Monday, July 12, 2010

Elizabethan Smock Update

I finally finished the size 10 Elizabethan smock in May, and I was much happier with it than with the size 16 smock that the pattern seemed to think I needed based on my measurements. The one downside was that the upper part of the sleeves were a bit too tight on my arms. Also, the fabric is more of a dark navy - this picture makes it seem much lighter than it really is.

I debated ripping out the seam in the sleeves and either adding a panel or adding lacing or some other type of connecting device, but ended up deciding to just take out the main seam from the armpit to the elbow, since I had done a zig-zag stitch over the two edges of the fabric. Ripping out the main seam left me with the zig-zag stitch as the only thing holding the sleeve together, but it also gave me about an extra inch around the upper part of the sleeve. I've worn the smock 2 or 3 times since then, and it seems to hold together relatively well.

I made a second smock from the same blue linen (from, and used the size 16 sleeves with the size 10 body. I also drafted my own under-arm gussets, since I really didn't like the way the gussets looked that came with the pattern. The pattern uses square gussets, turned sideways to look like diamonds. I stitched the sleeve to the body of the smock, ending the stitching where the gusset ought to start, tried it on, held my arm straight up, and measured the resulting gap. I drafted a diamond gusset that is much narrower than it is tall, and the second smock fits better and doesn't "blouse out" under the arms.

I've got a lovely piece of forest green linen that was meant to be used for a third smock, but I'm seriously tempted to try my hand at making a fitted, supportive kirtle, since I took a class at Lilies War (SCA) that taught me how to draft one. I also bought the Reconstructing History "14th century Sideless Surcote" pattern, though I think I'll need to buy more linen to make that. I had actually originally intended to make the fitted kirtle out of yellow linen and make a parti-colored surcote, like this, only out of blue and green -

Once I can get enough money to buy the linen, I think I'll try this. Stay tuned!

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