1330 AD Cotehardie

GENERAL NOTES
DRAPED COTEHARDIE
DRAFTED COTEHARDIE
CAULS
HEADRAIL

Chemise of unbleached cotton with long tight fitting sleeves.


The cotehardie is a well fitting one-piece dress with flaring skirt and long tight sleeves, which reach to the knuckles. The dress fastens down the back. The neckline is wide and low. Sleeves have tippets that hang to the ankles attached to the upper arm.


Hair is parted in the center and divided into two plaits that are wound around the ear.


The head covering is of cauls over side rolls of hair. It can also be a type of veil called a nebula veil. A third option is called a headrail, used when working in the kitchen.


Shoes are of the turn-shoe style and are fastened by lacings. They are lengthened to an exaggerated pointed toe.


Accessories consist of a wide, ornate girdle worn at hip level.


Jewelry consists of rings and earrings.


GENERAL NOTES

This was an era of prosperity and luxurious living. Clothing was ostentatious and exaggerated. France became the leader of fashion although the styles of each country affected others to some degree.

The chemise had the same style neck and sleeves as the cotehardie. The chemise did not show.

The under tunic was a well-fitted one-piece dress with a flaring skirt and long, tight sleeves which reached to the knuckles. Sometimes the sleeves were buttoned from the elbow to the wrist. The dress was usually fastened down the back. The cotehardie fastened down the front with buttons, which became part of the decoration. The cotehardie was short sleeved and had long thin strips called tippets hanging from the back of the arm. There were small vertical slits called fichets made in the front skirt so the purse could be accessible.

Much attention was paid to the hair. Golden or fair hair was preferred. It was worn in a center part with plaits in intricate styles. Sometimes four braids, two on each side were made into the ramshorn style. Headdresses were mainly cauls or crispinettes over these side braids. Sometimes a wire circlet was worn around the head. A gorget or wimple could be attached to the cauls.

Footwear was the soft-shoe, which lengthened even more. Hose were worn and gartered above the knee.

Buttons were on the under dress sleeves and also fastened the cotehardie down the front. Elaborate girdles were worn low on the hips. Other accessories included prayer books, rosaries, flag-shaped fans, gloves, and a purse. Jewelry was extravagant. Women wore rings on each finger. Beautiful ornaments set with jewels were worn at the top of the cotehardie sleeves on the shoulder. Garments were frequently embroidered. Necklaces with a center drop medallion or jeweled collars were prevalent. Earrings and bracelets, however, were not popular.

Typical fabric colors worn at this time were white, blue, black, red, deep royal blue, green, purple, light blue, and brown. Colors were becoming identifiers for professions. Purple or light blue identified a doctor of physics, black represented a canon, and brown was used for mourning.

The typical materials used were taffeta (a most expensive new material worn only by the highest ranks, scarlet cloth, velvety material called fustian, a new green Flemish cloth called sisken, and gray mustardevilliers from Normandy. Also worn were russets and linens, satin, silk, flannels of fine wool, and many colored worsted.

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DRAPED COTEHARDIE

MEASUREMENTS
LAYOUT AND CUTTING DETAILS
FITTING
CONSTRUCTION NOTES
SEWING DIRECTIONS

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Most medieval dresses were at least to the floor, and in many cases much longer. Cotton tends to shrink, so I recommend making the dress at least 2" longer than the desired length. Once you get a dress that has the length and curve you like, use it as a pattern for the next dress.

Equipment needed: paper, tape measure, T-square ruler and/or yardstick.

MEASUREMENTS

TORSO PATTERN

Because this is a geometric construction, the main body of the dress does not need a specific drawing of the pattern until after the mock up is completed.

SLEEVE PATTERN

Draw a basic sleeve block and alter it to have a seam along the back of the arm.

