Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bad Penny Pluderhose: Drafting the Foundation Shorts (Again)

A couple of years ago, I made my last pair of pluderhose and wrote up a tutorial on drafting them throughout the various stages.  When I revisited them with the plan to make another pair this year, I found that my most excellent instructions...didn't work.  Partly because I didn't take one of my measurements correctly, but my old instructions are also clunky.  Especially in the section regarding some rather esoteric and personal measurements.

The garment itself is somewhat complicated, and I am sure has been the cause of many grey hairs in re-enactors--partially because there are no patterns or instructions for them online.  Well...there is one, but it is not remotely period as it seems to be based on modern pajama pants).  Reconstructing History also sells a pattern, which I have no experience with, and no desire to--I don't need help going mad.  So, when I went to draft out a new pluderhose foundation pattern, and found that my old instructions had issues, I realized I would have to mostly rewrite it.  As before, this pattern is based on the pairs worn by Nils and Erik Sture (mostly Nils, because I believe Erik's pair of foundation breeches got stretched with wear).

This tutorial series for the pluderhose consists of four parts; the base breeches/foundation shorts; panes and lining; codpiece; and assembly.  In the example pairs, the foundation breeches were made of a fine leather, similar to chamois or a soft deerskin--previously I used a heavy cotton (cotton drill), this time I have deerskin splits to use (which should be attributed to my madness, because it will be a pain.  Spend the extra money, and don't use splits if you decide on leather, since they are uneven in thickness).  Depending on the particular style, the foundation breeches can be around knee length (and sewn to the legband at the bottom) as in Nils', or free at the bottom and a bit shorter as I believe Erik's was.

Foundation shorts of Nils Sture's pluderhose, 1568. 
Patterns of Fashion 3, by Janet Arnold

And on to bulk of the tutorial.  As a warning, there is a lot of measuring, in some sensitive areas (but less so than there was!), since the pattern themselves essentially have a buttcheek; there is a purpose to that, other than to make you look good--it removes any seams from where you sit, which is 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 the pants).  I also suggest tying a cord or twine around your natural waist, and where you want the cuff in order to keep track of those locations while measuring.

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 and worked for me.  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.

Measuring and measurements:

Ease should be to taste and can be added in by placing fingers under the measuring tape.  At the waist, I measure in zero ease (other than what result in measuring over your shirt), two to three fingers at the hip, upper thigh is around four, and one finger at the lower thigh.  After drafting and trying it on over a couple of different pairs, I can say that the most important part to have ease in is the upper thigh (and likely hips), so measure those loosely or over a pair of lightweight but loose pants.  Only the circumferences will get ease, not the vertical measures.  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.
  • Waist: Your natural waist, mind. (Mark down the half waist as well).  No ease is needed, as part of the draft adds it in.
  • 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.
  • Upper Thigh: Circumference of the highest part of the leg.  It is critically important you go as high as feasibly possible for the same reason as the inseam.
  • Lower Thigh: Circumference of the location of the cuff.
Those are all fairly standard; now for the fiddly bits.
  • Rise: Simply measure from the waist in the front, between the legs, and up to the waistband in the back.
    • You need to note down both front and back rise.  Mark about halfway to the inside of the thigh (where an inseam would be) and note the measurements to either side for your front and back rise.  The back rise should be longer than the front.
  • Backseam: At the center back of your thigh and just under the cheek, measure straight down to the cuff location.  This should be essentially the same measure as your inseam, but both are needed (just in case).
  • Inseam Offset: Measure from your inseam (as high up as possible) to the center of the back of your thigh where the backseam was measured--you should be wearing pants /with/ an inseam to take this measure.  This is used to figure out the location of the rise.
  • Vertical Butt.  In line with that center seamline down the back thigh, 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 widest point of the athletic cup if you are wearing one.  Horizontally.  This will be the width of the codpiece, which serves as a gusset and cannot be left out.  I am including this measure here in case you want to skip to part III (link at the bottom) and draft the codpiece base in order to check the fit.
 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 onward to the actual drafting (Instructions will be below the accompanying photograph):


 For clarity, this was done on paper, at 1/4th scale.  When I give the instruction to square a line, I mean square from the selvage or fold of the cloth.

Base line: For this particular draft, I like to build up from the bottom, rather than one side or the top as is normal for drafting.  Measure out your Lower Thigh measurement, and draw it out with approximately 1" of deflection in the middle.  Mark the ends A and B.

