Getting there

So with 48 entire tailors manuals from 1500-1760-ish yes. My own Manual has a place. And works. And will get you a garment that matches the era you want.

I did need to print out and move each useful plate around, and I suspect I know where Koehler got his interesting cut into the waist and gather diagram (a half yoke deal in a schaube.)

But because I did this before reading I’ve spotted that the author of one of the books tackling the mountain of manuals at one point thought circle skirts were rare in the 16thC.

Me? One of my earliest favourite extant garments was the Mary of Hungary gown- In Naomi Tarrant’s book- but as a Northern Renaissance enthusiast there are many portraits and other illustrated depictions. More recently digitised is the Swabish manual full of plain circle and fully pleated circle skirts.

I remember when I shared my theories about how to use a circle that it conflicted with advice for costuming in Landsknecht and renaissance faires alike (tube skirts.)

But yeah.

Modular frock baby! It works!

The sheer number of pages dedicated to how to cut a circle or half circle dominates over the number of patterns for garments with a waist seam, which dominate over gowns without one.

That does fit with my theory that separating body from waist was as much about saving fabric as it was changing the skillsets required for a full garment.

Apparently when entire garments had pinked and slashed surfaces that was a separate speciality and there are records of legal action taken when a tailor was a bit messy and accidentally cut through to other layers on the surface!

So yeah.

I’m kind of an outlier in that I do not like proportional systems because they are very modern. All these manuals are explicit that these are the amounts of fabric. And those measurements were as tightly regulated as now (especially standard scientific) just on a city by city basis.

But I’ve had to put my plans on hold for a few years now that included hands on workshops to explain the different sets of skills for each module and how to get the best bang for buck if you are investing your own time or money.

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