Links: Costuming
Wed, 05 May 2004 08:04:21 -0500

Got a burning yearning to be Tudor? Perhaps you feel the need to go Japanese? Maybe you're contemplating your annual shift to Celt for coolness? It's that time of year (is it ever NOT that time of year?) when we are all rushing to the sewing machine in order to have enough comfortable or stylish garb for the High Tourney Season. Below you will find links to costuming
sites that will help you find your historical "style" and show you how to make your own SCA and Historical clothing. Please note that this Links List is actually organized: First section--general garb information and "fashion shows," second section is for beginners, and third section is for those who actually know their way around a reconstructed garment (i.e.: not me. I am
NOT a costuming Laurel, and it shows!). The third section shows era-and-culture specific articles.

As always, please pass this list along to those who will appreciate it, and use this list to update your own websites and lists. Remember that for the Links shown in this list, all material shown from the site and accredited to the site is COPYRIGHT BY THAT SITE. Please play fair and give credit where it is due.

COMING SOON TO A WEBSITE NEAR YOU: These Links lists are soon to be indexed at that uber-medieval website, Gode Cookery. Many thanks to my friend Master Huen for taking on a HUGE task, and actually volunteering to do it to boot!
We'll all look forward to a publication of the Links resource page when it's ready! Also, thanks to Pani Jadwiga of the East Kingdom for archiving all the past Links Lists. She's a Library Goddess! Meanwhile, be sure to search Stefan's Florilegium if there's a topic you burn to read about. Not only is there a ton of great non-Aoife generated stuff, there is also a hefty dose
of past Links Lists to discover!

Happy sewing!

Dame Aoife Finn, OL
(m/k/a Lisbeth Herr-Gelatt)
Canton of Riverouge
Barony of the Endless Hills

FIRST SECTION: Who do you want to look like?
Analysing a Style by Rowan Perigrynne
(Site Excerpt) Within the Society, many people produce costumes which are pretty but generically "medjeeval" rather than of a particular period and country. My own aim is to produce work which is an accurate reproduction of a specific time and place. This might mean copying a specific portrait exactly (and this is a good way to start to focus on a style), but it also means being able to analyse what makes a particular style distinctive. Once you have achieved this, you can produce a new and original outfit, perfectly in keeping with the originals.

Stefan's Florilegium Clothing FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
(Site Excerpt of ONE section of the message) One tactic for using scaled patterns to construct garments is to choose
a garment in a book, make a transparency of the pattern in the book, and go buy a pattern as similar as possible. Then project the transparency on the wall and use it to adjust the bought pattern to the style of the garment in the book.

Wardrobes of the Knowne World, Unlocked
(Site Excerpt) Welcome to the web page of the SCA-Garb electronic mailing list! The purpose of this page is to create a showcase for the talented clothiers, costumers, seamstresses and tailors of the SCA to share their articles, class handouts, book reviews, and pictures of their work. (Ed Note: This site is searchable, and has lists of articles, galleries, sewing tips, humor, and merchants)

Costuming Bibliography
(Site Excerpt) The following is a list of some helpful guides to costuming for the SCA. In addition to books on costuming, I recommend finding a book of paintings or drawings made in your period of interest and seeing what people really wore. This is easier for late period personas, of course. The paintings will show you fashion and color choices, jewelry, hairstyles, etc.
and then a good costuming book can help with construction of actual garb.

Fashion through the Ages (A FAshion slideshow)

Online Costume Ball 2000
Note that the first image does not show on My machine (running XP PRo), but by clicking on the square anyway, I was led to a series of photographs of costumes.

SECOND SECTION: For the seamstresses and tailor amongst us who are new to the craft
Alterations for SCA Sewers
(Site Excerpt) The first step in fitting anything is taking proper measurements. Not what you think your measurements are but the accurate ones (everyone is guilty of this at some time). Elizabethan Costuming by Janet Winter and Carolyn Savoy has a very nice measurement chart in it, but you can find one in most good sewing books. I really can not stress how important good measurements are to good fitting garments. To do this properly you will need another person to take these measurements, this is
because your movements can affect them. Some of these measurements you will need for almost all of the garments you will make, while other specialised garments will need measurements specific to the garment.

