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1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:50 pm
by Lou Winter
Hello everyone!

As you see, I'm entirely new to this forum and the reenactment hobby, so please forgive me if I don't understand something right away :-). (By the way: is there a place here where new members can introduce themselves?).

I'd like to reenact a townswoman, living in London, in the last third of the 14th century, around 1380 or so.
I thought that perhaps a middle class women would be the best idea for the start, not very rich, but also by no means poor.

I figured out that I'd need the following garments for this, and I have a couple of questions for nearly every one of them:

1. A chemise made out of linen, rather tight-fitting, with long arms and reaching to the floor.
2. A kyrtle made out of wool, tight-fitting at the upper body, then a rather voluminous skirt. To make this skirt, you use triangles of cloth sewn into it, right? How many of those triangles should I use, and which size should they have?
3. Some sort of a veil or other head-covering made out of fine linen. Is the St. Brigitta's cap suitable for the middle class or is it only worn in the lower classes? Can I use embroidery on the edges of the veil? If yes, could you recommend motives? Are frilled veils already a thing in the late 14th century?

Have I gotten this right so far?

Those would be the absolute basics (well, and shoes, but I think I'll buy the shoes and not make them by myself like the rest of the outfit). Then, later, when the basics are done, I'd also need a (sideless?) surcoat, a mantle, a belt, and various small things such as a bag and whatsoever, but I'd like to focus on the basics first and then add other things.

Have you found any faults in my list so far? Do you have some tips for me? All help is appreciated :-).

Thanks for your help!
Lou

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:16 pm
by Thalion
Hi! And Welcome to the forums.

All of your questions can be answered by one simple holy text of re-enactors called "The Tailor's Assistant", it covers all clothing from 1200 - 1500. [mod][link removed for legal reasons][/mod](Somehow I found this in five seconds, why did I pay for it when I can just get the PDF?). I'd also recommend you affiliate yourself with a group, there's alot out there; especially for Living History. And for shoes, do not go for the cheapest, look for a good solid pair, that'll last years. You can try your hand at shoes, they aren't that hard, just a harder material to puncture with a needle. If you need material suppliers, go for proper suppliers, such as Herts Fabrics or Bernie the bolt. Don't buy your material from the high street as they often don't know what they're talking about, or have an un-authentic blend.

Regards,
Thalion.

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:30 pm
by Lou Winter
Thank you so, so much! I searched for something like that for such a long time! I'm going to buy some cloth soon-I'll certainly check out the recommended shops- and then, I'll make myself a nice outfit, I already picked out the clothes I'm going to make.
Thanks!

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:27 pm
by John Waller
Thalion wrote:Hi! And Welcome to the forums.

All of your questions can be answered by one simple holy text of re-enactors called "The Tailor's Assistant", it covers all clothing from 1200 - 1500. [mod][link removed for legal reasons][/mod](Somehow I found this in five seconds, why did I pay for it when I can just get the PDF?). I'd also recommend you affiliate yourself with a group, there's alot out there; especially for Living History. And for shoes, do not go for the cheapest, look for a good solid pair, that'll last years. You can try your hand at shoes, they aren't that hard, just a harder material to puncture with a needle. If you need material suppliers, go for proper suppliers, such as Herts Fabrics or Bernie the bolt. Don't buy your material from the high street as they often don't know what they're talking about, or have an un-authentic blend.

Regards,
Thalion.
possibly a breach of copyright going on here?

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:33 am
by Thalion
Hi,

John Waller wrote:possibly a breach of copyright going on here?


Not really, it's from their website, and I think it was designed as free source, I just paid for a physical form of it. Speaking of copyright, have you seen those rip-off booklets floating around TORM? I swear they contain the same information, and are sold on for around £7

Regards,
Thalion.

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:10 am
by bilbobaglin
possibly a breach of copyright going on here?

Massive breach of copyright. This intellectual property belongs to Sarah Thursfield (http://www.sarahthursfield.com) as far as I know not some random polish website. You do not pay £7 for the hard copy, if you are you are paying some third party who has pirated the book, the equivalent of knock off dvds down the market in in the bad old days, or downloading music etc from some random website. It is one of the best resources in the business and you should read it but I believe you should also respect a fellow re-enactor's hard work and research. You will pay £30ish for the hard copy at Amazon or £20 for a download version from http://www.crowood.com/eBooks.asp?/Medieval+Tailor%27s+Assistant/&bid=9781847975836, but you aren't paying that for just paper and ink (or pixels) you are paying for 30+ years of experience.

I have no interest in this (although I do, as most of us I'm sure do) know Sarah Thursfield to say hello to at events. It's just a question of what is right.

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:09 pm
by guthrie
What Bilbobaglin said.
There was supposed to be a new, updated version out late last year, but I don't know what has happened to it, I'll have to find out.
The research in the original version was done in the 1990's, and is out of date. Not enough that it is still totally useless in my opinion, but there are lots of things about where and how to fasten dresses or their precise cut which took a long time to work out from the limited evidence.

In the meantime there are some blogs and other resources online which will make a few things clearer.
For instance this blog has some useful posts about making dresses and suchlike for the late 14th century:
http://deventerburgerscap.blogspot.co.u ... -rock.html

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:31 pm
by guthrie
Well, Sarah isn't so fussed about the pirate edition, since at least it helps assure her fame, but would prefer people to buy a copy of the new edition when it comes out in Easter, publisher permitting.

Re: 1380 townswoman-help needed!

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:41 pm
by frances
I suggest that you repost your query on the costume part of this forum, adding a link to this discussion. You will get a lot more advice there from people who specialise in what you want to do.