Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

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Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:02 pm

I need to make a new 8-panel kirtle, and have two large pieces of wool, but each one is not quite big enough for a whole kirtle.

What do people think of a parti-coloured kirtle in the late 15thC? I know they were around in the 14thC, but is WOTR too late?

Would it make any difference if was mi-parti (side to side), or if I cut the four side panels one colour, and the front and back another?

Thanks for any advice,

Mojo



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby lillicat23 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:41 am

I've often thought this myself - sometimes I have pieces of material left that just aren't big enough.
I've looked at paintings to see if anything was like this but have yet to find anything - have you considered making additional sleeves to pin on instead?



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:00 am

Thanks, but the sleeves aren't the problem, I've got some medium sized pieces for them, which will also cover the gores. It's the main panels of the dress that don't quite fit in what I have (grrr!). Do you know of any other sources I could check, or advice places I could ask?

Thanks



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Zachos » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:39 pm

www.Larsdatter.com is always a good place to go. Full of images of all sorts of things, usually dated as well.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby frances » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:10 pm

Don't know. However what I do know is that sources for having the gores one colour and the rest of the gown another colour are 'scarce'.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:18 am

You're right about the gores, that just looks odd, but I've enough pieces for gores and sleeves to match the dress. I'll examine the Larsdatter website again, but it seems to be 14thC so far. I think I may have to bite the bullet and save up for some new wool.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:15 am

No. Just no.

Unless you are making a gown, with a deep contrast hemguard and cuffs, but that is ver' posh.

Gored kirtles are also very, very early C15th and not WotR period.

If your fabric is 60" wide and you are 5' 6" or so, you can tesselate flared single pieces for the later kirtle pattern across the fabric very economically, more so if you are making a four panel kirtle. Follow the gore method on paper, but split your gores and take to each side of the squared original skirt panel. Make short sleeves, add pin on sleeves from different wool. Also remember that they should be slimmer-skirted than modern preference, which saves more fabric.

Modern people don't get this, but in periods when textiles were an expensive resource, panels were pieced to make fabric go further. If you can't afford to cut it on one, but nearly have enough, you just discretely jig-saw your fabric together - often to make up corners where the original fabric wasn't wide enough for requirement - until you can cut the one piece bodice from one large piece. Discrete diagonal additions must, however, match on and off the the grain or they will sag. Often hidden at the back and low down, you still see this as late as home-made New Look garments.

However had you considered a wool swap? Someone may have the amount you need in a colour they don't like but need smaller lengths to kit out a couple of kids or to do doublets.

Then everyone gets what they need and it is a useful lark.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:02 am

Thanks Alice, for all the advice. I knew that was probably the answer, but I had to ask greater minds than mind.

I've tried jiggly round the pieces, squaring off the main panels and making more, smaller, gores. Does that sound right?

It's helped, it's a lot closer, but still not quite there. What's your opinion on cutting the bodice and skirt panels seperatley (but the same cloth of course)? Some or all panels would have a waist seam, but that could be hidden by a belt. Thanks for your help.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:34 am

No, you'd be reverse engineering it away from common english mid to late C15th towards the Greenland Herjolfnes multi-gored finds which are late C14th - 1439 at latest, from an area which had little social/ trade political contact wiht England.

It is very easy to be distracted by copies of Scandowegian finds, Flemish stuff, well-researched patterns which confuse dates and construction details with what the English were wearing at a certain point: after all, parts of the world were very much less accessible than we assume today, so influences spread very slowly or not at all. Sleeveless kirtles with tied-on complete sleeves should be avoided except under certain rigourous / national / status conditions. You can buy C15th kirtle patterns with a centre front and centre back gore - but they also feature curved princess seams, which may well have provenance, but are so rarely depicted as being the exception to prove a rule: I've not seen one in period illustrations. You can also buy the right body shaping but with the wrong neck, illustated with the wrong headdress for English use - allsorts: but then I've not seen every period depiction on the planet.......The skill is knowing what may or may not apply so you can judge necessary adaptions well - but the more you find out, the more you question things!

SO, C15th Wars of the Roses period (nominally 1460 - 85): no skirt-gores on kirtles. Side gores on smocks, shirts, gowns, sometime on soldier cotes, but not on kirtles. (I have seen and put gores into C15th gowns and kirtles for small children - but then that is back to making the use of fabric - when a toddler grows, let down the hem, and add width - , for the same reason that the smocked-front short-sleeve dress with big hem tucks endures.) No waist seams - these are early tudor / Flemish. Piece the odd back seam at the waist if it ekes the fabric enough, but not all of them - dress was regulated by law and social custom and in past times it was more important to show you belonged , rather than branding yourself 'individual' as we do now.