Practical Worksheet for Tunic Construction by Cynthia Virtue aka Cynthia du Pr? Argent
(Site Excerpt) This is a worksheet. It is easier than it may seem at first, trust me! Please refer to my "Introduction To Garb" handout for style and historical considerations.
Step One: These are the pieces of your tunic. Think about how they go together in this drawing of the finished tunic.
A: The body piece forms the front and back of the main part of the tunic.
B: Sleeves
C: Gores: triangular pieces of fabric that give room to move in the "skirt" of the tunic. The more movement you want, the wider they should be at the bottom. 11" is good for a knee-length tunic; twice that for floor length.
D: Gusset: square pieces of material that give ease at the underarm.
(NOTE: See also this author/costumer's site: Introduction to Garb: A Seminar
by Cynthia Virtue aka Cynthia du Pr? Argent )

"What Do I Wear?"By Gwyndlyn Caer Vyrddin
(Site Excerpt) How did you choose the style you're wearing right now? Have you admired other people's garb, but wondered where you might ever start finding information?
Have you started looking for costume information and been overwhelmed wondering where to look?
Where to start looking
- Around you at events
- Museums (if you're lucky enough!)
- Costume history books
-Artwork, and art history books
Factors to be aware of
- Not everyone is an expert
-Artwork is a good contemporary source, but is subject to stylistic variations -- NO one has a Romanesque body!

The T-Tunic
Creating your own tunic pattern for wear in the Society for Creative Anachronism.
(Site Excerpt) Try to buy a fabric that is at least 54 inches wide. This way, you don't need to add fabric to make the sleeves long enough. Narrow fabrics require you to add a section of fabric to the end of the sleeve in order to reach the wrist. Men may still have to add a fabric strip to the wrist, if their arms are long. To figure the amount of fabric to buy, double measurement #1 and add about 8 inches (to compensate for the hem and shrinkage). Convert to the nearest quarter yard (tell the lady at the fabric store how many inches you need and she can convert for you, if this process is scary). Just be sure to buy a little more than you need, not a little less.

Extant Clothing of the Middle Ages
Assembled by by Cynthia du Pr? Argent
(Site Excerpt) It is intended as a seductive resource for folks interested in this time period to track down the few whole-garment examples we have. (Look! See how keen these are?) In some cases, the museums currently holding these pieces will have websites, published books or archeological findings, collection catalogs, libraries of images that they will duplicate
for you (usually you have to be onsite to use the libraries) and so forth.

Some Clothing of the Middle Ages
Historical Clothing from Archaeological Finds Compiled by I. Marc Carlson
(Site Excerpt) This document is intended to be a cursory examination, for people interested in historical recreation and replication, of the extant archaeological and museum materials relating to clothing in the Middle Ages, as I come across them. Non-archaeological materials, such as contemporary
art and statuary will also be considered, but this site is intended to focus
principally on the actual garments themselves.

Stefan's Florilegium Researching Early Period Costumes
(Site Excerpt) Researching Early Period Costume --Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester
Rather than give you an overview of all the minute details of costume construction and ornament over a six hundred year period, I am going to keep things simple, discussing briefly the basic principles of cut and construction in this earlier period, followed by some general observations on the joys and difficulties in researching dress in this period.
Throughout all of the period from 600 to 1200 (and indeed, up to about 1350 or so), the main principle of cutting fabric was the straight line.
This means simply that instead of cutting the pieces into form-fitting, curved shapes, as is generally done today, the pieces were largely (more or less) triangles, rectangles, and trapezoids. This method conserves fabric (an important factor in a day in which all fabric was hand woven and dyed) and produces a characteristic look and drape. You may still see vestiges of the era
of straight line cutting in the folk dress of many Eastern European and Indian subcontinental countries.

