1360s/70s noble couple

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Panth
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:40 pm

1360s/70s noble couple

Postby Panth » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:20 pm

Hello!

I'm looking to make some 'noble'/'upperclass' costumes (one for me, one for my partner) focused around the 1360s/70s mark. Something rather like the fancy clothing in http://roseandchess.lib.uchicago.edu/ (e.g. the woman in red and the man in white with particoloured hose being led by the angel on page 20).

I was wondering if anyone had any particular hints/tips/advice?

I've got 'The Medieval Tailor's Assistant', the London 'Textiles and Clothing' book, the London 'Dress Accessories' book and 'Woven into the Earth'. I've helped measure/cut/pin/tack at least half a dozen costumes (gents' and ladies') for other members of our re-enactment group. However, I've not done anything quite so fancy or as fitted as this before. Ideally, I'd like it to be as authentic, but also as nice, as is possible (within budget) since they're primarily for our wedding but then for re-enactment afterwards if/when we want to be a bit fancy...

Key issues are:
- fit of the dress - I'm going to have to have some sort of compression going on (either via breast binding, compressive shift or compressive dress) as I'm a FF right now... anyone have any tips on this? I know it is possible to get a nice fit since this blogger has similar issues yet seems to have the shape pretty ok http://www.neulakko.net/?p=1020
- fitting with minimal assistance - any hints?
- lining - yes/no? we've sourced some beautiful worsted wool and also some nice fine linens; heat is not necessarily a problem as I get cold easily all year round - so, from a fit/drape and an authenticity perspective, yes or no?
- gent's hose - I'm presuming they're still split hose in this era, just are cut to go pretty high around the hip - is that right or do I have the nightmare of joined hose to contend with? Also, are they still pointed to the braies girdle or to the tunic/cotehardie/whatever-you-want-to-call-it?
- gent's tunic/cotehardie/whatever - The Medieval Tailor's Assistant suggests interlining; I have a source for linen canvas - so, yea or nay for this garment at this date? Anyone tried it before?
- decorations - English/French images seem to be quite plain; however, Italian paintings (which are, yes, totally different fashion, but far more detailed) show fancy fabric, embroidery, etc.; the London Textiles book records fancy patterned silks; however, is there any evidence for other decorations in English fashion of this time? I've seen some effigies that seem to have embroidery ... or is it just me misinterpreting things? http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/robert_braunche/image/3820/original/

EDIT: Just to say I'm aware that there's no real right answer here and 'authentic' is a rather fuzzy sort of concept, particularly for this era seeing as we have so little extant evidence left. I'm mostly just looking for other people's interpretations of how to do things, any additional information (especially literary!) that anyone might have and any hints/tips based on experience with this era of costuming. It's far too easy to get wrapped up in one's own interpretation and miss things.



The sempster
Posts: 30
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby The sempster » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:48 pm

Hello Pantha,
first of all I wish you all the best for your enterprise :-) I made the wedding garments for my husband and myself, we got married in late 14th century outfits, and I really enjoyed making the garments.
I have tried to attach two photos, one of our wedding photos, and a picture of as at Bodiam in our 1370s garments.
Most important question: have you got someone who can help you with fitting a body block? (See MTA :-) ) Once you have the block you can make your own fitted garments, but I found it impossible to try and pin myself into one. I'm similar in size to you, and I noticed the same as you and Elina, even with a push-up version of a tightly fitted dress it looks more minimized than when wearing modern bras.
I started out with making my kirtles (first layer of dress after the shift) in linen because I wanted the stability of the material to keep everything where I wanted it to be :-) but I am now making them out of worsted, as that seems to have been more typical for England in the 14th century, and it works fine. Just make sure you check the fit several times before you sew it all down. The outer garment I normally use wool, except for my wedding dress, which is silk.
The picture in the Roman de la Rose shows a tight-fitting garment with the white tippets/streamers on what I assume are half length sleeves. Is that what you want to make? I used a linen dress under the silk. Mine was inspired by the 1390 italian Tacuinum Sanitatis, that's why it has the long wide sleeves.
Panth wrote:- lining - yes/no? we've sourced some beautiful worsted wool and also some nice fine linens; heat is not necessarily a problem as I get cold easily all year round - so, from a fit/drape and an authenticity perspective, yes or no?

