fabric amounts help

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JC Milwr
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fabric amounts help

Postby JC Milwr » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:32 am

I need to order some fabric, and am rubbish at estimating how much I need!

What kind of yardage would I need for what medieval tailors assistant calls a late medieval fitted gown (p162) in velvet for a lady size 10ish and 5'6"ish? I have no clue.

I also need to get velvet for a man's pleated gown, probably calf length with big sleeves for a bloke just under 6' with a waist of around 34".

Where do I start for getting cloth amounts?? Oh yes, the width of the cloth is 112cm

If I can order everything at the same time I order the <gulp> 12 metres I need for my wedding dress, I hope to get a discount!



PS Shadowcat, I'm hoping to use one ofthe velvet traders you sent me those lush samples of :)

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Postby sally » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:32 pm

I get my basic dresses out of 3m, and rarely need more than 5m of the typical wide modern width fabric for something fancier, If there are loads of gores or unusual shaping you can't cut as efficeintly so may need more, but I'm hazarding a guess that this fitted dress (I do have the book, but its at home or I'd have a look) would be heading towards the 5m region with plenty of scraps left from that for making other small items from. Treat that just as a ballpark figure though

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Postby Drachelis » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:39 pm

If its going to be made of velvet you need to be aware of the nap - it is very noticeable if a piece is going the wrong way because of the light catching it - it can make it almost a different colour.

I have the piccie from the book in front of me - 5 metres of 60 ins wide should do it unless you want a tgrain on it the allow another metre.

I see the cloth is only 112 wide thas about 42 ins - which may mean a differnce in cutting - cutting the bodice and front panels and then cutting gores to add fullness to the skirt. This may mean a couple more metres given the narrow cloth.

For a mans gowen you will need to allow enough for pleating - on 60 ins wide I would use 5metres - I would add on a couple more metresin order to get the big slleves as well.

Hope this helps

Shadowlight Designs

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Postby Tuppence » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:48 pm

Sally's right, you should be able to get a kirtle out of about 3m, but I think that's with gores in the skirt (much, much more economical than panel cutting).

Looking at this pattern, it's based on a std wool width of 150cm, and uses tthree times the length of the dress (apparently c 1.7m), and twice the length+train for the back (about 1.9m).
I'd normally allow c. 1m for the sleeves (which is actually overegging a bit, but allows for variation).

So that's what? 4.6m, so allow 5 for variation, which in a wool width is what I'd normally use for a kirtle, so all well and good (though it obviously depends how you wide you cut the bottom of the skirt

For a silk width, I'd allow probably an extra 3 - 4m (you'll be able to stagger some of the pattern pieces if there's no direction to the fabric). You'll also notice that you can't fit the back of the dress onto a single width, so the skirt will have to be pieced. (To do this, lay the pattern on the cloth as normal, and mark the pattern about a cm back from where it goes off the edge - then cut a triangular piece (adding seam allowance) to correspond - attach to the main part before making up and make up as normal.)

As for the coat - if the velvet is 140-150cm wide, then about 6 or 7m.
If it's a silk or velvet width (112 - 114cm), then you'll probably again need a good two or three metres extra, and depending on the length (it's cut sort of conically, so the longer it is, the wider the hem gets).

One of the best ways of working out the amount of fabric you'll need if you're not experienced, is to lay it out on the floor. mark the width with string or tape or something, then put the pattern pieces on top, and work out whether they'll fit, where piecing will be needed, whether you can stagger pieces, etc.... You can do a bit, then measure, then do another bit and measure, if you don't have that much space.

And always remember that if the pattern has a direction, (nap or pattern), you'll need more, cos you'll have to cut everything in the same direction. And patterns (fabrics) are a bit like wallpaper - the bigger the pattern the more wastage you get when matching it at the seams!!

Hope it helps, and that I've not been too confusing.

If you need anything clarifying, feel free to mail me


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Postby kate/bob » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:52 am

I made Ewen a gown from the tailor's assistant over the winter and used 5m of 54" or 60" wide. It depends how much you want in the bottom really and how wide you want the pleats to be!

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Fabric with direction

Postby Sophia » Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:06 pm

I got a fitted gown from same source for a 5'2" size 22'ish out of about 7m of Henry Bertrand silk brocatelle at 1.5m wide - it has a 3' train and I have lots of lovely pieces left for trimming things, etc.

The other half's gown took about 4.5m of same fabric, different colorway - as you can see he is not very tall though he has been working on his peascod (doubt I will need to pad him much if I ever do serious Tudor stuff).

In both cases I needed less for the lining and interlining as the linen was plain. Can't remember how much velvet got used as blue-black was an end and russet was off a much larger piece.

Layouts were roughed up on paper then placed on fabric for maximum economy.

I have made the same gown pattern for myself with a tight sleeve and a mini-train out of 3m of 60" fine wool - again with useful bits left over.

Flat fronted kirtles can be done with as little as 2m of 1.5m wide plain weave fabric as no sleeves and a layout you can play with. Also you don't have to line the skirt, though I would recommend it.

All the best,

230306 SH&PC 204c.gif
Photo of the relevant garments - can't help wanting to flash them about a bit

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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:22 am

thanks for the help, folks.
Himself has decided he wants brocade rather than velvet, so I just ordered the velvet for me and my brides-lady :)

That is the most terrifying amount I've ever spent on fabric. Mine is 12 metres, and I ordered 9 metres for her, both in silk velvet. I'm going to keep all the scraps and get my mum to make a patchwork something with them, so I don't feel bad if there's too much :)

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Postby Cream-T » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:49 pm

21 metres of silk velvet? I didn't know we needed a new awning... ;)

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