Early Medieval Clothes Patterns
(Site Excerpt) The patterns and descriptions given here are intended for re-enactors rather than serious academic historians. Janet Arnold has written an excellent series of books which are based on disections of actual historical clothing from the 16th Century onwards and which give accurate patterns.
Most of the evidence for Early Medieval clothing is in the form of fragments of garments and illustrations in manuscripts and other historical records, so there has to be a certain amount of guesswork involved in recreations.

THIRD SECTION: For those who know their way arounda needle and thread.

Anglo-Saxon and Viking Works of the Needle: Some Artistic Currents in Cross-Cultural Exchange ? 1992 Carolyn Priest-Dorman
(Site Excerpt) This paper contains a typology and brief discussion of some stitches that have been discovered on extant textiles from the period between the seventh and eleventh centuries in Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and related cultures. Embroidery, construction stitches, style, and usage are considered. Information is organized in a comparative framework based on
techniques, not on culture or period, in order to facilitate a practical understanding by needleworkers. An appendix lists the cultures and sites considered.

A Study of 12th and 13th Century essay from Primary Sources By Lydie LaBarthe
(Site Excerpt) **This is a paper I just finished about clothing of the 12th and 13th centuries, notably the Bliaut. When I went looking for info on this on the net, it was near impossible to find anything, so I've posted this up on the web to help others who may be interested in this garment and this period as a whole. I hope it is of some help to you.(To see images of the garments discussed, please go to Historical photos.) See also: More 12th and 13th Century Clothing and Accessories.

Mistress Cori on Kirtles
Mistress Corisander Seathwaite
(Site Excerpt)
The first layer (optional unless doing short sleeved kirtle) is a chemise (best seen in the Illustration of June in John, Duc du Berry's Tres Riches Heures). This is a simple T-tunic cut dress with slight flare from the armpit. I have never found a need to gusset armpits (I know someone will ask that question). There is a version, seen in the Wenceslas Bible, which is sleeveless. I would forgo this in warm climates if wearing a long-sleeved Kirtle...Kirtle:This is the foundation garment layer. If you make this
correctly, you will not need a bra! I mean this for all body types, because I have done it (made them) and seen it done successfully (by others)! Calontir is chock full of ample women wearing kirtles and cotes! (This is probably my biggest pet peeve: the people who just dismiss this patterning and go to princess seams and a bra because they think they are "too big" to
be supported.)

Drafting a Houppelande Pattern
? 1999-2000 Jessica I. Clark
(Site Excerpt) There are theories and evidence for several different approaches to drafting patterns for houppelandes. Through my own observations of many paintings and illuminations of the time period, along with interpretation of evidence presented in the book A History of Costume by Carl Kohler, I have developed a pattern of predominantly triangular shaped pattern pieces. This pattern also incorporates funnel shaped sleeves with pleated shoulders and a convertible collar. This pattern can be
achieved through simple alterations of an existing princess line dress pattern.

Relative Frequency of Headdresses by Type Found in a Sample of Visual Sources ? 1992, graphic revised 1999, Susan Reed
(Site Excerpt) After collecting the data about hat types in visual images and and the dates those images were produced, I created a chart showing the distribution of the hat types by decade from 1400 to 1519. My sample included 791 Central-European and Western-European headdresses. Looking across the graph, you can see the distribution of headdresses during each decade (as shown in a sample of visual sources); the percentages of the various hats shown for the decade will add to 100 percent.

Understanding the Houpelande and Burgundian Clothing Construction (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
by Mistress Corisander Seathwaite

Elizabethan Costume: History and Technique
By Margo Anderson
(Site Excerpt) In order to understand the clothes the Elizabethans wore, you must understand why they wore them. To do this, you need to know how their society worked.The Elizabethan social world was based on a concept known as The Great Chain Of Being. This was the idea that everyone had their own, God-ordained position in society. The top of the chain was God, directly below God was the Queen and everyone else was below her, in descending degrees of importance. While this social order was beginning to break down, it still held true in general. People had their rigidly ordered stations in life, and their clothing reflected who they were.The social order is often broken into peasants, middle class, and nobles.

