Hello folks! It’s been forever since I’ve written new content for my site, but I’m back with a new page that covers the thorny questions involved in expanding 14th or 15th century pattern pieces to properly fit the body with padding and quilting. I am frequently asked this question and the answers are a bit too complicated, so this page became a necessary addition to my site. I will be pointing people here from now on.
The very end of the article states that you can ignore all that I’ve written and simply add in “some fabric” and see how it goes. I’m betting more than one person reading this has done just that (or hasn’t added any fabric at all), and lived to regret it as they found the front of their garment hard to close, or perhaps the circulation in their arms was cut off over time.
There’s a reason a guild existed for this work in medieval France — the pourpointier guild. It took expertise to create these garments, not just from a construction viewpoint, but also from a tailoring one. It’s worth taking the time to do it right.
Read on, and let me know if you have questions or comments.