02 August 2013

Kirtle bodice drafting and adjustments

For the kirtle bodice, I pulled the basic shape of the pieces from my existing 15th c. cote pattern. I cut them directly onto the linen canvas I'm using for interlining, and basted that together as a muslin. After tightening up the fit in a couple places (the cote pattern is cut a little generously), I sketched in the basic neckline shape (square in front, V in back), leaving it a little high to be cut down and finalized on the actual garment. Once I was happy with it, I pulled out the basting and transferred the design to be kept as a pattern for later.

With that done, I cut copies of the pieces out of the outer fabric and started assembly (handsewing with black silk thread). The only difference between the interlining and the outer fabric is that the interlining has a wider extension at center front, to be turned back with a double fold to support eyelets, while the outer fabric will have only a single fold. I've also chosen to put all selvedge edges at the waist seam, which should give a very sturdy edge for attaching the skirts.

The picture here is after I've sewn side, back and shoulder seams, and has the adjusted neckline drawn in on the front. The angle on the corners is significantly sharper than what I initially sketched. And although it looks like there's a rise at center front, in practice that is stretched down around my bust, and appears flat and level. (Presumably, ladies with smaller busts would need a less severe adjustment, if any.) The back neckline also needs to be cut down to a slightly sharper V (about an inch lower than here, which is already lower than the initial design).

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