Recently I made myself a woman’s doublet based on an extant doublet from the early 17th century. Today I’d like to share with you the period tailoring techniques I employed.
These are the blue hemp linen canvasses I cut for my doublet. These were tested for size over the stays I intend to wear under the doublet.
The next step is to cut the seam allowances off the canvasses. As we shall see, canvasses don’t need seam allowances. The seam allowances of the outer material wrap around them and then the whole lot is whipstitched together. Having seam allowances on the canvasses would just add bulk to the seams and we don’t want that.
Then I cut my brown woollen cloth to go over the shoulders and armhole.
Then the brown woollen cloth is pad stitched to the canvasses. Directions on how to pad stitch can be found in any of our pattern instructions.
Pad stitching is a form of basting used by tailors to attach layers of material to each other. The thread travels diagonally across the front of the fabric and horizontally across the back, working in parallel rows to secure the woollen cloth to the canvas. Pad stitching is not tight; it simply holds the layers together. And since this is the interior of the doublet, this stitching will never be seen. But oh, the difference it makes in the finished product!
Below you can see the front canvas with the woollen cloth pad stitched to it, obverse and reverse. See how the stitches travel horizontally on the back of the canvas?
front and back views of the front canvs with the woollen cloth pad stitched to it
the back canvas with the woollen cloth pad stitched to it
© 2010 Kass McGann and Reconstructing History. 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, the author’s name and website, and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.