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RE: [SCA Newcomers] Houppelande/kirtle

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  • Elizabeth Walpole
    ... From: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ladyellen2 Sent: Thursday, 26 March 2009 3:05 AM To:
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 25 8:23 PM
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of ladyellen2
      Sent: Thursday, 26 March 2009 3:05 AM
      To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Houppelande/kirtle

      I want to do a houppelande and kirtle for my next garb. I have done
      'renaissance faire general' before, and want to get a bit more authentic.
      Can anyone recommend patterns/fabric to use? Generally available commercial
      will work best with my, admittedly small, budget. Also, I am in northern
      Il, and it can get HOT in the summer. I am hoping for something
      non-restricting and moderately cool; although I have worn velvet in 105 deg
      heat index. Don't really want to repeat it. A good chemise pattern would be
      helpful as well. I have made chemises before along the lines of square x4
      and sew them together style. I'm hoping for something a little more
      authentic. No period/country specified, as all of these were worn in
      several countries for many years. Also, the houppelande belt...what
      commercial type is good, or would one made of the fabric itself be better?
      Thank you so much in advance.

      Patti...still working on the name
      Ravenslake shire, middle kingdom

      So starting from the skin and working our way out, your first layer is a
      chemise, the Elizabethan Smock pattern generator is the easiest option
      there http://www.elizabethancostume.net/smockpat/ (don't worry about the
      name Elizabethan, chemises (AKA smock on English) retained the same basic
      cut from early in SCA period to the mid 19th century) the only change I
      would make to that pattern is the neckline, you need to cut it to suit the
      neckline of what you're wearing over the top, I usually start with a T
      shaped cut just large enough to get it over my head and then I put the
      dress over the top and draw around the dress' neckline with chalk or pencil
      and then cut along that line that way you won't have chemise showing where
      it shouldn't or not protecting your clothing completely (the purpose of a
      chemise is to protect your fancier clothing from your sweat and body oils
      because it is much easier to wash a chemise than a gown) fabrics for this
      layer would be a lightweight white linen in period, but you can substitute
      cotton if you want.
      Burda has a really good pattern for a 14th-15th century cote/kirtle #7977
      the two major issues you will probably want to change for a more authentic
      cut are the skirt gores (to distribute the fullness evenly I would use 4
      gores, one each at centre front, centre back and the side seams, (for
      practical reasons I would cut the front panel as 2 pieces and lace it up
      the front, but cutting it on the fold is a period plausible alternative)
      the other major issue that needs to be changed is the sleeve, it is a
      modern pattern with a seam underneath the arm, where sleeves of this period
      had a seam down the back of the arm, you will need to either take your
      sleeve from another pattern (though sleeves with seams down the back of the
      arm can be hard to find) or you can move the seam yourself, using the
      instructions in this article
      http://magpiecostumer.110mb.com/Tudor/sleeve.htm The other modification you
      may have to make depending on what style of houpellande you want to wear
      over this is the neckline, you may find it is too high and doesn't match
      the neckline of the gown you want to put over the top. You will also need
      to fit your kirtle much more closely than the pattern is designed for,
      follow the instructions on La cotte simple http://www.cottesimple.com/ to
      make it a proper bust supporting kirtle. For your kirtle the easiest
      fabrics to work with are linen and wool, if you're concerned about heat I
      would go with linen.
      On to the Houpellande, the best site I know of with instructions to make an
      early-mid 15th century houpellande is Cynthia Virtue's page
      http://www.virtue.to/articles/circle_houp.html (she also has articles on
      headwear for the same era) for the houpellande heavy weight fabrics were
      generally used, such as wool, velvet, or brocade they usually had a fur
      lining (although you can fake a full lining by just putting fur, whether
      it's real or fake, in areas that will be seen when you're wearing it, e.g.
      collars, open sleeves etc.) you're going to have to compromise on authentic
      construction to deal with a level of heat that the people who wore the
      original gowns didn't have to experience. For the belt either leather or a
      stiff fabric belt would be suitable, as long as it matches the level of
      ostentation of the rest of the dress (e.g. it might look a bit odd to have a
      plain leather belt when your gown is made of very fancy brocade)
      This is just a general guideline, if you can find a specific image you want
      to recreate (there are a few nice images here
      http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/sca/15th/ ) it becomes easier to give specific
      Elizabeth Walpole | Elizabeth Beaumont
      Canberra, Australia | Politarchopolis, Lochac
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