I've used the past pattern federal trouser patterns and they run small. Also I think they need to have about 1 inch added to the top of the pattern pieces so they come up to the proper height. There is excellent drafting instructions with the patterns and measuing and making larger size trouser.
I'm very nearly finished with a pair made off this pattern and I've noticed similar. They're a Size 3 (36) and my measured waist is 36". The waist fits fine, and so does everywhere else, but if I had drafted my own pattern I'd want a little bit more room through the seat, and perhaps a bit more height in the rise.
After some conversations with the members of the company claiming they had been way too small, I figured out the source of the problem:
- Most of the guys were still giving us their jean sizes even after we asked for measurements, not jean sizesand
- The sewers were NOT following the pattern instructions.
On the whole I think the end result will be fine once they get us proper measurements, even though I know they aren't going to fit everyone perfectly. But when that occurs, we need to remember the context of this pattern. I believe that the rank and file of the 1860's, as a whole, did NOT have uniforms that fit them perfectly. Its a subject that I think was mentioned in Hardtack and Coffee
, amongst other accounts. The uniforms were just that; uniform in appearance, but not tailor made to the individual. When portraying the Union Army of the 1860's, we need to bear that fact in mind. A male civilian in most cases would probably have clothes than fit him fairly well, unless he had an extremely unskilled tailor or bought ready-made or secondhand garments. A private in the 116th Pennsylvania, however, wouldn't have that luxury. Officers, yes, rank and file, no.
I think on the military side of the hobby we tend to over customize our clothing because in our modern lives its possible to get a decent fit in the clothing that we buy. But in doing so, in some ways it creates a bit of a false image of how things really were. I can perfectly understand that its a double edged sword, because while on the one hand some uniforms fit terribly or were poorly made even by 1860's standards and therefore its accurate for us to portray that, nobody wants to pay the money for something that doesn't fit correctly.