Hopefully you are talking about pattern pieces, not actual cut fabric, becuase if you have already cut everything out, I 'm afraid you asked for advice too late. As a last ditch alternative, make it up well as C14th with gores, sell it to fund new fabric and start again.

If you haven't already got access to a copy I would strongly recommend getting a copy of Sarah Thursfield's Medieval Tailor's Assistant - making common garments from 1200 - 1500 (ISBN 0 903585 32 4) from the library which shows in clear steps how to make garments simply and well. You can request a transferred copy if they don't have it in stock. You will also see the development or garments and see why gores will mark you out very cleary as being 60 - 90 years out of date

Otherwise I have assumed you are starting with something like Sally Pointer's excellent (but C14th) pattern with a view of correcting it for the later period - easily done. http://sallypointer.com/costume-textile ... eval-dress. Based on which, you should split the seperate gores into two, and sellotape one half of each to the stright side of the square skirt panel to make a flared skirt -panel in the modern style. The armholes for this period are also shaped more like modern dressmaking patterns, although square under-arm gores still exist in early-pattern (so by now lower status) gowns, smocks, shirts, etc. The oval taken in between the breasts when fitting is critical and makes a big difference to fit.

Sorry about the essay, but I have to second-guess so much to try and offer useful info, but at least offering the 'don'ts' is safer than the 'do thises'. Stupidly it would only take two minutes to offer an appropriate fix if we were standing over the fabric! At the end of the day this is a broad-church hobby and I may be offering information more stringent than many groups require: but better safer than not.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Sophia » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:56 pm

If you need to piece you can however put a waist seam in each of your four panels - the flat piece should be the same. Can be useful if you are using an even weave cloth with no direction, just ensure that the bodice section is cut as woven as it carries the most stress.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:28 pm

Alice the Huswyf wrote:If you haven't already got access to a copy I would strongly recommend getting a copy of Sarah Thursfield's Medieval Tailor's Assistant - making common garments from 1200 - 1500 (ISBN 0 903585 32 4) from the library which shows in clear steps how to make garments simply and well. You can request a transferred copy if they don't have it in stock. You will also see the development or garments and see why gores will mark you out very cleary as being 60 - 90 years out of date


I'll second the recomendation for the MTA, but be careful when you read it not to just jump to the section that you want. There is a signficant ssection at the front of the book and at the beginning of each chapter that you need to read to really make sense of the instructions for individual garments. I read it cover to cover and suddenly all those patterns made so much more sense...

Best of luck.

Colin


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby lillicat23 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:51 pm

Highly recommend that book, I've spent months muddling along trying to cobble together what constitutes the right type of kit, and this book not only pulls all of that together but gives you all the information needed in order to get an authentically made outfit. The instructions are incredibly simple to understand and follow. I've just bought an epic amount of wool and linen to put this year's kit together - I'll upload some pics when they're done.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:25 pm

Also, if you do get stuck, she runs courses, either in here sewing room for one or two people to tackle specific difficulties, or she'll come to you and do a presentation to your group. See her website for details http://www.sarathursfield.com

Best of luck

Colin


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:14 pm

Thank you all for all your advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I still haven't cut the pieces, as now I'm a little afraid to!

I had no idea that gores were 'out'. The old pattern book I'm using is by a 'D Rushworth', which I picked up at Blackbird Leys many years ago. Cutting the kirtle with no gores is going to be more 'straight-up straight-down' than I'd like, as it's less flattering on an older, fuller figure.

I've requested that book from our library, but could I ask Alice one more question?

You say princess seams are out as well. I'm making this for a very very full busted friend of mine. How can achieve the shaping without princess seams or darts? You say I can still take the oval between the breasts, which will help, but I'm wondering what to do on the sides of the breasts, if I'm only cutting four panels instead of eight? I'm wondering if would be simpler and (more secure) to cut a very flat front, and have the dress lace up the back.

As you've guessed, I'm not an expert in sewing, I'm just doing a favour for a friend!

Thanks for your help.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:20 pm

It is very easy to picture past clothing as a static unchanging thing. But even though fashion roll-over was very much slower in the past (a look could take decades to filter down from court to field for all sorts of reasons) for vanity, tribal, geographical and even political reasons, each period breaks down into shorter periods of accepted clothing being dropped, a transition period, founding of new established style, with added defined signifiers of rank, profession or allegiance. Exactly as people project themselves nowadays by their choice of clothing. And as the early medieval, high medieval and late medieval periods cover aproximately 600 years of clothing....... that's why you can spot 300 years of clothing and several social statuses on one person who hasn't cottoned on to / bothers with that. Hence "medjeeval" clothing.

