Well, I finished the tunic up so Dolan looked snazzy during court for his investiture as landed Baron of Lonely Tower.  I do need to add a few more details to the embellishment, in order for it to be heraldic-ly correct, but that is a task for another time. [2016 edit – Which Kezia eventually finished up.]

I have been working as Dolan’s tailor for awhile, and I have been keeping details that I imagine a tailor in period might record. So, now for details that will likely bore all but costuming geeks.

Photo by Sean Steenrod

The tunic is out of red linen Dolan provided.  It was cut using the Kragelund Tunic design, which has been dated to the 11th or 12th century.  I started with the information on http://www.historiclife.com/Essays/KragelundTunic.htm

Dolan’s measurements weren’t too much different, at least as much as I could figure – I really don’t know how actual body measurements translate into men’s garment sizes.  So I cut it using those dimensions on his website, just shortened the body piece from 100″ to 90″.  Cutting out took about 1 hr & 15 minutes, which is about standard.  Laying out and cutting a geometric design by using measurements usually takes 1 to 1.5 hrs.

4243824738_4aff7240b4_oMachine sewing the seams took 1 hr 45 min.  Then I took a trip up to Dolan’s for fitting. You can see in this photo that it is too big in the shoulders, and the sleeves are too long. but it fits well in the waist. After the fitting, I took the sleeves off, and took off 2″ on each side of the body piece, up at the shoulder, and tapered it to the original edge by the base of the sleeve.  That ended up making the sleeves right, instead of too long.  It took about 1 more hour to do the ripping, cutting, and resewing, including sewing on a narrow piece of selvedge to create the facing for the neckline.

Then I sat down to a movie marathon, and hand finished all the seams and hems, which took about 7 hrs, not including breaks.

Photo by Kate Sachs

I used a bit of black linen-cotton which was reclaimed, and using my dusty quilting skills, machine pieced red and black squares for the embellishment for the tunic – there were 5 squares with a white tower, for Lonely Tower’s device, and 5 circles with red, black and white (a linen-rayon blend, also reclaimed) for the 5 different baronial awards.  Dolan happens to have a complete set of said baronial awards.  I used freezer-paper applique to get the various white pieces to keep their shape while cutting and sewing, but I pulled the freezer paper out before I finished stitching all edges, to avoid having to cut thru the back of the pieces to rip out the paper.  Two of the awards did not lend themselves to applique, so I embroidered them in while silk – (Elegance Silk Pearl #8, distributed by Rainbow Gallery)  The door arches in the towers were embroidered in black linen, (2 strands DMC linen floss – L310).  Then the roundels and pieced squares were hand stitched onto the tunic, this during the day at the event.  Total time for creating the Lonely Tower embellishment bling currently stands at about 15 hrs, but there is a bit more that needs to be finished.

So, the tunic has about 26 hrs labor into it at this point.

The cloak Dolan wore, however, didn’t take nearly that long,

The cloak was made of a dark grey 100% wool herringbone, which I found at the Quilted Moose in Elkhorn Nebraska.  Material cost for this and the winnigas is about $30.  Dolan provided some red/black entwined beasties trim, originally from Calontir Trim.  The only machine sewing was to stitch a strip of selvedge along the top as a facing.  I hand sewed the trim onto the lower edge, finishing the hem in the process.  I left the sides alone, so the selvedges are visible, and hand-stitched the trim along the sides.  I ended up with about 2 inches of trim to spare.  I spent about 3 hrs on it, and Bechte sewed the facing down, which took her about 30 minutes.

The winnigas were easy.  I just cut 4 long strips that were 3 inches wide out of the aforementioned wool.  I hand stitched 2 pieces together with a simple overlapping join, and suddenly, I had two long leg wrapping for him.  It took only about 30 minutes.  I doubt that the wool will fray, since I pre-wash all fabric I use, by washing on hot, and drying on high, and generally getting all the abuse out before any sewing takes place.  He’s used it a few times, and I don’t think it’s a problem.

Under the winnigas, he wore a pair of pants I made him last spring.  They are just a dark blue/grey/white striped 100% cotton fabric which cost about $12. + $2 for elastic.  I just copied the elastic waist pants pattern he currently had, and machine sewed it.  It took roughly 2-3 hrs.  (This was before I was keeping my Tailor Account Book quite so carefully, so my time estimate isn’t very precise.)

But the Kragelund tunic is great, with enough space to move, but the sleeves aren’t going to be too baggy for him to shoot archery in.  And now I get to make him another tunic in 2 weeks, but at least I don’t have to spend any time with fitting.  (For those who don’t know, I live more than an hour from Dolan, so special trips for fitting, or measurements, and fabric selection take a bit more time than running to my grocery store.)