Next big sewing projects: Norfolk jacket and Medieval garb?

I know what my next big sewing project will (probably) be…

On Sunday, one of my husband’s friends mentioned wanting to make a Norfolk jacket because those have sleeves designed to allow more movement than regular jackets do. I’ve been trying to teach myself how to draft a pattern for sleeves like those anyway, because I need to make myself a good coat and nothing I find in stores ever fits right. I know the basic idea behind making “Norfolk” sleeves but there’s a big difference between knowing “the sleeve has a sort of built-in underarm gusset and MAYBE the back of the sleeve head goes farther into the body of the garment than normal” and knowing exactly how to draw that. It would be sooooo much easier to work out the details if I had a dress dummy to drape the pattern pieces on. I think my husband’s friend C is about to get drafted as “tailor’s assistant” so I can figure this out in more detail. AND draw a coat pattern in C’s size. I’ll suggest to him that he get a regular jacket pattern to adapt instead of trying to draw a pattern from scratch. AND buy a couple yards of Tru-Grid to draw the pattern on.

I will probably be helping someone else make patterns for Medieval garb sometime in the next few weeks, too. C and his girlfriend E have both recently joined the Society for Creative Anachronism and now they need garb. As it happens, I LOVE making garb. I also love helping other people make their own garb because I like teaching people how to sew, etc. I told E that once she decides what kind of garb she wants to make – she is leaning towards Anglo-Saxon or Viking but isn’t sure yet – we can spend an afternoon drawing patterns for her. (So that’s another 2 or 3 yards of Tru-Grid to get…) I also offered her some of the cornflower blue linen I have sitting in a box. I’ve got about 10 yards of it that I bought years ago just because it was on clearance at $3/yard and is VERY nice fabric. I have no use for it myself because cornflower blue is NOT my color but I’d like to see it go to good use.

I will TRY to take photographs of the process when we start working on the patterns for their garb… I have a hard time remembering to take pictures of a work-in-progress. C needs garb, too. He said the local SCAdians only showed him how to make literal “T” tunics, which are wasteful of fabric AND don’t fit right. They are NOT worth it just to save sewing seams where the sleeves join the body of the tunic!

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