  1. Draw a line down the center of the paper.sleeve pattern
  2. About 1" down the line make a mark for the top of the shoulder. Label it A.
  3. Measure down the number of inches from shoulder to wrist and make a dot. Label this B.
  4. Draw a dot on line A-B that is 1/2 A-B. Mark it C.
  5. Draw a dot on line A-B that is 2" below C. Draw a perpendicular line. Mark it D.
  6. Subtract the armhole depth from A. Draw a perpendicular line. Mark it E.
  7. Measure 1/2 of armhole +1" on line E. Mark these points F and G.
  8. Connect point A-F and connect point A-G.
  9. Measure 1/2 E-F and make a line H.
  10. Measure 1/2 E-G and make a line I.
  11. Measure 1/2 bicep + 1" on line D. Mark these points J and K.
  12. Measure 1/2 wrist +1" on line B. Mark thesesleeve pattern points L and M.
  13. Connect line F-J-L and line G-K-M.
  14. Draw curved line from F-A and A-G.
  15. Take the sleeve block and cut along line H-J.
  16. Move triangle E-H-J to the other side of the sleeve block.
  17. Now draw the seam allowance onto the pattern.
  18. Write the initial measurements directly on the patterns to facilitate changes in the future. A dress made directly from this pattern will be very snug, which is necessary as it acts as your underwear/bra, and keeps everything in its proper place. You may want to loosen it slightly for additional layers.
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fabric layout

This layout takes 5 yards of 45" material. Remember to cut all pieces on the grain, not the bias.

Step 1

Use a natural, inexpensive fabric such as muslin to make the pattern. It's always better to have too much fabric in the pattern and then pinch away the excess. Lay the fabric out in a single layer.

Step 2

Cut out four rectangles using measurements A and B for the front and back.

Step 3

Cut out eight (8) side gores using measurements C, D, E, and F.

Step 4

Using the measurement I, cut a diagonal line from the center of the fabric to the selvedge edges. Cut the center line to create four right angle triangles.

Step 5

Cut out two sleeve patterns.

Step 6

Go on to the fitting section. Once the mockup has been fitted, it will become the pattern for the final dress. Follow the layout to the right.

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FITTING

Step 1

Make sure there is no loose clothing under the mock up. The person being fitted must remain still without looking down to watch. Pin each seam down to at least the waist or hip to allow the best beginnings of the drape of the skirt.





Step 2

Sew front and back center gores together and then to both sides of the center front and center back. Leave the upper part of the center front and center back open.

Step 3

Baste the pattern pieces together starting at the front and alternating from side to side. Do the same for the back.

Step 4

Carefully cut slits for the throat around the front side of the dress. Place the pattern into position around the person with all seams facing out. Hold the shoulder area in place and pin the shoulder seam. Pull up enough fabric for a seam allowance. Pull the tops of the gores up fairly close to the armpit. There should be a slight slope at the shoulder.

Step 5

Pin the center front and center back panels closed. If the center front will be buttoned, be sure to allow a 3/4" overlap for the buttonholes. Beginning with the front seams, pinch and pin the muslin to create a bust line.

Step 6

Work on the back panels. Don't take in too much on these four seams. Spread the fitting over all of the seams.

Step 7

It is important to keep all the grain lines running up and down perpendicular to the floor.

Step 8

For the side seams, complete pinning all seams at once. Alternate sides to keep in balance. There should be a slight flair from the bra line up to the underarm. If the person is not wearing a bra, be sure that the breast tissue is in the correct position. The dress, when properly fitted, will support the breast tissue like a bra.

Step 9

When all seams are completed, mark the new seams while the person is still in the muslin. Take out all pins and remover the dress.



Step 10

Redraw the lines to make them even. If there is a lot of excess, trim the seams.



Step 11

Sew the muslin back together and try it on again checking for puckers, gaps or other problems. Pin them out. Check the shoulder seams first, then the body seams. The armhole should be high up under the armpit and fit closely around the arm and shoulder. Move the arms in complete rotation. If there is fabric in the way, remove it, but leave a seam allowance.

Step 12

Draw the desired neckline onto the fabric. Take off the muslin.

Step 13

Baste the sleeves together. Check the fit of the sleeves on the model's arms.

Step 14

Fit the sleeves into the armhole and baste. Hold up the garment to see if the sleeve hangs without puckers and lies smoothly. Have the model try it on to make sure there is free movement by crossing the arms across the body, lifting the arms overhead, sitting and walking.

