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Author Topic: Spats and Gaiters Discussion Thread  (Read 626 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: July 24, 2017, 11:36:09 am »

I'm  starting this thread, on account that a few people touched the question on gaiters and spats lately in other threads, like the "Playing Dressup" thread... Hopefully if I post my ideas on it, other pwople will jump in as ask similar questions.


~ ~ ~

Suffice it to say that the main difference between spats and gaiters is the length. 3/4 or knee length or higher is already consider a gaiter, whereas spats are much shorter, more akin to ankle boot height.  If the gaiter is full knee length, in equestrian circles, gaiters are known as "half chaps."

There's a number of patterns online for making gaiters, and the very first entry in a google search yields this:

How to Draft a Pattern for Fitted Gaiters by Sidney Eileen (drafting the patterns only)
http://sidneyeileen.com/sewing-2/tuts-costume/costume-drafting/fitted-gaiters/

How to Make Two-Layer Spats or Gaiters (making the gaiters from the patterns above)
http://sidneyeileen.com/sewing-2/tuts-costume/costume-making/twolayer-gaiters/#.WXW1J9HLdz0

In my case, I'm looking at making a pair of suede gaiters to fit this costume, as I'm changing the boots as shown below. The character wearing the costume is a type of elf-like human of Bavarian/Austrian/Hungarian origin. The uniform reflects the Germanic folkloric tradition of these people, but adapted to a United States Post-US Civil-War era military situation, as these are captured combatants who were offered amnesty by the United States if they switched sides during a protracted Global War.  The global conflict combines the US Civil War with the Prussian-Austrian fight for control of Germany, the French Intervention in Mexico and the coronation of the Austrian Prince Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico at the time. The historical period for the costume is 1861-1874 approx.

Right click to zoom

The original snow/rain boots looked like they had "built-in" spats, which is the reason I chose them. But I need top replace them due to poor quality.


The boots are being replaced by this all-suede heavy duty work boot; I'm trying to somehow give my costume a similar "gaiters/spats" look to it, while retaining the Alpine/Trachten (Lederhosen) look to it.


I have a pair of mid-calves length black cable-knit socks that I'd like to somehow incorporate into the boots. I can turn them into leg warmers, as they are too loose to say up by themselves anyway. Cut the feet off, and either fold them over the gaiter or have the sock protrude from the gaiter. The original idea was to wear cable knit socks as they'd be typically worn with suede shoes in Alpine tradition.


Using the magic of photoshop I made a composite from 5 sources to approximate the colours and types. The colour of the socks and the boots is fixed, as well as the knit leggings, But the suede I can get comes in various shades: black, ochre, tan, and light beige. These are typical colours obtainable at Hobby Lobby or Michael's, or directly from the factory:





I can adjust the height of the gaiters as I wish, In fact I'm not looking at making a full-length gaiter. Something like "3/4 to the knee" overall length is enough.  And I'm undecided on the colour and how to incorporate the sock exactly, but I'm partial to ochre on the suede. I'm trying to match the colour scheme in the uniform, and the grey socks shown were very much clashing with rest of the outfit in my opinion. Any opinions / suggestions?

Cheers,

J. Wilhelm







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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 10:19:17 pm »

the big lug sole boots seem so big in the picture, they throw the costume off a bit to me. something thinner with a modest sole, while maybe not so alpine, would work fine since your going gaiters on them anyway.

the gray socks are out of place like you said, maybe something with a muted plaid pattern? especially with greens prevalent.

you may be abhorrent to the idea but a cap somewhere between a train conductors cap and a shako would look good. similar to the german ww1 enlisted caps but with a small visor with a pronounced downward rake. it would give you a much sterner demeanor and look more militaristic overall. no idea where you would find something like that, other than making it yourself.

a hat would risk the dreaded affliction "hat hair" but we all must take risks in life in order to live it.  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 07:04:45 am »

the big lug sole boots seem so big in the picture, they throw the costume off a bit to me. something thinner with a modest sole, while maybe not so alpine, would work fine since your going gaiters on them anyway.

the gray socks are out of place like you said, maybe something with a muted plaid pattern? especially with greens prevalent.

you may be abhorrent to the idea but a cap somewhere between a train conductors cap and a shako would look good. similar to the german ww1 enlisted caps but with a small visor with a pronounced downward rake. it would give you a much sterner demeanor and look more militaristic overall. no idea where you would find something like that, other than making it yourself.

a hat would risk the dreaded affliction "hat hair" but we all must take risks in life in order to live it.  Grin




For the "big lug boots," do you mean the first picture on top, the second, or the pics done with Photoshop?

The boot in Photoshop is wrong; I need to make the sole like the second picture (what I just purchased for work actually). The first boot is the original I had in my costume pics, and I've owned 4 pairs, but the lifespan is so short - mostly because of the rubber.

