The uniform on its own is impressive, especially when you were the person who put the whole thing together and know what went into it ;) but getting all that gold lace on to the coat and waistcoat made it really freaking impressive! And it finally is starting to look like the portrait we are copying.
(Don't mind the modern pants and slippers, we were working late into the night to get to this point by the end of the weekend)
The gold lace is about two inches wide and went around the front edges and neck of the coat, also the top edge of the cuffs and around the two pocket flaps. It also runs the bottom and fronts of the waistcoat, though the waistcoat pockets were trimmed with a different gold lace for scale.
All the lace was sewn on by hand by Michael, it was a gargantuan task! And he did a great job with it, even going so far as to sew the little gathers that makes the lace lay so nicely around curves like was done on originals
like this one:
The buttons are just simple domed brass, in two different sizes with the larger ones for the jacket and the smaller ones on the waistcoat (still have to set those ones yet). Because the buttons on the jacket are just decorative we didn't set button holes on the opposite lapel and i set them very flush with the lace so they wouldn't catch and snag. I made a very small slit through the lace and material and pushed the shank through, then secured it with a wedge of wool like i have seen done in originals. I set one stitch into the narrow end just in case ;)
After all that decoration went on i was finally able to set in the lining and close the whole thing up! When i set the lining into the coat everything was lining up just perfectly so I went ahead and cheated for my own sanity and sewed the skirt pieces on the machine then turned the whole think right side out and set the fronts and neck by hand along the gold lace.
So what remains to be done this week before the event next weekend? Well its still kinda a lot:
the waistcoat buttons need to be set
the waistcoat needs to be sewn closed in the front (opens in the back)
the waistcoat pocket flaps need to be stitched down
the jacket skirt pleats need to be set, pressed and tacked down
two back buttons need to be sewn on to the jacket
the jacket pocket flaps need to edged in gold lace and stitched down
the cuffs need to tacked up on the the arm (they are so large and heavy they flop down and get wrinkly)
the lapels need to tacked open so they expose the inner blue lining like the portrait
lace cuffs and lace for in the cravat
the white linen gators (you haven't seen these yet, I'll post about them tomorrow) need buttons and bottom leather strap
the hat needs to be edged in the same gold lace
black silk cockade for the hat
black silk ribbon ties for the gorget to hang from
And that's just to finish this uniform, there is still a whole other laundry list for my outfit ;)