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costuming-lnks – 8/6/04


A set of web links to information on medieval clothing by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: cloaks-msg, clothing-books-msg, codpieces-msg, fashion-msg, Knit-Stockngs-art, p-shoes-msg, patterns-msg, textiles-msg, velvet-msg, weaving-msg, sewing-msg, linen-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Lis <liontamr at ptd.net>

Date: May 4, 2004 6:03:54 PM CDT

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Links: Costuming


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




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

Pré 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 Pré Argent

http://www.virtue.to/articles/in_depth_garb.html )


"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



Extant Clothing of the Middle Ages

Assembled by by Cynthia du Pré 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


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



A Study of 12th and 13th Century Clothing...an 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



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 Ní 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



(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



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



Italian Renaissance

Gown Construction by Mistress Leona Khadine d'Este and Mistress Enid



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)


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



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 Costuning Resources



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org