Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ivory Wool Tunic or Cote

After Tom nearly froze his tushie off at Fall Harvest I decided it needed to make him something warm to wear for cold weather SCA events. All he had were warm weather RenFest clothes: a few cotton and linen shirts and one pair of knee length pants. He didn't own any kind of doublet or jacket and I didn't feel that I had the skills or patience to try to make him one. We settled on a generic wool tunic or "man's basic cote" using the cutting diagram in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant.
This was supposed to be a quick and easy project so we chose an inexpensive wool blend fabric. I cut the pieces and quickly assembled them by machine. I follow the no *visible* machine stitching school of thought so planned to do all of the hems by hand. I expected to just pink the seam allowances and call it good but, unfortunately, the inexpense fabric ravelled like crazy! Deciding that felled seams would be too thick and bulky I chose to turn under each seam allowance and stitch it down with a running stitch. It's a good thing we ended up not going to Winter Revel in January because all of that hand stitching took me forever to finish. I did get it finshed in time for Val Day by hemming in the car on the way to the airport for the cruise.
In the interest of full disclosure (and because I share my mistakes so others than learn from them LOL) I did NOT know what I was doing when sewing in the split center front gores and totally screwed the top point up. Fortunately my mistake was hidden under Tom's belt because I also made the split a bit too high. And I did do a better job on the back. I didn't do a facing for the neck but simply turned the edge under and stitched it down. I may at some point in the future turn it into a keyhole neck and add some trim.




Here's how it looked after we got home around midnight (which is my excuse for the crappy pics). I'm also posting a crappy mirror shot of my outfit because I never seem to remember to get pics of me in my garb.

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