I find an unlined kirtle gives a much better shape, and it is a nightmare to try and fit several layers together around a rather curvy shape. Lining the outer garment: yes with wool or fur for warmth, or some posh and beautiful material for show (I know, fur is also for show :) ). Lining made of linen will counteract the warmth of the wool, so from a practical point of view that doesn't really make sense to me, if I wanted it cooler I could either not line it at all, or make it from a lighter material. I did line my first overkirtle with linen, and it doesn't give much warmth on a cool summer evening, even less on a cool autumn day...
Unlined wool flows beautifully around the body, especially the skirts.
Panth wrote:- gent's hose - I'm presuming they're still split hose in this era, just are cut to go pretty high around the hip - is that right or do I have the nightmare of joined hose to contend with? Also, are they still pointed to the braies girdle or to the tunic/cotehardie/whatever-you-want-to-call-it?

If I managed to upload the Bodiam picture you can see that my husband is wearing a cotehardie, with a long doublet underneath (reaches to the top of the leg almost) and single leg multi-pointed hose which is pointed all the way round to the doublet. That looks fairly similar to the outfit in the Roman de la Rose. Pointing all the way round gives a better fit on the upper leg, which is quite visible in a cotehardie. The cotehardie was made from fairly thick and stiff wool, so no interlining needed, but the doublet was interlined, and with a thinner material I would put an interlining in the cotehardie as well. That's my version of that look, I am sure there are many other possibilities on how to achieve it
Panth wrote:- decorations - English/French images seem to be quite plain; however, Italian paintings (which are, yes, totally different fashion, but far more detailed) show fancy fabric, embroidery, etc.; the London Textiles book records fancy patterned silks; however, is there any evidence for other decorations in English fashion of this time? I've seen some effigies that seem to have embroidery ... or is it just me misinterpreting things? http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments ... /original/
.
I have been wondering about that effigy as well, it does look like a simple decorative stitch around the edges. I haven't found much else that supports embroidery on clothing, alas, except a lot of "embellishments" being depicted on long hoods (the ones that have the long cape covering the shoulder, as in the effigy).
With regard to more books, you have got the basic books that I keep going back to, if you want more information on specific things, I'll see if I can send you a list of what my bookshelves contain for the 14th century :-)
If you have any questions you're welcome to PM me
Best wishes

Christine
Attachments
Bodiumcompressed.JPG
our first version of a 1370 outfit
FullFormalcompressed.jpg
1390s wedding outfit



Panth
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby Panth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:03 am

Thank you for your detailed reply! I'll put the answers here in case they help others understand what I'm up to. However, I shall definitely PM you if I have any particular questions.

The sempster wrote:Most important question: have you got someone who can help you with fitting a body block? (See MTA :-) ) Once you have the block you can make your own fitted garments, but I found it impossible to try and pin myself into one. I'm similar in size to you, and I noticed the same as you and Elina, even with a push-up version of a tightly fitted dress it looks more minimized than when wearing modern bras.


I could get someone to help with the body block. I guess that is going to be the best option. I've previously fitted dresses/tunics just from the older rectangular forms by pinning in - so, kinda like doing a body block, just doing it in the real fabric (or in the lining) straight off without making the body block toile first. I guess that method is probably rather too risky for this project, particularly when sewing mostly alone.

The sempster wrote:I started out with making my kirtles (first layer of dress after the shift) in linen because I wanted the stability of the material to keep everything where I wanted it to be :-) but I am now making them out of worsted, as that seems to have been more typical for England in the 14th century, and it works fine. Just make sure you check the fit several times before you sew it all down. The outer garment I normally use wool, except for my wedding dress, which is silk.


Mmm. I was going to go for wool since I'm unconvinced about the whole coloured linen fabric issue. I have a source for a very nice worsted, though its probably too fine for anything but lining. Anyway, I got the impression from the London Textiles book that worsteds/twills were out and fulled tabby ('broadcloth') was in by the second half of the C14th. I was probably going to go for a fine fulled tabby - it should, at least, be very stable and sturdy.

The sempster wrote:The picture in the Roman de la Rose shows a tight-fitting garment with the white tippets/streamers on what I assume are half length sleeves. Is that what you want to make? I used a linen dress under the silk. Mine was inspired by the 1390 italian Tacuinum Sanitatis, that's why it has the long wide sleeves.


Yeah, I have to admit I'm currently undecided about the second dress layer. My other half is almost certainly being correct and having one since he rather wants a silky doublet like Robert Braunche's effigy, just with the cotehardie/second layer being of the shorter, younger mans' style in the Roman de la Rose. I'm going rather plainer and so am not sure about bothering with two layers, at least for the wedding which is hardly going to be crazy-authentic. If I did have the second layer I'd have half-length sleeves with tippets. I'm pretty convinced on the whole integral tippet argument, though I'm not convinced it's the only way (e.g. the Roman de la Rose pictures, plus other manuscript pictures, could be lazy drawing or could be pin-on tippets).

