Medieval Tunic: Prepare for Weaving!

Video Notes:

Come along with me as I prepare to weave the green tunic for my Medieval costume.

IG: barrowsandwights

Transcripts for videos are available on my website.


0:00 Mock Up

Made from scrap cotton fabric using a rectangular construction method based on my measurements.

12:44 Yarn Dyeing

Yarn: Undyed 100% Blue-Faced Leceister wool, 100g / 400 yard skeisn
Soaked in citric acid solution before dyeing.
Dye formula includes dyers’ salt, blue acid dye, yellow acid dye, and black acid dye.

24:24 Weaving Sample

Loom: 24 inch Ashford rigid heddle
Heddle Size: 15 DPI
Warp Yarns: Fingering weight Blue-Faced Leceister yarn
Weft Yarn: Brassard 8/2 Cottolin, color C1152 Vert Fonce

26:43 Securing Cutting Lines

– Machine straight stitch
– Zigzag stitch
– Reinforced machine straight stitch
– Reinforced zigzag stitch
– Iron on interfacing
– Back stitch


Title Card:
Photo by Anton Atanasov

Logo designed and drawn by A.R. Gergler

Background Music:
Planning [full version] by Alexander Nakarada

Tavern Brawl (feat. Kevin MacLeod) by Alexander Nakarada

Mountain Walk by Alexander Nakarada

One Bard Band by Alexander Nakarada

End Screen:
Photo by Anton Atanasov


[Medieval music]

Hello. I’m Adrian. I use masculine pronouns and I don’t know how to film this video. Uh, it is June 18th, 2021 and I have not yet started the tunic for medieval Salazar Slytherin. I let myself prioritize a bunch of other weaving things before Salazar Slytherin, so I finished all those. I need to start this tunic.

So the first thing I have to do is a mock-up because I drafted my weaving plan for this tunic six months or more ago and I don’t know if these numbers are still correct to fit me the way I want this to fit me.

So here we have my basic schematic. You can see I have a front, a back, sleeves, gussets, and gores on the sides. I’m thinking maybe I want to do front and back gores, too? I’m not sure. I guess we’ll have to play around with the uh mock-up a bit to see how that’s gonna go. So I did my basic finished measurements and then I divided out each of the pieces into what I would need to weave. So, my loom is only 24 inches wide, which is really about 23 to 22 inches wide fabric depending on how much shrinkage there is when you finish the fabric. So um, I have to weave narrower pieces and seam them together. The front is going to have two pieces. The back’s gonna have two pieces. Uh, the sleeves will be in one piece. Um, I have to weave a piece for the gussets and um gores. That’s the word I’m looking for. I think my draft has it so that I have a full rectangle to cut each of the gores out of and then I can use whatever excess for um the underarm gussets but these numbers may change if I want to do more gores in the skirt part of this tunic. I just don’t know.

So I need to do a mock-up to figure out if I want to add in those gores. Do these numbers still work? Have I dyed enough yarn to warp this up? Because my pile of yarns is sitting back there I may need to dye another skein. We’ll see. 

So um I guess we’re going to start with a mock-up. Found a terrible error. This should not be 12 and a half inches long. This should be about 20 inches. I’m guessing I meant to put 21 and a half there. Apologies for the shaking. So new math says I should be still okay with what I’ve dyed to do a longer warp for the arms.

[Music: Tavern Brawl (feat. Kevin MacLeod) by Alexander Nakarada]
[Adventurous music featuring flutes and guitar]

Okay iron, chill out.

So this is where I am in the mock-up stage. I’ve got my fronts and backs put together, shoulder seam, sleeves, gussets, and part of the side seams and I don’t think I accounted for the shirt beneath this tunic when doing these sleeve and gusset measurements. Everything is caught up in this shoulder seam armpit area. It’s pulling the shirt up because it’s all caught in there and I’m wearing this inside out, so it’s not being caught on the seam allowance. It’s just how tight it is under the arm and around the shoulders. So I have to take out the sleeves and the gussets and the side seams, I think and I’m going to try them all with a half inch allowance instead of a one inch allowance just to be sure that that’s the problem.

Okay so- oh that’s a safety pin. I thought it was a straight pin. So I have gone for half inch seam allowances at the shoulder seams, at the arms, and I went – I cut new gusset pieces for this mock-up. They’re… did I cut six in- I cut six inch squares, so it’s five by five um after the seam allowance, which fits a lot better. I can- Oops, punch things accidentally. I can move my arms. The shirt underneath is not bunching up at all. So that’s good. I’ve only sewn a little bit of the side seam because I need to put the gores in and see what that looks like.

I’m still debating whether to put front gores in. In which case I would have to unpick this center seam at a similar height here um, put in some gores. I also- I also have to see if the gores that I’ve measured are long enough. I don’t know how long this tunic is going to be necessarily. I definitely want it longer than this undershirt, more kind of to knee length, which this length gives me. These pieces are 40 inches long except for this one with the safety pins because I ran out of this fabric, but um that gives me plenty of extra hem to work with and I have to level it off because the length 
of the front of my body and the length of the back of my body are different um but it looks like 40 is a good starting place. The back currently ends like at my knee, so it’s kind of the length that I want for this tunic, um but I don’t know if my gores are long enough. I kind of need them to start over here.

