Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thread

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Anonymous

Guest
Some people think jacket making is easy, so I thought I would make a thread to show the steps. Readers can participate or even help if they like.

The idea of developing this jacket came as BK started to get involved in making civilian jackets to provide more choice for its customers. It's always hard to choose which jacket to re-create as it has to appeal to the fans, otherwise it may end up a disaster.

So the first stage is "Research" until a nice design is found. Looking at books, websites, catalogs, our photos collection, ebay, reading people's opinions at forums, bloggs, etc. And then a nice design is found.

here it is.





This thread is nice because it will guide you through the process of reproducing a jacket and as I said it is "live", that means developments are posted as soon as they are made. We only started this last week, so you will be able to see how much time it will take from start to finish.

So now that the jacket is found the second stage is "More Research"

to be continued...
 

bfrench

Administrator
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

PLATON said:
Some people think jacket making is easy, so I thought I would make a thread to show the steps. Readers can participate or even help if they like.

The idea of developing this jacket came as BK started to get involved in making civilian jackets to provide more choice for its customers. It's always hard to choose which jacket to re-create as it has to appeal to the fans, otherwise it may end up a disaster.

So the first stage is "Research" until a nice design is found. Looking at books, websites, catalogs, our photos collection, ebay, reading people's opinions at forums, bloggs, etc. And then a nice design is found.

here it is.

This thread is nice because it will guide you through the process of reproducing a jacket and as I said it is "live", that means developments are posted as soon as they are made. We only started this last week, so you will be able to see how much time it will take from start to finish.

So now that the jacket is found the second stage is "More Research"

to be continued...
Here's a couple of suggestions or rather a few:

Move outside zipper pocket to left side - zipper closure at far left

Delete side buckles

Make back one piece - if you're wearing the jacket for long distance driving, etc - the seams will not abrade against torso

Have under arm gussets as per the M-422a - stops jacket from riding up the back when arms are outstretched.

Inside storm flap as per M-422a

Make back length at least 27" from collar seam to bottom to stop riding up in back

Inside pockets as per image

Storm cuffs inside sleeves

Leather facing along bottom the same as the inside along the zipper - stops the jacket end from rolling / curling up

All of this from someone who resides in a cold weather area.

Make different leather qualities available to help control pricing - if someone wants top quality or loweast quality - have it reflected in pricing.

My suggestion would be goatskin.

 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Dear Bill,
Thanks for the advice, but you missed the point.
We could design and make 100 different jackets. They would all be beautiful and practical. Just as the one you suggest.
But who would care? What would be the value of that?

Instead, we aim to make a jacket 100% replica of the vintage one. The vintage one is no longer available.
That's why the collectors want it. That's its value.

Unfortunately, we do not have this jacket in our possession. So it has to be recreated based on photos.
To cut the patterns is the easiest thing to do. Anyone can do it. To cut the pattern correctly, so that the jacket matches its ancestor as much as possible, that's the hard thing to do.

It requires careful examination of the photos. To see where every stitch goes, every little detail.
To see for example what kind of button it uses, try to find the exact same etc. Not just open the drawer and sew on whatever button we have available. That's not caring for the product, not caring for the customer. We 're not into, "let's sell this jacket to that customer and move to the next".

We require more photos.

to be continued....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

As mentioned, this is a "live" thread, which means I am sharing the info as I am getting it.
This means that although BK has set its mind to re-creating this jacket, it may never happen if in the end we will not be able to find all the components required to make it.

The research reveals more photos of a different original example.





Immediately, we notice that this one has a different lining.
Could it be that the lining has changed at some point? Perhaps but label is the same.

Closer examination does not show any stitching that would suggest that labels have been restitched.





So I guess, it's safe to say, based on the findings that the jacket could have been offered originally with 2 different linings.

We notice different side strap buckles also. This could mean that these two jackets were made by the same factory at different times (different seasons maybe) so must have used the same lining and buckles as long as stock lasted and then changed.

The label also is somewhat different on the second example and much better preserved.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

As we continue the research, we find that this jacket style is currently done by a competitor jacket maker.

That is a turn off at first, but then when looking more closely what we are up against, get more courage to continue.
The other vendor says they copied it from an original jacket they had for 20 years.
However, their photos show that the jacket seems more likely to have been constructed, not by using the original for patterns, not even photos, but perhaps from memory.

