Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Slight Digression

For my Celtic Comrades

Converting the Doublet pattern into an Ionar.
Image Stolen from Clan McColin - the people that this post is mostly for.

This is the Celtic version of a doublet.  It covers the upper body, has Sleeves (sort of) and a sort of skirting around the bottom.  So I think it fits roughly into the category.  That’s my story anyway.

So begin by following the directions for a Basic Doublet (search Doublet or doublet in a week) until you get to step #12 then follow these steps to finish out.  With a slight change in step 2.

You will need to make the following changes to the measurements as given for doublets:

Front LengthFL, should now only go to the belly button (for big guys) or a couple fingers above (for little guys)
Back length BL, you need to make sure that this ends in the small of the back.  Usually a couple of fingers above the belt line.
Waist W, moving the other measurements up means that the waist needs to move up as well.  So the Waist is more the Belly (natural waist) than where your jeans go.  So go around through the bellybutton and the small of the back.  Seriously quit sucking it in.

Step 2 – Instead of making line EF 2-3 fingers lower than half of BL make it 1/3 up from B to raise the waistline.
Follow the rest from this modification. Until step 12

Step 12 – Instead of putting point K 2/3 around the armseye put it about at the bottom.

Step 13- measure from the backline ¼ of the new waist (Belly) Connect this point L to point K.

Step 14 – Measure the same distance ¼ Belly to point M, if this does not cross point L (thin guys) then continue to Step 16.

Step 15 – Optional Big guys – Point M and L crossed, Erase point L and M land be glad because you just removed a seam from your Ionar, and made it closer to the Dungiven doublet.  The ionar will now be cut as a single piece.  Measure along BC ½ Belly, to new point N’. 

Step 16 – Measure from G’ down to point N, connect M to N with a line.  If you followed Step 15 then you may need to move point N’ a bit to make it match N

Step 17 – Draw a gently curved line from point N to point G, this will cut off point G’
Here is the what Step 17 will look like for the Big guys

Finished ionar pattern
Finished Large ionar pattern
Step 18 – Along the selvedge edge of your wool, cut a strip 3x’s the length of the Belly measurement and about, a full hand width (or more to account for seam allowance) wide.  If the selvedge is the same on both edges you can use both sides and cut the pattern from the center.  This is the skirting that will be added to the bottom of the Ionar.  This will be pleated into the bottom edge of the ionar.

Step 19 – Collar edging, According to both the Ashmoleum woodcut and the Derrick woodcuts there is a small collar on the edge of the ionar that runs up the front and around the back of the neck.  Like the skirting this appears to be a thin strip of straight grain fabric, perhaps even a selvedge edge, that is added to the edge and lays flat creating the standup look in the Durer watercolor.  So cut a piece that is the length 2xNG + 2xHA and 3-4 fingers wide (that includes a finger for seam allowance) along the straight of grain.


  1. Pretty good, Eric. Buuuttt...The collar goes around the back of the neck, from jaw-point to jaw-point. Another silly Irish-ism, to be sure. It stands straight up, or should.

    The best way to achieve that is:
    1. Cut the appropriate length, double the height desired (usually 1" to 1 1/2"), without seam allowance. The collar piece may have a pinked edge, with no finish necessary, if is fabric that will not ravel.

    2. Cut a strip of contrasting, or complimentary, fabric the same length, but half the width. Thicker fabric, with more body, is helpful, or include a smaller strip of stiffening fabric, that will not show.

    3. Fold the wider strip in half, lengthwise, and insert the contrasting strip in the fold.

    4. Sew the two strips together around all cut edges. I topstitch or use hand stitching, about 1/4" to 1/2" from cut edge through all layers.

    5. Center the collar strip on the neckline at the center back, with the folded edge aligned with the neck edge on the right side. Hand stitch to the outside of the finished neckline, using a whip or overhand stitch.

    6. Fold the collar up to stand straight up, and stitch again, to the inside of the finished neck edge. You will create a small, flat platform that supports the collar on the neck edge.

    The finished collar frames the neck and jaw, and is deliciously Irish!

    Regina Lawson
    Historic Clothing Coordinator
    Clan MacColin of Glenderry

    Celebrating our 35th year as the Premier Highland & Irish Re-enactment group in the country.

  2. Excellent! Thank you. From most of the pictures it appears that the collar is laying down. The Durer watercolor and the man on the far right being an exception. I did notice that there were collars on the ionair. The guy in Yellow, I was not sure that he was wearing an ionar though since it appeared to be a leine with a collar.

    I followed your directions easily, but if anyone else has problems I will attempt to illustrate it or I might have to make an ionar and take pictures. After I get the rest of the stuff I have to get done for costume approval.

    Thank you Regina

  3. How do you recommend we pleat the ruffle on the bottom? I'm new to costuming and box pleats are the only thing I'm familiar with.

  4. The simplest is a simple gather. Just run a basting stitch along the top and gather to fit the bottom of the Ionar. Gathering might be preferred if fabric is running short, as you can gather into any length greater than the waist. Alternately you can Box or Knife pleat the edge. Knife pleating is simply all the folds going in the same direction. Of course, my OCD makes me reverse at the center back but otherwise it works and looks good.
    I would like to recommend that you try to use the selvege edge of the fabric as the bottom edge of the ruffle, it is self bound requires no hemming or lining and allows the sometimes heavy wool to move correctly. Sometimes you even get weird wonderful colors as accent too.
    Thank you for your question, I hope that helps.

  5. Hi Eric!
    I can't see the pictures to this post. Could you please try to reupload them or maybe send them to me? I'm putting together a ionar of my own and would greatly appreciate your help!