1490s sleeve progress

Much too soon to declare victory, but I’m making progress.

I sort of settled on the question of whether historical gowns with big sleeves have the sleeve at the back of the arm (the way close sleeves like on the 1320 dress are made) or under the arm (like many modern clothes).  Reenactors mostly seem to do the seam under, and the one period picture that seemed to have any hint looked like the seam was at the bottom of the cuff. No picture had any visible seam.

Also, I looked at Medieval Tailor’s Assistant again and there’s a man’s garment (“short gown with dagged sleeve”) with about the right sleeve shape and a woman’s garment (“fashionable gown”) with a floor-length sleeve cuff. It turns out they use the same drafting instructions, and have the seam under the arm.

So I’ve drawn that up and, for a little while, I get to think about something other than sleeves as I draft the rest of the pattern and definitely don’t panic about wanting this to be done in three weeks. It’ll be fine. The pattern is the hardest part. I’m sure it is.  There’s no gathering or pleating in my future, at least. Should all be straight sewing. Heck! It’s not fitted, which means I don’t need to pattern the left and right sides differently!

Update an hour or so later: while I’m posting progress shots, here’s a couple of the bodice pattern! This is the “flared gown” from Medieval Tailor’s Assistant.

Making the bodice pattern from draped (“body block”) patterns.

Finished patterns for bodice and collar.

It didn’t come out perfectly– the armscye came out 1.75″ bigger than the sleeve I drafted. My theory is to just add … Wait, math moment. Add half of that to the height of the sleeve pattern, which is not what I wrote in my notes.  As an added bonus, this should take care of the bit near the armpit that I drew half a cm too narrow.

Thank you, math, for helping me be just the right amount ostentatious. I’ll let you, dear readers, know how the muslin of the bodice, collar, and sleeves goes soon.

(In much less interesting news, this is the first post I’ve written on my phone! I can’t figure out how to do a “read more” jump in this interface.)

1490s sleeve progress

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