The boot has always been a sticking point for me, and the only reason I chose the ones on the very top was because of the spats look. I agree the big rubber base looks odd, but I tolerated it, because I wear those boots to work, and walk 5 miles per day on them (!), and when it's raining, those boots are like submarines for your feet. Sad that they're not made to last.

Actually regarding an alpine look, the correct Trachten/Lederhosen look would be all suede shoes, not boots!! Similar to the boots in the second picture, but picture in shoe form without the ankle part.  Trachten shoes are worn with heavy knit ankle socks, and a type of very short leg warmer, more like a "calf warmer," I forget what they're called (Loferl?). This Alpine look may be fine for the mountains of Switzerland, but not practical at all for service members aboard a military vessel (noting crew members in flight working on the envelope or gondola may have to wear a pressure suit at very high altitude).


Since the characters in question are rural Germanic folk who have adapted to military life, the costume reflects those changes. First they served in the Austrian Army as rural Bavarian refugees, and then they were captured in the Mexican Sonoran desert and then, as refugees, they were offered amnesty by the United States Army on condition of switching sides and swearing allegiance. The uniform shows their haphazard history.

It's not always easy to pick something that looks good off the bat and matches the history (hence all the photoshop).

~ ~

For the hat: I have one, but it's not meant to be the only one.

I followed the same philosophy on the head ware. I used a black Trilby hat, which is nearly identical to the Germanic Trachten hat, except it's black and not gray or green. Then I added a US Cavalry detail to it (actually the hat in broad brim form -slouch hat- was available to all service branches - the color of the cord tells you which:  black or gold for general staff, red for artillery, yellow for cavalry, blue for infantry).

Original Concept for an US Airship Corps of Engineer's officer's (service) hat

The hat in my closet

I've really thought about ca. 1900 French style pill box caps like you mentioned, and I think it's the correct look, especially when worn with the cloak coat I have in my closet:

My version of an US Airship Corps of Engineers officer's Cloak Coat (in my closet  Grin)


For warmer weather I'm working on a Fatigue Blouse - the late 19th. C replacement for the Civil War Shell Jacket
See this thread: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,49038.0.html


The coat in my closet in progress:

And I've even considered dress helmets, such as those M1881 felted wool(?) helmets worn for ceremonial purposes (full dress) in the late 19th C. US Army, which are like a cross between a British Pith helmet, and the Prussian Pickelhaube... So beautiful!



I find it amazing that such a hat was once worn as ceremonial dress in the United States! We never see that in movies or history. And I wonder why I don't see more period pictures of soldiers wearing it in a parade situation.

So there may/will be more than one hat for the costume... All suggestions welcome.


~ ~ ~
I must apologize though... I repeat myself often. You see most of the discussion for the costume and history that I developed for it was shown at the Queer Geer section about 1-2 years ago, which very few people read. The new Queer Geer summarizes the development a bit and shows the concept for the cloak coat.

There is no single thread for my costume, so thats why some of the elements are hidden and are bound to be a "surprise," now that the costume literally came out of the closet (pardon the pun) and is now in full view at Anatomical...

Cheers,
JW
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 07:49:27 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 07:54:23 am »

Which begs the question.... Should I be designing a completely different king of foot/calf ware? I'm not convinced at all about the photoshopped images above. The structure is weird somehow. The gaiters are too high, even at 3/4 length.  Perhaps the gaiter should be a "half gaiter"? Or maybe just a spat over the sock and shoe? Since I see myself making the gaiter/spat in the first place?   Roll Eyes

I think I'm going to buy me some neoprene foam, and build the spats with that foam first to get at the right pattern for the suede spats. I might even combine and sew the suede on the neoprene, to give stiffness to the spats.

Again, through the black magic of Photoshop, I combine various pictures. This time I used a photo of the actual boots that I have. The socks I have are very similar, but shorter than I want. I may get some leg warmers instead. The warning here is that the knit socks/warmers tend to be very slouchy, they don't hold up well. The tassels are supposed to be (but are not in the sold items) functional, to tie the sock as a garter of sorts (that could be easily remedied, though).

Black

Ochre

Tan

Beige

Bone

As always choosing a colour is difficult. But I'm looking at this colour scheme. In this setup, neither Black nor Ochre are looking so attractive to me. Tan effectively blends and changes the shape of the shoe, but doesn't look bad. Beige and Bone have the advantage of making the spat look like, well, a spat!!


Any opinions?

JW
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 10:34:37 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 10:20:12 am »

in the 3rd Foot and Mouth, we use spats. They're higher than normal spats, designed to go over the top of a boot, and are the same that Scottish regiments and marching bands use. They can be sourced from here:

http://www.tartanista.co.uk/tartanista-white-black-button-piper-drummer-scottish-kilt-marching-band-spats-11854.html
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 10:37:47 am »

in the 3rd Foot and Mouth, we use spats. They're higher than normal spats, designed to go over the top of a boot, and are the same that Scottish regiments and marching bands use. They can be sourced from here:

http://www.tartanista.co.uk/tartanista-white-black-button-piper-drummer-scottish-kilt-marching-band-spats-11854.html


Thanks for the tip! There you go, that is an interesting height. I guess we'd call it "crew sock" length over here...

JW
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 01:03:50 pm »

I was referring to the boots you were wearing in the first pics.

spats/gaiters were worn by some troops in the American civil war (at least early on) and usually used to blouse the pants leg. have you considered something like a puttee?  it would look more graceful at the ankles. at least you would look like you still had some ankles!

a long time ago I mail ordered some army surplus canvas gaiters (Italian army issue) as they looked quite like the civil war types. they ran very smallish as I think they were to be used with dress shoes instead of any sort of boot. anyway the natural canvas color was nice and they had white leather straps with buckles to adjust them. something like that but with natural leather color straps would be more muted and practical. maybe if you went with a lower suede spats you could use those metal rondels like they use on western chaps and belts? to show an American influence on the clothing.

I always thought that unit numbers painted in big red type on the front of the spats would be like the unit info on the german pikelhaube covers in ww1 except it would make for less of a target for snipers and such. besides, working inside a zeppelin envelope your feet might be just about the only thing the other deckhands can see.

those caps are very close to what I pictured except maybe if you added some sort of disk or ring to push out the top so it had a more mushroomed shape. I know a couple of cheap military officers caps i've deconstructed had a wire hoop in them to hold the round shape at the top. some sharpshooter units in the civil war were issued dark green uniform pieces instead of the usual dark blue, maybe there's a cap out there in the green?

the trilby is good but I would look to adding the pompon thing like a lot of shakos and helmets had? especially one that sits on the front more so than the middle top. maybe you can locate a double eagle embroider and add brass US letters to it?

about the only other thing I see with the costume is the white lacing on your back stands out too much maybe replace it with a black one?

as an adjunct to your comment about a pressure suit, that's going to be quite of a high altitude before its really needed to deal with the low pressure making the blood boil. more likely you would have some sort of oxygen mask either self contained or tethered to the ship to supply the oxygen.

if memory serves, the ww2 german army gas masks came in a metal cylinder container carried at the back on their utility harness. maybe you could find something similar suitable to add to your belting and have some bit of flexible hose and a air mask coming around to the front and hanging on the side of the liederhosen harness, ready to use. this would add function to form of the uniform and give you some butt to work with Grin sort of a techno bustle. I think the starwars stormtroopers had something similar on their armor, if my faltering memory isn't playing tricks on me.
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 08:47:51 pm »

Quote
Have you considered something like a puttee?  it would look more graceful at the ankles. at least you would look like you still had some ankles!

*Grimace* that's like a leg wrap, isn't it? I'm not sure I'll be missing seeing my clunky ankle though  Grin I may make a type of "belted cuff" on top of the spat, or just go with Major Quicksilver's suggestion of using longer spats. In fact these spats will be custom made to fit the boot.

I'm going to build the spats with foam first, there is black, beige and white foam I can use to see which looks better. I have a feeling that this will be an easy project in suede.  I am considering sewing the suede on top of the foam.

Brass grommets on the spats' straps is  good idea, I like that.

There are many kinds of peaked caps, and I'm sure there is an intermediate between the modern cap and the pill cap, around the turn of the century. I can look at Ushist.com as soon as I leave work.

What the Trilby needs is the "US" patch in front, but I think that's as far as it will go.

On the pressure suit the issue is not boiling blood, but rather that the lungs just stop working when the blood - ambient pressure difference is too high, even with an oxygen mask. The service ceiling of US Airship Orca will be 30kft, in order to ride the Tropical Jet Stream Westerlys.

I'll check, but assuming that a pressurized suit is not needed, the temperatures for outboard service will be very low. Something like a heavy aviator's suit crossed with an Eskimo suit will be needed to go outside of the pressurized gondola.

I need to review the exact requirements (I ignore time limits as well) though, but I understand in a practical situation, in a non decompression scenario, like an aircraft just climbing up, you never get to actually suffer from the bends as you go up, because you've lost consciousness long before you get to that point...

Only when there is a sudden breach in the cabin at extreme altitudes, do you see that boiling happen (sudden decompression).  It happened to a U2 pilot once and he described how his saliva in his mouth started to bubble and evaporated before he lost consciousness.

There are studies that tell you exactly what happens at various altitudes. I had quoted some before, but I'll have to search later tonight.






« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 11:40:53 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 12:57:43 am »

*snip*

if memory serves, the ww2 german army gas masks came in a metal cylinder container carried at the back on their utility harness. maybe you could find something similar suitable to add to your belting and have some bit of flexible hose and a air mask coming around to the front and hanging on the side of the liederhosen harness, ready to use. this would add function to form of the uniform and give you some butt to work with Grin sort of a techno bustle. I think the starwars stormtroopers had something similar on their armor, if my faltering memory isn't playing tricks on me.


Yeah, that's definitely a good idea too. Some sort of facial equipment and tube will be needed, regardless.... The Star Wars Stormtrooper/aviator suit. I need to imagine how it'll be, but it's got to have a bit of an arctic look to it given the technology of the time.
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2017, 08:31:35 am »

*snip*

as an adjunct to your comment about a pressure suit, that's going to be quite of a high altitude before its really needed to deal with the low pressure making the blood boil. more likely you would have some sort of oxygen mask either self contained or tethered to the ship to supply the oxygen.

if memory serves, the ww2 german army gas masks came in a metal cylinder container carried at the back on their utility harness. maybe you could find something similar suitable to add to your belting and have some bit of flexible hose and a air mask coming around to the front and hanging on the side of the liederhosen harness, ready to use. this would add function to form of the uniform and give you some butt to work with Grin sort of a techno bustle. I think the starwars stormtroopers had something similar on their armor, if my faltering memory isn't playing tricks on me.



OK I'm back at home.

On the caps:

This is the M1902 Full Dress Cap:



Here's a discussion on the expected performance of USAS Orca:
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,48961.msg982012.html#msg982012

And another one on the origin of the Orca and scientific background anachronism  Grin:
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,49131.msg983818.html#msg983818

Basically USAS Orca will cruise at 33 kft (10 km) taking advantage of the Subtropical Jet Stream, which has speeds between 52 knots to 132 knots.

Here are some figures in the effects of altitude ion the human body:

Definition: The Armstrong limit,

Often called Armstrong's line, is the altitude that produces an atmospheric pressure so low (0.0618 atmosphere or 6.3 kPa (47 mmHg)) that water boils at the normal temperature of the human body: 37 °C (98.6 °F). Above Earth, this begins at an altitude of approximately 18 km (60,000 ft)[2] to about 19 km (62,000 ft).

Effects of altitude below the Armstrong limit:

Well below the Armstrong limit, humans typically require supplemental oxygen in order to avoid hypoxia. For most people, this is typically needed at altitudes above 4,500 m (15,000 ft). Commercial jetliners are required to maintain cabin pressurization at a cabin altitude of not greater than 2,400 m (8,000 ft). U.S. regulations on general aviation aircraft (that is, non-airline, non-government flights) require that the pilot, but not the passengers, be on supplemental oxygen if the plane spends more than half an hour at a cabin altitude above 3,800 m (12,500 ft).

Some Guidelines:

A pressure suit is normally required at around 15,000 m (49,000 ft) for a well conditioned and experienced pilot to safely operate an aircraft in unpressurized cabins.[10] In an unpressurized cockpit, at altitudes greater than 11,900 m (39,000 ft) above sea level, the physiological reaction, even when breathing pure oxygen is hypoxia—inadequate oxygen level causing confusion and eventual loss of consciousness.

Air contains 20.95% oxygen. At 11,900 m (39,000 ft), breathing pure oxygen through an unsealed face mask, one is breathing the same partial pressure of oxygen as one would experience with regular air at around 3,600 m (11,800 ft) above sea level. At higher altitudes, oxygen must be delivered through a sealed mask with increased pressure, to maintain a physiologically adequate partial pressure of oxygen. If the user does not wear a pressure suit or a counter-pressure garment that restricts the movement of their chest, the high pressure air can cause damage to the lungs.

For modern military aircraft such as the United States’ F‑22 and F‑35, both of which have operational altitudes of 18,000 m (59,000 ft) or more, the pilot wears a "counter-pressure garment", which is a G‑suit with high-altitude capabilities. In the event the cockpit loses pressure, the oxygen system switches to a positive-pressure mode to deliver above-ambient-pressure oxygen to a specially sealing mask as well as to proportionally inflate the counter-pressure garment. The garment counters the outward expansion of the pilot’s chest to prevent pulmonary barotrauma until the pilot can descend to a safe altitude

~ ~ ~

Conclusion:

The problem is that there is not enough oxygen at ambient pressure above 12 kft, and the lungs stop working properly at 49 kft, period. So that means that around 49kft, even breathing pure oxygen is not enough if you are not wearing a pressurized suit. An alternative partial solution above 49kft is to wear a pressurized mask which is sealed to the face; in this case you'd at least have to restrict the chest and put pressure on the body so as to not damage the lungs.

Below 49 kft and above 12 kft there is no need to pressurize the mask, but you still need oxygen to avoid hypoxia...

(whew! The way the info is presented on the Interwebs is so convoluted - I need more serious academic sources on that info). But that's what I've gathered on it. OK so looks like the crew at 33 kft or below would not need the pressurized mask.

