Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gather Your Materials

Basic doublet in a week – Day 0

So here is the goal, as indicated by the title, I want to walk through how to build a basic doublet from pattern to buttons in a week.  That title may be changed as I realize exactly what I have bitten off, but I remain optimistic.  So fueled by optimism and beer let us begin.

Gathering your materials for the Pattern –

1.      A table or other large flat surface, any 4’x4’ surface that you can draw on, and will not inconvenience the entire family if you completely clear it off for a couple of hours one night.
2.      Paper about 36” wide and 4’ long (more if you intend on weird shapes or making lots of mistakes) – I like the masking paper that you can get at most hardware stores on a giant roll.  It is how I like my beer, Brown, strong and cheap.  Leftover Christmas wrap, craft paper, butcher paper, any will work and are fine for someone just looking to make one doublet.  I guess my point here is that you don’t have to buy “pattern paper,” it is expensive, fragile, and misleading (the grid is not uniform) there are plenty of substitutes.
3.      A yard stick or similar straight edge, it does not have to be a measuring device as we will not be using it as one.
4.      A pencil and a good eraser, perhaps a crayon or marker to indicate the lines to cut on as opposed to construction lines.
5.      A square or triangle to draw 90 degree angles would also be helpful.  Again don’t go buy one, use the edge of something square. 
6.      A thin strip of paper, this can be cut from the roll and taped together, or it can be adding machine paper, cut in half lengthwise.
7.      Paper scissors, NOT you Fabric scissors; they will dull so fast that you will end up chewing the fabric apart.  Go get a cheap pair only for paper, you will be Much happier.

As you may have guessed from the above, we will be drafting this pattern.  Wait don’t close the window and walk away, it is not that hard, even for the Geometrically challenged.  If you can draw a line then you can do this.  You can honestly.

You may have also guessed that I am trying to make this as inexpensive as possible, since many of you will just want a doublet not a new hobby.  I will try to explicitly state where you need to spend money and where you can go on the cheap.  Generally spend money on things that people are going to see, it is totally period to be flashy on the outside and patched and threadbare on the inside.

Speaking of Fabric, you will need some of that as well.  I will be basing these measurements on 45 inch wide fabric, if you are using a patterned fabric then you may need a little more (another ½ yard should do.)  I will be using the lining as a mock up, and getting piecing the mock up where necessary.  If you plan on seriously making mistakes on the mockup then double the lining fabric amount.  You can always use any messed up mockups for interlining or as padding (some on the shoulders or belly is sometimes useful.)  Waste-Not Want-Not.

You will need: 

Lining – 1 ½ yards
Fashion Fabric – 1 ½ yards
Trim – ½ yards of fabric if using a separate fabric for trim or binding. Otherwise you can add this half a yard to the fashion fabric or the lining fabric if you are going to use that as a trim.  If you are using a purchased trim as trim instead of fabric then ignore this entirely.
Buttons – 24+, Smaller buttons (less than 3/4 inch) equal to the length down the front (usually about 20 inches) plus 4 more (two for sleeves and two spares)

Fabric choices – If you are planning on making your own doublet then I hope that you already know a little about fabrics, so I will be brief.

Wool and linen, maybe silk if you are rich. 

·        Okay a little more, Choose something cheap and natural for lining cotton or rayon blended will work but it neither as period or as comfortable.  Avoid polyester and other synthetic fibers.
·        For the fashion fabric a small amount of synthetic is acceptable but try really hard not to go above 20%. 
·        Trim content matters very little except that it not look silly.  Flat ribbon trims are worse than dimensional braided trims.

Now that you have all the stuff you will need, you need measurements and a test subject.  Since animal testing is cruel go find a human subject.  J

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