The Killery Coat – The Sleeves. Kind of.

Okay, I’m beyond late with this. I admit it. Why? Because sleeves are a pain in the ass. See, there’s this very, very distinctive way the Early Modern Irish tended to put sleeves onto garments. You see it all over the place, from the Kilcommon Jacket to the Tipperary Coat. The Killery Coat has it,… Continue Reading

An Ottoman Turkish Outfit — Part I: the outer caftan

An Ottoman Turkish Outfit — Part I: the outer caftan

Over the years, I have I’ve made a number of different Turkish outfits.  But I’ve never made a fully-blown formal outfit with all the associated layers.  My friend in Chicago invited me to a 16th century 12th Night celebration and it seemed like the perfect occasion for a complete Ottoman Turkish wardrobe. I usually begin… Continue Reading

The Killery Coat – The Body

No, not the body on which the garment was found, you morbid corpse-watchers. The body of the Coat itself. This week’s installment looks at the main pieces of the Coat. In the Introduction, we discussed briefly the historical data on record about the Killery outfit. To recap, Dunleavy in Dress in Ireland posits that the Killery… Continue Reading

The Killery Coat – Introduction

The Killery Coat – Introduction

In 1824, a suit of clothes was found six feet deep in a bog in the parish of Killery, County Sligo, in Ireland. Before we go any further, it’s pronounced “KILL-er-ee,” not “kill-AIR-ee,” which I learned to my great shame after a decade saying “kill-AIR-ee.” Take it from me, children: Go to someone who lives… Continue Reading

People Were Smaller Back Then… right?

One of the misconceptions about historical costume is that people were smaller “back then”.  Would it surprise you to know that the average woman living in London in the Middle Ages was the same height as the average female Londoner today? There are a couple reasons for this misconception.  Historians used to use door heights… Continue Reading

Why are There No Sewing Patterns for Men?

Why are There No Sewing Patterns for Men?

Poor men.  In the realm of sewing patterns, and historical clothing, they really get the short end of the stick. Sewing is a “woman’s hobby”.  One might even hear it called “woman’s work”.  When a man turns up at a reenactment impeccably dressed, he is inevitably asked, “Did your girlfriend make that?” It’s infuriating. One… Continue Reading