Things have been very busy around here lately. On Saturday I’m leaving for Switzerland with Connecticut Valley Field Music, and it seems like there is always something left to do. I still have time to write this post, of course!

Yesterday was spent hemming two pairs of trousers, and making a few repairs on my own pair. Marching twenty or more parades a year definitely puts a lot of wear and tear on the uniforms. I’m glad we chose the heavier weight wool for the trousers, even though they are a bit warmer to wear – otherwise, they would have been falling apart by now.

I also put some finishing touches on several uniforms, mostly involving cuff buttonholes. This can be tricky, especially on enlisted frock coats, where there are three layers to sew through. Using a prick stitch is necessary at times, mostly around the ends of the buttonhole. Here is a photo showing 21 strands of buttonhole twist, all waxed, pressed, and ready to sew. Waxing the thread makes it stronger and less likely to knot up. It takes a bit of time to do, but the results are worth the effort. It sure made a mess out of my cake of beeswax though!

Civilian Frock Coat

Also on the list today is to get the next module for my civilian frock coat workshop out. Here is a photo of the latest work, showing how the back vent is basted together. This vent must be perfectly balanced, or the pleats will gape open, or overlap, depending on the error. You see this on too many frock coats, unfortunately. I baste the top of the vent closed and let it drape for a bit, then do a fitting to be sure it is correct. Adjustments are made if necessary, and only when I am satisfied is it permanently sewn closed.

Here is a slightly closer view. I just removed the basting stitches holding the left pleat in place for one of my workshop demonstrations, hence the difference in the two sides. They will drape equally after I give it a light pressing.

Here’s a close up of the pleat buttons. They’re covered in silk, and embroidered in silk embroidery floss from an original 1860’s Godey’s pattern.

Sale Update

With the trip to Switzerland eminent, I need to raise a few more funds. Not so good for me, but good for you! I am extending my Father’s Day sale, giving you 50% off on my any of my workshops. However, this only applies to the first ten registrations, after that, the workshops go back to their regular price. So don’t delay! Check out my dedicated website for the workshops more more information. Sales prices will be reflected in the shopping cart.