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Vest questions

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  • Vest questions

    Howdy, folks!
    I've been away for awhile. I hope you can forgive me...
    I also hope you are enjoying your holidays!

    I have a couple of ideas for a vest for my outfit. Now, here's the thing - the two ideas don't really match up very well. I want to get your opinions on beaded vests vs. non-beaded vests.
    My outfit is No. Traditional (northern plains), and I'm trying to stay in an 'old-style' kind of outfit. Now, by 'old-style', I don't necessarily mean junk/nest bustle, top-hat, cane, and red flannels. I'm trying to keep my outfit based on something that might have been seen in the late 1860's - that's the kind of 'old-style' I mean, something that can sort of be taken to look like 'period' wear. I hope that makes sense. I'm trying to keep my outfit from looking too modern.
    Now, back to the vest idea. One of 'em is a fully beaded idea, with a big design on the back and trim patterns running around the edges, with additional similar designs on the front. The other vest idea is to have a wool vest similar to those worn by Marines in and around the Civil War (1860's). This vest is similar to those worn by soldiers on the plains during and after this period. I'm sure you've all seen pictures or seen movies with similar designs in them. The difficult part for that vest are the metal Marine Corps emblems from the time - they don't make them anymore. And without them, the vest'd look an awful lot like something taken from a Union soldier on the plains, you know?
    That's why I've been leaning more to the beaded vest idea. But it is time consuming and/or expensive to bead a vest. I know a guy who'll bead a vest in exchange for a roach. But, I prefer to make my own, unless something is a gift from a relative or friend.

    So, what do you think of vests? And given the choice, would you go with the beaded variety, or keeping 'in period' would you go with the military-style vest? Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you, gents!


    Quick to judge,
    Quick to anger,
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand.
    --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)

  • #2
    just my opinion but stick with military vest and substitute with mopdern Marine buttons.


    • #3
      We don't need no stinking badges!

      I too would go with the soldiers vest. Have you tried looking for replicas? With all the Civil War re-enacters hangin' around these days, I bet you could find a replica easily enough. Failing that, I'd say either leave the vest blank or bead yourself some insignias.
      Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan


      • #4
        I've looked into replicas from re-enactment groups and I think I can probably make a decent copy cheaper than buying one. It's simply a matter of finding the right material - dark blue 100% wool. Not too difficult. The pattern is actually fairly simple, and i think Simplicity makes one...
        But as for the buttons and insignia. that's different. I could use modern buttons, but the emblem is completely different. The emblem in use today, the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor wasn't in use after teh Civil War. the emblem then was similar to a bugle wrapped in blue cord with a gothic 'M' in the middle of the bugle. I'm not describing it well, but suffice it to say it is completely different. And there's the issue of using anodized brass buttons on something that is supposed to look 'old'. But, I could use the modern stuff, until I find something more authentic.
        Thanks for the feedback guys. I appreciate it.


        Quick to judge,
        Quick to anger,
        Slow to understand
        Ignorance and prejudice
        And fear walk hand in hand.
        --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)


        • #5
          seriously dude drop the soldier vest idea, a semi beaded vest or fully beaded vest is way better... ill be back if you need some ideas, but itll be ojib style cause thats all i know
          thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

          *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*


          • #6

            Good to hear from you. If you wanted to use current buttons but don't like the shine, soaking them in lemon juice might take the shine off of them. Have heard of it working for cabinet/furniture hardware. Good luck with the vest...have you tried any of the Civil War suttler stores for reproduction buttons?



            • #7

              your sure lucky I'm here. actually the type of wool that was used in the civil war in all branches of the military exept the navies fleet was a kind called kersey weave wool , and I will tell you I got enought places here to blowe your ears off. the wool itsely is kinda expensive , 20 dollars a yard , but you only need that to make a vest , i actually own a vest in reenacting , the front is made of kersey weave wool and the rear is pollished muslin , if you e-mail me at [email protected] I'll send you a few sites that can sell you the best quality items for a fairly cheap price. I can tell you more but it would be better for me to e-mail it to you .

              here is one such site:

     ( this is where I got my vest and I'm very impressed with it )


              'i believe I can fly'
              Rob Young


              • #8
                yo scott

                from one chic that has made and fully beaded a vest for my bro may i sugest that if your real determined to have that military typevest that you start with that one and then work your way into making a partially or fully beaded vest I dont know w big you are but my brother is 6'2" and a bit over average waist and that baby took me and my mom a good several months to bead we bugl e beaded it but still itwas some owrk. so from a chics point of view i would say go for a beaded vest to.but statrt with the wool one so you dont get discouraged.good luck.
                Friends dont let friends take home ugly Men. :huddle:

                :indian1: THE DARKER THE FLESH THEN THE DEEPER THE ROOTS :indian1:


                • #9

                  if you do make a vest I would quill a design on the back , I also looked on my vest and in some books, the army and marine corp both had vests of the same cloth and style but the vests only came the small eagle buttons whitch were used in all brances . the marine corp did have buttons they put on the that are the correct size . also something you might want to look into is a pocket watch , all military cut vests had them . the vest was a custom bought thing , you could buy it from the government but only with your own money. just something to take into consideration.


                  'i believe I can fly'
                  Rob Young


                  • #10
                    A fully beaded vest for a ROACH?! You're kidding?

                    WHO IS HE?
                    DOES HE DO GOOD WORK?!

                    I'll BUY him a roach for a vest!


                    • #11
                      Scott....try Ms.Jeannies Merchantile in Ft Worth...she makes alot of the renactors uniforms for the local area.I have a military vest..and a four pocket civilian vest that is in alot of the old time photos....she does good work...fairly reasonable.....I dance in the DFW area...if you think this is the way to go.....check her out...
                      sigpicWe spend a lifetime worrying about if we make a difference....Marines don't have that problem.


                      • #12
                        Hey! I have a 18" roach I'd trade for a Vest. E-mail me.


                        • #13
                          Civil War Era Marine Corp Buttons/Insignea

                          Here is a link to a site that you might find helpful with your design:

                          Sgt Riker's Civil War Trading Post - Miscellaneous Buttons


                          • #14
                            I was able to purchase a 'WAH Maker' Union Vest, Dark Blue 100% Wool. I didn't like the buttons that came with it, so I cut them off and sewed on brass US Indian Service buttons (Crazy Crow) on the vest. The buttons were slightly larger than the buttons that came with the vest but added more authenticity to the vest. The back side of the vest is still being beaded...


                            • #15
                              Vest vs Jacket

                              I like the suggestion of using the militia vest until you can secure a beaded one as they are expensive if bought and very time consuming if beading. I am in the beginning stages of beading mine now.

                              I do have a question though. What are thoughts on using a Civil War Shell Jacket in place of a vest for Northern Traditional regalia. I thought it might be a nice opportunity to honor the military history of my family, as well as, the Native soldiers who served at that time.

                              Any thoughts?



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