14th Brooklyn Trousers

BACKGROUND:

Many years ago I had the opportunity to inspect several pair of original relic 14th Brooklyn enlisted man's Chasseur pattern trousers. At that time I took the opportunity to draft a pattern from those original relic trousers as well as make numerous notes concerning all the small details incorporated in them. The pattern I use today is that very same pattern.

In giving a thumbnail sketch on this page (more detailed technical reading is found here on the Company C website), the original 14th NYSM trousers inspected were made of a lightweight madder red wool flannel and fully lined in unbleached cotton drill (approximately 8 oz. drill). The waistband facings, fly facings and pocket bags were likewise this same cotton drill. One of these trousers possessed what appeared to be pressed black cardboard buttons (probably a civilian button of the era) on the waistband and had small foral design (civilian) brass buttons in the fly. The second pair I inspected had black tin buttons on the waistband and similarly patterned ones in the fly. The thread used to sew one of these trousers was an unbleached or natural color thread (like a khaki). The second pair likewise had what appeared to be a natural colored thread but there was some speculation that the thread on this pair may have originally been dark blue. This speculation was raised because the thread seemed slightly darker in some areas as opposed to others. This same trait has been noted numerous times on original Federal issue trousers. Nonetheless, moving right along, both trousers were pleated in the waist (one had the pleats tacked down by hand) and both had rear adjustment belts and a brass buckle for closing. Main pockets were the vertical side seam pattern and no watch pocket was evident on either pair. Cuffs were simply rolled under and hemmed down.

FAST FORWARD

Today, I manufacture two grades (or levels of historical accuracy) of trousers for the men of the 14th Regiment New York State Militia Infantry,"14th "Brooklyn". These two grades are known as "Standard Grade" and "Museum Grade". While I use the pattern I had drafted from one of the original relic pair for both the "Standard Grade" as well as "Museum Grade" trousers, the main differences are the INTERNAL details.

Here's a general construction overview of my 14th NYSM trousers. My reproduction 14th Brooklyn trousers are machine-sewn on the main seams. However, they do have hand-sewing in them but the amount and location of that hand sewing depends on the grade - see "Standard Grade" and "Museum Grade" definitions below. I use a medium weight MADDER red (like a brick red) Woolrich blend (85% virgin wool - 15% synthetic fiber (no, you can't see the synthetic :-) wool for these trouser. The originals were made in a light weight wool flannel and years ago I used to make them in light weight wool flannel. However, they would wear out very quickly (in about one season) so I ceased using wool flannel and switched to the slightly heavier weight wool I use today. I also line my reproductions in unbleached muslin rather than the 8 oz cotton drill found in the originals. This is something of a trade-off to compensate for the slightly heavier weight wool I use for the body (remember, the originals were of a light weight wool flannel). The trade-off has worked satisfactorily over the years so I continue to do it. I use black stipple faced tin buttons (a copy of a civilian button of the era) as I have never been able to find pressed black cardboard buttons. Interestingly, one of the original 14th trousers had similar (black tin) buttons on them. My "Standard Grade' 14th Brooklyn trousers are sewn in a natural colored (khaki) thread as are the "museum grade" version.

As per the original pattern, these trousers are high waisted and feature a sloping back and fully pleated waist. There are two adjustment belts on the back with a brass two-tine buckle. The rear waistband is split for a small range of adjustment and the cuffs are rolled and hemmed. The pocket bags and all facings are made from an 8 oz. unbleached cotton drill.

Now here are the details on the two grades I referenced above.

** STANDARD GRADE **

"Standard Grade" trousers are VIRTUALLY all machine-sewn. While they do have hand-sewn button holes and hand-sewn pocket bar tacks, everything else is sew by machine. All other features (black stipple tin buttons, rear belts & brass buckle) are present on these trousers. These trousers are sewn in a natural colored (khaki colored) thread and do not feature any stamps inside.
"Standard Grade" trousers run -
$155.00 + $10.50 shipping

 

** MUSEUM GRADE **

These trousers are the top of the line as the name implies - "Museum Grade". These trousers are machine-sewn on the main body seams (as were the original 14th trouser examples inspected) BUT feature an EXTENSIVE AMOUNT of internal hand-sewing (again, as found in those original 14th trousers). This hand-sewing covers hand sewn buttonholes, hand sewn pocket bar tacks, hand felled pocket facings, hand felled fly and waist band facings, set/hand-sewn right side fly panel assembly and hand top stitching along fly panel edges and pocket openings. The cuffs are rolled and likewise hand-felled. My "Museum Grade" trousers also come with a "JOS. JONES, N.Y." New York Depot inspector's stamp and this stamp is a copy of an original found in relic 14th NYSM trousers. Where applicable I also include a government size stamp (likewise a copies of originals). These trousers feature black stipple tin buttons and two rear belts with brass buckle. These trousers are sewn in a natural colored (khaki colored) thread
"Museum Grade" trousers run -
$195.00 + $10.50 shipping

These photos show the "museum grade" version of the trousers. PLEASE NOTE:   Since these particular photos were taken I have upgraded the accuracy a bit with MORE hand sewn details (which are not evident in these photos). I'll update these photos soon.

Front .... Side & Back .... Inner

 


ORDERING

I require AT LEAST EIGHT (8) TO TEN (10) WEEKS MINUMUM to make your trousers (either grade). Please use this PRINTABLE ORDER FORM and mail in with your payment (check or m.o.) to the address on the order form.

MEASUREMENTS:   On the order form you will be asked for a WAIST measurement and a LENGTH measurement. Here are the specifics:

WAIST MEASUREMENT: This measurement MUST BE TAKEN AT NAVEL LEVEL. DO NOT use the waist measurement as found on blue jeans size tags because these repro 14th trousers are cut much differently! If you just send me your waist size from a blue jeans or slacks size tag, chances are VERY GOOD that your 14th trousers will NOT fit correctly. Orders that are returned for alterations because these simply instructions were not followed go to the BACK of the production line (6 weeks)! Trust me on this! So please just take a minute and do it right as outlined.

LENGTH, Now here is where I can use the inseam information off jeans and slacks size tags. Now you're probably asking "Why one measurement from jeans and not the other?" Because the waist on correctly cut/correctly made reproduction Civil War trousers (U.S/C.S military, Civilian, 14th Brooklyn, etc., etc.) are measured diffently for that period's clothing whereas the straight inseam line measuring still remains the same today.

So when filling out the size information on the order form, take your waist measurement at navel level using a measuring tape, and for length just give me the size from your jeans tag. If you have any questions about this, no problem; just call me (315-343-1557) or e-mail me and I would be happy to discuss it.

Thanks!

Chris
Stony Brook Company
Member - Company C, 14th NYSM (although I just fly a desk anymore :-)
Honorary Member - Company E, 14th NYSM (where I just harass Frank Sr. LOL!! :-D )

 

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