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medieval costume

goodwife | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi This is my first posting.  I am making a medieval pilgrims outfit for a friend.  Has anyone made a cowl hood and do you have any tips  for cutting out the shape.


  1. Palady | | #1
    1. goodwife | | #2

      Thank you so much. It was a great help, I had made two attempts which were failures, my customer is now very pleased with the result.  thank you again.

      1. Palady | | #3

        Your very welcome.  As well as gracious in acknowledging the URL was of value to you.

        The pattern is adaptable to other than medieval constumes.   With a few minor adjustments is could be made of fleece and used when weather conditions call for warmth.

        It was a Google find after I read your post for the ISO.  Seeing it had me making a page for my future use.


        1. goodwife | | #4

          Hello again, just to tell you I have cut out another version, slightly bigger circle to make into a hooded poncho for myself for the cold weather.  It is a good pattern and hangs well. Now my four year old grand daughter wants a red one so that she can be red riding hood!

          1. KharminJ | | #5

            That is so very cool! (or warm, actually!) I'm planning to make a couple of turtleneck dickies (remember those?) for work - must be white, I'm thinking fleece ...

            Be sure you let MoiRandall know how helpful his pattern has been, too!

            Bright Warm Blessings ~ Kharmin

          2. Palady | | #7

            >> ... MoiRandall know how helpful his pattern has been, ... <<

            DONE ! !


          3. Palady | | #8

            A reply from  Randwulf was received.  It follows.


            >>Thanks for the intel!

            >>I published that piece many years ago in Connotations >>(http://www.casfs.org/ConNotations/Index-CN.html) and I've since included it in >>"Randwulf's Collection of Capes" and "Yardstick and Chalk: Randwulf's Ramblings on >.Costume Volume 2."

            >>It seemed a logical choice to post to the web as a sample article from Ramblings 2.


            >>I've used that little 4-bit grayscale image of me in the finished cowl in banners and >>lots of my advertising.



          4. goodwife | | #9

            Thank you so much for the pattern.  I was making a medieval pilgrims costume for a friend to wear when he does guided walks around the ruins of a medieval church and castle at Bluestone Park in the Pembrokeshire National Park in Wales.  He is very pleased with the costume and the first walk, in costume in today.   The costume consisted of trousers, a tunic and the cowl.  Happy stitching, eva

          5. Palady | | #10

            You are most gracious to post your client being satisfied with the pattern.  

            What fabric did you use for the cowl?  Did you make the tunic as well?  I'm guessing the trousers were RTW, or am I incorrect and you made these as well.



          6. goodwife | | #11

            Thank you for your message.  I made the cowl, tunic and trousers from grey wool.  I chose a pure wool that was slightly "fulled" or "napped" , which I think is the proper term for partially felted.  I thought that was probably near to the kind of material they would have had available in those days.   

          7. Palady | | #12

            Kudos on your accomplishment!    Where did you buy the fabric?  Was it the sepia sort of color I associate with the era?


          8. goodwife | | #13

            We are very lucky as we don't have many local shops but we do have a lady who lives up in our welsh mountains (they are probably little hills to anyone in Canada or USA). She has a big barn loaded to the rafters and beyond with rolls of every kind of material.  It is a stitchers dream day out. Beautiful scenery and goodies to take home and sew..... I found a roll of this dull grey, not sepia which has a brownish tint, a definate grey.  I occasionally dye in the back garden with plant dyes, and browns and greys are quite easy colours to get. And plant dyes are what they would have used in those times.  I dont have facilities to do big dye lots though.

          9. goodwife | | #14

            Can I ask?  Is nepa, your name or the initials for something?  Am I stupid?  If so sorry, not used to computer shortcuts yet.

          10. Palady | | #15

            Your explanation of how you acomplished the medieval outfit is appreciated.  Kudos on your dyeing efforts.  Regardless of the extent.  It is an avenue I have yet to travel.

            Having your fabric resource in enviable.  Time was the garment industry was big in my area.  Circa 1950's to late 1970's.  My mother worked in the industry for many years and was accomplished in her efforts.  Both in her employment and her domestic sewing.  Though her monetary reward from work fell short of her talent.   She was paid a salary rather than by production.  It was at the latter that she excelled. 

