Teca (darth_teca) wrote in hetalia,
Teca
darth_teca
hetalia

England and America Revolutionary cosplay breakdown

Hey it's Independence Day, so I wanted to do something revolutionary. Since I can't really write or draw, I wanted to write up some historical documentation for the outfits antieden and I did in case anyone else would like to use the information to make their own outfits. While I will try and mention both the historical way of doing the costumes as well as the "short-cut" way, I will definitely be leaning more towards the historical and people can simplify as they see fit. Good? Good.

I also want to say that most of this information has been acquired from online and library research. Colorado, where I live, does not really have a teeming Colonial Reenactment group, although I was lucky enough to have some friends from the east coast that I could bounce ideas off of and double-check measurements. I should also mention that since I was making America's outfit, the vast majority of my research was from Colonial sources, which I then applied to England's for the most part. However, as nightblink pointed out to me, the English were FAR more specific about their uniforms (the Colonists were lucky to GET uniforms). If you are doing an England costume and you take pride in having the little details correct, you might want to do some of your own more thorough research into the differences.

Now before we get into specifics, let's go over some general things. First of all, Himaruya is a manga-ka, not a historical costumer, so there are some differences between the designs and what the outfits actually looked like. We tried to get the closest we could to the designs while staying true to the actual garments. When in doubt, I tended to side with what was historical and antieden favored what was in the design. It's really up to your own personal choice. Also, this is geared towards making the outfits yourself rather than buying it. You CAN buy all the pieces you need for these outfits (although England's coat might give you a task trying to find it), but the sewing level needed to make these outfits is relatively basic, so don't get freaked out if you aren't the best tailor/seamstress out there.

Also realize that since you are working with historical clothing, the fit of the clothes are completely different than what you might be used to. I would highly recommend making a muslin mock-up before using the actual material since you will probably need to fit and tailor them. This is especially true with the pants, vest and coat. I would also recommend that you make the garments in the order I list them here so that you can make sure the garments fit on top of each other when you do the mock-ups. Also, there were no sewing machines in the eighteenth century. I would not recommend sewing everything by hand but I would suggest that any top stitching that will be seen to be done by hand to creat the illusion of being hand sewn. Buttons should be made/look like they are made from wood, bone, shell or metal. The coat buttons are a little more specific so I'll say more about those in the coat sections. Now let's move on to the specifics.

To refresh everyone's memory, these are the Himaruya designs:


Shirt:
Fabric: Bleach or un-bleached muslin. I would recommend a bleached muslin because they are white in the design. You can get it at almost any fabric store. It's cheap and breaths well so I would just stick with this.

Pattern:
JP Ryan 18th Century Shirt- The pattern is fairly easy to sew, only hard part is the multiple gussets. Any peasant shirt with the proper collar is a possible substitute.

Notes:
The shirt is going to be very large and bulky; it served as undergarments as well. For us girls, it can function as possible "stuffing" in the pants. I chose to not add the frill to the edges of the sleeves for America even though the design has it because the frill cuff signified a man who didn't have to work with his hands; I always pictured America as a working boy at this age.

Breeches:
Fabric: Bleach linen or Canvas linen. I would recommend linen because it's a heck of a lot cheaper and breathes really well. Make sure that you get a linen heavy enough that it's not see-through. You can get it at most fabric stores, but it might only be seasonal in spring for the white color. Try calling your fabric stores or looking around online.

Pattern:
JP Ryan Fall Front Breeches- For this pattern your REALLY want to make a muslin for because the fit on them is very personalized. The directions are very good but if you don't know what these pants are supposed to look like on, they can be a bit confusing. If you have problems making them, you can feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll help you out. I'll also try and take some pictures of how the pants work and put them up here by next weekend. I would recommend adding another button hole to the center of the front flap so that it hooks into the bottom button on the waist band. On the bottom of the legs, I would also recommend putting the button hole on the longer front flap so that it's easier to thread the garter through.

Notes:
I can pretty much guarantee that these will be the ugliest pair of pants you will wear in your life. Yes, there is supposed to be a ton of fabric gathered in the back seat of the pants. This is because since all of the cloth came from natural materials, they didn't stretch, so there needed to be lots of extra material in the back to accommodate being able to sit in them without tearing the seams. Your butt will look like a bleached pumpkin. The plus side is that if you have a bit of a booty like me, the pants hide them so you don't have to worry about wearing any type of shaping undergarment. Don't worry, the coat will hide the unattractive part. Make sure when you are wearing them that the back of the pants fall at your natural waist line and the front in under the swell of your stomach.

Vest/Waist Coat:
Fabric: Cotton or a linen fabric. We cheated a bit though and used a cotton-poly blend with a design on it to break up all the white of the under-clothes. We lined it in bleached muslin.