The sempster wrote:I find an unlined kirtle gives a much better shape, and it is a nightmare to try and fit several layers together around a rather curvy shape. Lining the outer garment: yes with wool or fur for warmth, or some posh and beautiful material for show (I know, fur is also for show :) ). Lining made of linen will counteract the warmth of the wool, so from a practical point of view that doesn't really make sense to me, if I wanted it cooler I could either not line it at all, or make it from a lighter material. I did line my first overkirtle with linen, and it doesn't give much warmth on a cool summer evening, even less on a cool autumn day...
Unlined wool flows beautifully around the body, especially the skirts.


As far as lining goes, I was considering it partly for the neat tidy look and partly for added stability, particularly in the bodice area of the kirtle. It would probably be the worsted since its too lovely not to use for *something*. I was thinking flat lining instead of bag lining, which is pretty easy no matter what the shape of the pattern pieces - easier still if you make a body block and make a pattern from there instead of 'body blocking' with the real fabric.

You say you didn't line your kirtle. How about your cotehardie/second dress? How about the gents' stuff?

The sempster wrote:If I managed to upload the Bodiam picture you can see that my husband is wearing a cotehardie, with a long doublet underneath (reaches to the top of the leg almost) and single leg multi-pointed hose which is pointed all the way round to the doublet. That looks fairly similar to the outfit in the Roman de la Rose. Pointing all the way round gives a better fit on the upper leg, which is quite visible in a cotehardie. The cotehardie was made from fairly thick and stiff wool, so no interlining needed, but the doublet was interlined, and with a thinner material I would put an interlining in the cotehardie as well. That's my version of that look, I am sure there are many other possibilities on how to achieve it


Ok, so basically split hose that are edging towards the joined shape. I *think* I can fudge that... Do your hose points tie somehow on the inside of the doublet or do they go though the doublet and tie on the outside? Just thinking cause all of the illustrations show a very smooth silhouette with no pointing visible (although most of them are probably showing the second dress layer, not the doublet). I think I might have to accost someone who does C15th and see how hose/doublet pointing works.

As for interlining, I was considering it for the doublet only - it would make totally the wrong shape on the dresses and the gent's cotehardie wouldn't need it (unless the fabric was v. fine) if it had the smooth support of the doublet beneath. I guess interlining and/or padding could explain the weird pieces of fabric in the London book that have the rows and rows of running stitch. Also, isn't Charles le Blois' pourpoint padded?

The sempster wrote:With regard to more books, you have got the basic books that I keep going back to, if you want more information on specific things, I'll see if I can send you a list of what my bookshelves contain for the 14th century :-)


Ok, one last question since you mention books - 'Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince' - in your opinion is it worth getting? I've been meaning to for ages but have held off on account of it being rumoured to be terribly dry and hard-going. If that's the case, I'd rather buy a different reference book that I can dip into more easily.



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EnglishArcher
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby EnglishArcher » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:44 am

Ok, so basically split hose that are edging towards the joined shape. I *think* I can fudge that... Do your hose points tie somehow on the inside of the doublet or do they go though the doublet and tie on the outside? Just thinking cause all of the illustrations show a very smooth silhouette with no pointing visible (although most of them are probably showing the second dress layer, not the doublet). I think I might have to accost someone who does C15th and see how hose/doublet pointing works.


Here are a couple more pictures of the doublet / hose showing the points.

Image

Image


English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

The sempster
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby The sempster » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:19 pm

Hello,
The doublet in the pictures of English Archer is the one he is wearing under the cotehardie in the Bodiam castle, and under the houppelande in the wedding picture. The points are so far down on the hips, where you need some more room when making the cotehardie, that there will be no problem of them showing up through the cloth. (If they do, it might be a.) too tight to move in, or b.) too fine a cloth.
That type of doublet and hose seems to exist till far into the 15th century, mostly for working men. I started collecting pictures of that type of garments, and came up with quite a few.
Panth wrote:Mmm. I was going to go for wool since I'm unconvinced about the whole coloured linen fabric issue. I have a source for a very nice worsted, though its probably too fine for anything but lining. Anyway, I got the impression from the London Textiles book that worsteds/twills were out and fulled tabby ('broadcloth') was in by the second half of the C14th. I was probably going to go for a fine fulled tabby - it should, at least, be very stable and sturdy.

I personally find the really heavy broadcloth too stiff for a kirtle, I prefer a softer drape, and it still works almost like a corset to keep the upper body in shape. A fine fulled tabby should work as well, though.
Panth wrote:You say you didn't line your kirtle. How about your cotehardie/second dress? How about the gents' stuff?

