13th century male tunic,  13th century projects,  Blog - Racaire's Embroidery & Needlework,  Hand-Sewing,  Misc.,  Projects,  Racaire

Posting #200 since I restarted my blog… Some thoughts about the past, the presence and future…

Racaire Meridian Grand TournamentWhen I recently took a look at the stats of my blog, I nearly couldn’t believe it. I was just some postings away from another lovely round number of postings. And with today’s posting I finally get to complete my round number. Can you believe it?  With this posting I posted 200 postings since I “restarted” my blog at Valentine’s day this year.

Well, blogging for already more than 10 years and after far more than 200 postings, it shouldn’t have been difficult for me to write another one. But somehow this round number caused me to take a short break and to examine the past, the presence and the future.

And well, after some consideration of the past, the presence and the future, I have to say that I liked what I could see but somehow I was not completely satisfied. Sure, after all this years I still enjoy crafting and blogging tremendously – maybe even more than when I started with it – but I have the nagging feeling that I could improve my work and especially my knowledge.

Though I will never stop to be creative by adapting and playing with medieval patterns and techniques, I think that I could add more depth to my work by intensifying my research. During the past 10 years I already did a lot of research for my projects. And though, while I was unpacking my beloved and rather precious books, I had the feeling that till now I have just grasped the surface of the research I could actually do. Therefore I already started to expand my research and am determined to also continue this in the future. 🙂

I have some awesome books in my book collection which I intend to read during the next weeks and months. *lol* The books are mostly about 12th, 13th and 14th century clothing and embroidery but also contain some very interesting information about special weaving techniques. However, I anyway need to take notes while I am reading and therefore you can look forward to some detailed book reviews in the future as well as more in-depth information concerning projects based on extant medieval pieces… 🙂

A friend of mine, who once visited me in Vienna, inspired me to set a personal goal concerning my research. My personal goal at the moment is to read at least 2-4 book pages per day and to take notes. I hope that I can at least double this book page amount soon. Given that I normally prefer to work with my hands at actual embroidery or sewing projects and that it is kind of hard for me to analyze and focus on specialized text – especially in English – I think that 2-4 book pages per day is a good personal goal.

Posting #200 - my last book boxes unpacked :D

But well, thinking about the past, the presence and the future, was not the only reason why I was rather silent through the last days. I was very busy unpacking my last book boxes and even started some research for upcoming projects. I am very happy to tell that I unpacked my very last 3 boxes filled with books yesterday. It is great to see that all my beloved books completed their long journey over the pond without any damage and that no book went missing. Now I am looking forward to get enough book shelves to be able to arrange my rather big book collection in subject areas again… 🙂

Posting #200 - started working at my very first 13th century male tunic

And I not only spent time with research and thinking, I also started working at a period tunic for my sweetheart – my very first male tunic!

After about 10 years mostly sewing for myself or helping some of my (female) friends to get dressed, I finally started sewing for a man – my man! *lol*

Yes, it is definitely a challenge for me and it required a little bit of rethinking. But finally I am getting used to the idea and start enjoying it… *giggle* It just took one try in which I found out that my fitting methods for close fitted (female) tunics (actually underdresses) don’t work for my sweetheart. The male “column” like body shape definitely needs another fitting as a female body with curves. 😉
(I apologize to my sweetheart and all male blog readers – please don’t take any offense in this figurative comparison.)

But the second try of the tunic – after picking the brain of my sister Bella concerning her husbands 12th century tunics and adding a little bit extra to all measurements – looks very promising – I will post more about it as soon as I finished and attached the second sleeve.

The pattern of the tunic is based on an extant tunic from the first third of the 13th century.
I am very happy about the progress I made so far and though the revised version is not finished yet, I have a sneak peek at the very first and a little bit too small and too tight tunic version for you here:


Pictures of extant 12th and 13th century clothing are already very rare and pictures of simple pieces like this tunic are nearly impossible to find. You can tell how surprised and excited I was when I recently purchased a book and found a picture of a simple tunic in it.

Though it might look very simple and not very interesting for some of you, I found that the sleeve construction of this tunic is very interesting and definitely worth a try. As simple as it is, it did cost me some brainwork to come up with a sewing pattern for it. Small pictures in books are not really the best source for identifying pattern construction and seam placement. And the very long gusset at the bottom of the sleeve raised several question in my mind concerning the construction. Till now my normal approach for female underdresses was a small rectangular gusset located in the armpit therefore I was rather surprised to see this sleeve form and to discover some seams where I haven’t seen them before…

I really can’t wait to finish the second sleeve and to attach it to the body. Already the very first and too tight fitted version of this tunic gave me a really nice impression of its possible final fit – it is very “12th centuryish”. I know, this is not a proper word, but as I always aim to achieve a medieval look like shown at a statue or painting, I have to say that already the very first version looked it could have been worn by someone on a 12th century illumination… 😀

Well, I will try to speed up my hand-sewing and will post about this sewing project as soon as possible. And yes, I didn’t forget, I still owe you a Klosterstich hands-on tutorial…

Best regards Racaire


    • Racaire

      *lol* It seems that you can read my mind! *lol*
      I already told him that I will make him a fashionable male side laced 12th century bliaut in the future… *giggle*
      …and I am sure that he would look awesome in it! 😀