fitting a medieval kirtle properly

Making, Pictures, Queries, Resources

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
JC Milwr
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:00 pm
Location: Not so far from Berkeleleley
Contact:

fitting a medieval kirtle properly

Postby JC Milwr » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:09 pm

So, next in my list of problems with getting the perfect kit...

I would like to get my underkirtle tight enough that I don't flop about, and can thus dump the bra. How do I stiffen the lacing edge sufficiently, but authentically, so that I can get a good tight pull, without horrible wobbly edges, particularly if it's front laced? In fact, I may go for being different and do front _and_ side lacing, as suggested on this forum, but I've never seen.
This particularly applies to lightweight fabric...



User avatar
Karen Larsdatter
Posts: 462
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: fitting a medieval kirtle properly

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:57 pm

Front and side lacing tends to appear on 15th century maternity clothing, IIRC -- but now that I am trying to think where I remember that from, the only example that I can find is front-laced only. :roll:

For creating a fitted kirtle, check out these links:

http://www.cottesimple.com/intro_love_l ... in_art.pdf
http://www.cottesimple.com/cottesimple_love_layers.pdf
http://www.cottesimple.com/cottesimple_ ... ouette.pdf

http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/Dress ... ssDemo.htm
http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/Cotte ... opic1.html
http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/Cotte ... opic2.html

http://swein.campus.luth.se/lia/garb/redwoolGFD/


Personally ... when I make this style of outfit, I make the smock underneath fitted, so that the kirtle (or cote, gown, or other outerwear) doesn't have to take the all of the strain of supporting me. (I know that fitted smocks aren't necessarily right for the 15th century; I just think it makes the whole outfit look less sloppy on me. I am far from dainty; what works well for a woman of normal height will sometimes look just awful when it's blown up for a 6-foot-tall woman -- and not that I can claim to be built like a fashion plate, anyway.) :lol:

I also tend to make the kirtles so that they're fitted without buttoning or lacing; I have one fitted cote which buttons down the front, but there's a strip of linen on the back as a facing/reinforcement where the buttonholes are, and I think it might also be on the side with the buttons as well.



User avatar
Sophia
Post Centurion
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Camberwell, London
Contact:

Postby Sophia » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:10 pm

Always line things - lightweight fabric can be interlined to hip level - if you want them close fitting. When things are fitted the fabric is under a lot of strain and I have had a beautiful kirtle need mending because I made it up tight fitting but unlined.

You can add an additional band of fabric on the lacing edge if you are using lightweight fabrics and not interlining

When it comes to fitting, if you are v. well endowed by which I mean a C cup or over then you should probably consider side lacings (or side-front-side if feeding) to get a good fit without wrinkles.

If you want something skin tight you will have to accept some wrinkles if you have a bust, so plan on wearing something over it. A looser front/side fastened kirtle, a posh gown, some form of surcote.

For closures I would suggest you opt for spiral lacing, where the eyelets are offset. If I am using this for front lacing I tie my lace on at the bottom, thread upwards and tie off and tuck in. The reverse for side lacing - good idea here to make this long enough for you to get into the kirtle with it loosely laced.

When it comes to things not wrinkling I am also going to cause howls of frustration and say - Handmade eyelets, double oversewn, no metal as this means they are more flexible.

Finally don't wear a bra while you are getting your toile right - if you want serious uplift try lying down, arranging boobs as required and getting a friend to do pinning.

But seriously - our expectations of figure are shaped by modern fashions and fabric technologies. Unless you are going to opt for 16th onwards where corsets are involved, expect to be a bit saggier.

Sophia :D

P.S. I will be at Tewks so perhaps we can organise to get together and I can show you some of my stuff (should have finished this years summer wardrobe by then).



User avatar
Drachelis
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:29 am
Location: SW Wales
Contact:

Postby Drachelis » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:45 pm

Sophia wrote
if you want serious uplift try lying down, arranging boobs as required and getting a friend to do pinning.


I am afraid that my boobs just fall to the sides when I lie down :shock: I could write a thresis on the act of gravity on the boobs of the over 50's!!!!!!!!!! :D

Hey forget 'em and tuck 'em in your belt - bit of a difficulty when wearing the high waist mine seem to flop over it. - sorry chaps if this is too much information


It is true that producing a 21st century shape in a 15th and earlier garment is nigh on impossible without 21st century underpinnings.
Cheryl
Shadowlight Designs



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:04 am

Between the lining and the outer (or facing and outer if you don't want to line) put a strip of very heavy linen, just down the front edge, where the eyelets are.

If you're not doing it before Tewkesbury, I have some incredibly heavy stuff (made for Nato!!) - let me know and I'll stick a bit in for you.

Debs


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."
Miss Piggy
RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
GinaB
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:07 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby GinaB » Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:55 am

put a strip of very heavy linen, just down the front edge, where the eyelets are.


And make sure that this is cut on the straight of grain - this adds alot of strength.



User avatar
Hecate
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Stafford

Postby Hecate » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:29 pm

I've managed to make a gown for a friend with hige boob (f or g cup i think) that gives her loads for support and she doesn't have to wear a bra with it. I think the word 'shelf' acuratly describes the look!

I did it be making sure the dress was fairly tight directly under the bust, roughly where the bottom of the curve of the boning goes in your bra, for an inch or so.

I'm helping a friend make her first proper kirtle and she's got huge, post 2 children boobs and we seem to have done ok, she can wear it without a bra. it seems to be a matter of hoiking the boobs up when pinning the body block and making sure there is no bagginess under the arms or at theh side of the arm pit. I did that by smoothing the fabric up to the shoulder from the arm pit and over the top of the breast following instrustions from Sarah thursfields book.

You do have to take in alot at the center front though to make sure the line is smooth. I marked and cut out the shoulders last as when I tried doing in first, by the time I finished they were pointing at her throat instead of going over her shoulder!

I've also found that having just a finger width between the eyelets help stop gathering and the extra layer of Linen/ canvas helps stregnthen it. Also the way it sits and does or doesn't gather depends on how you lace it.

Hope this helps :)



User avatar
sallysc343
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:56 pm
Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire

Postby sallysc343 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:15 am

I'm in the process of making my first kirtle but I'm not sure how long it should be. Does it touch the floor or is it just off the floor? Should the shoes be visible?


Sally :)

User avatar
JC Milwr
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:00 pm
Location: Not so far from Berkeleleley
Contact:

Postby JC Milwr » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:27 am

sallysc343 wrote:I'm in the process of making my first kirtle but I'm not sure how long it should be. Does it touch the floor or is it just off the floor? Should the shoes be visible?


It entirely depends on what class/status you are. If you're very posh, you'd want it floor length (or longer!). If you're working class, then the best length suggestion I've seen is put it on, and bend from the waist as far as you can, it should then just touch the floor at the front; I think this comes to about ankle length.
Status in between is length inbetween :)

Basically, the more dirty work your character would do, the shorter the skirt.


Dance like nobody's watching, love like you've never been hurt.

User avatar
mally ley
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: lost.

Postby mally ley » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:32 am

The guideline I always use, if lowly working stock, is whether you can walk upstairs without having to hold the skirt out of the way.
Now, if you're not used to wearing long skirts this may sound a bit weird, but it takes very little practice for the knee coming up to the next step to lift the skirt out of the way of your feet.
The reasoning being that if you actually had to work for a living more likely than not you would always have things in your hands, and therefore wouldn't have a hand spare to hold your skirts out of the way.
Basically, as JC says, about level with your ankel bone :D
The main thing is not to skimp on the width - the total lenght - around the hem.




Return to “Costumes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests