Tutorial by Ang

What I did for my underrobes is a simple, believe it or not, MEDIEVAL pattern that anyone can do in a few hours. You don't need a commercial pattern, just some floor space, chalk, and a yard/meter stick. Oh, and a measuring tape to get measurements.

The first measurement you'll need is from the bump at the base of your skull down to the floor. Run the measuring tape close to your body so you take into consideration all the curves. Add three inches to this number and call it “A”.

Now measure around the largest part of your chest. Add four inches to this measurement. Divide by two and call it “C”. This is the length and width (respectively) of your front and back pieces.

Find your waist. This is the narrowest part of your torso, regardless of where you wear your pants these days. Measure from your waist to the floor and add three inches. This will be the length of your gores. Call it “E”.

Measure from the point of your shoulder around your bent elbow to your wrist. Call that measurement “B”.

Measure around the largest part of your arm and add a few inches. This will be your sleeve width. Call that measurement “D”.

Now lay out your fabric and mark it with your measurements as seen below. Cut out the pieces as indicated. Cut two 6” x 6” squares for your gussets.

Here is my cut on a 3 yd piece of 64” cotton velour:

Enhanced ala Photoshop:

You will have to adjust accordingly depending on the width of your fabric. Velour and velvet don't normally come in 64” widths, I got VERY lucky and found this at a local fabric store that is going out of business for 55% off, and actually, I wouldn't recommend the stuff. It stretches and rolls something fierce and was a overall pain to work with, ESPECIALLY hemming.

Now, sew the front to the back along the top of the rectangles. This is your shoulder seam. If you're lucky to get a stretch fabric, you may be able to get away with a slit for a neckhole like I did. If not, you may want to cut a semi-circle out of your front piece first for your head to fit through. My shoulder seams were 7” from the outside edges.

Fold the sleeves in half width-wise. Line this fold up with the shoulder seam and sew that side to the garment on either side. Sew the top of the gussets to the underside of each sleeve. Sew one side of each gusset to the front body piece.

Attach two gores to the sides of the front body piece. Your garment should now look like the picture below (I have 3 light sources in the room, so it shows off the different pieces on the velour pile).

Now, you should have cut a total of 4 gores, 3 whole and one split. Sew the split gore together and set it aside with the other one in case you need it. I'll get to that later.

Fold the garment in half along the shoulder seams. Fold the underarm gussets in half diagonally and sew the remaining sides to the bottom of the sleeve and the side of the back body piece, respectively.

Sew the bottom of the sleeves closed. Sew the unsewn edge of the side gores to the back body piece on either side. Sew the front to the back body piece under the gussets (if necessary).

Put it on. Can you walk alright? If not remember those two gores? Put an E-length slit up the front and back pieces from the bottom and insert those extra pieces. It may look more like an A-Line dress now, but at least you can MOVE.

Trim, hem, and tweak as desired.

For the sash I simply took the corner of the fabric that was uncut with the initial pattern, trimmed it, folded it in half inside-out and sewed the long side and one short side closed, like making a pillowcase. I turned it right side out, trimmed it to fit my body with a little overlap, and then sewed the open side shut. I attached hooks and eyes to keep it on, and VOILA!

I do apologize, my dressform is a bit dilapidated, but you can see how clingy and stretchy the velour I used is. Good for a woman, but probably not so sexy on a man. ;-)

Detail of the gusset in the sleeve. You may not think you need it, but it will make a HUGE difference after you've been in costume for a few hours.

I hope this helps a lot of people. It will save you the hassle and money of finding a commercial pattern and it's also a great beginner's project to a sewing machine.

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costuming/the_underrobe.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/18 20:42 (external edit)