Jul. 12th, 2009 10:31 pm
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After much procrastination, the trunk hose are finally finished! The last step was putting the lacing holes in at the fly and on the canions. In Janet Arnold, the Grimsthorpe trunk hose (pp 74-77) have two pairs of lacing holes at the front - one on the waistband and one about halfway down the fly opening. The other two pairs fasten with a button fly and with a combination of hooks and eyes and lacing holes. I had previously made a pair of trunk hose that had eyelet holes in the same positioning as the Grimsthorpe ones, and was not completely satisfied with the way they looked when closed, so I did a row of seven lacing holes down each side of the fly and laced them up using spiral lacing with a bar tack at the top and bottom. There is no evidence in Janet Arnold for canions that open at the back (on the Grimsthorpe pair there is a note that the canions may have opened at the side) - this is an adaptation I had to make when a previous pair didn't fit properly, and I used it again because it allows me to tighten the fit of the canions once they are on.

Front lacing of fly:
Front lacing of trunk hose

Lacing holes - front detail. I use four strands of thread at a time and buttonhole stitch. All of the lacing holes I saw in Janet Arnold just use straight stitch. The lacing holes in Textiles and Clothing 1150 to 1450 show the buttonhole edge of the buttonhole stitch to the inside of the hole, not the outside as I have done here.
Lacing holes - front detail

Lacing holes - back detail.
Lacing holes - back detail

I model the trunk hose. Today they were a bit loose at the waist but my waist measurement seems to fluctuate quite a lot. They are supposed to be laced to the bottom of the doublet to hold them up, and at some point I may get around to making the necessary lacing holes for that. However, I have found that in order to leave enough play to move around, sit down etc. while having the two pieces laced together, there is so much slack in the lacings that the hose end up being held up by the waistband anyway.
Trunk hose

Back view of the trunk hose. My socks cover the canions. From the pictures, they seem to have been worn both ways (canions inside or outside hose).
Trunk hose - back view

The full suit, consisting of trunk hose and previously finished doublet.
Navy suit - doublet and trunk hose

The doublet will eventually have sleeves that lace on under the shoulder wings, but first I have to do some retrofitting on my shirts. Earlier in my costuming career I visited the Museum of Costume in Bath and made a few detailed sketches of a shirt that was on display there, then came back and made my own shirt based on the embroidery pattern and what I could see of the construction. I have now decided to make a number of changes based on the patterns in the new Janet Arnold and my experiences wearing the shirt.

The sleeves of the shirt are much too long and voluminous to fit under late Elizabethan fitted sleeves.
Shirt sleeve - before

In addition, the collar and cuffs are finished with box pleats. I can't quite remember why I decided to do it that way, but having now studied the way the collar and cuffs are finished in the various shirts in the new Janet Arnold, and decided that starched and set ruffs are a good deal more work than I want to do on a regular basis, I have decided to do a collar and cuffs that will be "falling band" style. Although this style became more popular after 1600, there are a number of portraits from 1580 on (especially by Hilliard) that show this style. I decided to use shirts 12 and 13 from Janet Arnold as my main guidelines.

The first step was to take the sleeves and collar off the body of the shirt, and to take the cuffs off the sleeves. I then used a mundane dress shirt that fits well in the sleeves to determine the length to cut the sleeves down to. The mundane shirt was 23.5" from sleeve cap to bottom of cuff, so I added in a little extra to come to 25". The next step was to cut the sleeves down to the width I wanted. For once Bjar the Blue's usually incomprehensible (to me) preoccupation with gathering ratios worked in my favour because I was able to tell from the patterns for shirts 12 and 13 that the ratio of sleeve to cuff was about 2 to 1. Using my existing cuffs as a guide, I sewed the sleeves shut at the new width and then cut off the extra. I learned in the process that my sewing scissors could use a good sharpening!

Shirts 12 and 13 both have square gussets under the arm. Since my new sleeves were only barely wide enough to fit under the arm, I needed to add square gussets as well. The size of the square was the same as the total width of the fabric I removed from the sleeves (for this shirt, about 6").

I opened the top of the sleeve seam longer than the length of the gusset, then sewed in one side of the gusset. Earlier I had been sewing by machine but for this step I switched to hand sewing, since I find it easier to work with gussets by hand:
Gusset - side 1

Two sides of the gusset sewn to the underarm seam of the sleeve. To conserve fabric I am using the pieces I cut off of the sleeves to add in the gussets.
Gusset - side 1 and 2

Right side of sleeve, showing gusset sewn in:
Gusset and sleeve

I sewed the sleeve with gusset back in to the armhole of the body of the shirt to check the fit. It does fit, so now I'll be repeating the same process with the other sleeve.
Shirt sleeve - after

After the sleeves are sewn in, I'll add the cuffs and collar. I'm hoping to reuse all of the embroidery I cut off, as well as most of the fabric. I'll use the embroidery cut off the bottom of the sleeves as the wristband, with unembroidered fabric for the cuffs. I am hoping to use the pieces of embroidery cut off the excess width of the sleeves for the collar, but am not quite sure how I am going to piece them together yet. I may also do a little bit of new embroidery - Janet Arnold shows a closed blanket stitch in figure XIV which has a triangular shape that will go well with the existing embroidery. I am also going to add lace around the edges of the cuffs and collar and the neck and sleeve openings. I have a couple of options - the same silver faux-needle lace that I used to edge my nightcap, or a white machine lace. I think that the silver looks more period, but the white will be less scratchy and more likely to survive trips through the washing machine and dryer.
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