12th century grey light-wool tunic,  12th century projects,  Hand-Sewing,  Projects

My husbands christmas gift – a grey light-wool 12th century tunic – sleeves .1

My husbands christmas gift - a grey light-wool 12th century tunic – sleeves .1And today I finally have some news for you about my most recent project – a grey light-wool 12th century tunic which I just finished some days ago.

This new 12th century tunic is a christmas gift for my husband. As he already had to try on the tunic for the neck-fitting and also has seen the completed tunic, there is not much surprise left which could be spoiled anymore.

Well, after completing the work at my sweethearts 12th century tunic, I spent most of my time working in the kitchen, baking cookies for friends and family. This not only allows me to use some of my otherwise quite neglected kitchen gadgets but also gives me the possibility to try out new recipes. And it seems like my husband and many of our friends love to eat homemade cookies. Yeah, homemade cookies for the win! 😉 *lol*

After countless hours of cookie baking I finally decided to take  a break and worked through the pictures I took while working at the new 12th century tunic project for my sweethearts christmas present.

And now let’s take a look at the first progress pictures which I took while I was hand sewing the sleeves for the 12th century tunic… – enjoy! 😀

As you will discover at the following two pictures, I am using the same early 13th century sleeve pattern which I already used for the 13th century under tunic and the 12th century wedding tunic for my husband. You can find more information about the period inspiration for this sleeve pattern here: “My husbands 13th century under tunic – about my medieval inspiration

After finishing the under tunic and the wedding tunic projects, my husband already had the possibility to wear both and I can say that he really loves his new garments. He was even more excited when I told him that I will make him another one for christmas. It turned out that this quite interesting sleeve pattern works very well for him. It assures a rather close fit, generates the right 12th century wrinkles as seen on so many period illuminations and last but not least it also allows a good range of movement – therefore I decided to stay with it.

In case you wonder why I date my under tunic to the 13th and the wedding tunic to the 12th century – well, when I started the under tunic project, all I knew about the period inspiration was that the person on which is was found, died shortly after the beginning of the 13th century and therefore the tunic might almost certainly had been made in the early 13th century. Otherwise the rather simple tunic pattern was very similar to the patterns I already used for my own 12th century clothing projects – if you neglect what first seemed like a quite odd huge gore at the underside of the sleeve. However, this odd gore still generates the right wrinkles and generates a proper 12th century appearance.

Due to the lack of clothing construction details in this regard on statues, illuminations and drawings – the main source for clothing inspiration for the 12th century – it can be presumed that this quite special sleeve gore cut was already known before the beginning of the 13th century.

When I started the 13th century under tunic project it was for me not more than a simple pattern test until we discovered how well this sleeve pattern works for my husband and I decided to use this pattern for his other 12th century clothing projects too.

…and now let’s take a look at the pinned sleeves and the big underarm gore for my husbands new 12th century tunic:

As you might notice, the sleeves are cut in a very basic rectangle shape – for the width of this rectangle I used the circumference of my husbands hand plus seam allowance on both sides and the length of it corresponds with my husbands arm length. The gore has a slight diamond shape and is just a little bit shorter than the rectangle.

And again I prepared for another flat-felled seam finish where one side of the fabric is pinned in place while overlapping the other side by 50%. The following two pictures show my preparation for the flat-felled seam finish at the beginning of the set in gore – first a picture of the gore open with a look at the backside fabric and the gore:


…and here a picture of the same part with the gore folded up – you can see that I still have the same 50:50 fabric overlap for the flat-felled seam finish.

And here a picture of the first sleeve after I finished the hand-sewing:


…and here another picture showing the basic sleeve design:

After I finished the hand-sewing at the sleeve, I took the sleeve to my cutting mat and cut all excess fabric of the gore part away with my new rotary cutter.

And here a close up picture of the inside of the beginning of the sleeve with the set in gore:

…and here a picture which shows how the flat-felled seam looks like at the outside:

Last but not least I also took some pictures or the hand sewing for you while I was working at the second sleeve:

At the picture above you can see how I start every time with one small backstitch and then continue with several running stitches. When you look away from the stitches and towards the fabric border, you can see that one seam border ends at about 50% away from the other seam border (in relation to the line of stitches). If you find it easier, you can also sew both seams while they have the same length and shorten one of the seams later with a scissor to 50% of its width.

And now let’s take a look at how I started the flat felled seam at the beginning of the gore:

At the picture above you can see how I started a new thread. For this purpose I added a new stitch following the already finished line of stitches and made a knot. Then I stitched through the fabric of the gore close to the line of the half/short seam allowance. Here a picture of the other side for a better understanding:

Then I folded the seam allowance of the gore over the half/short seam allowance at the other side and started sewing the border of the seam to the fabric underneath:

As you can see on the picture above, I decided to lay a wool thread of a slightly differing color into the sewing stitches along the border to accentuate the seams at this side a little bit more. This step is not really necessary but I have to admit that I am kinda keen of this effect at the moment. 🙂

And here another close up of the same step from a slightly different angle:

…and after some more stitches:

…and here a picture which shows the effect of the flat felled seam on the gore a little bit better:

When it comes to flat felled seams and gores – all my flat felled seams always go in one direction. And I always have one short seam along one side of the gore and a long seam which is longer than the gore and follows also the rest of the seam. This makes sewing decisions quite easy as I always start with the shorter seam as its beginning will be later covered up by the longer seam which is worked on top of the end part of the short seam.

And here a picture of the same flat felled seam as it appears on the outside:

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I hope you enjoyed the first posting about my work at the sleeves for my most recent 12th century tunic project for my sweetheart. 🙂

Best regards Racaire