Friday, June 25, 2010

Rectangular Construction: A Tunic Pattern - Part II


To make this garment you will need:

Fabric, measuring tape, yard stick, chalk or pencil.


These are the measurements needed:

Body: (NOTE: I usually use 1/2" seam allowance on all sides, but use whatever you are comfortable with using)

  1. Shoulder to floor - __________ + _________ (Seam Allowance) = _________
  2. Around fist - (_____/2) + _______ (Seam Allowance) = _________
  3. Over the shoulder to underarm (armscye) ______ + _____ (Seam Allowance) = ______
  4. Underarm width (usually between 6 & 10 inches on the average adult) (_____/2) + _____ (Seam Allowance) = _______
  5. Shoulder to Shoulder ______ + _____ (Seam Allowance) = ________ (NOTE: Measure shoulder point to shoulder point across the front and the back and use whichever measurement is the larger number)
  6. Arm length from shoulder (don't forget to bend the elbow) _____ + _____ (Seam Allowance) = _____


(A) Base of he neck from shoulder to shoulder _______ / 2 = _______ (Taken across the back of the neck at the base)

(B) Side of the neck from front collar bone to back (base of the neck) _____ / 2 = ______

To figure out how much fabric you need, take the total from measurement (1) and double it.

Using me as an example:

At the top of the shoulder, I am 56" from the floor; therefore, after adding in the seam allowance to measurement (1) I will need a piece of fabric 114 inches long. This is less than 3.5 yards. You can even use 45" wide fabric! But, the wider the fabric, the fuller your tunic hem.

I'll go over where to take some of these measurements in the next post as I want to add photos so I can show you.

Rectangular Construction: A Tunic Pattern

(Thank you to Mistress Vigdis Vestfirzka, CP of the West Kingdom for posting this pattern on her website and allowing us to use it.)

This class was developed as a means to give an easy and inexpensive (meaning you use less fabric) method for making undertunics and other similar shaped garments.

It all came about when I found a pattern that could be used to make almost anyone with any shape or size a tunic that would fit every time. Rectangular contruction of garments goes back as far as cloth weaving itself. It was a means of cutting the precious cloth, which took so long to weave, into garments while having very little, if any, waste cloth left over. It was also constrained by the width of the fabric itself. This pattern can be made from fabric as narrow as 45 inches wide.

You can find rectangular construction of garments in almost every culure. This form of construction is not restricted to any one time period. If you look throughout history you will find many instances of this method of constructing garments (i.e., Middle Eastern, Persian, Mongol, Viking, Rus, Anglo Saxon, Tudor, etc.) Even today, there are countries where this form of constructing garments for their traditional "folk costumes" of their culture is still in use.

The type of pattern we will be working with here has no underarm gussets and the gores are set in on the seams, unlike some patterns which will call for a slit to be made in the area the gusset will go in (i.e., front and back gores). This type of pattern is classified as a "Nockert Type 5" pattern, meaning there are no inset gores. More information on the Nockert classification system can be found here.

Going online with my Project

I've been wondering for a long time whether to put my classes online. I've taught most of them more than a few times which has allowed me to get some wonderful feedback from my students which in turn has allowed for some improvements to the class and teaching materials.

After posting the question to the A&S 50 group discussion list and receiving a positive response I have finally made the decision to start posting my classes to my blog.

All of my classes come with lots of diagrams. I start them out with a brief discussion on the piece, then give you a listing of measurements to take (usually no more than 6 to 8 per item), along with how to figure out the amount of fabric needed per item. I also include layout diagrams and step by step illustrations on how to construct each item. In this case since I am posting to blogs I will also include some photos to go along with the diagrams, so I will probably end up posting each class as multiple blog posts. Hope this won't be too much of an inconvenience, but I am hoping the photos will help to enhance what the illustrations are trying to impart.

A short listing of classes:

Rectangular Construction Related Classes:
  1. A "Nordic" tunic/undertunic
  2. Several Viking Women's Apron dress patterns
  3. 13th C. Women's clothing (a series of classes)
  4. 13th C. Men's clothing (a series of classes)
  5. Viking women's cap (Jorvik and Dublin styles)

Others classes:

  1. Introduction to Tablet Weaving
  2. Double face-Double turn Tablet weaving
  3. How to dress your fighter to the nines or the Well dressed fighter (to be taught in August at the Southern War College event being hosted by the Canton of Ironstone Springs in the Kingdom of Meridies)
  4. Viking Brooches
  5. Viking treasure necklaces
  6. Viking Men's clothing