Martial Beauty: Padding and Quilting One’s Way to a Masculine Ideal in Fourteenth Century France

MS Français 12399 Book of Modus and Ratio f.134v France 1379

Last year in May I presented a paper called “Martial Beauty: Padding and Quilting One’s Way to a Masculine Ideal in Fourteenth Century France” as part of the DISTAFF sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. The paper went over well, and I was offered a chance to […]

Anatomy of my bodice pattern for 14th century bust support

Tasha, August 2012

I’m going to break down the tailoring details of how I typically attain 14thc century bust support, and more specifically, the kind that looks right for the last two decades of that century in Western Europe. Please note, though I talk about a specific method in this post, I happen to also like other methods […]

The Medieval Buttonhole

Buttonhole from lower center-front opening of the pourpoint at Chartres, France

To skip the talkity-talk below and go right to the tutorial, click here. But I recommend you read on anyway. Buttonholes… the mere thought of them strikes cold fear into the hearts of European 14th century clothing enthusiasts. The 14th century was probably the most insanely over-buttoned century ever. We few, we committed few, will […]

The Fitted Dress Neckline: Devil in the Details

Le Remède de Fortune, Guillaume de Machaut, 1350, French, BNF Ms. Fr. 1586 f.23

While I have consistently indulged in a relatively deep scoop neckline for my 14th century-style fitted dresses, I have done so in a willful departure from what the art of the time actually reveals. In fact, I have come across precious few images of fitted dresses with generously wide shoulder seams that also dip low […]

Spiral Lacing—Why and how to do it on 14th century clothing

Edges overlapped

I was recently asked how I placed my eyelets for lacing my dresses shut. I lace the fronts and sides of my dresses using an off-set pattern of eyelets, finished with matched eyelets on each side at the top and the bottom of the opening. This arrangement facilitates a spiral lacing pattern which reliably holds […]

Who likes medieval martial garments? Students of medieval martial arts.

Christian Cameron vs. Gregory Mele

A few months ago I was invited to present on my recent research into medieval martial garments of the 14th century by Jason Smith, the organizer of a Western Martial Arts event called Borealis Swordplay Symposium. The event was held last weekend in Ottawa, Ontario. I figured I received the offer to present out of […]

The Charles VI pourpoint paper is available for order!

Sample page from my paper on the pourpoint of Charles VI

At long last, I have information for ordering a copy of the journal containing my paper on the cut and construction of the pourpoint attributed to Charles VI of France, which currently resides in the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Chartres, France. The paper, which takes up 28 pages of the 2/2013 edition of the journal […]

New tutorial lite: Drafting a grande assiette-style upper sleeve from measurements

Grande assiette geometry for drafting

Another workshop I held during my California trip was on the topic of fitting a grande assiette sleeve in the style of the Charles de Blois pourpoint. I did a quick demo on draping the upper sleeve directly on the body, followed by instructions for drafting the upper sleeve, gores and all, with measurements. I […]

New tutorial lite: Making a dress from your bust-supportive bodice pattern

Body pattern pieces

For my recent workshops in California, I produced a couple of hand-outs for attendees. Tonight I webbed one of them, a sort of fast-and-rough guide to making a dress from a bust-supportive bodice pattern. While far from comprehensive, it does contain a fair bit of useful information, especially for the advanced beginner who is comfortable […]

Impressions after the Medieval Congress

Sparky, Matt, and Josh

For the third time, I attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, which went from Thursday, May 9th through Sunday May 12th. My first time there was 2004, when I was five months pregnant with my son. I experienced the conference with the sense of being an outsider, […]