Forward Unto Dawn - Dress Uniform Project


Commanding Officer
Community Staff
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I thought I'd get this build thread started because I'm excited about it!

See this thread for the reference shots of Lasky's dress uniform from FuD.

Forward Unto Dawn Dress Uniform Reference

We're pretty lucky to have such great photos of the actual costume so that's going to help a great deal in getting the details correct. Sewing is definitely my forte, however, this goes beyond that somewhat in that it is tailoring. That's a different animal. In order to get it looking like it does in those photos, it needs a lot of under construction. Some I've done before many times, and a couple of things that I haven't. We'll see as I go what all is going to ultimately be required.

At the very least this thing is three layers. The outer "fashion" fabric as it's usually referred to as, an interlining and a lining. The interlining is used to give structure and stability to the fashion fabric and is usually a sturdy fabric. I like to use a heavier weight cotton twill. Each piece of the fashion fabric is basted to a piece of interlining and then the two pieces are treated as one. Some pieces will also require some interfacing for extra stability - like the collar, and potentially some light padding (including a padding stitch which I've not done before) in the shoulder area. All of these things will create a suit jacket that will hang beautifully, but you wouldn't know all of that stuff is going on under it. You would notice it, however, if it was missing so the extra effort is most definitely worth it.

I don't exactly what the fabric is that they used because I didn't see it in person but my best guess is it's a fabric classified as suiting. I'm choosing to go with a wool suiting for both the grey and the black. I recently made a full Outlander costume (Season 1) that consisted of a lot of layers and a lot of wool. It was my first time really working with wool and it was a joy. It hangs beautifully, it is lovely to sew and the end product looks polished. Plus, despite the number of layers and heavy fabric - I never overheated. It also didn't wrinkle much in my suitcase. The drawback of course is that this will need to be drycleaned but I think it's worth it.

I found a supplier in Ontario (through Etsy) that carries a lot of wool suiting for very reasonable prices. I'll post a photo of what it looks like once I get home.

I'm using this pattern as a starting point:

M4745 | Civil War Coat and Trousers Sewing Pattern | McCall's Patterns

This pattern is still in print so you can likely pick it up at your local JoAnn's or Fabricland etc. I've used it before and it is medium difficulty pattern. Of course, there will need to be several alterations, which I'll go through as I make them. The trick is going to be to make a mock up first - especially since this is a pattern shaped for the male body. As well, it is too long and has some back detailing that is not in the Lasky uniform.

The pants should be suitable. They are drafted to be a button fly as it is a historical Civil War Era reproduction pattern. However that can be altered to a fly front. This would likely be the most difficult part of the pattern for inexperienced sewers or those that haven't done one before. There are lots of videos on Youtube however that walk you right through it. You could also "cheat" and use the pants from a scrubs pattern that have an elastic waist since you don't see the waist at all. I'll be doing the fly front. The pants wil be lined because I'm using wool, but also to help with the drape of them. The waistband will need some interfacing and of course a zipper for the fly and a button for the closure.

The jacket will need a separating zipper. Most zippers, like the ones you would use in the pants for the fly, have a zipper stop at the end. A separating zipper is the same kind that you have in your coats that you have to stick the end in the tab and then zip it together. You'll notice that the zipper is upside down from how it usually would be, opening from the bottom up. It's also a very specific looking zipper pull and a grey background with gold teeth. That's going to take some hunting. So far the closest I've found is a black background with gold teeth and a pull that is straight with a ball on the end. I think the number one find is going to be the gold teeth. Grey background next and then a closer matching zipper pull if possible. I think though that gold teeth on the black background is sufficient, but I will try to find the right one.

The embroidery for the chest, shoulders and collar has been digitized. I did a test stitch (I'll post a photo of that a little later) on the wool and it looks amazing. I have to fiddle a little with tension still but I'll get it perfect. I might have to monkey with the sizing a little as well. It might be a little oversized at this point.

I hope to do some mock ups this weekend to share with all of you, so keep watching!


RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Not the same........and takes much longer to finish 1 piece let alone an entire costume.

Lieutenant Jaku

Well-Known Member
I know, just look up how to use one on YouTube. But sewing machines are scary!
If you have seen the horror movie Annabelle the scariest part was the sewing machine.


Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
I would be happy to give anyone who needs it advice on how to get started with sewing. It actually isn't as hard as it appears. It just takes practice like anything else. Plus you can do most things with a fairly basic, inexpensive machine.

Having said that, sewing isn't the only part you need to learn. Sizing, cutting, fitting etc. are all completely separate skills with their own learning curves.

If anyone is truly serious about learning, perhaps we could start a club of sorts and meet once in awhile on Google Hangouts or Skype and make something simple like a helmet bag etc. If you'd find value in it, maybe TurboCharizard and I can could start a basics thread for you to refer to.


405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I could use a helmet bag! ... and a sewing machine. lol

I wouldn't mind watching on a hangouts thing and then using the advice later at my parents who have a machine.


405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I have to do some dice bags up later on this week, I could possibly do a Friday night hangout depending on work and stuff.


Active Member
i have experience with hand sewing small things like plushies, but that would just be suicidal for an under suit or something... so I definitely agree that this is a wondaful idea, for experienced and newcomers, to be a stuck/pinned thread