Re: 101 Shirt Tips for Your Authentic Civil War Uniform Shirt
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "paulamccoach" <coach@c...>
> 101 Tips for Your Authentic Civil War Uniform Shirtyou
> by Paula and Coach McCoach
> So you want to make or upgrade your Civil War uniform shirt, but
> don't know where to start.The Federal regulations allowed for a single-button, collared, wool
shirt as issue. All other shirts were not Civil War uniform shirts,
they were civilian made and generally sent from home from a mother,
wife or sister.
What type of material do you use, should
> you use metal, porcelain or bone buttons, should you have a collaron
> your shirt, what about the cuffs - how many inches are theysupposed
> to be, should you hand stitch the button holes, where should youput
> the pocket on your shirt, Ahhhhh!The style of a shirt depended on the pattern that mom/wife/sister
had handed down to her, or the pattern she learned when it came time
for her to learn the homemaker skills from her mother.
> Your questions about making your Civil War uniform shirt authentic101
> are answered in this shirt article and continue to be answered in
> Tips for Your Authentic Civil War Uniform Shirt Course atAuthentic?
> Here are some of the tips for making Your Civil War Uniform shirt
> 4. To start, you could purchase a shirt that is already made thathas
> machine buttonholes in it and rework the buttonholes to make itlook
> more authentic. Take a seam ripper and pick out the buttonholesand
> handwork them.And while you are at it, if you want it authentic, tear out ever
machine stitch in the whole shirt. The sewing machine was invented
at that time, but most households did not have one. Authentic
shirts are entirely hand-sewn, not a cobble job with a seam ripper.
Better yet, buy a decent shirt in the first place and save yourself
the time of trying to fix/upgrade that which wasn't any good in the
> 5. I would pick out and redo by hand all exposed machinestitching.
> Someone can show you how to do that in about 15 minutes. Youshould
> have about 6-7 stitches per inch. You have just increased thevalue
> of your shirt and made it more authentic.Anything less than authentic is not authentic. Authentic is not a
> 32. "Pockets were not sewn on most shirts, and not at all on thearmy-
> issued shirts.Pockets were sewn to uniform coats. One does not sew pockets on
their underwear, which a shirt was considered in that era.
Heavier shirts had a breast pocket or two. The pockets
> were generally lower on the shirt and larger than breast pocketson
> shirts today.Pockets varied as much as anything else with the shirt.
> 33. Buttons were metal, wooden or bone, or sometimes commerciallyincluding
> made from other products, such as glass or ceramic materials. For
> Southern troops, different styles of buttons can be used,
> bits of wood, bone, or even acorns. You can use dental floss totie
> them on, but make sure the modern materials are not visible.Linen thread is authentic, dental floss is not.
> 38. Battle shirts are a bit controversial.And they were early war mostly until the units could get issued
Some troops, especially
> early-war Southern troops, had a tunic or heavy shirt instead of aas
> wool uniform coat. It would fit over a regular shirt but was not
> heavy or bulky as the wool jacket.Federal issue "uniform coats" are heavy and bulky because modern
sutler make them that way, Original coats are a lot lighter than
what is promoted today as "appropriate" and "authentic".
Before you get a battle shirt,
> make sure one is documented for your regiment's history, sincethey
> were not typical and are controversial.Cuffs on civil war uniform shirts were dictated by army regulation
> 39. Cuffs on Civil War uniform shirts varied as much as all of the
> other parts that we have discussed.
as were all other specifications for issued uniforms.
Cuffs can be added using the
> material of the shirt or a different color or material. Most cuffsShirts are not stylish. The reason collars or cuffs didn't match was
> were about 2 inches wide.
because they were often made from leftover scraps.
> 41. Next, get yourself some good buttons. Stay away from plasticand
> modern buttons. Go with glass, bone, shell, metal, porcelain, 2-hole
> cat's eye or Mother of Pearl. Metal buttons are authentic but theySo does sweat and the leaching out of color from the uniform coat.
> have the potential to rust and stain your fabric.
It adds character to a shirt.
> 45. Some shirts had button on collars, and many shirts wereBurgwyn
> collarless. ECHOES: The Confederate Version shows seven shirts on
> pgs. 154-155, and each one has a different collar. Pvt. John
> MacRae Starr's North Carolina is a dark blue wool collarlesspullover
> shirt while the one below, Pvt. Andrew Thomas Beam, 28th SouthSo as a general rule, there was no general rule.
> Carolina Volunteers' shirt is a white cotton with a square edged
> collar made of the same color and material.
> 50. My rule of thumb is that I only make Civil War uniform itemsthat
> I have seen in an original photograph or museum. Note: what is inare
> museum is only the very smallest tip of the iceberg because there
> very few actual items that made it through the war. The vastmajority
> of the original clothing is long since gone. Some of the fabricsand
> colors can be seen in very old quilts because they reusedeverything.
> 53. Note the different collars, buttons, and fabrics, color
> combinations. I personally do not like solid color shirts. I like
> something with a little color to it. These shirts have original
> buttons on them. I prefer glass buttons for shirts because I liketo
> match the color combinations.Matching anything is a modern concept. The only thing that matched
was dad's shirt and mom's dress. Cloth was bought by the bolt and
everyone in the family matched, until the next bolt was bought.
There was no such thing as a coordinated wardrobe.
Depending on the wealth of the family, getting two buttons to match
might have been a big deal.
> 55. Keep everything 100% wool and 100% cotton. Make sure that thethe
> material is a good grade, like homespun. If you are going to take
> time and energy, to make your own shirt, buy something highquality
> that will last. The price of the shirt material is negligibleThis tip is valid, and use linen/cotton thread. Not polyester.
> compared to the time and energy you will put into making it.
> 70. Original coin buttons are still available and affordable ifyou
> want to look for them. You can find them anywhere from one tothree
> dollars. You might even want to go with a mismatched set - one ortwo
> state seals and the remainder coin buttons.No one is going to put a state seal button from a uniform coat on a
> Do you have more questions, have them answeredI commend your bravery of putting such information on the internet,
but I would suggest a lot more research before you put out
> 2004 permission granted to reprint this article in print or on
> website so long as the contact information is included to21813
> Paula and Coach McCoach, 10606 Piney Island Dr., Bishopville, MD
> (443) 513-0211