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Well, my Dark Child has decided to go back to school. We are currently working on his registration process and all the details. He has also taken his placement tests and done very well (with honors in the case of English!), and as you can imagine, this mama is very happy.

Yay Dark Child!

In other news, my quest for having at least some new garb at Pennsic continues. I wish I could say that I am producing massive quantities of garments, but that is not true. However, at least I now own a new set of fencing armor (blue/green), that fits me nicely, and at least one new fencing shirt is in the works. More to come.

It´s been so long since I have posted about sewing, that it would seem I have not been doing anything. Far from it. I have currently finished the embroidery of the forehead cloth that I had promised to alina_s, in exchange for 5 yards of a handwoven cut of wool. The embroidery matches that of the coif that I made for her last year, and now it only needs the ties and the lining. It will be verra nice.

I had also finished, back in January, a nice set of doublet and venetians for my hunny bunny. (And I need to take a better picture than this one!). This particular set took me forever to finish since it was all hand-stitched in the period manner -- meaning by that that each individual piece was finished first, and then stitched together with a simple, small whip-stitch. As you can see, my sweetie is not a small man, so that meant a lot of stitching. But it was worth it.

The venetians also featured a nifty eyelet band like this one. Contrary to popular belief, belts were not used to hold your pants in those days. Eyelet bands were. For those not familiar with how these things were put together, the eyelet band is just that: a band with eyelets stitched to the waist of a doublet. That eyelets in the band matches the ones in the breeches waistband. Then you take some ties or "points" and tie the two pieces together. I can assure you, your pants are going nowhere.

The most practical way to get in and out of that is to treat it like a jumpsuit, where top and bottom are treated like one piece. Or you can put the two pieces separately and ask a friend to tie the points. Whatever works for you.

The point is, if you look at extant pieces, pictorial evidence, etc., you will notice that guys did wear belts. However, the belts are worn over the doublet, not under. Moreover, you will find that belt loops are stitched to the doublet, never to the breeches like in the case of modern trousers. This is a good example of what I am talking about. And for that matter, so it this, and this.

Now, take a close look at the paintings and at the reproduction. Where is the belt? Under the doublet, holding the pants? No. It is over the doublet making a fashion statement. It can hold a sword, as you can see. It may even hold a pouch if the case be. But what it is not going to hold, is your pants.

And if you believe that guys did not have the problem of pants falling off their butts, think again. Guys' anatomy has not changed that much since the 16th Century. Falling pants are a problem now, and were a problem then too. And the only thing that is going to prevent you from looking like a fool with your pants on the ground, is eyelet bands. (Of course, you can wear a belt in your pants if you so wish, but this is a discussion on how to keep your pants in place in the period way.)

So there.

Of course, this works great for guys, who although facing the endemic problem of falling pants, do not have the problem of having to pull their pants down in order to go to the bathroom. Girls do, but that's a topic for another entry.

In the meantime, remember: eyelet bands are your friend.

~Belfebe out



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
So, um... is it bad that I find myself telling people in centuries-old portraits, "Excuse me, I just came to look at your belt."?
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
You can tell them "You sexy beast, your belt is irresistible ..."
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: werd!
Oh, yeah!
Jul. 20th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
much as i would like to increase my period look on the field, the whole 'tying myself into a pair of pants' makes it significantly harder for the female of the species to go to the bathroom. it is a hell of a lot easier to undo a belt than to have to untie myself from my doublet.

then again, i don't have to worry too much about my pants falling down (well, i shouldn't if i would make my damned pants right in the first place....)
Jul. 20th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
My fencing armour has points. While it's period, I agree that it is MADDENINGLY difficult for a lady to use anything smaller than a paviliion in which to disrobe for bathroom necessity.

I defy anyone to try it in a porta-john in 90 F heat at Pennsic. I've done it many times, but you have to be a damned contortionist to NOT knock down the porta-john!
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Yup. And that's why I said that points in female armor, particularly in the anatomical challenges of going to the bathroom, were subject for a future entry.

Points for men = period and perfect.

Points for women wearing male garb + porta-johns = Not so much. On the other hand, while not being built like them does not allow us to follow the call of Mother Nature while standing up, we ladies do not have such a big problem in keeping our pants in place. (Thank goodness for that!) ;-)

Edited at 2010-07-20 06:04 pm (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
True that!
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Fence in a skirt.. problem solved.

I may fence again in the next decade.

Jul. 20th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Skirts are pointed to corsets, but you don't wear one of those (corsets) for fencing. Plus with a skirt you don't need to pull anything down to go to the bathroom. ;-)
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
True... still the belt should be on the doublet not on the skirt. but at least you can use the port-o-john in a skirt.

My next fencing garb was going to be a 14C. using the short sleeved over gown as armour.. but again that has been put off at least 3 years now.
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
How do eyelet bands perform while fighting? Especially in a lunge, it would seem there would be a great deal of strain across the points on the lower back, and the result would either be damage to the points or doublet, or a humungo-nuclear wedgie.

And, what, elastic yellow suspenders aren't period?
Jul. 20th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
Nope. If your pants are constructed the period way, meaning that they go high on the waist as opposed to low slung as we do in the 21st Century, there is no strain whatsoever. Just ask Marcellus. There is a lot of give. Trust me on this one ;-)

And, what, elastic yellow suspenders aren't period?

Only if they feature pirate skulls. :-)
Jul. 20th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Further notes
I think that the cut of the pants merit another entry ;-)
Jul. 20th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
They perform even better than my venetians that I use a belt with. There is no stress on the points whatsoever. Of course, they need to be made for the eyelet band from the beginning. I don't think a "retrofit" on an existing pair of pants would work very well.
Jul. 20th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Amen, sistah!

Once nq3x got used to the odd feeling of his breeches not actually hanging from his waist but from his doublet, you can't keep him out of pointed suits of clothes!
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah! ballistabob loves his and won't wear anything else now!
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
And he looks darned spiffy in them, too. Height of fashion!
Jul. 20th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Measuring your waist correctly is also helpful for the pants not falling down thing.

Not that I know this from personal experience, or anything.

I can't wait for the forehead cloth! I can't wait for Pennsic!
Jul. 21st, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Forehead cloth = It's verra nice. You're gonna love it :-)

Measuring the waist correctly = Priceless.
Jul. 21st, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
The doublets/slops I'm working on now will have pointing holes, I'll also eventually get around to retrofitting my existing pants with them.
Jul. 21st, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
Just make sure that the waist is high enough and the doublet short enough in order for it to fit right.

On the retrofitting, if your breeches and doublet are not cut with the 16th C high waist, you may find yourself with a set of very uncomfortable garb. Otherwise, leave it alone and concentrate on pointing the new pair ;-)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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