Sunday, 1 September 2019

The finished kirtle

After I had done the bodice it was time for the skirt. I simply used two lengths of the fabric and sewed them together with felled seams. I then did four rows of gathering threads and gathered the fabric.

The gathering stitches are not perfectly aligned, it's good enough that I eyeball them. Do not sew the stitches too tightly, it looks ebeter with fewer but larger folds in my point of view. In the photo you can see both the stitches and when I have started to gather the fabric. For a long piece like this I also prefer to divide the sections, so I don't try to fit the whole width into one superlong gathering thread.

Once gathered I pinned the skirt to the bodice and sewed it on. It is important that you catch every fold that is connected to the bodice. Then I folded the linen lining over the other side and attached each fold on that side to the lining. This not how I've seen it done in other tutorials so I don't know how accurate it is, but it works for me.

I finished the skirt by adding a 10 cm hemguard. Using hemguards is my favorite hem technique. The guard protects the edge of the skirt, and if it gets dragged and worn it's easier to just add a new hemguard. The hemguard also gives the skirt edge a bit of structure that helps hold it out  from the legs. Finally for a hemguard you don't have to calcualte a lot of extra length for the hem, which for me means saving a few centimeters on the skirt and that's not bad when the fabric is expensive. For this hemguard I used a strip of orange wool flanell.

I close the kirtle with a lucet cord made of brown wool. I first though that the wool was too elastic, so I tried with linen yarn. It was great, but I couldn't keep it from breaking after 3 cm. I then made a meter of so with a cotton string, but it just didn't feel right. I went back to the wool yarn, and decided that I could live with the elasticity. All lucet cords are a bit elastic anyway, no matter the raw material. To close my bodice I needed around 75 of lucet cord.

I wore my the kirtle for a daytrip to a semi-local medieval fair on Saturday. I had also made a pair of loose sleeves, using my standard S-pattern. The sleeves ended up a bit too long, but otherwise they were nice. I also want to come up with a way of tieing the sleeves on, and not just pin them.

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