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Monday, May 14, 2007

Dressing up

One of the things our local hs group does is have a medieval day. Last year was the first time we'd experienced it, and had no real idea what to expect. It was such fun! A lot of people, both kids and adults, dressed up in medieval clothes, and brought medieval-ish food and drink. There was a penny market for the kids, and so much more. Eldest missed it, feeling ill that day, but youngest and I made it.

This year, I wanted to get more involved and when I happened to get my hands on a large amount of light upholstery fabric, all sorts of ideas came to mind. Originally, I thought to make a cloak for myself. Then I thought to make a medieval dress of some kind (fabrics from the time period were a lot thicker and courser than today's, so the upholstery fabric was ideal for that), but eventually settled on making a cotehardie for Eldest with it. A cotehardie is a sort of outer dress worn by women, over a lighter kirtle, but under the surcoat. I made a pattern using instructions from Medieval Celebrations. I've since picked up more fabric - much lighter, but still rather heavy - for Youngest, and will be making one for her, too.

Here's the finished cotehardie for Eldest. The trim is in dark green drapery fabric, and the belt (which isn't finished - I'll be doing something to the ends, but haven't decided what, yet) is simply dark green cord, though a belt typical of the period would've been about 2 inches wide.

I made a few changes from the instructions in the book. I made the sleeve openings larger, so that I wouldn't need to add a gusset. I also added a piece to the neckline, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. Rather than fold the curved edge under to hem it, I sewed an extra piece of cloth, right sides together, all around the neck edge, then flipped it wrong sides together, stitching it in place, to make a nice, smooth edge that won't roll or flip. I'd considered covering it with the contrasting trim color instead, like the sleeve and bottom hems, but decided against it. Eldest also asked to have the sleeves made longer, hiding her hands completely.

This cotehardie also has a gore on each side, adding to the fullness of the skirt portion (a gore or train can be added to the back, too, but we chose not to). I won't be adding gores to the one I'm making for Youngest. It'll be wide enough on its own. Hers is going to be a deep, bright red. I don't know that I will bother with trim for hers. I don't think it'll need it. We'll see.

Cotehardies were also typically lined, but that's another step I'm skipping. I saw no need to include a lining.

Eldest is really happy with how it turned out. :-)

1 comment:

The Travelers Journal said...

Love it! I can't wait to see youngest too! When is the medieval day? Sounds like fun. I do miss things like this with a group. We grew out of our last one group and our fine arts group is just that only fine arts. Have a great time!