17 October 2006

Kampfrau gown - initial mock-up

Originally uploaded by Catrijn.

I'm starting a new project: a Kampfrau gown in green with black guards, to look very much like this one. I'll be using Reconstructing History's pattern for 1520s German Commonwoman's Gowns, which is unusual for me (I typically draft my own). I picked the colors based on what I have enough leftover yardage of, but I thnk the scheme will work. I just need to remember not to go with green next time I buy for a big project so that I don't end up too monochromatic ^_^

So far, I've made and fitted a muslin mock-up for the main bodice pieces (shown above - back on the left and front on the right). The pieces were traced directly from the pattern; the solid pink lines mark my new cutting lines. It's worth noting that the front piece is about an inch long than the back piece at the side seam - this is on purpose and the pieces should be eased to fit, but the directions don't actually mention that. I ended up losing the ease in the course of multiple pinnings and adjustments, which is why I needed to trim off much more on the front than the back. Although in the end it looks like I just worked the side seam in symmetrically, the intermediate stages looked a lot less similar to the original pieces. I've thought about trying to draft the ease back in before cutting my main fabric, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. I do wish the pattern had marked an underbust adjustment point (rather than just chest and waist at the top and bottom corners) - that would have saved me a lot of grief in drawing out the initial pattern. I should have known better, since I'm fairly familiar with the 15th c. supportive styles, but you need a snug fit in the ribcage in order to get some support from a gown, and I just wasn't going to get that from the straight-edged pieces that I started with. Fortunately, the straps and neckline seem to work for me without adjustment.

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