So I finished reading The world of Gregory of Tours edited by Kathleen Mitchell and Ian Wood and Fortunitus’s Poems (edited and translated by Michael Roberts, sorry, my Latin is horrid.) I did glean some useful things from this. Neither Gregory nor Fortunitus are very descriptive when it comes to costumes, alas, but Fortunitus did mention a few times marks of beauty (Lots of milk-white skin and rose-colored lips, one mention of a white neck. Brushing hair until it shines, things like that.) and at least we know that Men and Women’s costumes were distinctive of each other. (That’s kind of a ‘duh’ but still, it’s good to have confirmation in a literary source.) I did really enjoy reading them together.
Now I’m wending my way through From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Katharine Reynolds Brown and Dafydd Kidd. Great volume, some lovely articles. Mostly focused on jewelry, of course.
I have decided that I aught to start my under-tunic. I want to do a pleated garment, I have a lovely light blue, lightweight wool in my stash that I think will do marvelously. Going with a standard rectangular construction. Warp-weighted looms mean wide width, shorter lengths of fabric, which gives us plenty of room for pleats. (One of Aregonde’s neighbors in the Saint Denis crypt had a blue pleated wool survive in her grave, possibly a tunic.) Going to match it’s pleat size.
- How far down do I sew the pleats? Just in the bodice area?
- Do I bend the pleats toward the neckline, or end them straight into the shoulder seam?
- How do I handle the neckline? (I’m leaning toward a standard keyhole.)
- How long do I make the sleeves? (I think wrist-length) and how do I finish the wrists? trim?
- Hem length (Have pretty much decided floor length, same as I always do.)