Step 15

Take apart the muslin. Label all pieces before taking them apart. (CF, SF1, SF2, etc)

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CONSTRUCTION NOTES

General Sewing Tips:
  1. It is very important to pre-shrink all fabric. Treat the fabric as you would after the garment is complete.
  2. All seams (except the seams to have lacing) are to have 1/2" seam allowance.
  3. Zigzag all edges to prevent raveling.
  4. Backstitch 1/4" at the beginning and end of each seam to keep seam from coming out.
  5. Pin pieces of fabric being sewn together before sewing to keep fabric from sliping and edges together while sewing.
  6. Always put "right" sides of fabric together when sewing.
  7. Mark "wrong" sides of material if necessary with a chalk pencil or soap as pieces are cut out.
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SEWING DIRECTIONS

Step 1

Sew center front and center back together. Leave one of them open from the neck to the hip to allow for lacing.

Step 2

Sew front to back together at the shoulders.

Step 3

Sew the center seam of the facing that will not be on the laced side of the dress.

Step 4

Open up the facing you just sewed and pin the shoulder seams together with the other two pieces of facing. Sew the shoulder seams together. Then open up the facing and zigzag around the entire outside edge.

Step 5

Sew the facing to the dress along the neck hole and down the side of the lacing edge.

Step 6

Sew gores to dress alternating sides.

Step 7

Sew dress sides together.

Step 8

Fold the sleeve in half making a tube then sew from armpit edge to wrist edge.

Step 9

Hem each sleeve with a rolled hem.

Step 10

Turn the sleeves inside out and pin the sleeves to the dress sleeve opening. Match the armpit seams of the sleeve and dress, and the top of the shoulder of the sleeve with the shoulder of the dress.

Step 11

Press open the seam allowance of the side of the dress you will be lacing. Remember to fold the edge over 3/4". Iron it down to keep the fold. Stitch along the inside edge of the fold.

Step 12

Mark eyelet holes every one inch, staggering them from side to side as shown. Make sure they are approximately 3/8" in from the outside edge.

Step 13

Make the eyelets.

Step 14

Hem the bottom of the dress with a rolled hem.

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DRAFTED COTEHARDIE

MEASUREMENTS

LAYOUT AND CUTTING DETAILS
CONSTRUCTION NOTES

SEWING DIRECTIONS

CAULS
HEADRAIL

MEASUREMENTS

This measurement sheet is from a handout by Duchess Alathea Charle and is used with her permission.

Equipment needed: paper, tape measure, T-square ruler and/or yardstick. You will need the following measurements. (Where measurements are divided use the number obtained by division).

Add 2" to all measurements before dividing when making an under dress pattern. Add 4" to all measurements before dividing when making an over dress pattern. Add 1/2" around all patterns for seam allowance.

TORSO MEASUREMENTS

  1. _____ Front of chest (armpit to armpit) divide by 2= _______
  2. _____ Back (shoulder point to shoulder point) divide by 2= _______
  3. _____ Chest (all the way around at nipple line) divide by 2= _______
      How many inches from armpit? _____
  4. _____ Ribs (all around immediately under breast) divide by 2= _______
      How many inches from armpit?_______
  5. _____ Waist (all around at most narrow point) divide by 2= _______
      How many inches from ribs? _______
  6. _____ Axilla (all around arm at the shoulder point divide by 2= _______
  7. _____ Shoulder point to axilla
  8. _____ Hips (all around 3" down from waist) divide by 2= _______
  9. _____ Hips (6" down from waist) divide by 2= _______
  10. _____ Last hip measurement to floor
  11. _____ Shoulder to waist (back)

ARM MEASUREMENTS

  1. _____ Shoulder point to elbow
  2. _____ Elbow to wrist
  3. _____ Wrist to hand
  4. _____ Axilla to wrist
  5. _____ Shoulder to wrist (with arm bent)
  6. _____ Upper arm circumference
  7. _____ Elbow circumference (flexed)divide by 2= _______
  8. _____ Forearm circumference divide by 2= _______
  9. _____ Hand circumference divide by 2= _______
      (This is used as a wrist measurement so you can get your hand through the sleeve.)

EACH STEP IS NUMBERED AND SHOULD BE MARKED ON THE PATTERN AS THEY ARE USED. THESE NUMBERS WILL SERVE AS REFERENCE POINTS.

