Thursday, 8 June 2017

A 14th century cotehardie

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I would sew him a fitted cotehardie. Well actually he asks me to sew plenty of things for him, but this one I actually did. He had already bought Reconstructing History's men's cotehardie pattern about a month beforehand, and had the fabric (calico lining and off white herringbone weave cotton for the outer) so on an organised "making day" at his house, while others worked on archery related projects, I measured him up and got to work.

He fell almost spot on in the size chart for the 38 inch chest, but his waist measured for the size above, so I cut the calico lining out based on those sizes, although I needn't have worried about the waist, as we ended up taking the waistline in quite a bit to make the cotehardie well fitted through there. Once I pinned the pieces together and he him try it on, I took in about 1/2 an inch at the waistline at the back and both side seams. I also trimmed almost an inch off the shoulders, as they were sticking quite far off. Based on the measurement of his upper arm, I cut out the next size up for the sleeves, but found they were still a bit too small for him, so cut them out again, another size up, and adding extra width at the fore arm and wrist, and about 2 inches extra length.

Once I was happy with the fit of the lining, I then cut out the outer pieces, and only just had enough fabric, with very little wastage. The construction was very simple once the fit was sorted out, as we were only making the shorter version (so no gores to deal with) so it was just the shoulder and side seams of the bodice, then sewing around the outside of the lining and outer, then turning right side out, pressing, sewing the sleeves together, then to the bodice. Then all that was left to do was the hand worked eyelets and to hand sew the turning hole closed.

I got about half the eyelets done by the time I called it a night (I had been working on it at home that evening) but then finished them up in the car ride to Blacktown Medieval fayre the next day, and my friend then wore it while we were there, and we were both super happy with the look and fit of it. 

While overall the pattern was quite good, and included a couple of pages of research into the cotehardie at the beginning of the pattern, and I did like that it didn't have massive amounts of ease (except maybe in the waist) like some patterns, there were a couple of things that could have been better. On each pattern piece, the size is only marked on the line in one place, and all the lines are the same plain black line (no differing colours, weights or dashes/dots) which made it difficult for my friend to follow which line he was supposed to cut (yes, I'm mean and made him cut out the paper pattern) However, I did like how they explained how to fit the pattern, and think most of the instructions are quite good for beginners.


No comments:

Post a Comment