            During the time period, there were any number of shops offering over runs of both fabric & supplies.  Now with just about all garment work being done every and any where in the world, availability are limited. 

            nepa is how my region is described.  North Eastern PA (Pennsylvania) in the various media.  One of the TV stations is WNEP.  I use it rather than my name because it's less bytes.  Initially I concluded with personal pronoun "me" until at one point, when I keyed incorrecty, I decided to make my conclusion as it now is.

            nepa (Phyllis)

          11. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            I was lucky enough to holiday in your region one summer in my early marriage before children. I have always wanted to go back.....Cathy

          12. goodwife | | #17

            Thank you for your replies. I am going to look at a map of USA now and find Pensylvania.  I only know it from Glen Millers song.  I'm in my 60's and love the old big band sounds. 

            I do believe sewing has been an underpaid skill for , mostly, women, the world over.  But maybe because it is rarely an overpaid skill, but more often done for necessity and love, that is why it brings so much pleasure to so many, and in times of recession it thrives rather than dies as many skills do. 

            I have to say thank you again for replying to my messages.  I really am enjoying the messages.  I used to hate going on the computer, now I run upstairs everyday.  I never thought the computer would keep me fit!. eva

          13. Palady | | #18

            Pennsylavania is the second of the original 13 Colonies of the United States.  Delaware was the first.

            The Glen Miller song Pennsylvania 65000 refers to what was once the telephone exchange for Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, New York.  Glen Miller & other big bands played in the hotel's ballroom.

            That's "my" generation of music.  I'm in my 7th decade and hearing In the Mood + many others, immediately sparks memories.

            Using a search engine, Google in a favorite for many, me included, can bring up a map.  Open the next URL's if you choose.


            The next is the state itself.  I live some miles south of Scranton which is in the upper right of the region.


            Indeed there is a sense of community in cyberspace.  Reading message boards opens many avenues.  Delightful to know you enjoy signing on. 



          14. goodwife | | #19

            Thank you so much for your response.  I have looked at my book of maps and at the map of Pensylvania on the link you sent so now I have a some idea of where you are.

            I have been looking at the credit card folders one lady made ( I cant remember her name) but they were really attractive and such a good idea, so I have decided I want to try and make myself one.  I have just finished some new cushions and need something else to start on.

            Have a lovely day.  It is raining here, yesterday we had hail. perfect sewing weather.   

          15. Palady | | #20

            The wallets were done by Josefly.  Did you see the PDF she posted?


            ETA - the message #'s if you want to keep track of them.

            Photos's and first post - 9597.1

            PDF - 9597.31



            Edited 3/6/2009 1:40 pm ET by Palady

          16. goodwife | | #21

            Hello,  I am not sure if I said thank you for the pdf message, if not thank you.   I did look at the photos and was even more keen to have a go, but got sidetracked.  Will do it tomorrow,  -maybe!!

          17. Palady | | #22

            Your very welcome for the wallets Josefly posted for all of us.  With the board set up with Advance Search, you should be able to readily open the PDF message.

            Do hope you enjoy the prospect of making some.


          18. goodwife | | #23

            I am just making a pygama case and dinosaur for my grandson first.  As I have three young grandsons I will no doubt have to make two more when this one is done.  Have a good day.  Are you stitching anything at the moment?

          19. Palady | | #24

            OooKkkkAaaaYyyy - your mention of  >> ... pygama case ... <<  sent me to my dictionary.  When that fell short, it was off to Google.  Is this what your doing?


            Dare say it's a marvelous gift.   And do ready yourself for making others.

            I'm in the process of addressing worn lining in the sleeves of an outerwear jacket of my brother's.  Expect there'l lbe much hand sewing to be done because of the way the sleeves are constructed.

            In a different vein, there's prayer shawl on my crochet hk,


            and another lace design on my knitting needles. 


            Additionally, some appliques to be hand sewn onto a denim T that has a bleach splash spot.




          20. goodwife | | #25

            It is so good to hear I am not alone in having half a dozen different pieces of work on the go at the same time.  I do like to switch from one to another depending on how I feel: hand stitching or machining, knitting or spinning.  I am not good at crochet, I know the theory and can do it, but I never manage to keep to a pattern.  I think I crocheted a circular table mat once!

