He doesn’t always look this horrible, but when the Young Mr sets out to look like death, he does it very well. Dressing 18th Century style comes at the price of fittings, and while we like to cut a fine enough figure at an event, we want no part whatsoever of the process. Even the promise of playing with a dog won’t get us to a fitting. And he dearly wants a dog…so you know fittings are a trial.
The pattern is by Henry Cooke, based on both a Rhode Island original in a private collection and a jacket in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society. It is solidly 1770s-1780s, unlined, and both originals made up in brown linen. (From the pattern notes and what I know of the CHS jacket, accession number 1981.110.0; their catalog links are unstable, search for 1981.110.0.)
It goes together well; I started without directions, but as I am more idiot than savant, I got myself confused. I did have to alter the sleeve for the Young Mr, as he has long, thin arms. The rest of the pattern seemed to fit him pretty well, all in all, but a few untoward things happened between measuring, mock-up, basting and fitting. Still, it can be worn, with improvements made next week after he wears it in Cambridge this Sunday.