Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lame-y lame-head, and lack of posting....(and massive tunic update)

I got distracted.....again. Sheesh! I swear, I will finish a project! This time around, I was distracted by the thought of handsewing an entire outfit for mah honee. I started out with the tunic......I have one gusset and an underarm to sew up, hem, and I'm done. I've been totally lame and have not posted any pictures!

I made a slap-dash tunic for 12th night, and there were some fitting issues. I used the basic layout below: (rock on, Paint!)

This is pretty much a basic standard pieced tunics that everyone in the SCA knows.

The problem I ran into is the bit between the underarm gusset and the top of the gore....mah honee is a beefy man, and to make the large central rectangular piece big enough to go around the middle would make the shoulder seams go way too far down his arm. I was totally stuck, and it took me a little time looking at tunics and tunic patterns and thinker-ating to figure out how to get this to fit the way I wanted it to. This picture is the one I took for my patterning inspiration....(click pic to go to link)

The biggest inspiration is the side gore that goes all the way up under the arm....voila! I think the triagular sleeve gusset is supposed to go on the back of the arm....but with my construction method, I decided it would be better to have it under the arm, meeting up with the top of the side gore. Make sense? Nah? How 'bout a Paint picture?

(Left, a pretty Paint rendering of the pattern, Right, my scribbles and notes I used for cutting.)

Ok, so that doesn't make a whole lot of sense either. Basically the short side of the arm gusset attaches to the top of the side gore, making it a big long 'ole triangle with a funky-shaped top. The seam where the two meet makes up the underarm portion of the tunic. The sleeve cap sections are about 2/3 the size of the overall sleeve size, and with the gores inserted, it makes a nice fan-shape. Like-a so:

(Paint is a beeotch with perspective. The triangular gore is inserted, the sleeve seams are straight.)

And this is how it all went together....

(Left, seams and pieces marked out. Right, tunic viewing underarm gusset and side gore. Whoa! I need to steam this bad boy!)

I am not a hand-sew-ey person, but I remember at some point in the past, reading an article about the stab-stitch lines on either side of the seam. I've seen people machine sew the seam, and then either hand sew or machine sew on either side of the seam, catching the seam allowance. (I admit, I've done this, and for no other reason than I've seen other people do it.) According to the article, which I cannot place for the life of me, this is backwards to what it *should* be. The seam allowances are tacked down (or folded over and hidden, then the two finished pieces are whipped together. I really REALLY like this method! It's pretty dang fast, and super-duper strong. It seems like repairs would be a snap, too.

Hm, maybe one more Paint picture, and I'll stop blabbering! ;)

This is how I read and understood the mystery article. I may be completely wrong, but at any rate, this is how I sewed the tunic.

I'll post pictures of mah honee wearing it after I finish, and get all the wrinkles steamed out! (That steamer has been very handy!)

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