Friday, January 29, 2016

Revenge of the Pluderhose; the Madness Returns

This is the first of an intended series of posts on drafting and making up a suit of German (or Swedish) Renaissance men's clothing.  Later in the century, that is--Elizabethan era, not Lansknecht--although the patterning could be used for that as well.  Last time I wrote on this, it was part of a mad frenzy of sewing the Svante Sture suite

The garment is somewhat complicated, and I am sure has been the cause of many grey hairs in reenactors--partially because there are no patterns or instructions for them online (ok, there is one, but it is not remotely period--it seems to be based on pajama pants).  Reconstructing history also sells a pattern, which I have no experience with, and no desire to.  So, when I (for some unknown, warped, reason) decided I wanted to make another suit, I figured it would be a good thing to show how I draft a pair, since last time I made them I didn't have the blog.  Plus, the last pair didn't have the foundation breeches.  This pattern is based on the pairs worn by Nils and Erik Sture (mostly Nils, because Erik's pair of foundation breeches is stretched in a way that happens with the sewing.  You'll see).

I figure it will take around three parts--one each for the foundation breeches and the shell, and one on making them up.  The foundation breeches were made of a fine leather, similar to chamois or a soft deerskin--sadly this isn't an option for me, and I will likely use a heavy cotton (either canvas or ticking).  Depending on the particular style, the foundation breeches can be full length (and sewn to the legband at the bottom), as in Nils or free at the bottom (as I believe Erik's was).

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 3.  Pp. 64

And on to bulk of the tutorial.  As a warning, there is a lot of measuring, in some sensitive areas, and the word butt will likely be used more than I like--the pattern is to blame for this, since the pattern themselves essentially have a buttcheek (there is a purpose, other than to make you look good--it removes any seams from where you sit, which could be important in close fitting pants).  Remember that the measurements should be taken over the appropriate undergarments (including the cup, if you plan to fight while wearing it).  I also suggest tying a cord or twine around your natural waist, and where you want the cuff in order to mark it.

Ease should be to taste and added in by placing fingers under the measuring tape.  Figure up to three fingers at the waist (the waistband of your pluderhose should match the lacing band of your doublet), two to three fingers at the hip and upper thigh, and one at the lower thigh.  After drafting and trying it on, I can say that the most important part to have ease in is the upper thigh (and likely hips), so measure that loose.  Only the circumferences will get ease.  I also must stress the importance of bringing the rise as close to the fork of your legs as possible--if it is even slightly loose, there will be issues with movement; guys, it will probably feel odd--that is okay...these are more like tights than modern pants..  In addition, remember to add in your seam allowances when you cut.

NOTE: This is my way of drafting and explaining it; I'm not saying it is the correct way, but it is based on extant examples, at least.  My point is that your brain may process way differently (in which case contact me, and I'll see if I can elucidate), or different shapes may have issues.  However, I hope that this gives you a starting place.  IF you do use this tutorial, please, share your experiences in the comments below (way below).  Prost! and happy drafting.

  • Waist: Your natural waist, mind. (mark down the half waist as well)
  • Hips: Widest part of the hips. (mark down the half hips as well)
  • Inseam: Measure down to the desired cuff location from as high in the fork of the legs as possible--it is important you go /all/ the way up.  Otherwise you lose mobility.
  • Outseam: Measure down from the waist to the desired cuff location.
  • Upper Thigh: Circumference of the highest part of the leg.
  • Lower Thigh: Circumference of the location of the cuff.
Those are all fairly standard; now for the fiddly bits.
  • Rise: Basically, measure from the waist in the front, between the legs, and up to the waistband in the back.
    • Front and back rise.  Mark about halfway to the inside of the thigh and note the measurements to either side for your front and back rise.  The back rise should be longer than the front.
  • Inner thigh: Imagine a line straight down the pubic bone, slightly to one side of center.  Measure from that imaginary line around to the center of the back thigh, just under the buttock.
    • Now, measure from that imaginary line (at around hip level) to the centerline of your body.  Subtract that from the inner thigh measurement to get the adjusted inner thigh measure
  • Back Inner Thigh: As part of the above measurement you need to measure from...the center of your butt to the center of the back of your thigh.  This should be done as low as possible, right below the cheek.
  • Backseam: Following that line, measure straight down to the cuff location.
  • Butt: Measure from the crack, over the cheek to the outside (probably near the hipbone.
    • Vertical Butt.  Following that center seamline down the back measure vertically from the waistband to the bottom of the cheek, following any curves.  This should be measured fairly loosely, to give ease for bending over.
  • Codpiece: Measure over the...errr...cup.  Horizontally.  This will be the width of the codpiece, which serves as a gusset.
 Measure and write all these down before beginning to draft.  As a note, it was perfectly possible for me to take all of appropriate measurements on myself; your mileage may vary.  So to the actual drafting (Instructions will be below the accompanying photograph):

