipvtia.

The next morning, the weather was beautiful and we were off for Fort Ward.  Spectators were very interested in the green uniforms and the fact that Americans...VIRGINIANS no less, fought for the crown.  We even ran into a British Rifles Officer stationed at the Pentagon.

The battle was...shall we say as odd as ever in this urban park.  That being said, we had a great time and I was able to see a lot of old friends from the First Virginia Continental Line Regiment and make contact with prospective customers for my fledgling historical clothing and equipment business. 

Next event:  Guilford Court House as NC Whig militia. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Progressing on the Queen's American Ranger Jacket: Lining, Buttons, Hooks and Eyes

A finished're almost there

Sew in your button stand and interfacing prior to working buttonholes or sewing the lining.

Once you have finished the exterior of the coat, work the buttonholes on chest prior to sewing on the liner.  Be sure to have sewn on a button stand on the interior of the chest panels, prior to working the buttonholes.

Now pin the lining to your jacket.  The bays is a very loose weave, so you will need to fix your pins very close together.  Sew the lining to the collar using a whipstitch.  The body should be sewn using a straight stitch (at least 6-8 stitches per inch and a 1/2 in seam allowance).  Pull the sleeves through and fold the false cuff in on the lining.  Sew using a 1/2 in seam allowance and straight stitch along the slash, whip stitch along the bottom of the cuff.

For the chest button holes, now work the button holes on the interior (whip stitching the lining to the buttonhole on the interior.  Once you have it tacked down, cut the lining open.

Sew the lining to the buttonholes on the chest panels

Cut the lining only after you have completely sewn it to the buttonhole.
Mark your button placement on the opposite side and make your holes with your awl, just like you did for the epaulettes.

Gently force the fibers apart where you marked your button placements.
Depending on the fabric thickness, you make have to pull the shank through after
threading the tape through to the exterior of the chest panel.

Push the button shanks through and sew the linen tape down along the chest panel buttons.

Detail of chest buttons (interior)

Do the same for the two buttons on the cuffs as well.  There are no button holes on the cuffs.  These are closed using your hooks and eyes.

Hooks on the button side, eyes opposite.

Fix the hooks and eyes right behind your buttons on the cuffs...and you're done!

Progressing on the Queen's American Ranger Jacket: Collar

The Pungo Mess at Sully Plantation
Moving on to the collar of the jacket, you will want to cut two of the pieces about 1/2 in longer on the long edge that will fix to the neckline.  More on that later.

Whipstitch catching only half the fabric's thickness.

Exterior of the collar.  No stitches visible.

Interior of the collar.  Now would be the time to tack on some interfacing.

Place the longer of the short ends together and sew using a whip stitch with no seam allowance.  Catch about half the thickness of the broadcloth, so your stitches are only visible on one side.

Then pin the smaller of the two collars to the neckline with the two edges (collar and neckline) facing upward.  Sew to the neckline using a back stitch and 1/4 in seam allowance.

Now pin on the upper collar (longer of the two) to the lower collar. 

After pinning on the outside of the collar, roll the edge and pin the interior to the neckline.
Exterior showing pinning and topstitching along the collar's edge.

 Sew using a straight stitch (at least 6-8 stitches/in.)

Now fold the top collar over the bottom collar and pin.  You should now see the reason for one collar being slightly larger than the other.  It has to travel a bit further over the neckline to allow it to lay properly. Whip stitch the upper collar to the neckline.

The two collars pinned.