Perhaps a special flight suit could be designed around that concept, like you wrote with an armour-like chest and a mask with a tube. It doesn't look like they'll need the chest piece, though and unpressurised oxygen is enough.

Right click to zoom

Alas then we have the temperature effects:

Below 36 kft the temperature of the atmosphere decreases linearly with altitude. This region is known as the "Troposphere," and the "Tropopause," is the boundary between it and the Stratosphere, running between 30 kft at the poles and 60 kft at the equator (USAS Orca will travel at around 45 degrees from the equator at 33 kft).

So let's just say that Orca will travel within the Troposphere at 33 kft /10km along the 45th parallel, when the Sub Tropical Jetstream is low. At 10 km, the temperature is -50 C = -58 F.  

To compare, note that average January temperatures in the Arctic range from about −40 to 0 °C (−40 to 32 °F), and winter temperatures can drop below −50 °C (−58 °F) over large parts of the Arctic.

So the flight suit must be good enough to take you to through an Arctic winter... I don't know. even Artic peoples need to go indoors during an Arctic Winter. So I'm wondering if the suit would not just look like an Inuit suit, but perhaps even be heated?  More Steampunkiness attached?

I wonder if a heated oxygen umbilical cord would be needed for such a flight suit. The umbilical cord could be part of a safety harness for the crew working on the envelope...

There is a huge technical challenge right there - but not as severe as explaining how all that atmospheric knowledge was accumulated. You see, the fact is that atmospheric research like that discussed above didn't even begin until about the turn of the century, and most of the relevan information was not gathered until after the 1920s! So I require a background story just to justify the whole thing!

But that's the whole point of Steampunk.

 Grin
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 11:23:46 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 06:03:18 am »

Some progress on the spats. Today I took a long bus ride to one of the craft stores in town. I spent way too much money, but I scored big on leather pieces. I got a hold of seven 25 x 20 cm sheets of fine beige leather plus two large irregular pieces, plus 6 large sheets of neoprene foam. The neoprene is about 2 mm thick and the leather is a little over 1 mm thin - very fine leather indeed.


That a good score for $7; the leather sheets look like they were scraps from an automotive application as the material is extremely uniform - in other words very nice expensive leather. On the rough side it's smooth and soft just like fine suede - and I may use it that way with the rough side out. But the smooth side is also very fine and "buttery looking" albeit a tad more grey and darker in tone. You never see fine leather like this on discount.

The idea is to sew the suede to a neoprene lining. The neoprene foam should make the spat waterproof and give structure to the ultra soft leather. The leather sheets are not big enough to make a spat from a single sheet, so I expect I will need two or even three sheets per spat, depending, but the neoprene - which I bought in black and beige, is large enough to make a spat from a single piece. The colour approximated the "bone" colour I had shown before, so what I'm looking to make looks similar to this picture:


I may decide to use the smooth side or the rough side. Perhaps the smooth side will be better, in that it will be easier to wipe clean. But I prefer the look of the rough side. I'll want to see what the spat looks like in neoprene, (I'll use black first) before cutting anything in any case.

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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 11:56:58 am »

Alright so how to draw the pattern? The thing that bothers me about online patterns is that they don't take into account the exact shape of your footwear. That is a problem over boots because the boot will have some features that many other shoes may not have and that even other boots may not have.

Specifically, the tongue and laces of this boot are particularly voluminous. The spat/gaiter needs to accommodate that bulk.

So I sacrificed two foam sheets and started to create a pattern after a failed attempt at using masking tape to take measurements...

Step 1. Don't do this. I doesn't work, and will leave a mess on your carpet  Roll Eyes


Step 2. Try to fit the foam over certain parts of the boot. You will notice that you will have to look for certain segments where the surface is relatively flat and then cut curves to delineate the boundaries of each segment. Let the foam tell you where you have to cut.


Basically you will be fitting and cutting mostly concave edges on square of foam (surface joints) and a few convex lines (front of spat), until the lines in 3D space get close to following the joints in your ankle, and the bottom outline of the spat you wish to have (how much you want the spat to cover on your boot). The latter part is an exercise in aesthetics. In my case I already knew how I wanted the spat to look on the boot. because I had boots that had "built in spats." I'm trying to follow the same patern.


You will use superglue to fix the overlap of the foam segments you use. Again you are fitting and cuting, The segment that goes above the "duck bill" of the spat needs to have a concave edge that you will "estimate" or eyeball. Then you will fit that foam sheet over the previous one and affix the sheet with a drop of superglue. BE CAREFUL WITH THE SUPERGLUE! That thing is so runny it will drip all over your shoe. I got lucky and I only got a microscopic drop on the shoe that I could scrape off. But the black sock got a larger drop. I can't do anything about it  Undecided But It is almost invisible, and the socks are slightly defective, so I was planning on buying another pair of cable knit leg warmers. Then again this is the risk you run every time you use cyanoacrylate. The shoe shrugged it off. The sock didn't. Live and learn.