            I do admire people who can do lacy knitting.  I am a plain and purl knitter, big needles and the quicker the better.  Hats preferably. 

            I have just completed a dinosaur, only about 12inches high, stuffed, for one of the grandsons, and I am now trying to make a collar, as worn in seventeenth century. I have made some before but never a hand stitched, pleated one.  It is an interesting experiment.

            My pyjama case was very plain, but the material had dinosaurs on it.  However having seen the Bagpuss pattern, I may have to do another one.  My daughter adored Bagpuss as a little girl,...... 


          21. KharminJ | | #26

            Oh dear! Goodwife, your "circular table mat" had me cleaning coffee off the monitor!

            I think we've all done something equivalent, no matter what medium we use: clay, paint, fabric or numbers! Thanks for the giggle!Kharmin

          22. Josefly | | #32

            Cleaning coffee off the monitor? I loved it. I'm still giggling at the end of the thread.

          23. goodwife | | #38

            It's good to giggle!  Just read your mesage.  Hope your screen is ok. e

          24. Palady | | #27

            Ah yes - crochet.  I eventually taught myself when I came to realize there were aluminum hooks sized larger to use with yarn.  My learning as a child was with steel hooks and thread.  The ability to "see" what I was supposed to be forming repeatedly failed me. 

            Knitting came to me by making argyle socks for a boyfriend, later husband.  A lobr of love to be sure with all those dangling bobbins & using DPN's.  (Double Point Needles)

            Lace knitting is on my needles now.  It's a relatively simple (?)  pattern.   The adjective being relative of course.  It took a bit of frogging for me to establish the effect.  Then too,  I have had to really concentrate because I miss the yo's (Yarn Overs)

            The Bagpuss pattern caught my attention as well.  As is so often the case, my WIM (Works In Mind) list just keeps getting longer.

            Did the dino pattern call for the collar, or is it your creative choice?  Is the pattern on the Internet?

            Do you have sheep to supply the wool for you to spin? 


          25. goodwife | | #28

            Argyll pattern socks- wow.  I have just knitted one sock, about six months ago, and still thinking about the other one,.  Will it ever get done? Doubtful.. it was a very thick wool too, like a hiking sock...

            The collar:  I belong to a re-enactment society.  Re-enacting the Civil War period in the 17th century.  (British Civil War  -1640's).   We go, to castles often, to give demonstations of life in 17thC.  So I made my costume and coif, and collar, but am now trying to make a collar that is more authentic,- hand stitched rather than machine.  Then I have plans(ha!) to try and make all the costume pieces, by hand stitching, to see how long it will take to make each item, and  get a better idea of just how much work was involved for a wife and mother to make her families clothes.  But now I have made the pilgrims costume for my friend I am also thinking I would like to make a medieval outfit.  But when?  I need to live to 350, to do everything.

            How is your brothers sleeve coming along?.  I do like hand stitching as well as machining.

            Oh, I have a friend who has a small flock of Shetland sheep, so I get wool from her.  I also belong to Weavers, spinners and Dyers local branch, (we have links with a branch in Canada).

            I do hope I don't send you too many messages, or write too much.  As you haven't ignored me I hope that is a good sign.  I do like writing letters and I am enjoying our "correspondence".


          26. Teaf5 | | #29

            "Still thinking about" applies to a whole lot of my concurrent projects! What a good way to describe what is, in my case, the results of just too many interests and too little time....

          27. goodwife | | #40

            Late reply, ...... but isn't it great to have lots of interests.  I seem to spend about 6 months deeply engrossed in one project or interest, and then move to another one.   But I find they all seem to interlink in some way.  e

          28. Palady | | #30

            >> ... sock ... ever get done? ... <<

            Keep the faith.   Before I married, Jan '57, I decided to make my soon to husband a patterened white/red socks for our first Valentine's Day as a h/w.  Got caught up in moving form one place to another.  Getting settled.  Finding a job.  Raising babies born within a year of each other.  That sort of thing.  So had finished but one sock.  My husband took great delight in telling friends about his single sock.  Including when he was transferred to a USMC base.

            Being in diferent surroundings, he was away overnights & TAD.  Granted it was 4 years later, but the next time he began to tease about his one sock, I took the pair from my knitting bag & handed them to him.  He teased even more now because he'd have to something else to josh over.

