A 100% Irish linen tablecloth for two dollars at thrift: would 60x96" be enough fabric to make a suitable gown for Caitlyn's trip to Camlann? I hoped so, because the color wasn't right for me at all. So I sat down with my friends Math and Measuring Tape and together we came up with a pattern that was just right.
I love graph paper, don't you? It's just the best.
Then I started measuring it onto the fabric and second guessing myself, like I almost always do. Twenty inches for the front and back? Really? The only body measurements I had to go on were waist (30") and bust (36") and somehow even allowing for seams, that 20" was probably a bit generous. So I changed it to 18" and brought out the scissors.
Hemmed up the pieces, stitched the body pieces, sleeves and arm gussets in, and had her try it on.
Surprise, surprise -- it didn't fit.
She blamed it on her broad shoulders, and that may have been part of it. Fortunately there was an easy fix, and I had that little scrap of extra yardage to use. Kite-shaped underarm gussets provided enough ease through the bust and shoulder, and when she tried it on a second time, I did a little happy-clappy skip of delight. The fit was perfect -- just what I was going for. I wanted it to hug the curves a little and not look boxy. Mission accomplished. She has the perfect medieval silhouette, too, slender and long-waisted. All I have left is the bottom hem and she'll be ready to go.
I made her a ring belt out of my leather scrap bin, punching holes to make a flower-esque sort of decoration.
Our trip to the 14th century is less than a month away. Then you'll get pictures of everyone in their finery. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cut some dark blue raw silk into a tunic.