12th century grey light-wool tunic,  12th century projects,  Hand-Sewing,  Projects,  Projects - Tablet weaving,  Tablet woven bands

My husbands christmas gift – a grey light-wool 12th century tunic – tablet woven band & cuffs

2015-12 - Racaire - Conrads - 12th century tunic - grey light wool tunic with tablet woven band decoration for the cuffsCuffs, Cuffs, Cuffs and tablet woven band… 😀

Let’s talk about the cuffs for my husbands christmas present today – a 12th century tunic made from lovely grey light weight wool.

Though I didn’t embroider the cuffs for my sweethearts 12th century tunic, they are still quite special for me as I decorated them with some tablet woven band I made myself – or well, I made about half of it to be precise… *lol*

And it is actually the second tablet woven band I ever made. You might even remember the band – I posted about it in May of 2014: “My new tablet weaving loom & my 2nd try of weaving with tablets 🙂

To cut a long story short – before I left Vienna/Austria, my sister Martina gave me her loom for tablet weaving with a half finished tablet woven band as she didn’t have the time to take on another hobby. Well, she knew that the loom would be very useful for me, that I love useful crafting tools and that I really adored her nice loom… 🙂

Well, it took some tries but soon I figured out the rotating pattern for the tablets and finished her tablet woven band within some days. Since then the tablet woven band was waiting in a small box with two other bands for its final purpose.

When I started this christmas present project for my husband, I knew that I wanted to do something special. Recreating the neckline of the blue Dalmatica was one part of it and though I normally never use woven bands or trim for anything, I wanted to use one of my precious tablet woven bands for the neckline and the cuffs. And the colors of this tablet woven band just looked amazing in combination with the grey light weight wool…

What shall I say – the decision was easy and I don’t regret it… 😀

And now let’s take a look at how I attached the tablet woven band to the cuffs… – enjoy the following pictures I took for you! 😀

But before we take a look at the pictures – let’s talk a little bit about the sleeves and the used pattern from the early 13th century. The used pattern, like many 12th century patterns, is a very simple pattern based mostly on rectangular pieces. Unlike to more modern patterns, where the sleeves are set in into a rounded curved part where the shoulder and the arm meet, this sleeves are not curved at the top and are furthermore attached to a straight border of the main body part.

Due to this fact the seam connecting the sleeves to the body part shifts from the shoulder joint to a location further down the upper arm. When the tunic is finally tried on for a last fitting, the sleeves are about 1-2 inches longer than necessary as the new location of the shoulder/sleeve seam not only shifts the seam to a lower position but also the whole sleeve…

However, this fact, as long as you keep it in your mind while working at your early period tunic or dress is not really a disadvantage as it can be easily corrected when you start working at the sleeves or during a last fitting. For this reason I normally only finish about one third of the sewing of my sleeve before I attach the sleeves to the main body part. I don’t get back to the sleeves until the major sewing of the main body part is done and I can actually fit and correct the sleeve length and pattern to the desired fit or length directly on the body of the wearer.

Based on the under tunic project where I tried this early 13th century pattern for the very first time and which I finished before this tunic project, I knew that the gore at the bottom of the sleeve already did all the desired fitting for me. Therefore I could sew together the whole sleeve without any further fitting after I attached the sleeve to the main body part.

After the sewing of the sleeves was completed, I let my husband try on the tunic again so I could determine the right sleeve length for him. To do so, I simply turned the fabric at the cuff over the fabric at the outside until the border of the folded fabric formed a comfortable sleeve length my husband liked and pinned the fabric in place. Now I only had to get my husband out of the tunic again, make sure that both sleeves had the same length and I could already start to attach the tablet woven band to his cuffs. 🙂

As the tablet woven band would cover most of the surplus fabric at the inside, I didn’t worry much about it at this point and started to sew on the tablet woven band right away. To be able to hide the connecting sewing stitches as good as possible while making sure that the band would stay firmly in place regardless what my husband is doing, I decided to use a backstitch – making small backstitches along the border of grey fabric while hiding the long stitches inside weaving of the tablet woven band.

At the next picture you can see one of the tiny backstitches I made on the inside:


Always making sure at the other side that I place the needle exactly between the green and yellow part of the tablet woven band:


Btw. – to be able to hide the sewing thread within the tablet woven band, I had two color choices for the sewing thread – green or yellow. As I didn’t have any green thread on hand, I decided to go with my yellow sewing thread.

…and this way I attached the band to the fabric – always one tiny backstitch at the wool fabric side and a longer stitch hidden in the tablet woven band as you can see on the pictures underneath:


A long stitch…


…carefully placed in between the woven green and yellow lines and pulled in tightly…


…is nearly invisible! Well, sure, it might take a little bit longer but the result looks great and makes all this extra work worthwhile. 🙂

And here a picture of how the cuff looked like while I was working at it (btw. the grey wool fabric visible at the right side is actually the inside of the sleeve):


Many tiny backstitches along the border and longer stitches on the other side firmly hold the tablet woven band in place while creating a very nice and defined border:


…and here a closer look at my tiny backstitches – yes, they are so small that they are nearly invisible. 🙂


…and now let’s take a look at the tablet woven band and what I did before starting or finishing it.

Well, the idea of simply cutting the tablet woven band and to use it as it was, was quite unbearable for me and just thinking about it, still causes some stomach pain. However, like always, there was a simple solution to this problem.


By just adding some stitches before and after the point where I intended to cut the tablet woven band, I was not only able to secure the band from further possible fraying but also could narrow it a little bit which made it much easier to hide the end (or beginning) of the band underneath itself. 🙂


After securing the woven band nearby, I was able to securely cut the band with as little waste as possible and folded the end to the inside:



After this step I pinned the end of the band to the fabric underneath and finished the last sewing stitches along the border.

And now it was finally time to get rid of all the unnecessary excess fabric. Therefore I took a pair of scissors and cut away some of the surplus fabric underneath the tablet woven band – just leaving some seam allowance.


Working with this fine light weight wool it is actually not really necessary to leave that much seam allowance but as it will be hidden anyway, it does not really make a difference. In case that you are working with another fabric like linen,… a good amount of about a half inch of seam allowance at this point might be quite useful as it will help to prevent the fabric at your cuff border from fraying in the future.

After all the excess fabric of the sleeve cuff was cut off, I started to sew the other border of the tablet woven band into place with back stitches:



Again I tried to make the stitches visible at the inside of the sleeve as small as possible. And here a picture of the inside of the sleeve for you:


I continued the backstitches until I reached the end/beginning of the band again:


Where I connected the borders of the beginning and the end of the tablets woven band with some simple stitches:


Here again I tried to place the stitches so that they vanish inside the weave of the tablet woven band. And well, after some more stitches… voilà… the cuff was finished! 😀 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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And last but not least a picture of the tunic which shows how the finished sleeve cuffs with the tablet woven band look like:


I hope you enjoyed todays posting about how I made the cuffs with the tablet woven band for my husbands tunic. 🙂

Best regards Racaire