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Sunday, January 10, 2010

First sewing project of the new year

I'm looking for new garb for Birka Market day at the end of January.  I'm going 9th Century Celtic.  This is a very basic garb, but a little more involved than the previous Chemise I've made.  I found 4 yards of a 60" wool blend in a fabulous deep crimson.  I will not use all of it but at $2.00 a yard I bought extra.

The basic garb is an under tunic or Kirtle of crimson that is a bit fitted through the chest, with an oval or keyhole shaped neckline and sleeves that are fitted at the wrist.  Traditionally another tunic would be worn underneath this one, made of linen and probably undyed, but I'm not going to bother with that.  If I decide to I have a few natural Chemises that I can use.  Over this a Brat (or tartan) is worn in several different ways.  It is just a length of material either 45" or 60" wide and about 2 to 3 yards long with a frayed end.

Let's start with the Kirtle.  I'm using a T-Tunic pattern.  With the 60" wide fabric I don't have to worry about adding gussets.  I also want it to be floor lenght.  Here are the measurements I used (I'm not noting the actual measurements because, well, I don't want to).

A. Lenght from shoulder to floor + 1 or 2 inches for hem
B. Lenght of shoulder to waist
C. Shoulder + 4" for seams and wiggle room
D. Chest + 4" for seams and wiggle room
E. Waist + 4" for seams and wiggle room
F. Hip + 4" for seams and wiggle room
G. Upper Arm + 4" for seams and wiggle room
H. Fist + 1" for seams
I.  Lenght of arm + 1" for hem
J.  Head + 2" for hem and wiggle room

1.  Measure a lenght of fabric 2xA long, cut and fold in half lenght wise.
2.  Fold that in half width wise and measure B from top fold.  Mark this at unfolded edges.
3.  If E is larger than D use that instead in this step.  Measure 1/4 D from unfolded edges in and mark.
4.  Cut from mark made in step 2 to mark made in step 3 on a bit of a curve and up to top fold.  Think of the way your body is shaped.  This is the waist to shoulder area.  Be careful if your shoulder measurement is larger than your chest.  You will need another mark and adjust.
5. Decide here if you are using a keyhole or oval neckline.  At the top where the folds meet cut an oval shape 1/4 J.

If you unfold this you will have a long rectangleish piece of fabric with a hole in the middle.

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