Medieval Sleeves as Outerwear

As the deadline for the HSF challenge 20: Outerwear, drew closer I needed to decide what to make. The time was pressing and I had a couple of other costuming deadlines lurking close by, so I know I needed to make it an easy and quick one.

So why not make something I could use for the up-coming medieval event my dance group are hosting.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make the whole medieval outfit from the inside out, so I needed to prioritate. The gown will be made in time for the “Green” challenge, and as “Outerwear” I will make a pair of lose sleeves.

birth_of_mary_gr“The Birth of Mary” shows a servant with one of her lose sleeves taken of.

Technically they don’t count as outerwear as they will be worn under the short sleeve of the cotehardie, but as they are separate they can also be worn together with a sleeveles kirtle over a shift – thus becoming outerwear…

I bought a light brown/beige colored wool with a soft feel to it.


I the drafted the pattern, using “The Medieval Tailor Assistance” diagram for –  a Kirtles fitted sleeve.


I didn’t make a mock-up, but cut and basted one sleeve togheter and then fitted it to my arm. It needed some taking in across the upper and lower arm.

I stiched and felled the seams, reinforced the buttonhole stand and the wrist with some brown cotton..

Then it was time to make the buttons.

2013-10-05 18.12.19

Cutting about 30 circles of fabric, and sewing the buttons when ever I got some spair time, really saved me a lots of time and effort.

I sewed the finished buttons on to the sleeves, putting them close togheter.


Then I made all the buttonholes, using a buttonhole-thread and all of my patience and determination to get them finished in time.

2013-10-06 20.46.22



And the finished sleeves.






And being worn, paired with my Peasant Kirtle.








IMG_2490“Knitta please” are maching my outfit

Just the facts:

Challenge: 20 outerwear.

What: A pair of lose sleeves.

Year: 1300 -1450

Pattern: Drafted from “The Medieval Tailor Assistent” – Kirtle, fitted sleeve.

Fabric: 1 m thin light brown wool.

Notions: Thread

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The fabric, thread and methodes where all used during the time. I give them 8/10.

Time: About 15 hours (the button-holes took like forever).

Cost: 150 Sek (16 Usd)

First worn: On the photoshoot begining okt.

Final toughts: The sleeve cap is a bit low, and needs to be either raised a bit or tied to a very firm shoulder-strap that won’t slipp of the shoulder.


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