Thursday, June 16, 2016

End of the Road, Finished Pluderhose

So, this is something unusual for me--this project isn't based on any one particular object...normally, my serious projects are duplicating one object or another (or I don't care).  However, this one was primarily testing my new system for drafting pluderhose, based on the Erik and Nils Sture examples, as part of making a period (1570s) suit.  So--a pair of 1570s German Pluderhose.

The inspiration for the pluderhose--the full project, in fact--was this particular German illumination.  However, the pattern I was developing--and used this project as a test for--was developed from the three patterns for the Sture suits in Patterns of Fashion 3 by Janet Arnold.  These were chosen because I actually had access to the clear patterns and research, and could find the similarities to develop my pattern.

My Goals:
As I said in the intro, my primary goal was to test and work out a system for drafting pluderhose, since there are a dearth of patterns available, and even fewer which are free.  And when I was looking around for examples I fell in love with a certain suit with black and white pluderhose, red doublet, and black slashed jerkin; then decided to "attempt" to make it mostly with stash materials (an extra bit of challenge).   

There are plenty of examples of pluderhose in the 16th Century, as a quintessentially Germanic garment (although, the Sture suites are from Sweden, and there are examples in Sainct Didier's French fencing manual).  In general, they had a number of panes (4-6 being the most common) which bloused over the cuff, which could be anywhere from mid thigh (later examples, especially by the "highly fashionable"), to mid-calf (usually earlier in their timeline and in Lansknect woodcuts); a "poofy" lining also bloused out, usually even further than the panes.  They were also distinguished by having a fairly unstructured cut, being closely fit to the hips and rear, heavily slashed and puffed, and (usually) predominant codpiece.

As for what they were made of, you see examples with panes of velvet, or a heavy wool (I suppose, given the slashed examples).  The panes could be of silk (sometimes stiffened with linen) or a springy worsted wool.  In addition, two of the example pairs (Erik's and Nils') have chamois foundation breeches.  You also see fustian linings or underlinings.

My example is made primarily of various cottons.  Cotton velveteen for the panes, muslin to back the velveteen, black cotton denim to support and line the panes, and cotton ticking for the foundation breeches.  A grey, poly suiting (terrible of me, I know; however, I don't think it looks too bad as a worsted wool.  Plus, I had it already, and couldn't find a cheap worsted wool that would work).

The ticking and denim were purchased specifically for the project.  I chose ticking because I needed something tightly woven enough to be sturdy, but soft enough that it would be comfortable when worn tight to the skin.  The denim (which was used so the wrong side is visible) was chosen by what was available at the local fabric store in the desired weight and colour (heavy enough to support the panes, and light enough to drape), and price.  I would love to make a pair someday in broadcloth, leather, and worsted wool.

As I said, the pattern is my own, based on the ones in PoF, that I developed to address the lack of them.  Honestly, other than tearing my hair out in frustration--the levels of which never reached the frustration of the last time I made a pair of these-I didn't have any issues with the pattern.  Were period drafting methods used?  Maybe--I kinda doubt it because the way I did it is likely overly complicated...more testing is required on different shapes of people.

At first glance, the pattern is rather complicated (actually, at second through around the twelfth glances, too).  You have foundation breeches, which are essentially a pair of tight shorts with an interesting pattern to fit to the rear; the panes layer, which are more or less rectangular and have the "interesting pattern" from the foundation breeches removed and resewn into place with some extra shaping.  The poofy lining is more or less a length of fabric.  The codpiece, when broken down is essentially a gusset joining the front rise together, and serving as a fly; however, some pleating, shaping, and stuffing is required for it to take its shape.

I am not going to cover the patterning, or how they were made at all--I have already written a series of four posts covering that.  However, I will say that all of the visible stitching was done by hand, but the main construction was done by machine--this choice was made to save time, and because I don't feel that there is any advantage to hand sewing major seams over using a machine.  Someday....
The first of the series can be found HERE; Revenge of the Pluderhose; the Madness Returns.

What I learned:
A whole lot, mainly in the drafting because I that was from scratch; so I had to figure out what measurements were necessary, and how to apply them; then the proportions in length.  In addition, I had to decide how to draft the codpiece properly-even though I had drafted pluderhose before (so had an idea of how they go)--I had to figure out again how to get the codpiece to...stick out properly (I gave up on that last time).  I also had to decide how the various layers go together.

What I'd do differently next time:
If I make another pair of pluderhose, I would really, really like to do it properly with the correct--or closer to correct--materials.  Maybe even hand sew it (honestly, if you look at this, I did handsew most of it).

HSM Information

The Challenge: Holes. Other than the slashing of the outer layer for the poofs, there are 34 handsewn eyelets in the waistband and codpiece.
I had intended to enter this into the Pleats challenge, but obviously didn't finish in time.
Fabric/Materials: Cotton velveteen, muslin, ticking, and denim; poly "suiting" (I was in my stash...)
Pattern: My own--based on Sture pairs--, which I am finishing up writing, and can be found on my blog.
Year: 1570
Notions: Um..thread? Hook and eyes (cuffs)
How historically accurate is it?: Kind of a complicated question. I believe the patterning is 100%. However, it is mostly cotton, rather than real velvet/wool/leather. In addition, I did as much as I could by machine. The fabrics are budget analogues to the period ones. I really have no idea--maybe 65-70%?
Hours to complete: 50.
First worn: Not yet. I am waiting until the full suit is done before debut.
Total cost: Unknown. Probably under 25$ US.

Bibliography:  Really, the only true resource I used was:
Janet Arnold. Pattern of Fashion 3. Macmillan Press (1985)

© 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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