Jun 21

14th Century Spanish style plaid cotehardie

Spanish style cotehardie, parti-colored with bias-cut plaid – June 2007

The Spanish did some interesting things – including a parti-colored cotehardie. In plaid. Cut on the bias. The idea made my head do all sorts of weird spinny things, and then I decided that I absolutely, positively HAD to have one.

School of Lattagona: Altarpiece from the Castle of Santa Coloma de Queralt. c. 1365.

The fitted gown was a popular style in Europe in the late 14th/early 15th centuries. For more information on this style, I recommend that you read Tasha Kelly’s excellent paper on this style. When I was fit for this dress, we used her fitting method, which worked very well.

The dress is crafted out of cotton twill for the solid side and plaid cotton homespun for the plaid side. The biggest challenge was getting the pattern pieces to lay on the bias properly so it would look like I had little plaid diamonds instead of just wonky plaid. 😉 It’s super-comfy, and since I cut the gores a little big (oops!), the skirt is super-amazingly swooshy. :)

The plaid is a 45″ wide ‘homespun’ cotton from JoAnn’s – you know, the $2/yard stuff. Since it’s only 45″ wide, in order to get the length for the front and back panels, I had to sew two 45″ lengths together to create a 90″ square piece of the plaid. I cut the twill side on the grain, and the lining on the plaid side is the same blue cotton twill cut on the grain, so there is minimal weird stretching of the plaid.

I used Maistresse Mathilde Bourette’s paper on sleeve construction and had excellent results with the sleeves this time around. Keeping the curve of the sleeve head as shallow as possible seems to be key, and I have full range of movement in the plaid version of this dress.

The eyelets are hand-bound, in matching blue embroidery thread.

This was a quick-and-dirty project – our Canton was hosting a Spanish-themed event, and I wanted something that was uniquely Spanish. It is made entirely from stash fabric – the only thing I had to buy was the embroidery thread for the eyelets.