Every time I begin a project I am tempted to reuse a pattern I’ve already drafted. More often than not, I resist the temptation and begin to draft anew. Perhaps this is because I still learn so much as I explore the shapes and proportions of the period patterns. Or, more likely, it is because I need the time to think about how I will construct the garment.
So this is how I found myself recreating bara tapes this week and redrafting a pattern from Freyle’s 1588 pattern book. The pattern (pictured below) is for a peascod-shaped doublet. That is to say, that it rounds outward and is padded to create a rounded lower portion to the torso.
I made some changes to the pattern above, the most specific is that while it shows a front drop to a point of L-QQQ (that is three quarters of the length), this appeared too pointed next to the Moroni painting I am referencing. I went with a slightly less pointed L-tt (two-thirds) for the front line. I also reduced the overall length of the sleeves to ttii (two-thirds and 2 dedos) instead of QQQ in order to get the right proportion on my husband’s frame. The remaining measurements hold true. The patterns begin as a tailors block of half the body in order to create a reference for the shoulder slopes, armscye, and waist. The porportions of the pattern are then overly laid and adjustments made to allow for how this two-dimensional shape will become three-dimensional. I won’t go to deeply into that part as is it quite involved and I don’t yet feel confident to teach it. The images below take us from the initial block to the finished shapes.
Next, is cutting out a mock-up of thick fabric to make sure the fit is where I want it. I will say that 9/10 the proportional draft just works but when I am working at speed and the materials include silk, I rather not take chances.
The mockup is of cabbage pieces of canvas and denim, the picture is below. Overall, the fit will work once the layers and padding are in place. I will let a little more ease into the back and the sleeves go back to QQQ. I should have trusted Freyle as the ttii measurement was too short.
The pants are quite voluminous and as such the pattern will be chalked directly onto the pants. As I have a good ideas of the appropriate crotch depth from the calzone built before we began, I can be sure of the fit. The pattern was verified through two different analytical views of the same extant piece. Arnold and Braun. I also consulted the Tudor Tailor and was instructed in patterning these in a course by Matthew Gnagy (The Modern Maker). More on the pants in a later post.