Viborg Shirt Observations, Conjecture and Puzzlement


Gusset and Neck Hole The gussets are almost exactly the same size as the neck holes.  It would be convenient, and save fabric to make the gussets out of the fabric removed to make the neck holes.

Fabric Width and Pieced Lining
I assume that given enough fabric the medieval seamstress would have preferred to cut the linings as a single piece. So then the fact that the lining is pieced implies that it was done to conserve fabric. This then placed the width of the original piece of fabric at about 39.5 inches wide.  That is 22.5″(width of the main body “poncho”) + 17″(width of the widest piece used in the lining).

Even though the proposed cutting diagram shows it as a single piece, the article says that it’s uncertain whether the lining on the back of the garment was cut as a single piece.

Selvages and symmetry
I’m bothered that the right and left sleeve use different seams to join the two pieces of the sleeve together(overcast selvages on one and flat-felled on the other).  The proposed cutting diagram with the article actually has enough selvages that the left sleeve could have been cut/sewn just like the right one.  This bothers me even more since the seam treatment is visible on the exterior of the garment. The article is very clear about the seams used on the sleeves.

To me that implies that either the cutting diagram is incorrect (and there wasn’t enough selvage available) or it’s a modern (or even just a personal) hangup and the medieval seamstress didn’t care.

That said, I can’t re-arrange the pattern pieces to make a more logical cutting pattern that conserves more fabric.

Minor Puzzlements

I’m puzzled why the body of the shirt is lined, but not the skirt.  I suppose this could for added warmth while still conserving fabric.

I’m also puzzled why the neck uses such a complex set of ties to keep it closed.  The neckhole could easily have been folded inwards and finished that way instead of adding the binding/ties. I suppose it does make it so the neck hole will fit over your head and still close tightly.

Lastly I’m puzzled why the front and back of the shirt use the “fixative” stitch.  Is it purely decorative or does it serve a purpose (may not figure this out until I sew it together)(if ever).

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