TORSO PATTERN

pattern for cotehardie
  1. Mark the shoulder point, by measuring the distance of the shoulder (after division) horizontally from the edge of the paper. (Label this dot #1)
  2. Draw a straight-line 2" toward the center and up 1/4", and make a dot.
  3. Mark the neckline (front) and label #3.
  4. Connect point #2 with point #3 to make the neck.
  5. Measure down from #1 the distance of the shoulder point to the axilla.
  6. Measure the axilla onto the pattern in a "j" curve, with the lower edge intersecting the chest measurement at point #5. (Label the intersection point #6.)
  7. Measure down from the axilla the number of inches to the ribs and draw a horizontal line. Measure the number of inches for the ribs and make a mark.(#7)
  8. Draw a line connecting points #6 and #7 (Draw straight down and start the curve into point #7 after you have passed the point where you measured the distance from the axilla to the nipple line).
  9. Measure down from the ribs to the waist and make a horizontal line across the paper.(#8)
  10. Draw a vertical line 1" in from the left side of the paper (#9) and intersect with line #8. Make a dot at the intersection point. (#10)
  11. Mark the waist measurement, starting at point #10. (label this as #11)
  12. Draw a line connecting points #3 and #10 (gently curve into it.)
  13. Draw a line connecting points #7 and #11.
  14. Measure 3" down from the waist and draw a horizontal line across the paper (#12).
  15. Do the same 6" down from the waist, and mark a dot at the left edge of the paper (#13).
  16. Make a dot on line #12 1/2" from the left edge of the paper.(#14)
  17. Mark the hip measurement, at the 3" down, starting at point #16, on the line drawn in step 14.
  18. Make a dot on line #13, at the 6" down hip measurement (#17).
  19. Connect dots #10, #14, and #16.
  20. Connects dots #11, #13, and #17.
  21. Draw a line out from point #17 at an angle, following line, as the start of a flair for the skirt.
  22. Now, soften the pattern slightly, rounding the curves and loosening the hips slightly.

SLEEVE PATTERN

  1. On the straight edge of your paper, make a mark for the top of the shoulder.
  2. Measure down the number of inches from shoulder to wrist and make a dot.
  3. Connect point #1 and #2.
  4. At a right angle from line 3, starting at point #2, mark the number of inches for the hand.
  5. Connect point #2 and #4.
  6. Measure down from the shoulder to the elbow and draw a horizontal line.
  7. Measure, and mark the number of inches for the elbow on line 6.
  8. Halfway between line 6 and 4 mark the number of inches for the forearm (remember this is measured from line 3).
  9. Connect point #7, #8, and #4.
  10. Measuring up from point #4, and following line 9, mark the distance from axilla.
  11. Draw a horizontal line from point #10 to connect with line 3.
  12. Draw a shallow "S" curve, the length of the axilla from point #1 to line 11, and place a dot at the intersection point.
  13. Connect point #12 to #7.

Now draw the seam allowance onto the pattern. Also, write the initial measurements directly on the patterns to facilitate changes in the future. A dress made directly from this pattern will be very snug, which is necessary in the cotehardie as it acts as your underwear/bra, and keeps everything in its proper place. You may want to loosen it slightly for additional layers.

Most medieval dresses were at least to the floor, and in many cases much longer. Cotton tends to shrink, so I recommend making the dress at least 2" longer than the desired length. Once you get a dress that has the length and curve you like, use it as a pattern for the next dress.

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LAYOUT AND CUTTING DETAILS

These directions and pictures are from a handout by Duchess Alathea Charle and are used with her permission.

Remember to cut all pieces on the grain, not the bias.

Step 1

fabric layout

Fold fabric lengthwise.

Step 2

Make pattern using directions given in this section.

Step 3

Cut two of both front and back of dress. Remember to make the neckline higher in the back to prevent the dress from falling off of the shoulders. Remember to make the seam allowance 3/4" on the side you wish to lace up.

Step 4

Cut two neck facings for both front and back. Use the already cut dress for the pattern.

Step 5

Cut two sleeves.