Intros to Elizabethan Costume by Drea Leed
A series of links to INCREDIBLE Elizabethan resources.

17th Century Baroque Fashion, 1600-1627
An image collection, with an image search available.

The Basics of Byzantine Dress c. 1000 A.D.
By Dawn Vukson-Van Beek (Clare de Saint Denis)
(Site Excerpt) The essential articles of Byzantine dress are simple and easy to construct. The primary article of dress was called a tunica. The tunica served as the basic undergarment of both men and women, or the only garment for the working class and poor. The main over-garment worn both by men and women is called the dalmatica. This garment began a t-tunic, but became more tailored in eighth century. The essential line of a dalmatica is triangular, with narrowing sleeves or flaring sleeves. Another over-garment for women only is the stola. The stola is unchanged from Roman times.

Celtic Dress of the 16th C.
By Meistr Gwylym ab Owain, OL OP DWS
(Site Excerpt) The purpose of this document is to help you understand the types of clothing worn by the Scots and the Irish during the 16th Century. It is also intended to help you understand a little of the history of the"Celts" of the Bristish Isles. To understand the British "Celts" I will give a brief synopsis of the history of the Celtic peoples. This is not an in-depth, how-to discussion, but an overview to get you started. There are a number of good sources on the internet today that you may visit for
patterns and more in-depth information on how to fashion the clothing. One url is given below that you may use as a starting point.

A brief essay on the leinte of early medieval Ireland
by Molly Kathryn McGinn (formerly N? Dana)
(Site Excerpt) A leine (plural - leinte) is the basic unisex garment of the insular Celts of Ireland and Scotland, worn underneath everything else. It can be variously described as tunic-like, peplos-like, or some sort of chemise. It does seem to have been composed of two long rectangles of fabric attached at the shoulders either by seams or pins, with or without sleeves, gussets or gores. Necklines could be round, square or v-shaped, guessing from illustrations in the Book of Kells, but boat neck and
slit-front are not out of the question.

16th & 17th Century quotes concerning Scottish Men's and Women's Attire
(Site Excerpt) -Illustrating the change from Scots wearing the "Irish dress" to the great-kilt, or belted plaid. Highlanders wearing "Dyed shirts" and a "light wrap of wool of different colours." - Jean de Beaugue', 1540's.
"Several wild Scots followed them (the Scottish Army) and they were naked except for stained shirts, and a certain light covering made of various colours".-Monsieur Jean de Beayque, 1549.

15th Century Female Flemish Dress: A Portfolio of Images
(Site Excerpt) This site contains images of women from paintings and sculpture of the 15th century by artists working primarily in the northwestern part of Europe. I have also included monumental brasses, though these are more problematic for costume study: they often do not correspond in date to the figures they depict, and they are more likely to use standardized artistic convention than other forms of artwork.

The Handbook of German Dress: Handbuch der Deutschen Tracht
Author: Fr. Hottenroth

Welcome to the Real Landsknecht Homepage
(Site Excerpt) This Web Site is dedicated to the history of the Landsknechte (plural) and especialy to the clothing from their times, the time was the high renaissance in Europe (c.e.1400-1600) A time ...
In 1991 I was first unleashed on the internet through a hard fought for text only VMS connection at a university. Then in 1996, November 17, I got my own Weeb connection. One of the first things I did was hit the search engines to find all I could about the Landsknechten and the clothing from that time. I did not find very much, and not at all what I wanted. So now I have this
Weeb Page for information about the Landsknechte and the times in which they lived. With, of course, an emphasis on the clothing of that time. Although my interests in clothing history extends to both male and female clothes, this page is mostly about men's wear. However there is some stuff for the ladies

The Sari in fashion Five Thousand Years
(Site Excerpt) Legend has it that when the beauteous Draupadi - wife of the Pandavas -was lost to the enemy clan in a gambling duel, the Lord Krishna promised to protect her virtue. The lecherous victors, intent on "bagging" their prize, caught one end of the diaphanous material that draped her so demurely, yet seductively. They continued to pull and unravel, but could reach no end. Virtue triumphed yet again in this 5,000 year old Indian epic, the Mahabharat.

