Part I, roughly covering the drafting, can be found HERE.
Matsukaze Workshops FB page (which you totally should!), this project took much longer than it should have--a full year due to several setbacks. Trouble sourcing enough nice buttons for a reasonable price (since I needed around 40 matching buttons!), lack of sleeve then lining materials (I later found my lining material in a pile of stuff), running out of leather dye.... And of course, because it is a steampunk project rather than a historical one, it was lower on the priority list--so it didn't get worked on as much.
The two blue outlines are both canvas--cotton duck, unwashed--, and the red ones were of either needled cotton batting. The locations roughly follow my chest, in order to accentuate it somewhat (i.e. it helps the waist look slightly smaller, and the chest look a bit more muscular).
About this point, I think I finally decided that I was going to go with a short jacket, rather than the frock coat.
Everybody (because I made the mistake of asking for advice) told me I shouldn't do it, it's not worth it, etc....to which I reply *pffft*.
So, I had two choices. Either boning, or more canvas. While the boning would have been fun and amusing, I went with the canvas to add more body.
Confederate uniform (not the only example, just the first clear one I found when writing this).
I lucked out at some point and found a large pigskin jacket at the thrift store...disassembled and dyed, this became the leather accents on the jacket.
They are made on a base of the heavy wool, with the leather wrapped over them.
The front plastron is, as you can see, pieced leather (since I had to take it from the back of the jacket, which was in four pieces), stiffened with canvas, and the backside covered with black flannel. The construction was the same as that of the epaulets and collar.
Interestingly, working them in the leather did give me good practice on getting my stitch spacing et al even--more so than fabric does, I think.
After doing that, I pressed it heavily, until it was shiny. I actually did take a picture, but it didn't turn out at all.
I did require a second person to mark the button locations, while I held the plastron to my body--amazingly, it worked. Sewing the buttons on was basic, of course.
On the whole, I am quite happy with the garment. It looks almost exactly like I wanted, the fit is decent (although I would like about 1" more width across the chest), and it makes me feel good to wear it. But, now I need to make a matching pair of trousers one of these days. And soon...just in case I get to go to Steamposium this year.
The only thing I would have changed is on the plastron--I should have given a slight curve to the center seam, to make it slightly longer than the edges.
© John Frey, 2017. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies. Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.