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CONSTRUCTION NOTES

General Sewing Tips

  1. It is very important to pre-shrink all fabric. Treat the fabric as you would after the garment is complete.
  2. All seams (except the seam to have lacing) are to have 1/2" seam allowances.
  3. Zigzag all edges to prevent raveling.
  4. Backstitch 1/4" at the beginning and end of each seam to keep seam from coming out.
  5. Pin pieces of fabric being sewn together before sewing to keep fabric from slipping and edges together while sewing.
  6. Always put "right" sides of fabric together when sewing.
  7. Mark "wrong" sides of material if necessary with a chalk pencil or soap as pieces are cut out.
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SEWING DIRECTIONS

Step 1

dress construction

Sew gores onto skirt of dress. Remember to lay it on the floor before pinning to make sure the "right" sides are together. Open up back of dress first (do not separate sides) and pin gores on. Do the same for the front of the dress. Then sew the gores on and zigzag the edges.









Step 2

After gores are sewn on put "right" sides of front and "right" sides of back, back together. Double check to make sure the gore seam allowance is sticking out.







Step 3

shoulder seams

On the side you'll be lacing - sew center seam together from lacing mark to hem. Reinforce seam at lacing mark by stitching back and forth several times before sewing the seam. Make the seam allowance 3/4". Then zigzag edges. This time zigzag each piece of fabric separately from neckline to hem.



Step 4

Sew the other side of the dress together at the center seam with a 1/2" seam allowance, from neck to floor and zigzag the edge. (By the way, when I show an illustration where two pieces of fabric are not lined up exactly -- such as the one to the right -- It is merely to show putting "right" sides together.)



Step 5

Open up the front and back of the dress and put the "right" sides together. Sew shoulders together and zigzag edges.




Step 6

Without separating the front and back of the dress, sew the side seams together from armpit to hem. Then zigzag the edges.








Step 7

Sew the center seam of the facing which will not be on the laced side of the dress. (By the way, I'm going to assume from this point on that you know to zigzag any raw, exposed seam, and will quit telling you to do so)



Step 8

facing

Open up the facing you just sewed and pin the shoulder seams together with the other two pieces of facing. Sew the shoulder seams together. Then open up the facing and zigzag around the entire edge.





Step 9

With the "right" side of the dress and the "right" side of the facing together, sew along the neck hole and down the side of the lacing edge. Match the shoulder seams, the lacing edge, and the center seams. Do not zigzag the edge after sewing. (3/4" seam allowance on lacing edge) This is so when you turn over the facing it will make a nice, clean edge for your lacing up to the neck.





Step 10

Clip the seam allowance around the curve of the neck. This allows the fabric to lay down better after the facing is turned. Remember: do not clip through your stitching line.





Step 11

Turn the facing inside out and iron it down at the neck. Then, topstitch along the neckline 1/4" from the edge. This keeps the facing from turning back over as easily. "Tack" the facing down at each of the seams. This does more of the same. (By the way, I also clip the inside of these edges before I turn the facing.)









Step 12

s;eeve"

Fold the sleeve in half making a tube (remember "right" side goes inside) then sew from armpit edge to wrist edge. Sew both sleeves in this manner.





Step 13

Hem each sleeve with a "roll hem". (Fold edge over 1/4" and then fold it over again 1/4" this totally encloses the edge of the fabric) Then stitch it close to the inside edge of the fold.





Step 14

Turn the sleeves inside out and pin the sleeves to the dress sleeve opening. This means the sleeve will be on the inside of the dress which is still "wrong" side out. Match the armpit seams of the sleeve and dress, and the top of the shoulder of the sleeve with the shoulder of the dress.





Step 15

Press open the seam allowance of the side of the dress you will be lacing. Remember to fold the edge over 3/4". Iron it down to keep the fold. Stitch along the inside edge of the fold as shown.

















Step 16

lacing hole construction

Put the dress back on the ironing board and pin it down so it looks like the figure above. Get a measuring tape and mark it every inch, staggering them from side to side as shown. (This will allow it to be laced evenly.)









Step 17

Either set grommets at each of the marks you just made (approximately 3/8" in from the edge) or make button holes. Button holes are made horizontal, not vertical. Before making the button holes, mark the "wrong" side of the dress with the starting and ending point on the button hole. Make sure all your marks are consistent. Then, after your button holes are made, cut them open with a seam ripper. Be careful not to cut the threads of the button hole (the part you just sewed). This diagram is to scale so you can use it to measure.






Step 18

Hem the bottom of the dress with a rolled hem.



Step 19

Turn the dress "right" side out and try it on. You'll need a 36" shoestring to lace it up. Do a spiral lace.

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