Medieval clothing can make fun costumes for a variety of occasions and events. Although some medieval clothing is fairly simple, such as a peasant gown or basic tunic, other outfits can be quite complicated, with many pieces and large amounts of fabric. Before you attempt to make medieval clothes, you should have experience sewing clothing and following pattern directions.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Medieval clothing pattern
- Fabric and trim
- Ironing board
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
Research the time period and location you want to create medieval clothes for. You can find period clothing information on the Internet, or in costume books in a library.
Find medieval costume patterns for the style of clothing you want. You can find basic medieval costume patterns in the catalogues of many fabric stores, but for a more extensive selection, or more authentic period look, you’ll need to look for an online store that specialises in medieval style clothing patterns, such as the one listed in the resource section below.
Determine how much fabric you need, and what kinds, using the information that came with the pattern. Many styles of medieval clothing, especially women’s dresses, require many yards of several kinds of fabric, such as overskirts and underskirts, or separate fabric for sleeves.
Purchase fabric that suits the style of medieval clothing you wish to make. You can purchase appropriate fabric at most fabric stores, or order from a speciality store if you want the fabric to be really authentic looking. You can even buy medieval style trim and buttons at some fabric stores and medieval speciality shops.
Cut out the pattern pieces. If the pattern comes with more than one outfit, cut only the pieces for the clothing you wish to make. If the pattern has more than one size option, make sure to use the cutting line for the size you need.
Set the iron to a cool setting and iron the pieces flat. This helps smooth out any wrinkles and makes the patterns more accurate and easier to fit together.
Adjust the patterns as needed to fit the size required. You can add extra paper to make patterns longer or wider, or make tucks in the pattern to make it shorter or smaller. Remember that if a pattern uses many pieces, you only need to make a slight adjustment to each piece. For example, to make an eight-piece bodice 1 inch smaller, you’d only need to make each pattern piece 1/8-inch smaller.
Fold the fabric right sides together, if needed, and pin the pattern pieces to it, following the guidelines in the pattern directions. Cut out the pieces. You may want to leave the patterns pinned to the fabric until the pieces are needed, so that they’re labelled.
Read the pattern directions carefully before you start sewing, to get an idea of how the medieval clothing goes together. Sew the medieval clothes following the pattern directions.
Tips and warnings
- To complete the medieval clothes, you may want to make or purchase appropriate accessories, such as hats or hair pieces, handbags, shoes and jewellery.
- Use caution when working with irons, scissors, pins and sewing machines. Let the iron cool completely in a safe place.
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