1812 US Infantry

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Ian Harbottle
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1812 US Infantry

Post by Ian Harbottle »

The first batch of the US infantry uniforms are now with us as this plucky fellow from the 4th United States Infantry sports in his off duty time. Well done Helen of Sew Very Historical as this is her first attempt at the US infantry uniforms and she has done a stirling job.
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4th Off Duty copy.JPG
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Neibelungen
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Re: 1812 US Infantry

Post by Neibelungen »

Ian,

They look pretty good from the photo, though I'm wondering if your wearing a sleeved waistcoat under the jacket.
Assuming the 1812 pattern jacket which followed more the english pattern rather than the french styled 1810 cut.

From a very critical perspective there's a couple of points I'd note from first impressions. Not trying to be picky, but offer constructive notes that might assist in developing a complete appearance.

1. The sleeves seem a little to wrinkled in the forearm, considering it's a relaxed pose (hence wondering if the sleeved waistcoat below). Suggests to me a slightly modern arm shape which is straighter than period ones.
I would expect a little bunching round the back of the elbow in that position.

2. Sleeve head looks a little too modern. Sitting on the shoulder point rather than closer in to the collar bone. Equally it pulls the underarm tighter into the armpit (often a slight bunchingthere) that feels a bit uncomfortable. Allow the arm to move without pulling the jacket body.

3. Collar looks a trifle square and vertical (aka prussian style), rather than sloped inward with a wider base outside a modern collar line (space for stock etc)
No back view, but a centre back seam gives it some of the shape. Officer's are often bias cut, but cloth economy for O/R's would probably preclude it.

4. Front's look a trifle early victorian and pidgeon breasted. Would expect a slightly more square cut front with the rear seams pulling the waist round slightly more. It leaves a slight ripple in the waist side which look bad, but the later fishtail cutting removed that. For officer's that excess was often steamed out with shrinking.

5. Raw edging ? Cant tell from photo, but hope so .

Chartrand (Uniform & Equipment .....1812) p25 has a good image of an officer's coatee. Notice the narowness of the shoulder between collar and sleeve head. P27 shows what I mean about the square-cut front edge and the broad collar base.
P21 has a good illustration of the 1810 pettern where those features are most apparent, especially the sleeve curve, collar slope and sleeve postion under the arm-hole.

Hope that's of some help and might assist you with future development.
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davie6012
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Re: 1812 US Infantry

Post by davie6012 »

Thanks Neibelungen for the critque. Helen of Sew very Historical did a great job on the garment, she did it exactly as I asked.
Any design faults are entirely mine, I worked from photographs of American re-enactors, sketches and drawings from books, could not get a copy of Chartrand for love or money, so this is my interpretation, nobody in the UK, as far as I know, has a jacket that I could copy, so this is the end result, but I will learn as I go, I thought it was a fair attempt, it is well made, so from that point of view I am well pleased with "Sew Very Historical ", she had no pattern only my rough sketches, to work with, but thanks for the imput......Dave H
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Neibelungen
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Re: 1812 US Infantry

Post by Neibelungen »

Dave,

Fair enough.. it's difficult to work exactly from illustrations, even contemporary ones, as the artists eye focuses on the whole rather than exacting details.
Modern artists and illustrators tend to draw with a modern eye and don't see the subtleties that costume and uniform people notice.


Shifting from a modern to a historical costume making is not easy as you have to un-learn many of the skills and methods you would use today and are presenting the client with something , that while accurate, isn't made 'as well' as you would have made it otherwise.

Modern materials, especially cloth and leather, just don't work in the same way as they used to and it's all a balance of compromises.

Let me know if you ever need any information from the Chartrand book
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Ian Harbottle
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Re: 1812 US Infantry

Post by Ian Harbottle »

Hi Andrew,

I wish that was me wearing the uniform. He's half my age and half my waist size. I haven't seen the uniforms up close as they went straight to those members who ordered them. I've only seen the photos. You obviously have a much better eye for these things than I do but then my vision turns most of the world around me into a fuzzy vista. I should have gone to specsavers. I know Dave sent some research details of John Wools' coat as well as some militia coats but we were lacking accurate patterns. Of course with so few examples in this country (none at all to be found) and the impracticalities of research visits to the States, we are reliant on what the internet and friends in the US could yield. We will of course be missing some pieces of the jigsaw and as more research and information becomes available so will the standard of dress improve in accuracy. Unfortunately as far as we are aware, we don't benefit from someone in this country having done this before us so we have to make all the mistakes for ourselves and build from there. As I mentioned this is Helen's first attempt at the uniforms from the less than complete research we have provided. I know we have moved a long way from the sleeveless leather jackets and wellington boots of the 1970's Sealed Knot but we have to start somewhere. I’m confident in Helen’s abilities that as we provide her with more accurate details and research she’ll be able to improve on the overall accuracy and construction of the garments. As such we value any comments and if anyone has any definitive research, text or pictures to add that we may not be familiar with we would greatly appreciate seeing such material. We will of course make Helen aware of your points as this will only help her too.
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Re: 1812 US Infantry

Post by Alan_F »

Ian, what group is this for?
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