Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SCA garb

My big project right now -- or at least the project with a deadline -- is to make another set of SCA garb.  (The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international medieval re-enactment group.) There’s a dance event coming up and I decided one morning that I wanted a new dress for it.  Shortly thereafter I found myself at Jo-Ann’s (I needed wire and a few other things) and discovered some pretty blue cheap Jo-Ann cotton.  
I needed a pattern: I wanted to make one of those sleeveless dresses with a long open oval down the side, so that your arm goes through and then the dress is open down the side to about the waist.  This dress is worn over another dress with long sleeves (most medieval clothing is in layers).  I found a pattern, figured out how much fabric I needed, picked up some trim, and then everything sat on the dining table for a while.
I looked at the pattern some more and decided that I didn’t want to make it.  I’d rather make another t-tunic, and figured I could modify the t-tunic to look like the kind of dress I wanted.  
T-tunics are very basic SCAdian garb, and have good historical documentation.  They are made out of rectangles and triangles: a very long rectangle for the front and back, with a notched neckhole cut out, rectangles for the sleeves (tapered if you want a fitted sleeve), four triangles for the gussets (pieces that go under the sleeve where it attaches to the body), and six triangles (two twice the size of each of the other four) for the gores.  The gores give the dress (or tunic, depending on the length) an impressively full skirt out of a minimum of fabric.  I made a green t-tunic in the fall: just over a four yard hem out of five yards of fabric.
There's a set of instructions over on the SCA's homepage that I use for my t-tunics.  It isn't a pattern so much as an explanation of how to apply your measurements to the various pieces.  Aside from not explaining how to lay out the pieces in your yardage, and not giving detailed instructions on how to do the front and back gores (handsew it and do it first!), it's a fairly straightforward set of directions.  But since I'd made two of these in the fall (since most medieval garb is in layers), I was familiar with the process.
The next delay was until I had time to actually mark out the pieces for the underdress and cut them out, but from there it’s gone smoothly and quickly: I got everything marked, cut out, and mostly sewn together that day.  Progress slowed yesterday when I started hemming the neck by hand.
There’s still a bit of work for the underdress, and then it’s time for the blue dress.  It should be simpler since I’m not making sleeves, but I’ve never added trim to a dress before, and I’ll need to shape the side ovals properly.

This is the fabric for the underdress all laid out and ready to cut ... or at least it was laid out and ready to cut when I left ....

No comments:

Post a Comment