It is worth the finding out, is interesting, and - as Colin M has already said - you will pick up the basics from Sarah Thursfield's book if you sit down and read the whole thing first. The rest comes from further reading and curiosity and you will never be fully up to date becuase academic research uncovers new facts which cause the rethinking of all sorts of aspects of domestic history.

Back lacing denotes that you are of status (ie that you are dressed by another person).

Kirtle do not shape the figure, but contain the figure. So you are not looking at fitting (in the modern sense) but definition of the underlying figure becuase Kirtles were also worn daily and in all humidities, so effectively stretched and shrank to fit the bumps and hollows of the figure . It works better than you would think with a natural breastline - and we have done this for all sizes and ages.

But if she is going to wear a bra, all bets are off for all sorts of reasons (I am not opening that can of worms here).

Kirtles gape becuase they are incorrectly laced or eyeletted. You want offset eyelets to allow spiral lacing. And lots and lots and lots and lots of eyelets.

I made my first kirtle from the old Dave rushworth pattern. It made a great 1450's round-gown. Use Sally Pointer's pattern - except where she cuts separate triangular gores (add half the gore base width to the bottom of each side of your bodice hem block and taper the width away to a point at the waist height, producing four, flared bodice pieces).

ALWAYS MAKE A TOILE - or practice run from an old duvet or sheet fitted to your wearer - FIRST. Make your mistakes on the polycotton toile, carry out your fitting adjustments and patterns tweaks on the poly cotton, take apart and use it as your pattern when you cut out your good wool. This avoids waste, nerves and produces the best fit. And keep the toile pieces for the next time you need to run one up.

And, all joking aside, I really would pre-shrink all fabrics - especially wools - by washing before making up. It would be a huge pity to squeeze a garment out of your slightly-too-little fabric and have it shrink in size when worn on the first damp day.

It's not hard to get into a self-doubting cycle when you come across new information. Just go for it. How kind of you to run something up for her.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:35 am

And fashion of the tiem is not dictated by the young but by the court.
If Franco-Flemish styles are in favour because of policy making in Westminster those trickle down the social ladder. BUT SLOWLY, so at the "edges" of the country fashions may not recognisably alter for decades (with the result that it is possible to spot country bumpkins beacuse of their old fashioned clothes). On the other hand people living in busy ports such as London, Bristol, Southampton get exposed to all kinds of regional and "national" styles. It was easy for mobs to pick out and beat French, Flemish, Iberian, Irish, Lombard merchants and students because of the way they dressed. Even clerical costumes were ever so slightly different in Brittany and Burgaundy.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:43 am

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their generous help and advice.

I went with Dave Rusworth 8 panel princess line dress in the end, as I'd made my toile to that pattern, and my friend lives 300 miles away so I can't easily make another. But I'm leaving out the gores as recommended.

Thanks again.



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:51 pm

Just double check that the skirt width at 7" below the waistline is larger than your friend's hip measurement at the same point. If not , flare the skirt panel slightly more: remember that you only need to add a small amount to add a much larger overall amount. (For instance, adding as little as a 1/4" allowance when cutting out or sewing a seam equals a half inch in wear - as you have added that 1/4" to two panels - so adding 1/4" to four seams will generate 2" wearing ease.)


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Wed May 22, 2013 2:50 pm

Hi Aliceet al,

Sorry to be a bother but I'm looking for one more piece of advice. I now need to add long sleeves to the kirtle(!). I thought I might make them as seperate sleeves that attach, as I think that's authentic.

Can I attach them with points? I've seen pins used for women's sleeves, but I know men's costume uses points, and frankly I can make points but I can't make pins. Is there any reason not to use discreet points?

Thanks



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Wed May 22, 2013 3:02 pm

......because points aren't correct until later. Pins in vertically, in and out in and out.
Points can be bought from several traders by post -

Annie the Pedlar - state C15th suitable required
Lucy the Tudor can probably help
Kay Rouse

Various others will doubtless recommend various others


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Wed May 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Thanks, I've contacted Kay about getting some more pins. But drat, why did my friend have to ask now for oversleeves!

Quick thought, could these be a different colour if she wanted them so?

Thanks



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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Wed May 22, 2013 9:50 pm

Different colour - different thickness all fine.


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Re: Parti coloured kirtle in WOTR. Yes or no?

Postby MojosBigStick » Fri May 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Thank you, now I can use up some of the smaller pieces.

Thanks again.




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