Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Of Sleeves and Gussets...

Bocksten Tunic 14th Century,
Vaburg Museum
When fitting a tightly buttoned sleeve to ones arm it is necessary to construct a sleeve with an S-Curve and seam running down the back of the arm I have no intent on going through the details of that here when there is a lovely demo from La Cotte Simple. My concern has to do with the other sleeve that is plain. Pictured here is an extant garment from sometime in the middle ages. Carbon dating really can't help us here other than to confirm it's from somewhere in the medieval period so we have to look a little closer. If you really want to read up on the great debate about dating this bad boy you are but a google search away.

Tunic of Dona Teresa Gil
1307 Museo del Traje
The details I would like to point out here the sleeves are tapered for me that suggests 14th century. It's a loose fitting tunic so it may be the earlier half of the 14th century or it may have simply been clothing for a man who worked some manner of labour that a form fitted garment wasn't overly practical. Now judging by the proportions of this tunic the arms weren't really over-sized as they do taper down rather small at the wrist.  And beneath the arm stitched right into the seam is none other than a gusset. this is to help with ease of movement as well as to prevent the joining seams from ripping out.

Having a seamstress background I would take these gussets one step further and cut them on a bias, while there may not be evidence of this being done there is evidence of bias cutting. Hose were known to be bias cut so there was knowledge of the stretch that the bias could offer. So maybe just maybe some crazy sewer in the 14th century came to the same wild conclusion I did.

Demo to come.

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