16th Century

Bodice Support

Women are not cones. We are (for the most part) hour glass shaped. In order for a bodice to be supportive and look flattering at least one of the seams needs to have a vaguely hourglass shaped hunk taken out of it. This is an ongoing debate in the re-enactment community. Do you pull the fabric out of the center…

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16th Century, Antwerpen, Sewing, Tayloring

Fixing fit problems: Armseye

One of the nice things about following more period correct methods of construction (ie, the methods laid out The Modern Maker series of books) is that the methods lend themself really well to alterations. That is, without very much fuss at all I can fix a fit issue (or make a garment fit someone else) without having to completely de-construct…

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Waisted Kirtle

Autumn Gold Kirtle

Autumn Gold sleeveless waisted kirtle started 7/24/2019. Worked on sporadically, and then finally finished on September 25, 2019. Details: – kirtle will be side laced. – edges will NOT use bias binding – this one will use one layer of interlining in the whole bodice and a second layer of interlining at the center front. I’ll be pad stitching them…

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16th Century, Waisted Kirtle

What the tuck?!?

Last night I finished stitching the tuck** onto the bottom of my Autumn Gold kirtle. Just as I finished stitching the tuck I looked at it and had the following mini-conversation and epiphany. Me: This tuck would be really convenient for pregnancy.Also me: Or for young girls who have not gotten full height… or hand-me-down clothes.Me: Yeah. But that stitch…

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Image Review

Joachim Beuckelaer, “Allegory of Negligence” ca. 1563

KMSKA Antwerp, Joachim Beuckelaer, “Allegory of Negligence” ca. 1563 Zoomable Image: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/allegory-of-negligence/BgG4bAyIMcG_bw I updated the date on this entry to specifically 1563 because I see that written on the end of the wood piece the man is using to prop up his leg. The museum link did not list a date so MMV. Context:Keep in mind that the painting is entitled “Allegory…

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Front view of Cobalt Kirtle no. 2.
Garb/Clothing, Waisted Kirtle

Cobalt Kirtle no. 2

Blue sleeveless waisted kirtle started June 21, 2019. Finished on July 2, 2019. I’m getting back into the swing of things. I need a new dress. The plan is to make a cobalt blue linen kirtle and wear that under a bright coral wool Antwerpen gown. This is the second kirtle I’ve made using the Cobalt blue linen from Fabric-store.com.…

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Why be an apprentice?

I feel guilty writing on this topic. I became a man-at-arts about 5 minutes before I was offered the Laurel. For a very long time I did not have someone I called “my Laurel”. There are a lot of reasons (some of them wrong-headed) that fed into that decision. Even though I’m now coming at it from the other direction…

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F*king pockets

A few nights ago my husband came home from fight practice and said we had to talk. He said that he was having a crisis of faith and was feeling that he was making no progress at his fighting. “I should be better at this,” he said. We talked for a while and eventually I told him about my problem…

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16th Century

Late period doublet for a 5-year-old

Grey linen lined in light tan linen doublet sized for a 5-year-old started March 9, 2019. Finished March 20, 2019. In order to be a “properly dressed little boy” my son will need a doublet. This will be used both to cover his under shirt and to point his breeches to keep them from falling down. The doublet I’m making…

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Stitches & Seams


There’s two ways (that I know of) where you talk about “ease” in sewing. First you add (or remove) ease on a garment so that it is larger (or smaller) than the actual measurement. An early period tunic has more ease than a late period form-fitting doublet. A corset is constructed with negative ease. Second you talk about easing one…

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