After you are done you will end up with a bootie that looks a lot like the dreaded UGG boot, the bane of all boyfriends in the world. Why women insist on wearing those things is a mystery to me. They are called UGG for a reason, as in UGLY. But I'm willing to bet you could take a pair of UGGs and cut them down to some spats  Grin  I'll try next time.


The pattern is very 3-dimesional with very few flat surfaces. To approximate a flat surface you have to flatten it and cut it in as many pieces as you can without ruining the aesthetics. In this case I chose to subdivide in 4 parts. Four parts for each spat, that is. For the actual spat material you will cut, you will have to add a bit (like 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch) of material - flap if you will- over the edge of the seams to allow for sewing (the flap will face inwards and be hidden from the outside). Also where the closure of the spat will be, for the buttons, will be you will want to create a 1-inch "flap" in the front-outside quarter of the spat that overlaps the rear outside quarter of the spat. So the pattern made herein doesn't include those details - it's up to you to figure that out.


In other words the pattern is "fitted" in exactly the same way that a blouse or a shirt is fitted - that means you will have more concave cuts. Almost no edge is perfectly straight after you are done. There might be some "choppy lines," and you can smooth them out when tracing the pattern on leather or another piece of foam - but don't stray too far from the original lines. These lines contain the special nuances that make this a fitted pattern - this is the way you fit the spat over the bulky tongue and laces of the boot. You will notice there is a "bulk" along the edge of the pattern pieces where the laces of the boot would be.


Let's see what happens next  Grin I'll make a pair of foam spats first before cutting any leather.

Cheers.
JW
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 12:19:44 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 12:34:24 pm »

I know it's a bit late in the day now, and you've probably looked at them already, but WW2 US gaiters/spats are relatively cheap, plentiful, and easy to put on.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2381387.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC0.A0.H0.Xww2+spats.TRS0&_nkw=ww2+spats&_sacat=1
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 12:45:08 pm »

I know it's a bit late in the day now, and you've probably looked at them already, but WW2 US gaiters/spats are relatively cheap, plentiful, and easy to put on.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2381387.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC0.A0.H0.Xww2+spats.TRS0&_nkw=ww2+spats&_sacat=1

Indeed, thank you for the tip....I will consider them, but I've got some stuff to play with already  Wink If it fails I'll get back at looking at those  Cheesy

In fact, it's so late now it's actually early! It's 6AM and I have to sleep a few hours! I work the evening shift, so I can afford to do this "burning the midnight oil" every now and then...

I shall retire for the moment. I'll see you folks "tomorrow."  Grin

Cheers,
JW.
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 09:16:08 am »

So finally after a few distractions, I made the final set of templates in the brown foam. I cut the length of the "bootie" by 1.5 cm, as iy seemed too irregular and long. Even then I barely had enough brown foam material to do this. Because of this lack of single colour foam,, I'll be skipping the making of foam spats, and instead I have opted to glue the spat foam patterns directly onto the leather.

There is a total of 8 pieces, the 4 below are for the right foot. They are placed on top of the leather sheets, but I will use the rough side out, because I like the look of suede on the spats. Along the "vertical" seams, you will find a 5 mm allowance of material for sewing, as well as 2 cm wide strip of overlapping material for the "button table." I will take care to make a photocopy of the patterns or scan them before cutting the leather so I'll have the pattern scanned in my computer. Otherwise I'm not salvaging these patterns, I'll just be using them directly. I just don't have enough foam


I suppose I'll be using spray neoprene glue this weekend to fix the neoprene to the smooth side of the leather, before cutting the leather. The cutting will simply be following the outline of the foam with an X-acto knife. The advantage of this procedure is that all the markings are already made on the foam, so when I sew the pieces together I know exactly where the needle goes.

Cheers,  Grin

JW
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 11:30:14 am »

More progress. It will be mostly a photos post, because it's very late and I'm very tired, but I'd like to show the steps toward making the spats. Basically I used spray contact glue to affix the leather to the neoprene sheets and then I trimmed them. Using "craft grade" thread and a large size needle (I bent two needles- be prepared), I sewed the pieces together.

There is something fascinating about the mathematical topology of these patterns. Once you flatten the piece and cut it, the shapes stops making sense; edges that were joined together suddenly don't have the same curve as each other, and seemingly not even the same length.

It has to do with the fact that these spats are 3D objects, and the seams actually curve in 3D space. To make sure I didn't have mismatching seams, I "tacked" the beginning and end of each seam, and then I bent the sheet in whichever way it would align the adjacent seams together.  The "negative" spat, that is the spat turned inside out, looks like a mathematical construct from an HP Lovecraft story. It defies any sense.

