Sheeley Gearing Up For M-422 Jacket

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Wanted to let the Forum know that I am currently gearing up for a M-422 build. The original label for that jacket is seen here.


Shortly, I'll be reproducing this Switlik under my individualized name. On the other hand, not before I completely restore my original jacket. Not to mention only after having taken it down to it's individual pieces and patterned it complete. Thereby making all my future reproductions using this pattern completely accurate.

This jacket is loaded with unique details!

Looking forward to posting all updates.

Cheers, Dav
 

Stony

Well-Known Member
Yes, looking forward to seeing this jacket. As far as I know, you and JC are the only ones in possession of an original Switlik.
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

This process is just getting started but will not take long. This Switlik M-422 jacket came incomplete and slightly modified. Since receiving I've just about sourced all needed parts to restore this Switlik jacket back to its former glory. To that end, I've taken the Switlik down to where I can accurately pattern it for future reproductions. Once patterned I will begin to reassemble it.

While apart I immediately noticed that the Switlik jacket shares many of the same construction techniques as the Monarch M-422. That shared technique is the zero seam allowance that allows the majority of the stitch work to be done by only connecting two layers of leather. However, beyond being from the same pre War contract and basic M-422 design, that is where the similarities end. Those differences will give each make jacket it's own feel when worn.

In addition, one can not help but notice that this jacket shares similarities with other make USN jackets. Being the elder all those subsequent USN made jackets that came afterward obviously borrowed those same characteristics from this particular jacket. While apart I made some comparisons using this Switlik with other known M-422 type panels. Like every USN jackets I've handled, it has subtle design characteristics all on to it's own and or like no other.

Case in point, the shoulder make up of the Switlik is unique. There is no other shoulder seam exactly like used by Switlik. That difference can be seen below as compared to a same M-422 model front panel built by Monarch.


Monarch Over Switlik.jpg


Note, both of these right front panels are from jackets of the same M-422 contract. Both have zero seam allowance and are the exact same size. However, their shoulder seams are configured completely different as is their length along the waist knit connection point. Notwithstanding, with a shoulder seam change also comes a collar hole change. Once again completely changing the feel of any given jacket.

Look for a restored Switlik in the near future. Thereafter those reproductions spawned by this same Switlik M-422 jacket will be included in this thread.

Cheers, Dave
 
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Skip

Well-Known Member
I'll second the above comments. IN a given size comparison, what would be the fit differences between the Switlik and a Monarch? is the body a little more boxy, roomier neck, shoulders?
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
man, this is getting interesting. it would stand to reason that m series jacket contractors would have their own way of making their jackets, as did a-2 contractors. however, the diffs between the monarch and the switlik are pretty radical. indeed, the only way to fully understand how, and why each contractor made their jacket the way they did, is to have originals and take them apart. no one size fits all, here.
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
I'll second the above comments. IN a given size comparison, what would be the fit differences between the Switlik and a Monarch? is the body a little more boxy, roomier neck, shoulders?
According to the size, the distance around where the leather meets the waist knits and between the female and the male side of the zips or circumference is comparable in length in all USN jackets. At that same waist seam a size 40 would generally have between 40" through 41" length over all. Both jackets seen in that provided pic have approximately that same length or they would not be sized the same. Making the back panel on the Monarch slightly wider than the Switlik. The shoulder widths were also comparable.

Since both jackets are basically the same size, when worn neither would feel but so different from one another. Maybe a subtle difference because of the fact that one has slightly more room in the front verses the back.

On the other hand the collar configuration is more than likely the game changer with this comparison. As the Switlik has a steeper angle at the shoulder seam and that angle equates to a net increase to the length of the collar hole's sides.


Cheers, Dave
 
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Maverickson

Well-Known Member
man, this is getting interesting. it would stand to reason that m series jacket contractors would have their own way of making their jackets, as did a-2 contractors. however, the diffs between the monarch and the switlik are pretty radical. indeed, the only way to fully understand how, and why each contractor made their jacket the way they did, is to have originals and take them apart. no one size fits all, here.
Yes, I agree. Without having this Switlik in hand or any rarely seen make jacket for that matter, it would be borderline impossible to accurately define both it's construction design or techniques. These jackets are not generic. Each maker definitely puts their own spin on each.

