Garb/Clothing, Waisted Kirtle

Cobalt Kirtle no. 2

Front view of 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 I absolutely love this color.

kirtle will be side laced.
– edges will NOT use bias binding
– I’m adding pockets at the bottom of the bodice opening because it seems like a convenient thing (and because I’ve gone a bit pocket crazy)


  • (done) Make a new bodice pattern with center front and center back on the fold. 1/2″ seam allowance on sides, armseye and neck opening.
  • (done) Wash and iron fabric (4 yards fashion fabric, 1 yd each lining and interlining necessary)
  • (done) Cut out the bodice (fashion fabric, lining and interlining). Use the pattern to cut out the fashion fabric. Then use the fashion fabric to cut out the interlining. Then use the interlining to cut out the lining (may need to add a pinch more to the lining). This will make each subsequent piece slightly bigger than the piece it was traced off of and will help the pieces to lay nicely together.
  • (done) On the interlining, mark your seam allowance (1/2″ marked with magic ruler ) this will make the next steps easier. Make sure your marks will not bleed through the other layers (ie, use pencil or chalk).
  • (done) On the interlining, sew a reinforcement stitch on the inner corner of the neck opening to prevent the neck from ripping out at that sharp corner. Make sure this reinforcement is inside of where the corner will get clipped.
  • (done) On the interlining, sew a quick gather on the outside of the sleeve strap (where the poof happens near the front of the armpit). I saw this method on The Modern Maker Facebook page. It starts about 1/2″ above the level of the front edge and goes down until the armseye’s bottom. Because I’m not planning to bind the edges and will need to nip the curve I sewed this gather right at the seam line on the interlining. Normally I think this would end up enclosed inside the binding.
  • (done) baste interlining and fashion fabrics together at ~1/4″ on the front, back and straps. Steam the hell out of the fashion fabric to get it to shrink to match the interlining on the front especially at the gather.
  • (done) Sew the straps to the front and back. Press and prick stitch the seams open.
  • (done) On the fashion fabric, fold the neck, armseye and side openings back to the 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the edges and press to get it to lay flat.
  • (done) Cut out the skirt(fashion fabric). Front should be cut on a fold to eliminate the center front seam. Ideally the width of the front panels will match the width of the front of the bodice.
  • (done) Piece the skirt pieces.
  • (done) Sew skirt back pieces together with french seam on the bias edges (this will be the center back, bias-to-bias for better swoosh).
  • (done) Sew the skirt front to skirt back leaving ~4 inches open at the top of the side openings. Add a rolled hem on those edges (or a pocket if you want something useful but not documentable)
  • (done) Attach the skirt to the bodice fashion fabric (Put a box pleat at the center-back and then knife pleat either side to fit the top of the skirt to the bottom back of the bodice ).
  • (done) On the lining, sew the straps on the front and back. Press open.
  • (done) On the lining, fold the neck, armseye and side openings back to the 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the edges and press to get it to lay flat.
  • (done) Sew the lining into the fashion fabric/interlining. The bottom edge will also enclose the skirt seam.
  • (done) Add eyelets to the bodice. (1/4″ from the edge, 3/4″ separated offset for spiral lace)
  • (done) Hem the dress


IL019 COBALT Softened – 100% Linen 4 yds $36.56 (purchased Jan 2019)
4C22 Bleached – 100% Linen 1 yd – ~$8 (purchased May 2018)
IL019 Natural Softened – 100% Linen – 1 yd ~$9 (purchased June 2019)


I started with the bodice pattern in Modern Maker v. 2 and modified it. I chopped off the sharp point on the bottom front edge of the bodice and cut it to a flat bottom (more ~1530ish). I slightly widened the sleeve straps. I eliminated 1/2″ seam allowance from the center back and instead cut the center back on a fold. I slightly adjusted the width of the bottom back. Using these updates I drafted a pattern and then iterated on it a few times until I had the best fit.

In staring at the last two iterations of the pattern I realized that I had messed up a measurement on the very last one. So I made the pattern again and made a new mockup. Best fit yet.

For this garment I want to use side spiral lacing and I am not planning to bind the bodice edges. I was totally inspired by the images posted by Harlie Barkley on her Facebook page “My Not-So-Typical Tudor Experience” (here and here) but I’m entirely too impatient to wait for “The Typical Tudor” to be published (in April 2020 SQUEEEE!!) so full speed ahead I’m faking it based on the pictures and my best guesses.
To accommodate these choices I added 1/2″ seam allowance on the armseye and neck openings. I plan to cut the center front on a fold so I will need to remove 1/2″ seam allowance from the center front of the pattern piece I made. I will be using what was previously the 1/2″ seam allowance on the sides as the reinforcement for the eyelets. I’m worried that I need to add a bit of ease to the sides but have no easy way to gauge how much to add. Instead I’m going to assume that if I need it I can lace the sides loosely so that the edges butt-up instead of overlap(as they normally do in spiral lacing).
After kicking it back and forth for a while I settled on the order of events listed in the TODO above. I really wanted to attach the lining and finish the eyelets before attaching the skirt.. but in the end the awkwardness of doing it in that order (which would make attaching the skirt very awkward and difficult) outweighed the awkwardness of swirling the entire dress around when doing the machined eyelets.
Finally I cut out the fabric, interlining and lining for the bodice.