I did line my cotehardie with silk, and am working on a fur lined houppelande. I just found that I wasn't too keen on lining an overgarment for myself with linen again :-)
The men's garments are mostly lined, although the blue cotehardie is only lined in the sleeves (for the tippet) and has a facing on the front where the buttons are. The material was stiff and warm enough to not need any lining. I always line and interline doublets, whatever period (I make 14th to 16th century garments).
Panth wrote:As for interlining, I was considering it for the doublet only - it would make totally the wrong shape on the dresses and the gent's cotehardie wouldn't need it (unless the fabric was v. fine) if it had the smooth support of the doublet beneath.

I only use interlining in the doublets, and with proper fitted 1st layers (kirtle / doublet) you don't need much to keep the outer garment in shape, because all the stress is on the garment underneath. You can even pad the doublet to give it the desired look (second half of the 14th century pidgeon breast, for example). Interlining the gent's cotehardie would only be necessary if you used really thin material, that might easily be pulled out of shape, and then I would only consider a medium weight linen interlining, nothing drastic.
Panth wrote:I could get someone to help with the body block. I guess that is going to be the best option.

Be prepared to spend some time on fitting the body block, until you are really happy with the look. That will save you so much time later! Same goes for the body block for the doublet. Make sure you can both still move, and lift your arms :). I usually fit the armhole fairly high under the arm, and can lift both arms over my head without pulling the dress up.
If you have the time it is worth making a full sized toile (test pattern) of the dress when you have the body block. That way you can add finishing touches and check on measurements and length. I added a picture of a test pattern being fitted (we had lots material at the bottom that wasn't needed). Sarah is making a face there because the moment the picture was taken a gust of wind lifted the canopy behind her and the water in the canopy poured down her back... ;-)
Panth wrote:Ok, one last question since you mention books - 'Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince' - in your opinion is it worth getting? I've been meaning to for ages but have held off on account of it being rumoured to be terribly dry and hard-going. If that's the case, I'd rather buy a different reference book that I can dip into more easily.

It is definitely a very good book, I'm just in the process of re-reading it, but not an easy one to dip in for a quick reference. I do not find it dry or hard to read, it is just stuffed with information, which makes it slow going for me to make sure I don't miss something. That's why I am reading it again... ;-) I waited a long time to buy it but it is worth the money!
I hope I did not miss anything :-) Get in touch when you need anything else
Attachments
fitting Sarah.jpg
Fitting Sarah with a full size toile



Panth
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby Panth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:36 pm

Thanks again for all your advice. I think I've just got one more question for now:

The sempster wrote:If you have the time it is worth making a full sized toile (test pattern) of the dress when you have the body block. That way you can add finishing touches and check on measurements and length. I added a picture of a test pattern being fitted (we had lots material at the bottom that wasn't needed). Sarah is making a face there because the moment the picture was taken a gust of wind lifted the canopy behind her and the water in the canopy poured down her back... ;-)


For the toile - presumably the fabric has to be as close as possible to the fabric you're going to use for the final kirtle/doublet. This is why I haven't done this before (or, for that matter, made a body block) - it just seems to be an expensive waste of fabric. So, how close does the fabric have to be to your real-deal fabric for the toile to actually be worth while?

(Erm... can you tell I'm a student? *ahem*)



The sempster
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby The sempster » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:52 pm

Hi,
for the body block I usually use a rather firm material, like a stiff calico. If you can make it fit and look good in that, anything with even a bit more give in it will be even better :-) If you use something that is too stretchy your pattern will be too small when made in something less stretchy, very noticeable around necklines and armholes! Since you can always take some away but it's more difficult to add, I'd use some stiff material (I used to be able to buy a medium weight calico at fabricland for only a couple of pounds a yard). The toile should be closer to the final material, if possible. So if you use something with a lot of give, don't try it in a stiff material. So if you are going for a fine broadcloth, I guess that will have not much give it, so go for something cheap, but with similar properties with regard to stretch and firmness on bias and on the grain.
I don't know if you are UK based, but I'll be at the Living History Fair next weekend, if there is anything I can help with :-)
Have fun!



Panth
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby Panth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:43 pm

The sempster wrote:I don't know if you are UK based, but I'll be at the Living History Fair next weekend, if there is anything I can help with :-)
Have fun!


I am but I'm not going to that fair. I am going to TORM but probably on the Fri which makes it rather awkward to meet up with people.



The sempster
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby The sempster » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:48 am

I won't be able to make friday at Torm, I'll be there on the Saturday this year. I am based near Swindon, if that is anywhere near for you, I could help you with the body block.
Good luck and I am looking forward to seeing the finished results posted here :-)



Panth
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Re: 1360s/70s noble couple

Postby Panth » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:53 pm

Oh, and just to say - if anyone else has any ideas/hints/tips/advice/theories I'd love to hear them. The more interpretations on how to do things the better.




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