Friday, April 2, 2010

military overcoat

One of our tasks this year was to copy this vintage military coat. The original had a label from 1953, and was in fair condition- a few moth holes here and there, and it was missing it's button-in lining. The reason we couldn't use it was size- it is a size 38R and we needed a 46 tall.
I took notes and a few photos because I find that there are so many interesting details and frankly wonderful engineering on some of these vintage garments that you don't see anymore.
Some details were things that we didn't need to reproduce- the button out lining for one, as well as the type of armhole and resulting sleeve. The armhole dropped about 2" below the usual point, into a V shape. The sleeve had an underarm seam and a back seam but no front seam, and a correspondingly odd shape at the underarm to accommodate the V plus it had a grown-on gusset.
Below is our version- a lot longer proportionately than the original because the designer wanted calf length on a man 6' 5" tall. We also took the belt buckle and button from the vintage coat to use on the new one. All in all, a satisfying result.


  1. What a great-looking coat. You did a great job in replicating it!!!!

  2. Wow, I am impressed. how long did it take to do the replication?

  3. I'd have to take a look at the time records to know how long it took to be sewn. I'd guess around 60 hours off the top of my head. There are a lot of components to it.

  4. Hi Terri. I'm thinking of making an overcoat similar to this for myself. I have some limited (ie. amateur) experience with suit coat making, but I'm not sure about some of the assembly details for such an overcoat. Can you possibly recommend a book which contains some instructions for assembly of a coat like this? Thanks so much - love your site!

    1. I can't say that it is much different than making any other kind of coat, you should be able to apply what you know along with common sense to achieve it.
      There are not many construction based books I can recommend, since we use our traditional techniques and modify what we need to in each situation.
      I understand though that not many people have the opportunity to gain experience that allows for that, so all I can offer is to become familiar with the construction of components and order of construction in general, think it through, think about whether and how the step you are doing affects the next one, before you do it.
      Check the cutter and tailor site or this one for possible construction info
      I hope that is at least a little helpful.