I ran a quick set of stitches across the front point of the neck opening to reinforce that placement and I ran a quick gather on the front of the armseye to pull that fabric in.
I basted the interlining to the fashion fabric and then sewed the straps onto the front and back of the bodice and prick stitched the seams open. I marked 1/2″ seam allowance all around the edges.
I cut out the skirt (followed the pattern from The Modern Maker vol 2), pieced the panels and finally sewed the panels together. Because I want it, I also added pockets at the side openings. I’ve been thinking about them for a while and although I have no evidence that it was done this way, I want to add pockets to my dress for my own convenience.

I folded in all of the seam allowances, nipped the corners and nipped all the curves (and figured out a neat trick) on the fashion fabric/interlining. I sewed the lining together and started pinning the lining into the bodice of the dress. Tonight I finished pinning all around the neckline.

I finished pinning the lining into the garment and started stitching it in place. I’m about half way done. This part is a bit tedious.

More progress. Slow progress is still progress. I’ve finished stitching everything except for the neck opening. I may pause on that and do eyelets next (since I can stitch the neck opening in the car on the way to War if needed :D)

Machine stitched the eyelets. Finished closing the neck opening. Marked and cut the hem. Having now done it in this order I think next time I’ll add the eyelets to the bodice before attaching the skirt to the bodice. It would have been much easier that way.

I finished stitching the hem on the drive to West An Tir War. I pulled off of this for a day to have sushi with friends and then made a tunic for my son so that left this for the ride up to the war.


  • I added pockets at the side opening. In general I like them (who am I kidding, I love the convenience of having a pocket) in specific, I followed the pocket pattern from  The Modern Maker Vol. 2 and that pocket kind of bunched up under the skirt messing with the lines of the skirt. It’s not a problem in MM2 because the pocket is in some large airy breeches but under this skirt I need a more slimmed down pocket pattern. I plan to pull these off and change to the style of pocket used in the child’s breeches from The Tudor Tailors, Tudor Child book. I guess it’s a good thing I spent the beginning of this year making all the pockets.
  • When I added the skirt to the bodice I concentrated the pleats at the center back of the dress. In wearing this I noticed that the outer-most pleat was being pulled out of straight. I will be removing the back skirt and re-distributing the pleats to have them setup more evenly across the back of the dress. When I do that I think I will also change from having box pleat at center back to having a reverse box pleat at center back. I saw someone at the war who had a reverse box pleat at center back and I was very impressed by how nice that looked right at the center back.
  • Although I’m tempted to do it, I will NOT be adding pad stitching to the bodice of this dress. I took a very helpful class that showed how to do pad stitching and now I’m really itching to try that out on my next dress.
  • I still hate side-lacing. If I had any other reasonable alternative I’d take it as side-lacing is still very awkward to get into/out of. Because this is intended to be a kirtle worn UNDER an Antwerpen gown I do not want to use center-front lacing. Back lacing for me is a non-starter as I’m not interested in being unable to dress/undress myself.



Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol. 1: Men’s Doublets. Charleston SC: Printed by, 2014. Print.
Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol. 2: Pattern Manual 1580-1640: Men’s and women’s drafts from the late 16th through mid 17th centuries. . Charleston SC: Printed by, 2018. Print.
Huggett, Jane, Ninya Mikhaila. The Tudor Child: Clothing and Culture 1485 to 1625. Lightwater UK: Fat Goose Press, 2013. Print.


I am Legend – (Netflix) B. I’m bothered that this remake eliminated the bit of the story that explains the title of the story. It’s still a good end of the world flick.. but the title doesn’t really mean anything without the original context.
I Am Mother – (Netflix) B. Another end of the world. A bit of a who done it coupled with a coming of age story. I’m bothered that none of the characters seemed to have names.
Then Came You – (Netflix) A. A break with the norm. A relational drama about the big “C”. I cried. Like big wallowing tears. It wasn’t pretty.
Good Omens (Amazon) A+. I’ve never read the book. I probably should. I loved this and will probably rewatch it a few times to catch everything. What if an angel and a demon were kind of mediocre at their jobs and not particularly good or bad and had a really great friendship? and what if one day they were supposed to kick off the apocalypse but instead they kind of flubbed it up accidentally on purpose?
Jessica Jones Season 3 (Netflix) – B. I’m a completionist. I can’t leave a season unwatched if it’s available. That said.. there wasn’t really much memorable about this last season. I hated Luke Cage’s beard and I really hate the way they ended this. Meh.
Always Be My Maybe (Netflix) – A. This felt real. It felt like I could bump into these characters walking down the street in San Francisco. Like these people have been at the next table over in a restaurant and we’re almost friends. It also felt very timely. The references to current popular apps is spot on. I suppose that means that this show has a very short shelf-life. If you’re at all familiar with East Coast/West Coast I highly recommend you watch it.
The Space Between Us (Netflix) – B. Fairly predictable, but had some cute moments. What if “Stranger In A Strange Land” kept the basic story (Martian comes to earth speaking truth and falls in love)but eliminated the magical wawa and ended in a very predictable love story type way?
Swiss Army Man (Netflix) – B. It’s really fitting that for the last line in the movie, someone mutters “What the fuck?”. Imagine Castaway (you know, with Tom Hanks) only instead of a volley ball we have Harry Potter’s flatulent corpse. I don’t even know what to think about this.

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