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The best way to procrastinate on a project is to start another project! I have tons of other stuff to work on but two weeks ago  I decided that as well as finally working on my husband’s promised tunic I would also try to make a dress to wear over my rapier jacket. Then I decided that I’d flat fell all the seams in my dress. And add trim as well. I don’t procrastinate by halves.

But first I had to get all the pieces for both my husband’s tunic and my dress cut out of 61″ x 3 yards + a bit of the light weight wool blend that I had. Just don’t ask how many times I had to re-work bits and pieces . . .



I kept my promise to my husband and sewed his tunic first before starting on anything for myself. I did give him the option but he didn’t want flat felled seams (thank goodness). Only after finishing his did I start on mine. Both garments are early period, 7th – 9th-ish century Saxon (fashions didn’t really change very often back then), panel and gore construction. I used kite-shaped gussets and this was the first time I had not cut them into triangles to make sewing them in easier. This was also the first time I had flat-felled seams. Can you tell?


I didn’t have anything for trim until I realized that I could use my sewing machine’s embroidery designs over contrasting ribbon. Yes, it’s cheating. Unfortunately I had one day left to do the trim and I have figured out that my embroidery skills suck. More to the point, I have none. So I picked through my ribbon stash and did a sample with a couple different options. After some excellent advice I decided to go with the tan ribbon.

I got two thirds of the way through pinning it to the hem and ran out.

Emergency run to the store to find more ribbon!

Walmart, of course, did not have anything the same color. The closest thing they had was a slightly wider gold. I grabbed the last three rolls, not wanting to run out again, and headed back home.

I think I like this better than my first choice


Done just in time! The seam treatment definitely made it easier to pull on and off over my fencing jacket. I’ve known even before I started rapier that I wanted dresses for my fighting garb, now I have something to use over the modern jacket until I get the materials to sew a more persona-appropriate 14th century kirtle that will pass the requirements for rapier armor.

The above photos taken at the Barony of Endewearde’s event: Jehan’s Fencing and Fighting at the Fort. Photos taken and by and used with permission of Tan’ia Ozerovskaia, Mark Webber, and Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir.

I’ve already made a tunic in the same fabric for my son and I managed to find another three yards at Marden’s which is more than enough to make a dress for my daughter. Yeah, we’re going to be one of those families.