I made a (roughly) 1810 Royal Navy post-captain's uniform for the BAERS Master & Commander's Ball in 2004, something I've always wanted to have since reading C.S. Forester's Hornblower books at age twelve. It won Best Novice at BayCon in 2005.
The pattern I used for the coat I drafted myself starting with the back from the 1830's tailcoat from _Men's Garments 1830-1900_ by R.I. Davis. The front was altered a lot using pictures from R.L. Shep's _Regency and Federalist Costume_ and Nora Waugh's _The Cut of Men's Clothes_. Sleeves and general hints came from the Smoke & Fire pattern "SF-201 Regimental Coat Pattern". (I really like this pattern, and with only a little modifications at collar and cuff will make an earlier style coat just like the ones worn by Jack Aubrey in the movie "Master & Commander".)
I sewed it in wool, and lined it with silk and cotton. I think that the natural materials really help it look (read "drape") right. Interlining consists of light canvas in the chest and collar. All the buttonholes are hand sewn, and functional, even the ones on the cuffs.
The coat used about 15 yards of gold lace, half-inch wide. I bought the lace on sale at AlterYears in Pasadena, back when they had a storefront.
You can buy epaulettes online, but they're pretty expensive, so I made my
own, using 24 ga. brass wire twisted on a dowel for the bullions.
The gold braid/lace was all hand sewn, and the buttons were possibly the
most expensive part, being the "Royal Navy Captain and Lt. (1795-1812)"
buttons from The Discriminating General
The breeches were made using the Eagle's View "Men's Broadfall Drop Front Breeches #73", which I found easy to work with. These breeches don't come with pockets, something I had to experiment with a lot, but are otherwise quite fine.
The breeches and waistcoat are made from a cream-colored wool knit, because it's very hard to find white wool that's not terribly expensive.
The waistcoat was based on a pattern I found online a long time ago. I checked the link, and it seesm to be gone. it's a pretty straight forward regency waistcoat with two pockets, made from the same cream colored wool as the breeches.
The hat was built from scratch using _From the Neck Up: An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking_ by Denise Dreher. It's black wool cloth over a buckram shape. The crown was formed over a cheap polyester felt pirate hat. This was my first attempt at hatmaking, so I don't have anything to compare it to. The cockade is made of silk. I starched the hell out of the pieces, then folded each up like an accordion, and fixed it to the hat with wire around the middle of the bundle. A little glue was used to keep the edges together.
The coat on the left is an actual example from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. My reconstruction is in the center. The picture on the right is an actual example of an undress coat from the same era, showing the different cut of the front which I used on my coat.
written by Chris Bertani, 23 June 2005