03 November 2013

Anglo-Saxon women's pattern development - a potential recreation

Anglo-Saxon women's pattern development - A potential recreation
Sayyeda al-Kaslaania
March 2011, revised August 2016

The pattern I developed for this Anglo-Saxon garment is nearly identical to my interpreted pattern for standard Middle Eastern garments of the Middle Ages. The largest influence on this choice is the way it flatters the luxury sized body. When a luxury sized person makes a t-tunic that starts with the center body panel as half of the fullest measurement, the shoulder seam droops toward the elbow, the gores can to cling to the hips, and the whole thing can look like dressing-in-dad's-clothes, instead of a custom-made garment.

These garments instead take advantage of the natural flattering lines on the body. The center body panels are as wide as the point-to-point measurement; the intersection of underarm gussets and side body gores is set just at the visually narrowest part of most luxury-sized bodies, i.e., the ribcage just below the bust. The underarm gusset allows room for the fullness of the bust without forcing the eye to it, and sleeves are gently angled to a narrowed cuff. The garment sweeps gracefully over all the parts of the body. By foregoing a belt, the lines of the garment all draw the eye to the face. The garment hangs naturally from the shoulders, so there is no tugging or discomfort. The costume becomes custom fit clothing, and looks very much like the drawings in Gale Owen-Crocker’s book, Dress in Anglo-Saxon England.

This cut is similar to Nockert Type 5, explained further on I. Marc Carlson’s site http://personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/tunics.html

The trick to fitting women is to get the breasts comfortably supported. Wear a well fitting bra and tighten the shoulder straps some before taking measurements. The point-to-point measurement is taken while the bra is on, and seam allowances are added to that. The measurement to determine the location of the gusset/gore intersection is taken from the top of the shoulder. Let the tape fall over the bosom and looking from the side see where an imaginary line drawn from the ribcage measurement (bra band) would intersect the tape. Don’t make the tape follow the curve under the bosom because the garment won’t be doing that, so the result would look unfitted. 

Here's directions for using making and using this kind of pattern.

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