Yet, when you flip it right side up and wrap it around your ankle it attains a most familiar form and everything looks right...









No, my calves are not that big. It's the angle and proximity of the camera  Grin
Do you see that slightly curved seam than runs through the ankle? That is the last seam to sew. The reason is that when you bring the pieces together, the seam on one end is concave and the other convex. When laid flat they don't match at all. It's the 3D effect I was talking about. The only way to bring the edges together is to roll the spat as shown in the 6th picture from the top, which is the spat turned inside out. When right side up, you get those nice curves that define the spat



Cheers,

JW
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 08:29:05 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 04:50:55 am »

damn that's looking quite good so far! hope you got the pattern down enough to make another of the same size and quality. that's what ive always had problems with , the second one always comes out better after you made all the mistakes the first time, at least for me.

very informative reading on the effects of altitude, my hat to you sir for your extensive research. as far as the information being available in the timeframe you're mimicking, I would assume the knowledge would be learned quickly and with a lot of lost souls learning it the hard way.

the suit you describe is pretty much what I was picturing but with the leather side outwards to keep the drag down (no pun intended) and to keep it more weather proof.

a few years back there was a glut of mig 25 pressurized helmets for sale, of the cccp variety. they were very space helmet looking but with an extensive apron  and vest like addition, if memory serves. maybe searching photos of that could inspire something.

I know nasa had a concept for an emergency escape bubble, basically a soft airtight ball with some viewing ports for an person to climb in and be moved by a someone in a proper eva suit.

I suppose along those lines a high altitude suit could have a soft cloth bonnet with a myriad of glass ports to see out of (like a diving helmet without the heft) somewhere between a ww1 gasmask and a bee keepers hood.

as for heating and supplying air, I think of the suit worn by the eye maker/grower in blade runner. "I-I just do eyes...." indeed.
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2017, 09:17:16 am »

damn that's looking quite good so far! hope you got the pattern down enough to make another of the same size and quality. that's what ive always had problems with , the second one always comes out better after you made all the mistakes the first time, at least for me.

very informative reading on the effects of altitude, my hat to you sir for your extensive research. as far as the information being available in the timeframe you're mimicking, I would assume the knowledge would be learned quickly and with a lot of lost souls learning it the hard way.

the suit you describe is pretty much what I was picturing but with the leather side outwards to keep the drag down (no pun intended) and to keep it more weather proof.

a few years back there was a glut of mig 25 pressurized helmets for sale, of the cccp variety. they were very space helmet looking but with an extensive apron  and vest like addition, if memory serves. maybe searching photos of that could inspire something.

I know nasa had a concept for an emergency escape bubble, basically a soft airtight ball with some viewing ports for an person to climb in and be moved by a someone in a proper eva suit.

I suppose along those lines a high altitude suit could have a soft cloth bonnet with a myriad of glass ports to see out of (like a diving helmet without the heft) somewhere between a ww1 gasmask and a bee keepers hood.

as for heating and supplying air, I think of the suit worn by the eye maker/grower in blade runner. "I-I just do eyes...." indeed.

You just prompted me to finish the second "spat." Yes I ended up tracing the patterns on paper from the right foot's spat, which is the "refined" version of the segments I cut from the "bootie." For the build, I drafted mirror images of every single piece at every single step, actually. So above I only showed 1 set. The other was ready, already cut but un-sewn. I just did that right now, in about 3 hours (I'm slow  Grin). Now I have to finish the straps/buttons, etc.

Again I marvel at the topology of the seams. I imagine those acquainted with the sartorial arts will have a name for a seam that can only be sewn when bent and twisted. Perhaps people who work with leather will be familiar with this. But I don't see this being done by a sewing machine - these curved joints were adjusted literally for every single stitch I made, adjusting curving or pulling as I went along.


Now I'm just wondering wether I should so something more fancy other than just buttons. Laces, perhaps? It seems to me that the suede/leather has no stretch to it, so the buttons will not keep it perfectly taught, whereas lacing could do that job.

Since I have a whole bunch of unusable boots (the first kind I show on this thread), that I need to throw away, I have a good number of lace hooks and eyes available that could be riveted onto the spat.

~ ~ ~

On the altitude suit I think the only weather would be wind, extreme cold and extreme dryness. A need to avoid skin contact with air, otherwise any part exposed would experience frostbite after only a few seconds of exposure.

The drag issue is an interesting question. In fluid mechanics, a laminar flow (i.e. non turbulent flow) past a surface will create a drag that depends on two things: 1. The pressure distribution along that surface caused by speeding or slowing air flow around that surface (dynamic pressure leads to "pressure drag"). 2. The viscosity of the air ("viscous drag"). We say that an infinite set of layers of air "shear" on top of each other over a surface, with the layer right next to the surface actually "sticking" or fixed in position over the surface (boundary layer's "no-slip condition" ).