To illustrate what I mean:



Notice the difference in the shapes of the back panels and the different arc of the arches.







My thoughts from looking at these photos is that the vendor either lie that they have the original, or if they actually have the original, they don't care at all to do a proper job. I can understand that it may be difficult and time consuming to source the right buckles (put whatever we have the customers won't notice), but it DOES NOT COST ANYTHING TO DO THE PROPER STITCHING!!!!

Also, the pattern maker is paid for the job he does. It takes the same time to make the pattern correctly and the same time to make it wrong. No extra work is required. So why they fail? Obviously they do not care.
Same thing with the lining. The "use whatever we have" attitude again prevails.

The fact that the competition is not very serious competition in terms of accuracy and quality fuels my desire to continue the research make an accurate replica of this jacket.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Returning to the issue of lining, the fact that two different linings were used provided us with the option to use either one.

Continued research brings up more photos from another original.











Interesting fact: Same lining as the previous example.
 

wheat1479

Member
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

I have an original 1930s variation of that jacket.Its by top notch and is in goatskin.It is different in the cuffs,mine have longer flaps and it doesnt have the waist seam but the back is almost identical.My collar is also longer.I would love to see yours in a russet horsehide.
 

ECKHARTUS

Member
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

I bought this jacket recently, it is one of my favourite now. The 30s or the 40s.

 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Before I forget, the other vendor used whatever lining they had instead of making any efforts to find something suitable.

While still looking for more info, found that the Japanese also reproduce this jacket. Very cool indeed.
Their reproduction is good but not that great. We could do better.

Photos coming soon.
 

Who

Member
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

I think I prefer the Scottish take on the pattern very close but with some improvements. But I understand your point about replicas. There's is a take on an actual vintage jacket, and appears not to be accurate unless there's another pattern out there.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Thanks for your comment.

As I was saying, the Japanese made a nice effort but they overdid it.
They added an exuberant hangar, with big square stitches that look bad from the back, added a few labels there, added a pocket, changed the zipper facings, the lining and used D rings instead of buckles.

They forgot also, or ignored, that the underside of the collar and the inside of the cuffs should be lined with corduroy.
And another detail they missed is the 3 vent holes under the sleeve.













Overall their pattern does not look bad.
In fact, it creates a challenge creating some more stiff completion and we're glad about that.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre



The small label above the maker's label reads "GENUINE FRONT QUARTER HORSEHIDE LEATHER"
but wait... I think I 've seen this somewhere before, only it was a little different
It looked like...

oh yes here it is



with a little hard effort this reads
"ADJUSTABLE INNER COLLAR PAT. N. 1993705"

Indeed. Now it makes sense. This jacket HAS an inner collar.
It can be seen here.



Now that's a "detail" everybody missed. Good because we won't.

With a little more hard effort, (please note the info provided my the last two posts are the work of a week) we find the patent.







Great, now we can read it and make the inner collar thing properly.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Getting more excited about the project thought it was good time to design the label with the computer.
Not a very difficult one but took 2-3 days to make.

 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Few hours during the past couple of days were spent looking for a good lining.

The closest that could be found so far is presented below.



It would make a great lining, but unfortunately, the shop that carried it said it was a design they had last year but not anymore. Pity. The search continues.

If you care to participate in the making of this jacket, here's your chance. If you have seen this kind of woolen fabric anywhere, just let me know.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

hmm let's see...

We can get a tartan that looks similar.



It's not exactly the same, but close, so it will be our lining to go until something better comes along.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

hm..
found something else similar



I guess we should have to vote in the end...
 

wheat1479

Member
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Real McCoys made a nice one about 4-5 years ago,but discontinued it and made a different style.Im waiting to see yours.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

Really? I have most of their catalogs but I don't see it.
Do you have any photos?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Hercules 1920 half belt - "live" jacket development thre

It's going to be VERY hard to find the correct lining for this.
It could be custom made, but will cost a fortune, and then the price of the jacket will have to skyrocket to cover the costs.
We prefer to keep the price as low as possible, so one of the above linings, or other similar if found later on, will be used.

To design the pattern of the jacket, is the easiest part of the process. Of course I mean to correctly design, not just design. So will leave that for a later stage.
 
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