Boston Corps of Cadets Coat Reproduction | Historic Sites | Historic Places to Visit

For the upcoming no-footer event at Fort
Ticonderoga May 18th 19th and 20th don’t you forget about now we’re portraying
Benedict Arnold who is of course a really you know infamous famous character great
hero traitor all that but we’re portraying him in his early days here at Fort
Ticonderoga and we got pretty good information that he was wearing the
uniform of his own personally financed second company of Connecticut
foot guards and by their uniform regulations they were supposed to have a
scarlet coat with buff facings and silver buttons and the neat thing kind
of great coincidence is here at Fort Ticonderoga we’ve gotten our collection
a Boston Core of Cadets coat and which by their leave 1772 their uniform
regulations we’re in guess what a scarlet coat with buff facings and buff
linings so it’s a neat opportunity to take you know a garment that’s in our
collection that coincidentally may or may be not coincidentally is a very
similar uniform to what one of the great characters that was here
at Fort Ticonderoga was probably wearing so we’re doing a pretty
intensive study of this garment looking at the construction details the
patterning the dimensions and we’re going to be building over the
next week as best we can a copy of this now the only sort of caveat or
sort of problem potentially but we’re you know we always have to balance we
know by that got the regulations for the governor’s foot guards they talk about
having side pockets but no flaps so we’re not quite sure what that meant but
otherwise everything else about this code is is pretty darn similar and it’s
also pretty neat too that the code itself is I mean in some ways it’s very
fashionable in the realm narrow cuffs the venero lapels very contemporary to
the British military at the time but we look at it closely
did the skirts in this coat are very full I mean full like you would see in a
coat from as maybe as early as the 1750s we’ve also got these kind of some ways
kind of old-fashioned they’re squared off pocket flaps so at once it’s both a
very fashionable military garment and in other ways it’s sort of traditional and
very very kind of conservative maybe even New England style so as well
it’s a neat coat for us to study and it’s going to be a really cool coat that
we’ll have hopefully on our Joel Anderson portraying Benedict Arnold with
a no border event which y’all going to go to right One of the kind of cool details about this coat that we’re copying in our copy of this coat is that the center back pleads
now center back pleads are are sort of a a weird vestigial but they’re they reference a much older time if you go back to the
end of the 17th century when the basic coat style appears you got you’ve got
the a whole lot of extra fullness not only in the side seam of the coat but
also the center back and so this is sort of the the last last bit that you’ll see
and center back pleads are really really neat to go in because what you
have here you actually have a lot of extra material you can see that that
fullness as I pull it out if a lot of extra material that they actually after
the top here they actually would slash the the coat body itself and then they would
take all this extra and literally just slide it over so that the edge of the
here lines up with the center back seam up here and once that was done they
would take that extra fullness that they’d create that wrinkle and they put tuck it in here as a pleat now another sort of the way they’d finish that
off to sort of cover off that seam that very very closely done seam
they actually put a buttonhole here now I’ll see a buttonhole match on the other
side and then another here just another button hold down below that to sort of
knot to match it to give a nice proud but if you look at many earlier coats or
court dress at this time you’ll actually find buttonholes done all the way down
to the tail but that would be pretty darn old fashioned and even even a
little bit too conservative for this New England style coat so we’ve gone through we drafted out based on measurements of
the original garment we’ve drafted out a pattern so we can go ahead and build a
reproduction now one of the challenges with making a reproduction garment is
that each garment originally was designed to fit a particular person and
the original Boston Corps of Cadets Co was designed to fit a guy who was really
tall probably six foot if not well over and in very slender probably not unlike
my own built the individuals that will be wearing this Mr. Joe Anderson
well piece of a more hes a bigger guy more like a linebacker so when
we take all those measurements we want to build the proportions of the original
garment and some of the original construction details into the pattern
that we drafted and what you see is something the result of that as we move
into going ahead and cutting out all the pieces here you see one of the kind of
details from the original garment this is the the pleat and it’s a pretty
deeply I mean not only is the actual you know finished line itself a pretty steep
angle relative to the body but then there’s all this extra material here we
plead it up now on the original well this top edge was folded under and then
these sort of accordion fold up inside in order to make that happen though it
takes a lot of material and one things we know from the original garment based
on study of it is that it was pieced and so in order to can recreate the
construction of the original we’re actually going to piece this as well so
we’re going to cut it out just like this and then we can actually find another
piece of fabric to build that in and as you can see by having that pieced well
it gives us all this room to cut out other parts as well so after two days of work
we’ve gone from studying the original garment from the actual
a pattern that we drafted cut it all out and now we’re actually
recreating this garment so we’ve got this is one of the lapels which is all
stitched together pretty finely we’ve got the lining for the front part cut
out myself yesterday got pretty darn far on the back part of the garment you can
see we’ve got those center back pleats all set in right now all the pleats have
been pressed and they’ve been basted in place so that we can work with this
without damaging the pressing we’ve done we’ve even gotten those buttonholes
that cover over that seam for the center back plead done we also actually
to go back to the garment to check it out again but we went ahead and got some
of the real details for securing those pleats in place remember those that top
stitching that holds that Center back pleat down and the felling stitch for the whip stitch that’s holding down the edge of that lining so this is
basically done we’re going to the next step on it will just be to assemble it
stitching in the side seams to the front panels and then whip stitching the blind
back over moving along over here we got the sleeves the sleeves we
actually we’re able to take copy of a really cool detail on the original if
you get real close you can see that the sleeve itself the cuff was actually
buttonhole stitched around the edge right to the end of the sleeve then once
they’re stitched together they’re actually pulled apart still it they’re
they’re actually butted up against each other there’s no there’s no seam
allowance there’s nothing turned inside and then subsequent to that the lining
you can see on this one it’s actually been turned
then just gets whip stitch just to the cuff itself so it’s a really neat way of
doing it so cool move it along pitch it we’ve actually
gotten pretty far along on the front the front panels of the coat so we’ve got
the here’s one of the one of the pocket banks it’s been started it’s kind of a
neat way of doing it where it’s it’s kind of like a welded pocket in this
this edge has been doubled up but it’s also kind of like a more traditional
18th century pocket we flip this on over you can see on the inside where we’ve
got I’ll be the interfacing it’s going to back up the little pals in the front
edge it’s going to support the the tails and then those pleats and here the
interfacing that’s going to support the pocket and then here’s sort of the finish
pocket where we’ve got the button set in with those two working button holes on the
outside two non-functional buttonholes on the inside and then that finished off
pocket back so I’d say all in all in about a week’s time we should have this
whole garment done


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