Although there are untold underlying differences between this Switlik M-422 and the other two makes from this same contract, among the many, there is one real stand out that comes to mind. This jacket was assembled with an unusual thread. Most all WW-2 era jackets were assembled using cotton. Some but not all late War jacket makers began using nylon. On the other hand, this Switlik was assembled using 100% silk. This is the only jacket maker I've encountered to date that used silk to assemble their jackets.

I suppose that it stands to reason being it was made by a parachute manufacturing company.

Cheers, Dave
 
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nkang

Well-Known Member
@Maverickson We're certainly really lucky to have a handful of original Switlik jackets popping up in the market and to have someone like you studying the details of the jacket for reproduction. In contrast, with no the Goldsmith A2 surfacing from the water, the game is much more difficult and people were really guessing hard on many important details of that jacket with almost no chance of certainty.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
aha! silk thread. indeed, that makes sense with the jacket coming from what was then, primarily a parachute company. live and learn. gotta wonder if other wwll switlik jackets used silk thread.
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
@Maverickson We're certainly really lucky to have a handful of original Switlik jackets popping up in the market and to have someone like you studying the details of the jacket for reproduction. In contrast, with no the Goldsmith A2 surfacing from the water, the game is much more difficult and people were really guessing hard on many important details of that jacket with almost no chance of certainty.
Hi nkang,

Yes, I'm in agreement with you. Not to mention, those more rare original jackets are still out there and show up from time to time. Speaking of which, who would have thought that Einstein's leather jacket https://www.levi.com/US/en_US/blog/article/levis-menlow-cossak-jacket/ was still in existence? As usual it is just a matter of time before something else turns up. It is that same rarity that lends any given original jacket intrinsic value. As without those more rare jackets surfacing they can not truly be reproduced correctly. Exactly why I like having an original model for those jackets I reproduce.

Obviously, Levis thought enough of Einstein's jacket to get off the big bucks, purchase it and ultimately reproduce it. Not withstanding with that purchase also comes bragging rights. As seen in the provided Levis advertisement of a 500 limited offering for their version of that jacket and subsequently sold out.

All lending credence to the fact without having a given example in hand and thinking that it can be accurately reproduced is speculative at best. There are just to many ways to change any given model jacket. When ever possible it is always best to dissemble to do a perfect one to one pattern transfer. Although not always possible & short of dissecting, do a grid detail (without taking apart & believe that same grid method for copying Einstein's jacket would have been utilized). Ultimately, the only true two ways to derive a correct jacket pattern.

In the end, that degree of authenticity required is up to a given maker. Moreover, it is up to the individual if a given vintage jacket is built to exacting detail or simply in the spirit of as being acceptable. As for me, I have been a member of this forum for over ten years and stuck with it and will continue to do so. All because I found that the majority of VLJ members are interested in raising the bar.

Cheers, Dave
 
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stanier

Well-Known Member
Beautiful, beautiful jacket. I wonder if you can have a Switlik label if you ask nicely enough...
 

Falcon_52

Active Member
Really nice work, Dave. Out of curiosity, do you have the larger size patterns drawn up already or is that still a work-in-progress?
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
HI All,

Yes Falcon since receiving my original jacket over one year ago I have taken the time to develop my M-422's pattern. Currently, I there in size 38 though 48.

Also during this time I've been actively sourcing those parts needed to restore my original jacket. Forevermore kept by me & destined to be used as my model for all the reproduction jackets I make going forward.

In addition & for those interested in learning more about this particularly elusive USN M-422 contract, I have taken the time to have thoroughly researched my original Switlik M-422 jacket. To include having gone so far as go to the National Archives in Washington DC. to track it down.

That information found is now mentioned as part of my description for the M-422 reproduction jackets I am now offering as seen on eBay. To see please go here https://www.ebay.com/itm/M-422-USN-LEATHER-FLIGHT-JACKET-BUILD-FOR-SHEELEY-PARACHUTE-AND-EQUIPMENT-CO/401984571084?hash=item5d9825c6cc:g:jR4AAOSwRn9d5-lb


Cheers, Dave
 
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