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Re: [SCA Newcomers] Pattern Links

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  • Aine ingen MaelPatraic
    ... Greetings! I, also, sew for a fencer and can offer some suggestions. First, I ve never sewn a hood. These are sold by the same places that sell masks
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 26, 2002
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      > Anyone know of one where I can get patterns for
      > 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
      normally would.

      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
      for safety.

      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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