Square up from each end, making the lines somewhere around your backseam or inseam in length.  This is just to prep for the next step, so accuracy isn't important as long as they are squared.

With the thigh, it is important (and accurate to the best of my knowledge) to offset it slightly...the rear side is a slightly deeper angle.  Subtract your Lower Thigh measure from the Upper Thigh Measure, divide in half, and line the ruler up so that slightly less than half of the difference is to the left of the pattern.  Mark off the points 1 (left) and 2 (right).  You can see more clearly how it is offset in the photo below.

Using your Backseam measurement, draw diagonal lines so that they are even (vertically) with Points 1 and 2.

From Point 1, measure over by your Inseam Offset, and make a mark labeled as I (for Inseam).  Don't get too attached to that dot.

You will need to adjust this up or down, so square up from the bottom cuff by your Inseam measure and relocate the point if needed.

For the tricky-ish part...this is the segment which got me in trouble and led to my rewriting the instructions.  Take 1/6th or 1/7th of your Upper Thigh Measurement.  You may want to draft both, and see which is more comfortable for you, but I decided to use 1/6th.  Remember that the codpiece gusset will add to the roominess, so you want it to be more tightly fitted than normally comfortable, but you should be able to move without splitting the rise beyond Point I. 
This proportion will be half the width (roughly) of your rise gap.  From Point I, measure right by this proportion.  Mark it as point Fr (Front Rise).

To the left your will need to do the same, marking as point Br (Back rise).  You also need to mark halfway between Point Br and Point I (equaling 1/12 upper thigh if you chose 1/6ths) as point 3

 From Point Fr square up by an equal measure (1/6 upper thigh) and make a mark.

 Using a compass (or just freehand it as I did) strike a curve between the spot you just made and Point I.

At Point 3 square up by the the 1/12th upper thigh.

 And strike a curve the same way.
From Point Fr, measure up by your front rise measurement and draw a vertical line to form the Front Rise.  It will likely be longer than you need...but it's much easier to trim the waistband down to where you want than to add it back on.

At Point Br, measure vertically by the Back Rise Measurement, and jot a point.

Now connect it with the top of the curve above Point 3, like so.

 At the top of the Back Rise, make a line  1.5-2.5 inches long (larger for larger waists) parallel to the fabric edge.  Mark it as line BW (back waist).  This is serves for the ease in the waistband.

 Remember the top of the curve you drew above Point Fr?  Line your ruler up with that, and measure left from the Back rise by .75-1.5 inches (again, larger for larger butts).

Strike a diagonal line from the above point to the outside of line BW.  I drew it straight here, but you can make it slightly concave or serpentine as well (with the convex bit up top). 

 Strike a curve like so to finish the line, joining it up with the backseam.

 Even with the top of the curve at Point 3/I measure the width of the back piece and strike a line of convenient length across the width of the garment.  In my draft this bit is 1.5" wide.

Continue your measure from where you left off (again, 1.5" for me) and mark Point S (Seat) at half of your Hips measurement.

Vertically up from the top of the right hand backseam, jot a line

 Jot a horizontal line even with your Vertical Butt measurement.

Starting from the top of the Front Rise line, measure over by your Half waist to intersect the line you just jotted.

If desired, you can subtract part or all of the Back Waist line to taste; if you tend to not gain/lose weight rapidly in the waist, I recommend making the waistband length fairly close.  There should be a little bit of ease, but not a lot, and take into account that the waistband of your pluderhose need to match up with the lacing band on your doublet/wams (which is why I like to make my hose before my doublet).

 Draw the waist line.  Personally, I usually hollow it slightly.

 Going from the end of the waistline, connect that with Point S with a slight convex curve to the line, and finish the drawing the curve like so.  Ideally, the length of this curve will correspond with that on the other side.

 Before cutting out your mockup, I recommend marking both layers at the top of the backseam so that you can match them up; start sewing the seam from there rather than either top or bottom.  I also like to cut out the back rise section so it is longer/taller than strictly necessary to ensure that it will reach along the seat seam....it can always be trimmed off later.

Onwards to PART II--the Panes

PART III--the Codpiece.  You may wish go make the codpiece base gusset before finalizing the fit of the foundation.

And Part IV--Putting it together.

© John Frey, 2018. 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.

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