Italian Renaissance Gown Construction by Mistress Leona Khadine d'Este and Mistress Enid d'Auliere
As republishing in any format is forbidden, I'lljust say that this is a great site and worth viewing.

Japanese Garb
(Site Excerpt) Early Japanese Garb
There have been no real garments found before the Asuka period (552-646 AD) Earlier descriptions are mere guesses or interpretations from some pottery images. Here is what is commonly believed:
Jomon Period (Before 300 AD) Hunter/Gatherers
The images on pottery seem to indicate close fitting trousers, and short upper garments with tubular sleeves, loosely belted with rope. These may have had either embroidered or painted curvilinear designs, and were possibly made of hemp. There was no distinction between male and female clothing.

Notes on Islamic Clothing
This is an article from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988,
1990, 1992.
(Site Excerpt) One of the problems with having a Muslim persona is that it is often difficult to get information on garb. In part this is because most people writing in English are more interested in medieval Christians than in medieval Muslims; costume books rarely have much that is useful for our purpose. In part it is because Sunni Muslims regard the making of pictures
of living creatures as forbidden by religious law. Fortunately, the injunction was not always obeyed.

Narantsetseg's Mongolian Pages
(Site Excerpt) Mongolian dress has changed little since the days of the empire, because it is supremely well-adapted to the conditions of life on the steppe and the daily activities of pastoral nomads. However, there have been some changes in styles which distinguish modern Mongolian dress from historic costume. The basic garment for both men and women is the del or
caftan. This is a long coat-like garment with a characteristic overflap in front. Mongolian dels always close on the wearer's right, and traditionally have five fastenings. Modern dels often have decoratively cut overflaps, small round necklines, and sometimes "mandarin" collars. Depictions of Mongols during the time of the empire, however, show dels with more open necklines, no collars, and very simply cut overflaps, similar to the dels still worn by lamas in modern Mongolia. An example of this style del is
shown below in a portrait of Khubilai Khan taken from a painting in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.

Polish costuming resource
(Site Excerpt) You have found Art and Jocelyn's online Polish costuming resource. These pictures have been carefully selected to represent the finest of Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Cossak costumes, weaponry, jewelry, etc. from the years 1400 to 1900. Art is a native-born Polish historian who has enjoyed many years of notoriety as an expert in the field of Polish living history.

Patterns and Instructions for Medieval Russian Costumes.
(Site Excerpt) The patterns and instructions on this page are based on Russkii istoricheskii kostium dlia stseny , Isskustvo: Moscow, 1945, by N. Giliarovskaia [Russian Historical Costume for the Stage ]. The patterns system Giliarovskaia gives work. However, it is highly recommended to prepare a mock-up of the garment from cheap fabric such as muslin before
cutting the actual fabric intended for that garment.

Spain, the Early Years: Costume of the Visigoths, Mozarabes, and the Northern Christian Kingdoms
by Maddalena Jessamyn di Piemonte Originally printed in Seams Like Old Times, Issue #18
(Site Excerpt) Early Spanish costume has not been widely explored; the casual browser will find little mention of this period in general sources on costume, and little iconographic evidence in general, or even somewhat specific art sources. What few reference works we have are in Spanish, and to find pictorial representations often requires a major library. The search, however, is worth the trouble, for what emerges is a body of unique garments, largely unknown and usually quite foreign to the traditions of the rest of Western Europe.

Bibliography of Sources for the Construction of Viking Garments
? 1993, 1997, 2000 Carolyn Priest-Dorman

MOAS Atlantia Costuming Resources