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Linnen 'Armour' Jack Seams

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:46 pm
by Colin Middleton
I'm starting to plan a layered linnen jack (the armoured type) and I'm wondering how the seams on it might be put togeather.

The obvious way to make something like this would be to assemble it in pannels then but the pannels togeather and sew tightly. However this would then seam to leave a weak point in the garment.

Another possibility would be to assemble each layer seperately, then fasten the layers togeather as a complete garment. This would be tricky, but it was a specialised indusrty. My big concern here is that you'll be getting bulky seams as the fabric doubles up one way or another.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Anyone been able to examine a surviving jack?

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:40 pm
by matilda
I though that the seams would be weak if I did it that way - but I've oversewn with small stitches, close together, with double thread ( mine isn't very strong) and I've not had any breakages!

my panels aren't very thick though.

That way you don't get thick seams.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:27 pm
by seamsmistress
I've made several completely by hand. My method is
1 Quilt up through all layers on each panel [ make sure you cut them larger than the final size you want, quilting will reduce both length and width.
2. Lay your pattern piece to each panel and trim the inner layers to 1/8 smaller all round.
3. Fold the outer linen seam allowance over the inner layers and tack down.
4. Turn in the seam allowance on the inside so it sits just inside the folded edges. Slip stitch down with close small stitches.
5. Now join the panels using heavy waxed linen thread by overhanding. You can catch into the inner layers doing this, so the arming properties are kept consistant throughout. I do the outside first, then the inside - so 2 rows of joining per seam.

Good luck!

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:16 pm
by matilda
Originally I was going to oversew both inside and out, but once I'd done the outside I'd had enough!

thicker thread might have been better, buit its worked ok with thinner stuff doubled.

I was concerned that where the seams are there is less padding, but it seems to work OK....... If you oversew inside as well then I suppose that helps pull the inside in a bit.

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:44 pm
by Colin Middleton
Seamsmistress, I'm afraid that I don't unsderstand the technical terms for the stitches that you're using, but other than that, it sounds like what I'd planned to do. My concern isn't about the seam splitting in wear or about it lacking protection against a reenactment sword. I'm more trying to consider the inevitable MOP question about a weak point on the seam where a sword can enter without passing through all the protective layers of linnen.

Many thanks