Pattern
: Smoke & Fire Revolutionary War Vest- A beautiful pattern with very easy directions and clean lines. You don't need it with sleeves so just use the vest pattern.

Notes
: For girls, don't fit it too close to your waist, it will just accentuate the swell of your hips. Otherwise, this should be pretty quick and simple.

Colonial Army Coat:
Fabric: The ideal fabric for this is wool melton. I bought mine from MilitaryHerritage.com. They recommend the perfect colors for the different coats. The problem is that you only need about four yards of the blue and two of the red. MilitaryHerritage.com requires that you order ten meters per color. I found someone who was willing to go in half with me. You also can try looking at some other fabric sites (B. Black & Sons, Fabrics.net, Fabric.com). A cheaper, but less authentic, option is to use any kind of heavy suiting material in the appropriate colors. The lining can be bleached or unbleached muslin.

Pattern:
Smoke & Fire Revolutionary War Regimental Coat- The pattern is really easy to work with and gives you two different options for how to sew in the lining. Get ready to have a minor heart attack at the button count though. If you are fitting the coat to you, you don't need to worry about adding the laces into the back. 

Notes:
America's uniform appears to be based off of the artillery uniforms of the Continental Army because he both has red facings and the skirt of the coat is lined in red. According to General George Washington's General Order of October 2, 1779 "For artillery and artillery artificer regiments, the uniform was ordered to be blue, faced and lined with scarlet, with yellow buttons, the coats to be edged, and the buttonholes to be bound, with narrow lace or tape." Now America's coat does not have any fancy binding on the button holes, so I wouldn't worry about it. For the buttons, I chose to go with a hammered gold/gilt from JoAnn for a couple of reasons. We wanted to keep America's accents in gold and England's in silver to create contrast, you need a ton of them so the coupons came in handy, and they didn't have a motif on them. Buttons were stamped with the regimental number, and I didn't want America in any one regiment. If you want something more historically accurate, lots of places sell historical buttons in bulk, including MilitaryHeritage.com and eBay. In the Himaruya design, America wears his turnbacks unhooked.

British Army Coat:
Fabric: Just like America's coat, the ideal fabric for the red and white parts are wool melton. I bought mine from MilitaryHerritage.com. They recommend the perfect colors for the different coats. The problem is that you only need about four yards of the red and one and a half of the white. MilitaryHerritage.com requires that you order ten meters per color. I found someone who was willing to go in half with me. You also can try looking at some other fabric sites (B. Black & Sons, Fabrics.net, Fabric.com). A cheaper, but less authentic, option is to use any kind of heavy suiting material in the appropriate colors. The black for the lapels and cuffs can either also be wool melton or dark blue velvet. The lining can be bleached or unbleached muslin. The lacing/braid can either be ordered on a historical website or something from a normal fabric store.

Pattern: Smoke & Fire Revolutionary War Regimental Coat- The pattern is really easy to work with and gives you two different options for how to sew in the lining. Get ready to have a minor heart attack at the button count though.

Notes: England's design is much harder to pin down what the outfit is based off of. antieden based it loosely off of Sir William Howe's uniform and nightblink based it off of the 50th regiment based on the description in The Organization of the British Army in the American Revolution; Uniforms From 1775-1783 American Revolution: An expert in-depth reference on the armies of the War of the Independence in North America, 1775-1783 (Illustrated Encyclopedia); and King George's Army 1740-93. She recommended getting to appropriate regimental lace at http://www.najecki.com/repro/LaceBook/LaceBook.html. England's design also has some curious extensions to the front turnbacks. You can either leave them off or add them to the patterns when doing you muslin. In the Himaruya design, England wears his turnbacks hooked together.

White "Straps":
Notes: The seemingly pointless straps that the uniforms have are actually cartridge boxes and either a bayonet or saber holster. You can purchase them at almost any historical reenactment supplies website. As pointed out by nightblink , the English regulated for the epalettes to only be on one shoulder, but it was not uncommon for them to be on both sides, which means that they could carry both types of straps.

Accessories:
America:
Socks: I would recommend purchasing these from here. Take into consideration the temperature and location you are going to wear these at.

Garters: I would recommend purchasing these from here.

Shoes: You can do historical shoes that you can buy at the same website I recommended for the socks and garters, but for a cheaper solution, I recommend these.

England:

Shoes: The shoes can be the same ones used for America or any type of black boot.

Spatterdashes: These are basically boot covers made from linen-canvas. Here is a place where you can buy them, although they will need some fitting.

X-posted to hetalia_cosplay and usxuk , sorry to everyone on more than one of them!
Tags: -america, -england, fan: cosplay
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