Basically turbulence mixes fast and slow air currents which normally would just shear past one another in the "boundary layer" over the surface (shear=>drag), but when you have turbulent eddies, the increase in layer mixing creates an "extra" viscosity in that boundary layer. That is why "roughness" in the surface is generally considered "bad;" because it "trips" the boundary layer, and creates a propagating cascade of random eddies in the current that we call turbulence.

But at that speed (say no matter what it's less than 200 knots) the majority of your aerodynamic drag is "pressure drag" (due to the air pressure distribution around the body), and not due to the friction caused by the turbulent viscous air.

Actually the air around the crewman's body would already be very turbulent, partially because of the shape of the human body and suit (not streamlined), but rather in great part because at that size of an airship, the boundary layer (the infinite set of single molecule air layers sliding past one another next to the envelope - similar top a plane's fuselage), is already turbulent after a certain position along the airship's length. Around an airship, like in a big plane like a 747 jumbo jet, most of the air will already be very turbulent. The shaggy suit will make no difference, because whatever turbulence it generates it gets "lost" in the already turbulent wind.

Also, whether the airship angel zimself is in drag or not is a moot question as no one can see what's underneath the suit  Grin  Cheesy

Cheers,

JW
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:05:36 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2017, 02:39:17 am »

I like the look of that 1902 dress cap, very stylish. have you ever seen ww2 style paratroop jump boots? they have a sort of collar at the top that's a wide band with extra buckles to cinch down and trap the pants cuff, to keep the ether out of your nethers I would assume. maybe something of a similar style for your spatz?

the question of drag I guess isn't really all that important if the relative speed of the airship to the currents it's taking advantage of aren't too excessive. I would assume a captain would be aware that crew were making an EVA and would slow accordingly anyways.

do you remember herr doktors space helmet? I always anted to make a diving helmet from a bucket when I was a kid, had all sorts of designs on paper but nothing came of it...probably why i'm still alive, in retrospect! I did actually make a diving regulator from a tin can, a rubber sheet and a bicycle spoke, only worked above water so quite useless.

maybe the suit would be similar to a diving suit and helmet but entirely flexible. the head piece would be a sort of box of cloth as wide as the shoulders and the very top would be a sort of soft hatch to enter the suit. you would step in and pull it up so that two shoulder straps would support the suit and the top could then be closed. the front would have multiple viewing ports with a few to either side for peripheral view. the suit itself would have a plethora of lacing to customize the fit for optimal flexibility at the joints for mobility sake. an outer fleece could be a simple non pressurized insulator similar to the eskimo suits you describe. tethered and plumbed from the ship itself with just a minimal emergency airtank as backup. I would picture the headpiece taking a more bell shape when the suit is at working pressures.

rubberized canvas and tarred cloth were both readily available in the time frame you're looking at and would work fine in these applications.
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2017, 07:43:49 am »

Alright, so I have to get these spats ready for the season, as usually the only time that the costume goes out into the world is around the Halloween season.

I ended up choosing jean-style rivet buttons. Not only are they strong enough, but they have a bronze finish which blends with the costume hardware all over. I used a sharp blade to cut the eyes for the buttons. It's a bit rough to slide the buttons through, but it looks good.

Right click to zoom


Now I really need the straps to go under the boots' soles. I'm thinking that an elastic would be convenient. Any opinions?

Cheers
JW
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 09:07:35 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2017, 07:58:43 am »

Or I could use some of that 1 inch wide nylon strap and parachute buckles... Sewing it to the leather is hard but doable.
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2017, 07:23:43 pm »

Would another option be to rivet the strap to the leather?

Yours,
Miranda.
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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2017, 09:09:31 pm »

Would another option be to rivet the strap to the leather?

Yours,
Miranda.
Yes as time allows to obtain the materials. I still have leather. I could finagle some straps  with buckles. But I have to take the bus to my local hobby shop to get the leather rivets. Perhaps I could use construction rivets, if I get some aluminium washers , but they won't be flat enough.
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« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2017, 06:33:29 pm »

I've contemplated making foam armor gaiters to go over my boots for my outfit before
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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2017, 06:41:26 pm »

I've noticed there's a propensity for the leather to become detached from the foam. I will eventually have to sew the edge all around. Not a problem, I won't have to do it for a while. But both the button eyes and the perimeter need to be sewn.

The trick to sewing the leather is to use a large needle and constantly clean it in alcohol wiping the adhesive off. The needle will break once or twice, so that is part of the cost of using these materials.

I've contemplated making foam armor gaiters to go over my boots for my outfit before


The foam alone is barely adequate, at least the neoprene. It's easy to tear and scratch and it will deform over time. The leather does all the work here, and the foam is just a liner.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:49:15 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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