The House of Tatterdemalion

Unfashionable, unskilled, inexpensive--but still sewing.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Chapter IV

This one I just finished. I used McCall's 4695, sans pemplum. "What?" you say. "Isn't that kind of pointy part in the front a pemplum?" No; if you look at the pattern, the main bodice part (can you call it a bodice when it's men's clothing? Or are you supposed to call it something else?) is pointed. Here's what happened:

The pattern runs from chest sizes 34 to 46. This dude's chest measurement is 32". I thought that, seeing as it was sized for men, a 34 would be slightly loose and a bit too long. Loose I was okay with, but I cleverly straightened the front to make it shorter. A test fitting on a similarly sized brother (this was a birthday present again, so didn't want to give it away), showed that this made it much too short! So I added on the part I had cut off, hence, the seam. Unless you want a skin tight garment, always go up one size when using this pattern. And even if your subject has not yet started growing up too much, don't trim any off the bottom. On the test fitting (the testee had the same chest measurement but was taller), I don't think I could even get away with leaving the pemplum off. He certainly needed the length, and I only just got away with leaving it off as it is. I doubt this doublet will fit him for more than six months, tops.

As you can see, the doublet was made to go with his cape (which is a royal purple, not a "girl-y" purple, thank you very much!) When I made this cape, it swept the ground. Not it's only a little more than knee-length. It won't be long before he's taller than I am!

I try to use fabric leftover from making the cape, but in this case, I only had scraps. And I mean scraps. I had one really long piece of selvedge (which had no sequins on it), and one small, irregularly shaped scrap with sequins. I squeezed out the collar and cap sleeves with the scrap, and cut the selvedge piece in half (it was about 2 inches wide) and made the stripes out of that. (And it was a nightmare trying to get them to line up.)

I had to actually buy the base fabric for the doublet, a plain navy poly/cotton broadcloth. The reversible cape (the other side also had a nice deep hood for hiding one's face in) used navy poly felt. Never again. Not only does it pill terribly, but I was accused several times of trying to cook them alive--it's like wearing a blanket. (Their accusations never stopped them from wearing the capes, of course.) Needless to say, making the lined doublet out of the same felt was totally out of the question. I was afraid the colors wouldn't match, but they seem to go together quite well.

There are only three buttons, again, from my Great-grandmother's button collection. However, in this case, they are very cool buttons.

The original pattern used frog closures, not buttons, but I thought these added a more medieval flair. Besides, I didn't have any frog closures on hand!


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