Historical Clothing Creation!

Anyone who’s met me, has probably met me due to my involvement with the Society of Creative Anachronism. It’s a living history group that’s a lot of fun. Now, during these Plague times, we haven’t been doing the things we usually do, but that just means we all have a ton of time to make all of the things we enjoy.

It’s a group where you get dressed up in a reasonable facsimile of clothing from between the dawn of man and 1603. And by reasonable, it’s supposed to mean that if you take a bedsheet and make it into a tunic and wear some scrub or pj pants, it works. 🙂 there are people who work towards as absolutely accurate as possible, but most people settle in to a comfortable blend of modern comfort and historical adequacy.

Since discovering how much I enjoy hand-sewing, making my own clothing (Called in SCA speak ‘garb’) for the SCA is going pretty well. I’ve finished 4 items of clothing and plan on quite a few more, to revamp my look.

I used to portray a 16th century noblewoman (Time of Henry VIII) but now I’m seriously working on doing more 13th and 14th century (a century after the Norman Conquest). It’s simpler, cooler as our summers are getting hot, and easier on me for hand sewing.  It also takes much less fabric (from ~10-15 yards to ~5-6) and stores in a much smaller space, so I don’t feel as guilty making new garments!

I was using the pattern I reviewed Here, in 2012. The pattern is Simplicity 2621. The underdress pattern, with a couple modifications, works really well for just about any time frame. All you have to do for more accuracy is change the gores from attaching at the underarm gusset, to attaching about waist level, and add a triangular gore in the center front (about belly button height) and center back (just above your buttcrack), and it’s super functional. Oh, and CHANGE THE NECKLINE. Bring it onto your shoulders by at least an inch, and gently (or steeply, they did show off cleavage back in the day) scoop the neck into a circle.

I say I was using it. I separate patterns with multiple garments into Manilla envelopes with the pattern number, and which garment it is…. and I *&#$(!* lost the envelope with this pattern. It’s somewhere around here, but I’m tired of tearing the house up looking.

So I took a finished garment, measured it and added an inch, and recreated the pattern. I’m testing it with a cheap cotton sheet from Mall-Wart, and when it’s done, if it works, I’ll just use it as an undergarment. This also gave me the chance I was… avoiding.. to make the sleeve shape a bit different since my arms are pretty much one diameter from armpit to elbow, and those sleeves were very tapered. It made them MUCH tighter on my upper arms than I’m comfortable with…

When I’m done, I’ll definitely add pictures somewhere on here. I may even recreate my old project page. Not sure now.


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