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9476Irish Gaelic & kids clothing (was: Garb Sale)

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  • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
    Jan 5, 2007
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      Maeve de Chesne wrote:
      > I Have a need for idea styles for Celtic Irish garb from the mid 13th
      > century.. . .

      The term you're looking for is "Irish Gaelic". ("Celtic" is a
      scholarly term referring to a number of archaeological sites with
      similar material culture, all of which significantly predate the 13th

      Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of sources for Ireland for this
      period. The best online article on Irish clothing in general of which
      I'm aware is Finnacan Dub's "Early Gaelic Dress: An Introduction"
      Its focus is on the Viking Age, but much of the text will apply to
      your period, as well, as will the resources (especially the two books
      to which he refers most). I'd recommend you start there.

      Reconstructing History's "Your First
      s=&c=8&d=141&e=&f=&g=&a=126&w=2> offers a pattern for a basic,
      authentically-constructed, medieval tunic. It's what I use for my
      léinte, and similar garments are shown in illustrations from elsewhere
      in Europe during the 13th century (like the Maciejowski Bible
      <http://www.keesn.nl/mac/mac_en.htm>). It's a plausible choice for
      your period (i.e., culture, location, and era). It's also easy to
      make, economical of fabric, and easy to "dress up" with embellishments
      like embroidery and trim.

      > I also would like suggestions for material that doesn't cost a
      > fortune. I have three children and they grow so fast!

      Ah, but they start so small! I use my son as a "fashion doll" to try
      out patterns before I cut fabric to make garments for his (much, much,
      much larger) father--and, to a high degree, for me, since the basic
      tunic applies to both of us. (Mine's just longer.) It gives me the
      chance to see how the fabric I've chosen will drape, how bulky the
      seams will be, etc. in time to make adjustments to my plan before I
      start the bigger (but otherwise identical) projects. He only recently
      got big enough that I need more than one yard of fabric to make him a
      tunic. (He's a middling-to-large 9-year-old. Huzzah for parsimonious
      period construction techniques!) If my image of how something will
      work is way off and I mis-cut on that scale, I've wasted a LOT less
      money than if I mis-cut on a "grown-up" scale.

      Tunics like the one at Reconstructing History also lend themselves very
      well to height and weight adjustments for kids. The basic approach is
      this: Make the child's tunic long and loose, with slightly long
      sleeves, and belt it up. (You'll have seen, at the Maciejowski link
      above, that that was a popular way for members of both sexes to wear
      them.) The tunic will gradually become shorter and more gradually
      become tighter (most kids gaining height more quickly than they gain
      girth). There'll be less and less to belt up out of the way, and less
      blousing, from one event to the next. After a year to a year and a
      half, it'll be fitted enough and short enough to signal a need for
      replacement. My son's shooting up like a magic beanstalk, and it's
      just now time to replace the tunic I made him before our big October
      event in 2005.

      As to the question of expense: The first tunic I made for my boy was
      done in wool--the most authentic choice for outerwear for your period
      as well as ours. It only cost a couple of dollars, because the fabric
      was a remnant I bought on e-Bay. (Another advantage to the small scale
      of children's clothing.) The others have been linen, as a concession
      to the heat. (I haven't been able to find tropical-weight wool at a
      price I'm willing to pay, yet, and anything heavier is just too heavy
      for the Southern Region of Ansteorra, unless it's mid-winter and we're
      having an unusual cold snap.) I don't think I've ever used more than
      five dollars' worth of material on any of them. (Paying about $6.00/yd
      for linen at <http://www.fabrics-store.com/>.) He's only worn each a
      few times, since we've only attended our barony's local events so far,
      but even so, his SCA clothes, made in plausible period fabrics, are the
      probably the least expensive he owns. Even when he's worn pants (which
      is, from an authenticity standpoint, completely optional for our
      period) or hose (which I made him once when we needed to dress to suit
      the theme of an event set some centuries after our period and in
      another country), the total's never come close to $10 an outfit. (If
      you have boys and want pants, the Regia Anglorum site
      <http://www.regia.org/members/basclot5d.htm> has instructions you can
      use to make reasonable ones. If you'd prefer to go with hose like the
      ones in the Maciejowski Bible there's an article at
      <http://www.randyasplund.com/browse/medieval/chausse1.html> that may
      help.) Wool tunics would run a little more, but with careful shopping,
      not too much. And if you use the same fabric for your kids that you
      use for yourself, depending on the width you have and the width you
      need for your pieces, you might not have to spend anything at all on
      the kids' tunics. My son's second tunic was made from the "leftovers"
      of the fabric I used to make one for his father.

      Good luck finding what you need, and kudos on wanting to do it well
      right from the start, especially for your kids. (So many people don't

      Coblaith Mhuimhneach
      Barony of Bryn Gwlad
      Kingdom of Ansteorra
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