Bottom/Base Line: Unlike most drafts, we will be starting from the bottom; this is because the top line(s) could be variable, depending on your measurements--and you don't know how much you'll need.
So, draft the baseline.  This is nice and simple; Draw a line your lower thigh measure in width, with an inch of concave deflection to better the fit.

Vertical A: Time to draft verticals.  Now, one side (the inside) is less slanted (by about 1/3) than the opposite measure.  So subtract the lower thigh measure [15.5] from that of the upper thigh [22.5], then divide by four [1.75].  So, towards the inside of the breeches (the edge of the fabric) angle your backseam line by that much.

Measure across by your upper thigh measure.

Vertical B: Then draft the other side of the backseam measurement.

Front Rise (FR): Now.  Take your Adjusted Inner Thigh Measurement.  Measure over from vertical A. This is just a point and will get adjusted lower in a moment.

Below this point, measure up by your Inseam measurement and move the Front Rise Point to to there.

Center Back Point: Again from Vertical A, measure over even with the point you made in the last step.  This time you are using the Back inner Thigh measure.  Now, this will become the bottom part of the rise--where the two legs join (assisted by the codpiece in this case).

Now for the center back line.  Measure from CB to FR and divide by half [1.875].  Subtract the halves from your Back Rise [16.5] (and front rise too).  Result [14 5/8)

Center Back Line: Measure up by the adjusted Back Rise, drawing a straight, vertical, line.  This should be on grain. 

Front Rise Line: Now you will do the same at the Front Rise.  Same process as coming up with the measurement for the adjusted Back Rise.  Now, this one doesn't need to be vertical--it can slant in slightly, or out, or curve in; this depends on body shape and personal preference--to taste, essentially.  You'll have to experiment a bit.  Often in period, the front edges barely touched--because I will be fighting in mine, that isn't an option, and I have to overlap it slightly.
At the same time, draw a smooth curve at the bottom between the two lines (yeah, took a few times for me.  No worries).
In may case, the vertical line as part of the Front Rise line by measuring down from the waist to...taste.  This is a spot where you can cut it smaller (narrower) and mark when it is on the body.  You may need to clip a curve if you do so, though.

Back Waist (BW): Draw a line 1-2 inches long at the top of the Center back line.  This is depending on your size and taste, and is part of the waist measurement.

Point Z: About halfway up the CB line, mark a point 3/4-1 inch over, like so.

Now you are going to draw a curve from point BW through point Z to the top of Line A.  Again, how much curve in the bottom part is to taste; I suggest drafting the curve fairly shallowly, so you can adjust if needed.  (Yes, I redrew it).

Outseam: Measure up from Point B by your Outseam measurement.  Mark this point (which will be temporary).
Line O: Remember that short line, Line BW?  Subtract that from your half waist measure.  Now draw a straight to lightly curved line that line from the top of Line FR to the new Point O.

Jot a line from the top of Line B  to the corner of Line O.  Just jot it--it is only there for reference.
At the same time, measure up from the top of Line B and mark a point 1/4-1/3 of the way up the line you just jotted.

Point R: At approximately hip level (even with that little mark you made in the last step would be good), measure from the leading edge (closest to the cut edge of your fabric) horizontally across by your half hip measure--not including the section of the front rise in your measure.  This is now Point R.

Curve ORB: Measure around the curve of Line BW. The goal is to have the curve you're about to draw from Points O, R, and B to match that measurement.  Odds are, it won't.  Now draw that curve, and make it fairly smooth.
When you sew it up, you will probably have to ease it in slightly, along with stretching the bias curve of Line BW.  Good luck...

That is all the drafting for this part of the garment.  The shell and foundation breeches are attached along the rise, so the codpiece is sewn in towards the end.  When I make the actual foundation breeches for my pluderhose, I'll update this to include of picture of them being worn before construction continues--but there will be no photos of them on me, in lightweight muslin.

Onwards to PART II

PART III--the Codpiece.

And Part IV; putting it together.

© John Frey, 2016. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.  Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.

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