            Thank you for the collar insight.  Hand stitching a fashion!  Now that's a true sewist!  How did you come by the pattern?  Are you back stitching?  What is the design?  Full waist?  Long sleeved?  Long skirt?  Full?

            >> ... too many messages ... <<

            Hardly.  it's interesting to read of the projects others are into.  Then too, many lurkers find reading to their pleasure.

            >> ... brother's jacket sleeves... <<

            Spent a good bit of time checking ALL my stash to be see if I had suitable lining.  That doing took some time.  Reverie & discovery kicked in making the effort that much longer.  Alas, the linings I had were less than sutiable & I have sinced purchased some.  Cutting out the pieces is on the agenda.

            Please post the progress you're making with the hand sewing.





          29. goodwife | | #37

            Hello again,  I had an urgent call from my daughter.  Had to go and look after the grandson's for a few days.  Oh, I love them to bits, and I enjoyed it so much, but it is good to be back home to sit down,do some stitching, and then sleep in my own bed.

            I loved your bit about "reverie and discovery kicked in".  That always happens to me: start looking for something and hours later, everything is out of the cupboards, all over the floor while I ponder and dream about what I am going to do with the piece of silk I rediscovered or that pattern I thought I had lost.

            The first piece I am making is a "falling band" or collar, C17th,  I have a long length of linen, 28inches wide.  I have pleated it, side to side, not lengthways,  each pleat a centimetre wide, hand stitched each pleat for the centre six inches.  When I have a pleated length long enough to go round my neck, I will hem all the edges.  It is then worn, folded in half, over a cord which you tie at the front.  This isn't a very good description, but I have never tried to put photos on the computer.  Maybe I will try.  This is an incentive.

            Loved hearing about the sock!  Happy stitching, e

          30. Palady | | #39

            >> ... I have never tried to put photos on the computer.  Maybe I will try.  This is an incentive. <<

            Please do!  Your effort is intriguing.  Your collar explanation was readily followed. 


          31. Josefly | | #31

            You are a busy Palady. The shawl and the scarf are both pretty. Reminds me... Lion Brand Yarns blog is about a just-started crochet-along. I'm tempted to try the project, but just reading all the messages on the blog, with questions/suggestions/other comments, has already absorbed waay too much time. :>) This is quite a fun thread to read.

            Edited 3/19/2009 9:50 pm ET by Josefly

          32. Palady | | #33

            Rather than particiapte in the LB CAL, I filed the pattern.  The Moderene jacket has a nice style to it.  MO of course. 

            All the discussions of Gatherings offer much.  Members are quite expressive and I've had many a chuckle during the readings.






          33. Josefly | | #34

            Yes, this discussion group is terrific.I filed the LB pattern, too, since I probably won't participate now. But I plan to keep up with the blogs anyway, since I'm not at all sure I can complete the pattern without guidance. I love the style, but the pattern in my size is only 15 inches long - barely comes to my waist - and I prefer a high-hip length, so I would need to add a couple of inches at the bottom. Several commenters on the blog have noted the short length, also. Somehow, looking at the photo of the finished jacket, it doesn't look so short.

          34. Palady | | #35

            >> ... photo of the finished jacket, it doesn't look so short. << 

            Would guess optical illusion comes into play for both of us.  Noticed the 15" length and thought "hhmmm - looks longer."

            A + MO, was the Blog text offered other LB yarn choices.  Rarely is this seen in a pattern.  I chose to file that information as well. 


          35. Josefly | | #36

            I agree. There are so many participants who described themselves as beginners, like me, who wouldn't want to use the expensive cashmere yarn on a first attempt. I'd like to use a cotton/bamboo blend instead of the wools. Many people are using two colors together, and I would like that, too, but I can't find the yarn here; would have to order it, and how can you tell what two colors would look good together without twisting them together to get some idea? Can't do that online. :> I'm pretty sure there's a specialty yarn shop or two here, though; I'll have to check them and their prices.

          36. Palady | | #6

            Wonderful!!  Your creativeness is a delight to read.  Especially with the interest aaht was piqued in your daughter.

            Your being in touch is aprpecaited.



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