Re: [SCA Newcomers] Pattern Links
> Anyone know of one where I can get patterns forGreetings!
> Rapier fighter
> clothes (hoods, vest, etc.)?
I, also, sew for a fencer and can offer some
First, I've never sewn a hood. These are sold by the
same places that sell masks usually, and I don't think
they're that expensive, so it may be easiest to
purchase one. They get sort of beat up (sweated
through, washed, sweated through - that sort of
thing), so you'll want to make sure if you do make it
that you make *every* seam as solid as you can so it
doesn't start to come apart. I'll ask around this
weekend to see if anyone has a hood pattern that is
online that I can point you to.
For armor, the rules will vary depending on your
kingdom, but in the Midrealm for adult fencers, armor
covering the underarms (I think to the elbow, but may
not need to be that long), chest to the groin and back
to below the kidneys must pass a "punch test", and the
legs and forearms must be covered with abrasion
resistant material (just about any pair of pants will
work as long as they cover all the skin). A punch
test is where they (literally) take a broken foil and
try to thrust it/poke it through the armor (obviously
while no one's wearing it!); they try *hard*.. they'd
rather the armor fail during the punch test then when
some mistakenly too-hard blow hits it on a person and
causes injury. So, for us, other than the rule that
it must pass a punch test and the areas that must be
covered, there are no set rules about patterns or
When I make armor for my lord, I usually take a
standard garb shirt pattern and add extra layers to
the underarm area. Usually, just a short "sleeve"
that gets sewn into the inside of the shirt. The
extra sleeve is made from at least two layers of
trigger or some other suitable tight woven fabric.
You're going to to want to use something that will
breathe, but it has to be tight woven or it won't pass
the punch test. You also need to be careful and fudge
a bit to make sure you don't make the arms too
constricting when you add the extra sleeves, so you
may want to make the shirt a little bigger than you
For the doublet, I take a regular doublet pattern and
add a few inches so you'll have room to add extra
fabric without restricting movement. Then I cut out
one layer for the outside of the doublet (the pretty
fabric *smile*), and "line" it with two layers of
trigger or something else tight woven. If you're
using a really tightly woven or thick outer layer, you
may only need one layer of lining - this will make the
doublet lighter and it will breathe better, but be
sure it will pass the punch test before you do that.
If you want to simulate a punch test to see if
something is likely to pass a punch test *before* you
go through all the bother of sewing it, you can take a
standard screwdriver and put a sample of the layers of
fabric on *soft* ground and try to drive the
screwdriver through the fabric as hard as you can (it
should be a hard thrust - a quick drive - not just
putting the screwdriver on the fabric and pushing
down). The fabric should not allow the blade of the
screwdriver to break through - even just a little bit!
This is all that's going to be between your child and
someone's blade so this isn't something to skimp
on!The screwdriver test is *not* a guarantee that the
fabric will pass a punch test, but if it makes it
through the screwdriver test, you can pr'bly be
reasonably confident that it will pass a punch test.
Also, once a garment is made, it's usually a good idea
to sew together a small patch of extra fabric composed
the same way the garment is made. That way they can
punch test the fabric without risk of damaging the
garment. Many people even go so far as to sew the
swatch into one of the seams so that the test swatch
will get washed and go through the same wear as the
garment because armor has to be retested periodically
Another option, and one that I'm very glad my lord
went with this year, is to buy a fencing jacket. I
know Triplett sells them in two weights, one heavier
and one made of a more expensive material that is much
lighter. You can get both with long or elbow length
sleeves, and they're worn underneath garb to fence in.
The jackets run from about $150 to $250 from what I
remember, but I may be off some. The jacket by itself
will pass a punch test, which means you can then just
make regular garb to wear over the jacket to fence in.
It's much easier on your sewing machine to not have
to continually try to sew through all that fabric, and
in the end, it's less expensive because you don't have
to buy three times the fabric for every doublet you
want to make for fencing. However, depending on the
age of your child, and depending on how much they're
likely to grow over the next several years, this may
not be the best option yet.. *smile*
Sorry to ramble! I'm off to catch a bus to make it to
Madison for the 30th Anniversary event this weekend.
If anyone is there and would to talk more about how to
make armor, feel free to come find me. I'll be near
the fencing field in a bright sky blue leine (think
t-tunic with long sleeves and going to the ankles).
Aine ingen MaelPatraic
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