Doin’ de Gheyn – Vol 3

Been a few days, hasn’t it, kids?  I know, I know; it’s been far too long.  I shall be providing a remedy to your Bob-starved lives much more regularly over the coming weeks.

Why?

Simple.

I really, really need to get this de Gheyn project done.

As you’ve read in previous posts, I started work (okay, at least the brain work) on a suit of clothes from RH111 – De Gheyn Musketeer or Pikeman – some months ago.  Then, what with one RH thing or another, the project got postponed, then postponed again, then forgotten entirely.  But now I’m back in the saddle.

The colors, you see, have been decided: I’m going with the Coventry Blue breeches topped with a doublet of bright yellow trimmed with red.

We’ve got heaps of the yellow and blue wool flannel.*  I can make the red trimming from any number of things, from ribbon to twill tape, so I’m set there. We’ve got plenty of linen lying around for lining.  Buttons I can purchase – I’m partial to shiny brass – or make from cloth scraps.

All I need now is to actually cut the damn things and start sewing.

Which brings to mind a twist.

As many of you know, we do a lot of SCA events.  One of the things I like best about the SCA is the ability to practice historical fencing – the kind with swords, not the kind to keep sheep penned up, though hazel-weaving is pretty dashed interesting indeed – and in order to participate I need to protect myself under the SCA’s rules.

Many of our customers contact us looking for advice on how to adapt this or that pattern to make SCA fencing armour.  While you can do that pretty easily, the garment usually suffers somewhat, for a variety of reasons:

1. In order to comply with the rules the garment requires a series of layers, which make the garment too thick to drape correctly on the body.

2. More often than not, the layers mentioned in No. 1 are of materials not used in the original garments from which the pattern is taken.  Different fabrics drape differently.

Combined, those factors make something which passes muster for the fencing lists, but just doesn’t look right.  There’s something about it, often something you can’t seem to put your finger on, which looks off-kilter.

That’s why I advise doing what I’m doing in this project: Build your doublet over a modern three-weapons or Spectra-fiber fencing jacket.  They’re not thick enough to make much difference in the drape, and you can make your doublet from authentic materials.  Not only does that look better, you can wear your doublet when not fencing and look fabulous.

And it’s really, really easy.  All I need to do is don my fencing jacket and take another set of measurements.  I suspect they won’t be too far off of my shirt-only measurements, because the jacket is quite thin.  Then – and only then – will I start hacking into the linen to fit my lining.

You’ll have to stay tuned for that, I’m afraid; we’re off to Gulf Wars in the AM where I will be fencing with another doublet over my 3-weapons jacket as well as bringing the light and glory of RH to the masses in Mississippi.**  If you’re coming to Gulf Wars, please stop by our booth (Space 73, on the football field next to 96 District Storehouse) and say Hi.  I promise I’ll be civil when you complain about the infrequency of my posts.

Until next time, gentle readers, I remain

Yr Obt Svt,

Bob

 

* Okay, not heaps.  But certainly enough to do the job if I cut cleverly.

** Bet you thought I couldn’t spell Mississippi, didn’t you?  Well, nyah: Mississippi, Mississippi, Mississippi, you doubters.