Inspirational Pictures What I see: White, probably linen, head thingy which appears to wrap around the back of the head and then ties (possibly a square knot) on the top of the head. The front has a flap which can either be forward or folded […]
I ended up finishing the hat in the hotel room on Friday night but the dress was done before then. I wore this dress on the Sunday of Cynagua Spring Coronet 2012 to act as inspiration for my Lord Fearghus MacAirt. Fearghus went to finals but ended up losing to Sir Mari Alexander.
– I love the colors I think it really popped with the black and gold. BUT I do believe that black is -totally- the wrong color for a working woman’s dress. I’m ok with it.. as a re-enactor wearing “Cynaguan colors”.. as long as I keep in mind that Black at this time was pretty much reserved for nobility or sunday best.
– I like the fit. The dress was supportive all day even with being pulled on over the head. I do want to make the next dress with a lacing.. and plan to go back an re-do this dress to add eyelets and a lace.
– I like the hat but I think I’ll play with the pattern for a bit before I will call it finished.
– I thought I’d be annoyed by the squared off back of the neck… but I think I like the way it looks.
– The night before we left for the event I found a paternoster(rosary) I made YEARS ago. Since it’s an amber and coral rosary I thought it would match the dress sleeves well. I like the way it looks hanging off the left shoulder but I think I need to use a smaller pin for it.
– I ended up making short tapered tube lower sleeves. I don’t like the way they’re hanging. I think there’s too much chemise showing at the armpit. I’ll need to spend a while fiddling with a pattern for the lower sleeves to get them right. Also, reviewing the inspiration pictures, I pinned these on totally wrong. The sleeve should be on top. I think by doing it this way I could pin the sleeve up higher and cut down on the amount of chemise showing. I think this means that my lower sleeve will need to be a lot longer. The current sleeve is 15″ long. That is just barely enough to go from the bottom of the short sleeve to my wrist. If I want to cover the chemise I’ll need to make the sleeve longer. Probably about 4-5″ longer.
– I hate the way the dress looks with the belt (or rather the way I squish out above and below the belt). I’ll try wearing it with the belt looser next weekend and see if I just had it too tight. Otherwise I guess I’ll be wearing this without a belt. At least until I can buy the proper fittings for the dropped belt I see in some of the inspirational images.
This weekend was a lot colder than expected.. so I don’t think this event is a fair test to see if the dress will work for Pennsic. That said.. I’ve already ordered and received red and blue linen which is destined to be two more dresses like this.
Overall.. I’d call this a winner.
Waisted Cotehardie Todo:
– (done) Make fitted pattern for bodice
– (done) Cut out and sew together the bodice
– (done) Cut out and sew the skirt together
– (done) Cut out the circle for the waist of the skirt
– (done) Sew the skirt and the bodice together with a binding strip
– (done) Remove skirt. Adjust the length of the back bodice.
– (done) Sew the skirt and the bodice together with a binding strip (again)
– (done) Make the short sleeves (two layers of black linen) and attach the short sleeves to the bodice
– (done) Remove skirt(again). Sew the skirt to the front layer of the bodice and then flip the back layer of the bodice around to make a hidden seam.
– (done) Make a chemise to go under the dress.
– (done) Hem the dress (it took 3 days of commuting so ~6-7 hrs)
– (done) Finish the neck, wrist and hem on the chemise.
– (done) Make the lower sleeves (I have some lovely gold linen set aside for this)
– (done) two-tailed linen cap (more details posted on this later)
Edited to add:
In Januray 2014, just after I gave birth to my son, I updated this dress so that it would be open down the front with eyelets so it could be closed with a lace. This turns out to be fantastic breastfeeding garb.
Future projects for this outfit:
– knee high linen hose
– appropriate belt and pouch
– Adjust short sleeve pattern. Rotate sleeve pattern so that the sleeve seam matches up with the side seam
Adjust bodice pattern so that shoulder seam is moved to the top of the sleeve cap (?? no proof of this.. but the current placement “feels” wrong) I changed my mind. I’m going to leave it as it is.
Other Relevant Entries
Have you ever noticed that when you start gathering together images as “proof” of whatever historical things you’re planning to sew that suddenly you start seeing things in the images you’ve never seen before? Yeah, it’s like that.
Here we go, I’m working on a 15th century(or cotehardie, whatever you want to call it) and I’m tickled at the idea that for only the second time during my time in the SCA I’m actually working on a garment which is temporaly correct for my “persona”**
Anyway, I made a pinboard of images that show the kind of dress I’m trying to create and suddenly I’m noticing the weirdest thing.
Here are some example images:
The Shire of Canale sponsored an event based on Gaston Phebus book of the hunt. Several months before the event they offered clothing making classes about how to make the tunics seen in the manuscript. While at one of these classes I copied a pattern from someone there. The pattern looked very familiar and after casting about for a while I realised that it was based on Herjolfnes #63. Which is essentially a 14th century buttoned Greenland swing coat with standing collar with a simplified sleeve pattern. I fiddled with the pattern a bit and sized it up to fit Fearghus and Bob. They’re both very wide shouldered.. and the flare of the pattern works very well on a larger frame.
I finished Fearghus’ tunic first(in blue).. and then realized that once he belted it the tunic was going to be too short. When I made Bob’s tunic (in cranberry) I added 4 inches to the bottom of the pattern. Then I went back and added a 9″ strip of black linen to the bottom of Fearghus’ tunic. I would have used the same blue.. but I ran out. I haven’t found any examples in Gaston Phebus with a different colored bottom strip.. but there were several examples with trim near the bottom hem.. and frankly I just needed to finish it so he could wear it.
The next time I make one of these for Fearghus I’ll start off by adding 9″ to the bottom of the pattern.
These are made with a single layer of linen and used french seams to connect the panels. I used a binding strip to attach the sleeve.. though I suppose I could have attached that with a french seam as well.
At the buttons I added a double layer reinforcement strip to both the button and the button hole side.
I also added a button at the end of the sleeve since the pattern came out tight enough that they couldn’t get their hands through the sleeves without the button.
My favorite picture from the day. Bob and Fearghus and Gunther playing dice.
I found this pattern very easy to put together. I may do this again in the future. Assuming Fearghus is ok with wearing such “late period” clothing.
Photos by Jeremy Guy and Lizabeth Workman.
From Rogers, Penelope Walton. Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England (p 190). A: Kentish Dress Style III – a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throad the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt. B: Kentish […]