Civil War Reenacting

Federal Issue Shirt Kit from Sackcoats Unlimited

  As Civil War reenactors we often look for higher degrees of authenticity in the products that we buy in order to improve the look and feel of our individual period impressions.  Due to various reasons many items have an authentic look but fail the test for 100% authenticity due to such things as synthetic fibers, wrong manufacturing process, modern dyes, etc.  The product I review on this page definitely rates a high degree of authenticity.
  On this page I display a product created by Matt Caldwell of Sackcoats Unlimited.  The product is a Federal Issue shirt kit.  The Federal Issue Shirt Kit is custom cut to fit your chest and neck sizes. Kits come with all textile parts ready to assemble, 3 paper back tin buttons, instructions, and a spool of natural linen thread. The kits retail for $60 plus $3.50 for shipping.  Natural fibers are used for everything in the kit.

  The pictures above should illustrate the contents of the kit.  When the kit is ordered Mr. Caldwell asked for my neck size and chest size.  When the kit arrived the main parts were cut out and various instructions were drawn on the fabric to ensure that it would be properly cut and sewn.  The material is Wool Flannel.  The flannel is itchy and frays easily.  The flannel is white/off-white in color.  The instruction sheet gives suggestions as to reducing fraying.  Once sewn the fraying isn't a problem.  This is just a characteristic of the material.
  The kit comes with a very good 2 page instruction sheet.  I should add a warning that you should pick up a sewing guide if you do not understand such terms as "Fell" and "Whip Stitch".  Otherwise the instructions are clear and easy to understand.  The kit does not appear difficult to sew.  I intend to sew mine by hand.
  My intention is to make this kit a winter project as Corporal Nelson suggested.  It looks like a good project for me to try.
  Mr. Caldwell's site is at