Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Stepping back to the 15th Century

So, I've been planning to make some medieval kit for AGES, probably about 2 years now. I had already made a medieval hood and a 'rabbit-ear' coif, but I didn't really like wearing my Tudor peasant kit and pretending it was medieval. Well, anyway, I went into town just the other day with a friend and we bought some fabric - I needed to get some to make some tie on sleeves for my Tudor underkirtle (more on that another time!) but at the same time, I fell in love with some lovely blue wool that was the colour I had intended to use for medieval. We returned to the shop later and I bought the blue wool plus some other wool for peasant kirtle/under kirtle.

When we got home, we started making a pattern for the kirtle. I used my old pattern for when I first made my Tudor peasant bodice (before it was adjusted) and traced round it and altered it. The alterations that had to be made was that on medieval kirtles, there are 2 seams down the front (and back) of the kirtle. The kirtle is made up of 6 panels.

Once this was done, we cut out a toile from an old bed sheet and pinned it together and tried it on (it's advised to leave underwear on when fitting a toile for a medieval kirtle as it will help with the support when the kirtle is made). The toile didn't quite fit - the side panels needed to be a bit bigger. The new toile fitted fine. Then my friend helped adjust the pins so it was as tight as possible. I had to lift myself up as the original angle under the bust was too sharp and not curved. I have to say, I never knew that some cotton fabric and some pins could give so much support!

One of the side seams was penciled before removing the pins so I could take it off. After that then lines were drawn where the pins were before removing those. I cut along the lines and removed what seam allowance there was. The fabric pieces were then drawn around onto large sheets of paper and we added a 1" seam as I prefer working with larger seams and then cutting them down. We flared the bottom edge of the pattern out as a guideline for the skirt (there is no paper pattern for the skirt, is drawn onto the fabric when the bodice pattern is pinned on).

Front and front side panel.

Back and back side panel.

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