Your First Garb — A Beginner’s Guide to Historic Clothing

So You Wanna Make Some Garb?

Are you new to medieval re-enactment?  Are your local seamstresses and tailors too busy to help you make what you want to wear?   Are you frustrated, tired, and don’t have time to do all this research just to go to your first event?

Never fear.  I’m here to help you!

I don’t condone taking shortcuts and making junky clothing just to “get ‘em on the field”.   The truth is that many extant medieval garments are easy to make IF you make them the way THEY did.   So read on.  Soon you’ll have yourself a set of perfectly period-correct medieval clothing.   And it will all pass clothing inspection!

Okay, I know what you’re saying…  ”How can re-enactment clothing be easy to make?”  Well, until the Renaissance, garments were cut along very simple lines.  They even used very little fabric.  Yet your clothing can be gorgeous and, above all, CORRECT — the very first time!

Check out the pages listed in this section.  I suggest starting with “Your First Garb”.   And if you have any questions, email the historian.

Disclaimer:  This is just a starting point.  Simplifications and generalizations have been made for ease of explanation.   These pages are meant to be a start for people new to medieval clothing making.   They should not be taken as a definitive source.   Please use them as a beginning.   I encourage you to use the pages on “Good Research Techniques” to progress from this point.

This site is dedicated to the memory of James Howell, my mentor and friend, who left us on 27 February, 2003.   James was a wonderful man who gave encouragement and help to many beginners.   Drink to us in Valhalla, James!


© 2000, 2003 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.