This is a blog is about the replica WWII era caps and other flight gear I have made.

Flying caps are a fascinating part of WWII flying gear. Like the A-2 jacket, they are still functional and stylish today. I hope to include a smattering of info about the original caps from which my caps are modeled.

The patterns I use are taken primarily from originals in my collection. One of the biggest challenges is to find materials in the correct weave, weight, and color. More often than not I have to dye the fabrics.

All cap materials are hand dyed, hand cut, and hand assembled. Starting with nothing and having something I can wear is all part of the enjoyment. It can be very time consuming but there is a sense of pride that comes with it. I wear one of my caps almost daily.

With each cap I make, quality improves and ideas for other caps come. Blemishes and all, I think they can be pretty convincing.

This is not a business nor an "Items For Sale" site. There is no way to recoup the time spent on these projects. Nonetheless, you might find an item offered for sale here and there. I can only hoard so many!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More on Materials

Bought some more wool for a few caps I want to make.  Some of this stuff is nearly $30/yd!  My grandmother, a phenom with a sewing machine, was likely turning in her grave as I typed that.  My wife, who doesn't sew, said, "That's just insane!"  Unfortunately, this is indicative of what "proper" materials cost.

Above are some of the materials I use on the squadron caps.  Navy (self-dyed) and red wool for the bodies and the swatches on top are samples of natural-colored wool I test-dyed for squadron numbers, etc.

People wonder why flight jackets and other reproductions vary so much in price.  Materials make a big difference but they cannot be why one product can double or triple in price.  Cost is still the reason.  Adding the proper material, hardware, markings, labels, and finish to an item can up the cost several times over.  Perhaps one thing not often considered is that a maker with the attention to such details is likely to value his time and effort as well as put into his project the same level of detail, effort, and overall quality of workmanship.  Think about this:  Why don't we find high-end makers of, say, reproduction A-2 jackets using inexpensive and commonly available "domestic" materials nor do we find top-notch materials used on a jacket made using cheap Chinese labor?  The two just don't match for many reasons and the overall vision of the producer is key!   Many don't care about the details and that is just fine but I think about the details, or at least realize them, every time I put an item on.  I prefer to not have to apologize, justify, or otherwise rationalize why something isn't the way I prefer.

Think about this concept when pricing your next repro jacket or repro gear purchase.  For that matter apply that to the next "anything" you buy.

No comments:

Post a Comment