Mar 2008

Older Projects – Red Cotehardie I

   Posted by Atra Materia in Historic

(Click to embiggen!)

Circa 2005 – Another dollar-table project. The fabric is a poly blend of otherwise unknown origin. It has a fair amount of weight and there’s a subtle roughness to it. It was premiered at the Oatland Island Medieval Festival, and it was not among the most comfortable garb I’ve ever worn – being partially or possibly even wholly synthetic, it doesn’t breathe in hot weather and does similarly little to keep you warm in winter. I was lucky that for the Festival, my post turned out to be the henna tent, so at least I spent the day in the shade with good company!

The style approximates fashion of the early 14th Century – by and large, ‘patterns’ still take the form of geometric panels for best use of fabric. However, basic shaping has begun to come into play as well – panels may be fitted to the body during construction, and sleeves are set into a proper armscye. While the looseness of previous styles meant that most garments could simply be pulled on and off, late medieval clothing requires the use of buttons or lacing.

This particular garment repeats the four-panel construction used in the smock. The panels have been left unfitted. There are triangular gores in the side seams, but not the front or back. The sleeves are just wide enough to pull on without being buttoned, laced, or sewn shut after donning. As I don’t have a lady-in-waiting to do me up, I chose to go with a front-closing body, faced with self fabric and spiral-laced.

The veil is cotton broadcloth, and is pinned to a combination of a forehead band and wrapped braids. Because my hair is baby-fine, I’ve added extensions to it – it’s possible that medieval women did this as well.

The necklace wasn’t originally part of the costume – it was a gift from the hennamistress for a long day helping people get painted! Because it matched the dress in colour if not period or style (and I was excited about it, because I’d been eyeing it all day!), I went ahead and threw it on for the photo.

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