Federal Enlisted Frock Coat Pocket and Collar Details
Here are a few photos of today’s work. Since the enlisted frock coats were unlined in the skirt, the tail pockets are exposed. The following photo shows a completed pocket, still with basting stitches in place. It is made out of a brown polished cotton, with a wool facing. Care must be taken when pressing the polished cotton. If done incorrectly, the fabric will lose it’s shine, leaving you with a dull brown cloth instead. Use a press cloth and lower heat setting.
The top of the pocket is held in place by a box stay, which can be very difficult to sew nicely. A lot of practice is needed. Here is the stay from the outside of the coat.
I skipped ahead a few steps in order to get the collar construction done. To start off with, you need some bias strips of wool flannel or other thin fabric. In this case I used some leftover Hainsworth Doeskin. After cutting, these are pressed in half lengthwise to form the piping.
The piping is basted to the right side of the collar:
Then the piping is carefully sewn down. Use the foot on the sewing machine as a guide to keep the stitching even. Sew too close to the edge, and you won’t be able to press it. Too far away, and the piping will look too thick and ugly.
The seam allowance on the collar is trimmed off, as well as one layer of the piping, to reduce bulk when pressed. The piping is then carefully pressed back.
Here is the view from the right side of the collar.