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Re: Northwestern European "Under-Gowns"

Poster: "Joyce A. Baldwin" <jocetta@ibm.net>

At 12:34 AM 8/27/97 -0400, Cambok@aol.com wrote:

>I am looking for an authentic description of a gown that would be worn under
>the tunic/surcoat/overgown (your term here) of a typical Northwestern
>European woman - say from 1000 AD - 1100 AD.
>Would it be cut like a t-tunic with the sleeves attached at mid-arm, or would
>the sleeves be set in?
>Would there be gussets under the arms?  (How does one put the *&#$! things
>in, anyway - why not just curve the seam, for that matter?) 

Regarding this I can answer you:

Curving the seam wastes more cloth - with gussets and gores (triangular
skirt inserts) I can make a full length long sleeve T-tunic from 4 to 4 1/2
yards of fabric; the same style with curved seams would run me a good 6 to
7 yards.  Later on in the Middle Ages cloth was cheaper or people were
richer - they seemed to be willing to waste cloth. 

When I put in gussets, I put them in after attaching the sleeve to the body
but before sewing either the sleeves or body side seam closed. Starting
where the sleeve and body join, I sew the gusset to each side of the
sleeve, then to each side of the body, then sew the sleeves and body side
seams closed beginning from the gusset. 

The trick is to sew only to where the seams will meet, NOT to the edge of
the fabric.  It's very much like piecing a quilt.

Or you can cheat a bit and instead of 2 square gussets, cut 4 right
triangles and sew them between the body and sleeve, then sew both
side/sleeve seams together.

You can email me with more question if this is unclear.  It's a lot easier
to show than describe!


Lady Jocetta Thrushleigh of Rowansgarth

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