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I have here a tunic fitting a Norseman of my acquaintance, to use as a pattern for a tunic that I am going to make in trade for some armor. This tunic has modern-cut set-in sleeves and the body piece flares out in a kind of A-line from shoulder to hem. I haven't done a lot of research on Norse or other early period costuming, but from what I've absorbed I'm pretty sure this isn't right.

To make my (hopefully better) tunic, I took a bunch of measurements of the existing tunic: shoulder to shoulder, shoulder to hem, width of tunic at hem, length of sleeves, width of sleeves. My plan is to have a tunic consisting of a long central body piece with no shoulder seams, a gore consisting of back to back triangles on each side, an underarm gusset, and a sleeve piece. Each of these pieces is shaped like a rectangle or square (the gores are rectangles cut diagonally). I'll worry about the neckline later.

My fabric came from the stash - it is a black wool blend that has been through the washer and dryer. As a non-fiber arts person I have a very imperfect understanding of whether this means it has been fulled, or felted, or whether a treatment like this is appropriate for a Norse garment. Since fabric rips on the straight grain (unless, apparently, you are Blue) I was able to get most of the pieces cut out simply by measuring off the appropriate size of rectangle and ripping. The only more complicated cut was the gores, which I ripped first, then marked the diagonal using a straight edge and a piece of chalk before cutting.

After examining the stitch types at Archaeological Sewing (hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] rectangularcat), I am going to go with a single-fold hemstitch on each piece with an overcast stitch to join the seams. If I have time, I will also add the running stitch on the folded over edges, as in figure 10. The stitching thread will be a white wool.

No pictures, because all you'd be looking at right now would be rectangles of black wool.
cat_cetera: (Default)
Earlier today I had some success at the fabric store - I got some navy blue wool and some olive green brocade for some camping garb, and some black wool and some black 100% mixed fibres for a camping coat (gown), since the purple velvet gown is warm enough for camping but not very practical.

In the afternoon I sewed together the mock up Viking under dress I had cut out earlier. The result was ambiguous - when I tried it on I ended up ripping the back panel to halfway down the shoulder, although then it fit fine and didn't bind under the arms. Skye also tried it on (post rip) and it seemed to fit her okay as well. Unfortunately neither of us is the eventual wearer of the garment, so it's hard to tell from this whether it will fit the intended recipient. I think I will redo the mockup with slightly wider front and back panels before arranging the fitting.

This evening will be Polyphonia Test Kitchen time - we are going to try to make some orange rice pudding. More updates later!

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May 2011

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