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14th c. Buttons: Which side to put them on?

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  • equigal_99
    Greetings, I am new to this list and beg your forgiveness, all, for so quickly imposing upon you all with a question that s bugging me. I am about to finish a
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 27 3:28 PM
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      Greetings,
      I am new to this list and beg your forgiveness, all, for so quickly
      imposing upon you all with a question that's bugging me.

      I am about to finish a circa 1360's aketon/gambeson/arming coat
      (OMG! There are sooooo many terms)....but I'm stumped about what
      side to put the buttons on! Outside Left or outside right?

      Wait, no, don't laugh. It's a real dilemma! :-)

      I am female and I joust competitively outside the SCA as a female,
      mid-14th c. English personna (I'm a member of the IJA). However, as
      it was totally unlikely there was ever a female jouster in period,
      I've accepted that I must cross dress (which is much harder than you
      might think....Ahem) as a man.

      What would you do? Wear buttons on the modernly accepted "girl's
      side" or "boy's side" or is there a tradition in period that I'm
      missing?

      Many thanks,

      Ariadne in Caid
    • Adele de Maisieres
      ... The idea that the buttons should go on one side or the other based on the gender of the wearer is a fairly recent one. Put the buttons on the side that
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 27 3:51 PM
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        equigal_99 wrote:

        >What would you do? Wear buttons on the modernly accepted "girl's
        >side" or "boy's side" or is there a tradition in period that I'm
        >missing?
        >
        >
        The idea that the buttons should go on one side or the other based on
        the gender of the wearer is a fairly recent one. Put the buttons on the
        side that works best for you.


        --
        Adele de Maisieres

        -----------------------------
        Habeo metrum - musicamque,
        hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
        -Georgeus Gershwinus
        -----------------------------
      • Jessica
        If it helps, the reason that a woman s buttons are Right over Left is because of the way that most women dressed. Women were usually buttoned in by someone
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 27 5:24 PM
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          If it helps, the reason that a woman's buttons are Right over Left is
          because of the way that most women dressed. Women were usually buttoned in
          by someone else, such as a dressing maid. In order for it to be easier for
          the maid to button the clothing, it would be buttoned opposite to that of a
          man, who would button his own clothing. Since men's clothing is buttoned
          with the Left side over the Right side, women's clothing is buttoned Right
          side over Left side.



          A great way to remember is that "women are always Right, and men are Left
          over." ;-)



          If you are dressing as a man, you would clothe yourself as a man would -
          with the buttons Left over Right.



          Findabhair



          _____

          From: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com]
          On Behalf Of equigal_99
          Sent: March 27, 2006 4:28 PM
          To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Authentic_SCA] 14th c. Buttons: Which side to put them on?


          What would you do? Wear buttons on the modernly accepted "girl's
          side" or "boy's side" or is there a tradition in period that I'm
          missing?

          Many thanks,

          Ariadne in Caid



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Adele de Maisieres
          ... Actually, probably not true. ... I don t believe there is any evidence that that was standard in the 14th century.
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 27 5:44 PM
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            Jessica wrote:

            >If it helps, the reason that a woman's buttons are Right over Left is
            >because of the way that most women dressed. Women were usually buttoned in
            >by someone else, such as a dressing maid.
            >
            Actually, probably not true.

            >
            >If you are dressing as a man, you would clothe yourself as a man would -
            >with the buttons Left over Right.
            >
            >

            I don't believe there is any evidence that that was "standard" in the
            14th century.

            http://www.mycustomclothing.com/customtailor/Why_Do_Men_Button_Left_Over_Right_And_Women_Right_Over_Left.htm


            --
            Adele de Maisieres

            -----------------------------
            Habeo metrum - musicamque,
            hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
            -Georgeus Gershwinus
            -----------------------------
          • Katherine Throckmorton
            ... The current research suggests that the custom of putting buttons on different sides for men and women dates to the early 20th century and is probobly an
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 27 6:54 PM
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              Ariadne wrote:

              >
              > I am about to finish a circa 1360's aketon/gambeson/arming coat
              > (OMG! There are sooooo many terms)....but I'm stumped about what
              > side to put the buttons on! Outside Left or outside right?


              The current research suggests that the custom of putting buttons on different sides for men and women dates to the early 20th century and is probobly an indirect result of the need to distinguish men's shirts from women's shirtwaists.

