02 January 2015

Getting the ball rolling on the red overgown

Red overgown first pass fitting
Red overgown first pass fitting
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
The continental 1490's project has been languishing while I searched high and low for a lining fabric. I wanted something white or off-white, heavy enough to not be sheer, in natural fibers, preferably wool, priced such that I could afford to do a full lining. This was not to be. Plan B is to embrace the medieval mindset and work with what I have. I'm going to interline with white linen, and then fake a richer lining of wool flannel at all the edges.

That decision gave me enough information to move forward. My primary fabric is a luscious red wool twill, in 2 remnants of 2 yards each. To maximize that limited resource, I cut pieces as I knew what shapes I needed, trying to leave the most usable yardage as I went. The bodice is cut from my kirtle pattern, with a bit of ease added but without the extra for folding into a strong lacing opening. This layer shouldn't be under stress, so that reinforcement isn't needed. In the back, I stopped it at the waist, just like the kirtle, but in the front I extended it all the way to the hem to remove the front waist seam. That seam still exists in the interlining, though, since I wanted to transition from heavier linen in the bodice to lightweight linen in the skirt. The photo shows this rather unusual construction order - I plan to draft the sleeves next, leaving the skirt back for absolute last, since that will be a simple rectangle, as big as I can make it at that point.

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