Kudos to Brian White
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Author:  Calum [ Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Kudos to Brian White

Good afternoon,

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing these, and Brian’s work definitely deserves to be shared! The coat arrived today, and all I can say is that the photos don’t do it justice! I’m wearing it to my CS unit’s business meeting this weekend, and will try to post some photos of it being worn next week.

Back in late-May, I contacted Wambaugh, White & Co (http://www.wwandcompany.com) about doing a USSS frock, expecting the answer to be no (based on their official policy on the web). Dan passed my request to Brian, who was interested, but wouldn’t be able to start on it until fall, at the earliest. We hooked up in early-July for measurements and to talk details.

Knowing Brian’s exceptional level of authenticity, and that he has forgotten more about the USSS and frocks than I will ever know, I gave him free reign, no budget and no deadline. The only exception is that I don’t deal well with heat, so he didn’t include everything that normally would have been used for the quilted portions of the lining.

In addition to being 100% hand sewn, Brian incorporated several features from the Sgt Tilson coat, such as pin-shank buttons and lighter shade of wool used for part of the skirt facing.

And an excerpt from one of Brian’s updates to me, “This doesn't exactly show all of the interior hand sewing but it's in there, never to be seen again, but completely necessary. The chest lining is original hand woven linen canvas with wool batting and black linen, the canvas part being hand-basted to the coat body seam allowances so it won't roll or slip, then the dark green front facing is laid on and hand sewn all the way around. “

The photo with the brass buttons has them pinned on mid-way through the construction process.

If you’re considering a special project, I definitely recommend Brian’s custom work – the wait will be worth it! :D

(Hopefully I did the links correctly...)


http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 0182687226

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 1660640796

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 2549931633

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 1677305925

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kudos to Brian White

Congratulations, Calum.

You don't know how many years Brian has spent researching original USSS coats in private & public (Smithsonian) collections, and how many years our Mess has been fantasizing about having the 'ultimate USSS uniform coat' made for our living history demos. Brian and I would spend hours during our drives to Gburg discussing mundane details--the materials, linings and stitching/quilting patterns for just the interior of the coat, not to mention variations between the Tilson, Smithsonian and other coats Brian has studied. Broadcloth--US or European? Who produced it-Hainsworth Rifle Brigade? Hours and hours of discussion, analysis and research.

You truly own a 'one of a kind' USSS coat, and one that I believe could be set alongside an original and most people would be hard pressed to determine what one is the modern coat (but then, I am strongly biased).

Congratulations--please post some photos of you in your new coat once you recieve it. Also, extra marks for having pin shank buttons sewed on it like the original 'first issue' coats did.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess-USSS

PS I hope the 5th VA is 'USSS friendly' unit. I'd hate to hear that somebody did a 'PETA attack' on your new coat by spray-painting it pink or something.

Author:  Calum [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kudos to Brian White

Thanks Bill!

Yup, all of that research and discussion over the years is why WW&Co was my first choice when I decided to "do" this. The actual triggering event was how poorly my current frock appeared next to my green trousers from one of Dan & Brian's kits. The wrong green isn't nearly so evident unless it's against the right green... :oops:

I've followed the discussions over the years about the color/cloth without being able to contribute much. And realizing that percieved color depends on the monitor. So it really was a shock how off the color of my earlier frocks was when I got the kit.

For your question on the Szabo forum (I hit there and the AC to get the kudos out, figured actual follow up would happen here because of the greater USSS interest), I've had probably half a dozen other USSS frocks. All but one were picked up used. Only two are identifiable to the maker. My first was an older (used) Jarnigan (That came with actual rubber buttons on it - repros, but actual hard rubber. One was missing, so I contacted Jarnigan to get a replacement - they weren't an option through them, and nobody I've shown them to has any clue where they were made (although several have offered to buy them). They got moved coat to coat, until this one.). The other identifiable frock is from Mercury Supply out of Texas, which was made to my measurements several years ago.

While the fit well for "sutler row", all of them fit like a fatigue jacket in comparrison. Brian's is has the correct tailored fit, snug, but not overly tight. And there is absolutely no comparison on the color.

I'll definitely post more photos once I take some. The poor thing is already packed for my trip to G'burg this weekend. :) And yup, the 5th VA are good guys. Besides, they know I live fire my Sharps (I use the "California Joe" version that's been discussed elsewhere when I can for my non-USSS impressons, including with the 5th VA)...

And I don't remember if I mentioned it last year, but it was a pleasure meeting you at Pitzer's Woods when I came down for Brian to measure me. We've chatted so much that it was nice to put a real face to you. :)


Author:  Calum [ Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kudos to Brian White

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 7510038026

And here's a shot taken this past weekend with me wearing it. :)

If you look very closely, you can just make out that the coat is a hair darker than the trousers. The boots are for convenience, normally I wear brogans.

It got rave reviews, even from a bunch of Confederates. (The colonel asked if I was the prisoner at the party, “No sir, I’m the captor.”) And inside the restaurant, it actually looked black rather than green.


Author:  Calum [ Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kudos to Brian White

'afternoon folks,

Okay, as promised, here are some more photos, this time in light marching order. We've still a fair amount of ice in the alley where these were taken, and I didn't feel like landing on the knapsack if I went down...

Brian suggested that I move a couple of the buttons to avoid the "bunching" that's occurring. I haven't done so yet, but probably will do so. It's more noticeable with traps on than without them.

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/calum ... 20n%20Bear

Speaking of traps, I had forgotten that I have made a USSS frock in the past. Photos of it on the model are in the same album. It's nowhere near as well done as Brian's, but I was working without pattern or anything... :) Brian's frock is the background.


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