Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Twelfth Century Braes completed

I recently started down the road of making an entire 12th century outfit.  The starting point was of course, the under garment layer.  I’ve seen others wear braes cut in the very odd fashion, but I’ve never worn them.  After completing them I was a bit concerned.  When I first put them on, they felt very much like I was wearing an oversized diaper.  I slept in them and surprisingly they looked and felt much better the next morning.  The linen was a bit stiff when I first put them on.  After wearing them for about 12 hours they seem to have found a more comfortable way to bunch and fold.  They look much more like the images I have seen after they have been worn in a bit.

 These are self-threaded which means rather than using linen thread from a spool, I simply pulled threads from the selvage edge and used that to stitch the garment together.  The only portion that is not linen is the braided tape I chose to use as a draw string.  I may look for a linen version at some point, but I wanted to put them on and try the fit and could not wait.

I based the construction using the instructions found in The Medieval Tailors Assistant.  I must admit that the instructions regarding the waist band was not all together helpful.  I played around with a few styles of the belt before choosing the structure I did.  The waist band of the braes is actually three layers thick.  There are two layers on the inside and one on the outside.  I wanted one extra layer against my skin and behind the draw string so as to cushion a my waist against a tightly pulled draw string. 
(( Insert image of draw string opening )) 


 There are two holes in the front of the waist band which will be used for tying the hosen to, when they are completed.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to do this portion, so I simply made a small slit and then button hole stitched around the hole to reinforce the edge.

My daughter laughed so hard at this one.
She kept saying it looked like I was
wearing a diaper.  "Why are they so baggy?"
The sides of the braes are slit at the bottom as was done in the images I’ve seen.  This allows for an alternate method of wear.  I can easily roll the legs up and tuck this portion into the waste band which makes for a very comfortable shortened version.  This might be done when working outside on a very hot day.  Whey I first showed my wife this manner of wearing the braes she did a double take and said “What… What the hell is that!”  I guess that means they look correct!

OK, I'm not proud of these, but simply wanted to show what the braes looked like when they are rolled up as they might be when one is working in the hot sun.