              Garments made earlier in the 19th century tend to have the buttons on the right side, button holes on the left for both sexes. The exceptions to the rule do not seem to be affected by the gender of the garment.
              A quick flip through _Patterns of Fashion_ reveals the same pattern as seen in 19th century garments. I don't have any sources on hand that would be directly relevant to your period, but my best guess is that 14th century garments, whether for men or women fastened "Left over" most of the time, with scattered exceptions relating to the handedness of the wearer or the whim of the tailor.

              -Katherine
              Darth Vader: No disintegrations.
              Boba Fett: As you wish...
              That was all he ever said. What Vader never realized was that when Boba said "As you wish" what he was really saying was, "I love you."


              --
              _______________________________________________

              Search for businesses by name, location, or phone number. -Lycos Yellow Pages

              http://r.lycos.com/r/yp_emailfooter/http://yellowpages.lycos.com/default.asp?SRC=lycos10
            • Eric Atkinson
              While I can t back it with a historical reference, I can state that from a purely practile point of view, Left over Right tends to keep you from getting the
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 28 1:26 PM
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                While I can't back it with a historical reference, I can state that from a
                purely practile point of view, Left over Right tends to keep you from
                getting the pommel of your sword caught in the opening as you cross draw,
                with the right hand. A left handed friend of mine is constantly getting
                either the pommel or the quillions caught in that opening. It would only
                have to happen once before I addressed this problem to my tailor.

                Countrary to this idea, is a portrait (national gallery London) of a
                lefthanded gentleman from the 16th century with the doublet still crossed
                left over right. So I could be very wrong about it being a matter of
                practicality. Again I have no documentation for this it is merely a matter
                of practicality.
                Eric
              • lilinah@earthlink.net
                ... Urk. The standardization of where buttons should be, and the distinguishing of men s side and women s side is an artifact of the Industrial Revolution -
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 28 4:24 PM
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                  "Jessica" <noinini@...> wrote:
                  >If it helps, the reason that a woman's buttons are Right over Left is
                  >because of the way that most women dressed. Women were usually buttoned in
                  >by someone else, such as a dressing maid. In order for it to be easier for
                  >the maid to button the clothing, it would be buttoned opposite to that of a
                  >man, who would button his own clothing. Since men's clothing is buttoned
                  >with the Left side over the Right side, women's clothing is buttoned Right
                  >side over Left side.
                  >
                  >A great way to remember is that "women are always Right, and men are Left
                  >over." ;-)
                  >
                  >If you are dressing as a man, you would clothe yourself as a man would -
                  >with the buttons Left over Right.

                  Urk.

                  The standardization of where buttons should be, and the
                  distinguishing of "men's side"and "women's side"is an artifact of the
                  "Industrial Revolution"- particularly from the very late 19th century
                  as more and more clothing was mass produced rather than custom made.

                  Most of the stories about why there was this distinction are from the
                  1920s and later and have little to do with the real reason.
                  --
                  Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
                  the persona formerly known as Anahita
                • Apollonia Voss
                  I ve been hoarding a 2nd hand fur coat for 6 years for just the right project. It s becoming the lining of a Russian hat and trimming for a mantle. After all
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 28 5:20 PM
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                    I've been hoarding a 2nd hand fur coat for > 6 years for
                    just the right project. It's becoming the lining of a
                    Russian hat and trimming for a mantle.

                    After all of your input, I've decided to trim the collar
                    and front opening of my 14th century style, wool mantle in
                    the fur from this coat instead of embroidering etc.

                    More than likely, I'll line the interior with a lighter
                    weight wool. I simply do not have enough fur to line the
                    whole thing.

                    Anyway, has anyone ever sewn with fur? This will be a new
                    experience for me. Is there anything I need to watch out
                    for?

                    Thanks,

                    ~A
                    Lady Apollonia Voss
                    East Kingdom
                    apolloniavoss@...
                    www.jewelryhistorian.com
                    userweb.suscom.net/~apolloniavoss/
                  • NINacide@aol.com
                    I ve sewn fur. You ll either need a heavy duty sewing machine that says it can sew leather, or you ll need an S shaped leather needle. It s good for
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 28 6:03 PM
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                      I've sewn fur. You'll either need a heavy duty sewing machine that says it
                      can sew leather, or you'll need an S shaped leather needle. It's good for
                      leather because it is sturdy and you can put your thumb in just the right spot
                      to press the point through the leather. You'll also want some sort of thick
                      thread. I use some synthetic stuff that is used for bundling wire, and it's
                      found at the real electronic stores. You might not be able to find that
                      stuff, but look for thick and sturdy thread. Also, if done right, the fur will
                      cover up the stitches and no one will be able to see the thread once the fur
                      is fluffed around them.

