Donnerstag, 27. Januar 2011

14th Century Project: Kirtle and Cotehardie Prototype

Since showing in just your underwear in public was seen as somewhat vulgar for a woman we also need some kind of real clothing. The complete dress will consist of a kirtle and a cotehardie.

The pattern is from a book, so I can't post it here for copyright reasons. Unfortunately I had to rescale it first which a video projector would have made much easier, but alas, I have none so I had to resort to pencil and ruler. It's tedious work and took me some five days for just the front and back pieces.

The picture shows the prototype I've made for fitting because I'll need the same pattern at least three times. First for the kirtle and later for the cotehardie and lining which has the same basic pattern with different sleves and a changed neckline.
The prototype will allow me to make a more durable pattern than the tissue paper you usually use for copying and it will also allow me to do the fitting with an inexpensive type of fabric like cotton and avoid spoiling some of the 30 Euro per meter wool.

The props I pinned to the front are just my tools – pincushion, ruler and tape. I had to hang them up there to protect them from the cats.

Freitag, 21. Januar 2011

The 14th Century Project

A complete set of mid 14th century clothing for me and Julia is the goal of the project we started last December and hope to finish before June. So far we have finished a first set of undergarments.
These pieces here are all hand-sewn from linen, except for the woolen socks.

Women's underwear

The only attested kind of underwear for women is the chemise or smock. The pattern is very simple, based on the one found on

These things were called hosen. Women probably wore knee-high versions like these which are fastened with a kind of fingerloop braided garter just below the knee. I couldn't find the garters though, because cats think they are great toys.

Men's underwear

Men's undertunics are basically just shorter smocks. I used a pattern I made by myself inspired by an undertunic found in France.

The basic men's underweare in the Middle Ages were braies. They look a bit like boxer shorts when worn but since there have never been any findings no pattern is known to be authentic. I decided on using the so-called Thursfield pattern. Judging by some of the images from that time the looks are pretty convincing. Yes, the leg openings are at the sides and no, I cannot do a split.