A jacket for the chief

One of my promises for New Year was that I wouldn’t take any more orders. At least not sewing orders – weaving is still fine. But then Björn, a friend of mine, asked me to make him a jacket, or a cotehardie if that’s what you want to call it. He works as the Director General for Medeltidsveckan in Visby, and wanted a late 14th century jacket to wear to work. How could I say no?

First I had to make a toile. There are pictures, but right now I can’t seem to find them😦
Björn chose a light green fabric from Handelsgillet, a nice sturdy twill weave.

Some pictures from the first fitting session.

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I was happy to find that the pattern worked, and the only thing I had to adjust was the front and the sleeves.
After the fitting, I got started on the buttons.
All 55 of them.

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Björn wanted a woven edge in yellow silk. So I made a small tablet-woven edge on the buttonhole side, using just 8 treads. I chose embroidery silk from Devere, for both the front and sleeves.

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The buttonholes were made with linen thread. I like the plain look of them and the fact that they blend in nicely with the fabric. I decided to use handwoven fustian from 1927 to reinforce the button holes on the reverse side. Fustian is a weave that has linen for warp and some other material in the weft, cotton in this case. And yes, fustian is
something that people actually had during this time. Probably not in any large quantities, but there are fustian finds from the Middle Ages.

To make it a bit shiny I chose to bling it a little with some silk around the neck. I didn’t have any green silk to match the fabric, so I prepared an indigo bath. I did had a lovely yellow taffeta, and my plan was to make it a cool, light green. I think it turned out nice.

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The silk facing on the neckline is not something I came up with myself. Among the London finds, there is actually a neckline with silk preserved. It’s not possible to tell which side was in or out, because the wool fabric in question is a tabby. My choice to put it on the outside might be completely wrong… But I still think it would be strange to wear such an expensive fabric where it couldn’t be seen. I ended up putting some on the sleeves too.

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Right now the jacket sits in a parcel waiting to be sent to Björn, so I can’t show you any pictures of him wearing it yet. But he has promised to send me some when he receives it. Some pictures of the jacket on a hanger:

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I hope it fits Björn!
/ Maria

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