Friday, June 25, 2010

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.

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