Beginning the Black Kirtle

I thought I’d share my progress so far on the first dress I’m making in my new 15th century wardrobe. It is a black, side laced, short sleeved 15th century kirtle with a square neckline.
First my friend drafted me a pattern, it’s been years since I’ve had the luxury of someone else drafting my pattern for me, but a new one was muchly needed! The bodice consists of black linen, interlined in canvas and lined in some scrap brown linen I had lying around. So far I’ve sewn the bodice together. I did this by my usual method of hemming each piece and whip stitching the pieces together. I haven’t finalised the neckline or waistline yet, I want to finalise those on me so I’ve simply marked where they were from the toile for now. I’ve started sewing up the lacing rings up one side. I’ve always imagined side lacing dresses as lacing up both sides, but so many people say no, just one. So I will try to lace it up just one. The benefit of my sewing technique is if this doesn’t work out I can just unpick the other side and still have a finished edge to sew my lacing rings too!

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I’ve also started sewing on my lacing rings. Lacing in the 15th century was done through handmade eyelets or by sewing rings onto the garment, and rings are so much quicker. I’m using lacing rings from Make Your Own Medieval. I thought about using fancy ones, but I figured they won’t be seen under my arm anyway.

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