                      Mikhail (you should see my furry cloak) Baltsky


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • HL Damiana la Roja
                      ... Well, sewing with fur can take a few extra steps, but the look is worth it. Some of this may seem like obvious things, but I m writing it all, because I
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 28 7:46 PM
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                        On 3/28/06, Apollonia Voss <apolloniavoss@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Anyway, has anyone ever sewn with fur? This will be a new
                        > experience for me. Is there anything I need to watch out
                        > for?
                        >


                        Well, sewing with fur can take a few extra steps, but the look is worth it.
                        Some of this may seem like obvious things, but I'm writing it all, because I
                        never assume what people know. These are general steps to take when sewing
                        anything with fur.

                        - First, look at the right side and note what direction the fur naturally
                        lays. This is important because you want to ensure you lay your pattern
                        pieces so the fur falls the same way.

                        - I recommend using weights instead of pins with any pattern peices. Fur is
                        thicker and pins will get losts in it and tend to distort your pattern.
                        (unopened tuna cans work well if you don't have fabric weights) Once your
                        pattern is laid, mark your pattern directly onto the wrong side of the
                        fur. If you have to cut two, then flip the paper pattern over and retrace.

                        - Use a razor to cut just the back, not the fur. This will prevent the fur
                        exploding all over the room. If you haven't got a craft razor/knife, you can
                        use the very tips of scissors to cut...carefully. Once it's cut, gently pull
                        the pieces apart, keeping the fur intact.

                        - You can sew with a straight seam or zig zag, though the fur does a better
                        job of hiding a zig zag. Some furs do better than others, depending on the
                        length of the fur. Once your pieces are sewn, you can use a comb to gently
                        pull any strands of fur caught in the seams.

                        Have fun!

                        Damiana




                        --
                        Doña Damiana la Roja, AoA, JdL, GdS, Order of the Golden Galleon, Order of
                        the Gilded Dinghy
                        Formerly known as HL Irina Barinova
                        aka TooLee, Poultry Dodger Extraordinaire


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Jan C. Lane
                        Ariadne, I d put the buttons oh whichever side will make it easier for you to fasten. Personally, I don t worry about it and have been know to put buttons on
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 29 6:32 AM
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                          Ariadne,

                          I'd put the buttons oh whichever side will make it easier for you to fasten.
                          Personally, I don't worry about it and have been know to put buttons on the
                          "wrong" side. *grin*

                          Happy garbing,

                          Jannifer aka Jan
                        • Kammy Chinnock
                          MODERATOR NOTE - PLEASE TRIM YOUR POSTS. ... Your Ladyship; I appreciate your notes on sewing with fur. I have the fur cut for Late Tudor sleeves, and have
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 29 7:10 AM
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                            MODERATOR NOTE - PLEASE TRIM YOUR POSTS.
                            -----Original Message-----

                            Your Ladyship;

                            I appreciate your notes on sewing with fur. I have the fur cut for Late
                            Tudor sleeves, and have been trying to figure out how to best attach it. I
                            was considering using my serger, since you say that a zigzag works well, I
                            feel a bit better with that decision.

                            Anne Cameron, AoA, OTAT
                            Barony of Caer Galen
                            Kingdom of the Outlands
                          • equigal_99
                            My thanks to everyone who responded to my question about what side to place buttons on my new arming coat. Wow! This list is a veritable mine of wonderful
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 17, 2006
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                              My thanks to everyone who responded to my question about what side to
                              place buttons on my new arming coat. Wow! This list is a veritable
                              mine of wonderful people, information and resources. I honestly had
                              no idea there would be as much information as was sent to me either
                              privately or posted on the list.

                              As it seems there is no evidence for a specific custom in 14th
                              century English dress, and "whim" of wearer or tailor was
                              documented...I've decided to stick to having buttons on the left and
                              the holes on the right...I have a stiff left wrist due to some recent
                              surgery (no, not jousting related!) and it's just easier for me this
                              way round.

                              Again, many thanks for the terrific advice and documentation.

                              ~ariadne

                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                              > >
                              > > I am about to finish a circa 1360's aketon/gambeson/arming coat
                              > > (OMG! There are sooooo many terms)....but I'm stumped about what
                              > > side to put the buttons on! Outside Left or outside right?
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