Second theory- The "Circle Plan" method.

This method, created, as far as I know, by Cynthia Virtue (Cynthia du Pre Argent, OL) and available in more detail at her excellent web site at:

Her theory is this: that some houpelandes were cut along the same principle that we cut a circle skirt today, with this important note: That the inside edge of the circle (where the waist would be if one were making a skirt) forms not the neckline of the garment, but the shoulder line. This would allow all the fullness and folds to radiate from the shoulder line and it gives a garment a lot of fullness, particularly over the chest. It also brings with it a problem- the selvedge of the cloth is now starting from the shoulder and angling down towards center front/back. But this is not necessarily a problem, since a number of paintings do show houpelandes with 'V' necks at front and back, and also gowns with the 'V" conspicuously filled in with another cloth. I made my fill in pieces a bit shorter than the length she gives in her site. I found that as a shorter length, they gave more folds of fabric in the places that I wanted folds. Experiment!

Comments on this method:

This is a well thought out theory, beautifully explained on her web site. It works very well for getting the fullness that is required in all the right places.

It will be less helpful in trying to make houpes that clearly have a conventional collar seam.

Requires wide cloths that are not directionally patterned (including napped fabrics and stripes)

Requires a large volume of cloth, and gives a very decadent look!

Theory 2B-- Circle plan with an attached sleeve

A theory suggested to me after looking at a number of pictures where armhole seams are not visible. If the pattern is oriented on the cloth so that the center front/back is on the selvedge, then the side seam is oriented facing the remainder of the cloth, and a sleeve could be easily added without the requirement of a seam. In practice this works quite well for making an "angel wing" sleeve, and may work equally well for other styles that don't require a very fitted sleeve. My original attempt was as long as my arm with the fingers extended. In fittings I reduced the length at the top of the sleeve to the back of my hand, and tapered it out to the original width. It seemed to drape better this way. It is now still long enough to turn back a bit.

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