Sun Motif The Company of Saint Sebastian Picture: Some Group Members
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Company of Saint Sebastian kit and equipment standards (continued)

 


 

Shirts and other linen garments

 

Linen was widely used to make a variety of garments including shirts, purpoints and breeches. These items were worn as undergarments and were not generally visible.

During the period a person was not deemed to be decently attired unless they were wearing at the very least three layers of fabric which, in practice, meant a shirt and doublet; the shirt being one layer and the doublet, by its very nature, comprising the other two.

Linen itself is very practical as it is light-weight, hard wearing and easy to wash. Unlike silk it dries very quickly and it was therefore ideal for use in the mediæval period.

 
 

   

Shirts

White linen shirts were essential undergarments at the time. Worn underneath the doublet or purpoint the shirt was the initial component in the 'three layers' of fabric necessary to meet decency in attire requirements. Included in this section is a basic design for a shirt.

 

 
Image: Tips
You will need 3 metres of good quality linen to make this garment

 

  Measure your shoulder size, chest size and waist size. Divide these figures by two and mark the linen accordingly. Cut two pieces of fabric (one for the front and the other for the back). Cut a shallow 'V'-shape or curve at the top of one of the panels. This forms the neckline for the front of the shirt Cut two matching small isosceles triangles of fabric Sew these to the top of the front section. Using the spare long side of the triangles sew to the top of the back panel. From the base of the shirt, sew the sides leaving space for the arms.

Measure your arm length and mark two matching rhombus panels on a fresh piece of fabric. The length of the long side should match your arm measurement. Fold this in half to make a long, thin rectangle.

Cut two small squares of fabric - these will form gussets which will be attached to the sleeves and body.

 Sew along the edge of the sleeve attaching the gusset at one end.

Make sure the shirt body is inside-out and that the sleeve is turned the right way round. (This may not seem logical but it is important) Attach the sleeve to the body. Repeat for other sleeve.

Hem around the bottom of the shirt, around the neckline and around the sleeves

 
   

Image: Shirt pattern

Illustration © WW Forsythe, 2009

 
 

   

Pourpoint

The pourpoint is similar to the modern waist coat. It has points at the base and is primarily used as a means of securing hose to keep them up. It is an undergarment and tends to be worn under livery coats if no doublet is available. It is not worn on display.

 

 

Image: Tips

  The pourpoint requires a double thickness of linen therefore cut 4x back panels and 4x front panels. With two of the front panels and two of the back panels assemble the outer portion of the pourpoint. With the remaining panels do the same for the inner lining. Stitch the two pourpoints together and add pairs of point holes at the base (matching the positions of the point holes on the hose).  
You will need 2 metres of coarse linen to make this garment  

Image: Purpoint pattern

Illustration © WW Forsythe, 2009

 
 

   

Breeches (underpants)

Comfortable breeches are in important part of the re-enactment kit. There are a variety of patterns and styles in circulation but for group purposes we tend to opt for one of the simplest designs (below), which is made from a single sheet of white linen.

 

 

Image: Tips

You will need 1 metre of good quality light linen to make this garment

 

 

 

 

 

Using a piece of cord or string measure the waist line (you can use the cord as a draw string afterwards).

Mark the linen according to the measurements, and add an extra 2 inches (50mm).

Hem at each end.

Fold the fabric in half and bring the two hems together. At either side stitch from the edge for approximately 1 inch (25mm). You should now have a tube with one side open.

Make a small incision at the middle point of one of the hems. Thread the drawstring through the hem and back to the mid-point.

To avoid fraying you may wish to make small hems on the remaining edges.

 

A simple pattern for linen breeches

 
   

Illustration © WW Forsythe, 2009

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
Commission of Array
Archery & Archers' Equipment
Armour & Sallets
Padded Jacks & Arming Doublets
Pole Arms & Hand Held Weapons
Doublets & Gowns
Livery Coats
Shirts & Other Linen Garments
Joined & Single Leg Hose
Belts, Pouches & Accessories
Boots & Other Footwear
Hats & Headgear
Miscellaneous Other Items
 
     
     
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This site was designed by WW Forsythe and is © Company of Saint Sebastian, 2009. All photographs and other artwork are property of their respective owners, used with permission and credited accordingly.