I may just sew this down another inch uh because that’s where my hips are. My natural waist is all the way up here because I have the shortest torso known to man. Um so yeah, I think I’m going to sew down another inch, inch and a half and then the gores will start. Um there’s no sense starting them any lower. Otherwise they’ll look weird, but I’m gonna go do that and see what this looks like.

Now that the mock-up is done and is mostly how I would like it, I do need to lengthen the pieces so that when it’s rucked up over the belt, it’s long enough to be knee length at least. So I’ve made all my notes about my mock-up. I have drafted out a new tunic with new measurements including the lengthened pieces, the pieces that needed to be widened a little bit, get all the finished measurements for those, figure out the size of each piece with a one inch seam allowance.

I like to have large seam allowances for things that I am weaving the fabric for. Commercially woven fabric has a nice straight selvage edge. Weaving by me does not. So depending on the tension of my weft yarn when I’m weaving my seam allowance can get really wonky. So I just want to make sure that I have enough wiggle room to get the size- the finished size piece that I need. The wibbliness of my selvedges tends to be within like 3/8 of an inch wibble. So still plenty of room for my seam allowances. Figured all that information out. Figured out how much yarn I need to warp all of those pieces and I now come out to 7.37 skeins of yarn and that’s- that’s if I don’t come to the end of a skein of yarn in the middle of a warp strand.

The thing about warping is that it’s really difficult to deal with an end in the middle of your length, so I just don’t bother. So that means I need to dye two more skeins of yarn. So that’s the next thing on the agenda.

And then I also need to figure out how I’m cutting my hand woven project. Not how I’m cutting it, but um how to secure my fabric so that it doesn’t unravel when I do cut it. I have in the past hand sewn with sewing thread like two lines of secure back stitching on either side of a cut line I have just done a hem stitch, which does not work if you’re gonna put any weight at all on that seam. It will pull it right out. And I have done a little bit of fusible interfacing to cut, but I was fusing most of the piece anyway so I just extended out the fusible interfacing piece and cut it there.

So I’m going to do, at some point, a little weaving sample with um one of my sample skeins that didn’t work out and the cotton linen weft yarn and just try a bunch of stuff for securing on either side of cut lines. So you’ll see that at some point soon, too. For now I have to get ready for a job interview and I’m real nervous about it.

[Music: Mountain Walk by Alexander Nakarada]
[“… a very drum kit heavy fantasy piece.”]

[Music: One Bard Band by Alexander Nakarada]
[“Classical celtic/medieval piece with few changes.]

Uh hello. I am here with my samples for securing where I need to cut my hand woven  
fabric. I don’t remember what I’ve talked about previously in this video. So instead of going over each one of these individually, I’m going to insert here a list of the methods that I used and some footage of the sample pieces that I used these methods on.

[Drums… drums in the deep.]

So I’ve been taking these samples and I’ve just been playing around with them to see
if they start to fray when I pull on them, um just kind of fiddling with them to see  
which of these methods is mostly secure. What I have found is that anything done just with the hand woven fabric- the straight stitch, the zigzag stitch, and the hand  
stitch- there’s a greater risk of it fraying, but the pieces where I used the interfacing and where I reinforced a machine stitch with the cotton fabric are holding up rather well. I don’t know how well the interfacing will hold up after washing. Um that is a problem with fusible interfacing is that after washing it a few times, the glue just kind of washes away and is therefore then useless. I do plan on covering all the raw edges of these cuts with bias tape or cotton binding at some point, so that might not be a huge problem, but I think ultimately using just another cotton strip to secure what I’m doing is the way I’m going to go.

[bark] Oh hello. Uh can I finish filming this? [ruh] Okay, give me one minute.

So ultimately my choice is I’m going to go with a cotton fabric reinforcement and I’m going to do the two straight stitches even though it looks like this one has frayed a bunch. There’s tension issues with the zigzag stitch with the two layers of cotton and the um hand woven fabric and I don’t want to mess around with it. So two straight stitches- more or less straight stitches- where I cut the fabric is gonna be the way to go for me. Obviously not historically accurate. I haven’t found anything about how they secured hand woven fabric. I know with entirely wool fabrics you can full it a little so that the woven strands don’t [Penny complains] unravel.

Yes, give me one second.

Don’t unravel, um but because this is linen and cotton with a wool, that’s not gonna work. So the straight machine stitch with the cotton is what I’m gonna go with.

Hello, editing!Adrian here. We’re actually gonna end this video at this point in the footage that I have taken. This video is getting kind of chonky and I don’t know when the next part will come out because things take a long time. I’m between grad  
school semesters at the moment, so I should be able to get some more video stuff out there for you now that I have some more time after work and on the weekends.
So thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I apologize about the plant light back there and about the other lamp. I live in a cave. There is no good light in here after three o’clock in the afternoon
in the summer and it’s now winter. So we’re gonna just sign off. Goodbye. Good night.
I’ll see you soon.

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