Thursday, July 16, 2015

Buttonholes through the Periods

Updated 11-4-16: 16th Century buttonholes.

Some time ago, I began to wonder: How do buttonholes differ in construction throughout history (up to the modern day)?  So, I began searching, looking at some extant garments for clues--what I found was rather interesting (hence the article on them).

It appears to be rather difficult to find exactly when buttonholes appeared on European clothing--conventional wisdom (i.e. "everybody knows!") has that buttons themselves have been used as a fastening--for a tunic neck, or Russian svita--but with a loop fastener, rather than a hole sewn in the fabric.

I'm actually finding it rather difficult to track down when they appeared in Western Europe (supposedly, they came from the East, either near or far.  However, I cannot yet document this). The typical form of clothing of the 13th Century just didn't call for them, since it was generally loose.

However, in the 14th Century, they pop up--the earliest effigy I see is from 1319.
Germany Wurzburg Burgerspital Johann von Steren 1319

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bliaut Bibliography

I decided (more or less randomly) to throw this bibliography on the bliaut together from the various links I had, plus a look for new ones.  

The bliaut appears in the 12th Century as the most common main layer of clothing in Western Europe.  As a general rule, it is close fitting in the torso, has sleeves with varying degrees of pendulous cuffs, and may or may not have horizontal wrinkles at the waist.  The neckline is usually a keyhole or slit.


Bliauts, Broad Skirts and Belled Sleeves: making the court dress of 12th century Western Europe
As far as I am concerned, this is the best article on the subject of bliauts.  It gives an introduction, as well as patterns, variations of the style, and a look at contemporary sources.  Has information on men’s clothing as well as ladies.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Installing a sleeve vent

One of the things I found when I went to make my first couple frock coats is that there roughly no tutorials on exactly how you put together the vent on a working suit sleeve.  So, during the process of stitchripping over a dozen assorted blazers for the Franken-frock project, I paid attention to how the sleeves were constructed.  I'm not saying this tutorial is the only way to do it--or even the right way--but it'll work.
    None of them had working buttons, of course, but the construction is close enough--the main difference is in the lining.
 Alright.  Your sleeve pieces should look approximately like this.  When you draft, you need to add enough length to double up on the vent.  If you didn't, you can always sew on a piece to be the facing.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Research Dump, No 8

Included in this edition are several links on 16th century clothing, a couple of treatises from the same period, Romani and Chinese clothings, and numerous other subjects.

Notes and Illustrations on Regency Clothing Styles

(I should note that it naturally only covers women's clothing)

Women's Dress and  Dance of the 16th Century Ottoman Empire

Early 16th Century German Peasant Clothing
Some decent information, but I definitely do NOT agree with some of the author's suggestions on recreating it easily. 

Elizabethan House - Robert and Laura Mellin: Clothing and Accessories
A basic overview of Elizabethan clothing. 

Grisone, Federico:Künstlicher Bericht, ... wie die streitbaren Pferd ... vollkommen zu machen 
A German Horsemanship treatise from the end of the 16th Century.  Specifically regarding hard to break horses. 

Latest project, Unveiled. The Franken Frock (coat). Part I

Most people already know about this--it's not exactly a secret--but I have not officially announced one of my latest hare-brained schemes.  Since November I have been gathering materials, and am finally beginning to work on assembly.

A single breasted Frock Coat, based theoretically on the 1870's patterns (mainly the lapel shape), in a patchwork of tweeds I am upcycling from blazers found at the thrift store.  I have affectionately dubbed this project as my "Franken-Frock".  I've seen a few examples of patchworked coats, and personally have found them all to be hideous, with large pieces of material used in random places.  In comparison, part of the point of this project is to force myself to higher accuracy in stitching, since if I don't the pattern will get slightly askew (i.e. Let's challenge myself with pattern matching).