Chemise of unbleached cotton. (Not seen)
The cotehardie is well fitting and parti-colored black and white. The sleeves, which reach to the knuckles, are counterchanged. The cote fastens down the front with silver star buttons. The neckline is tight to the neck.
The leggings are black and burgundy knit.
Shoes are turnshoes of black leather.
Accessories consist of a girdle worn at hip level with a blackleather pouch.
The 14th century was an era of prosperity and luxurious living. Clothing was ostentatious and exaggerated. France became the leader of fashion although the styles of each country affected others to some degree.
Typical fabric colors worn at this time were white, blue, black, red, deep royal blue, green, purple, light blue, and brown. Colors were becoming identifiers for professions. Purple or light blue identified a doctor of physics, black represented a canon, and brown was used for mourning.
The typical materials used were taffeta (a most expensive new material worn only by the highest ranks, scarlet cloth, velvety material called fustian, a new green Flemish cloth called sisken, and gray mustardevilliers from Normandy. Also worn were russets and linens, satin, silk, flannels of fine wool, and many colored worsted.
The 14th century was the time of "parti-color" where garments were made of two or more colors. Colors, when shown, are usually bright and highly contrasting. This was also the time of high heraldic display. This cote was created for a good friend. His personal heraldry is perpale argent and sable, a double-headed eagle displayed, on a chief three mullets of eight points counterchanged. I created this cote to be half black and half white with the sleeves couterchanged. They are also designed to look like the displayed wings of an eagle. The buttons were chosen because they are mullets, although of five instead of eight, and also represent my friend's heraldry.
Men wore the form-fitting garment commoly known as the cotehardie from the early 14th century through the 16th century. Styles, of course, varied over time and region. For the most part, the length of men's cotehardies was above the knee. They ususally had tight sleeves,but there are examples in literature and artwork of the loose sleeve I chose to use. This is especially true in the later part of the 1300's during the reighn of Richard II. The fashions of that time period have been described as flamboyant. Here is a redrawing of a French cote from Manuscript 4431 Folio 115. It is part of the Harley Collection in the British Museum.
Equipment needed: paper, tape measure, T-square ruler and/or yardstick. You will need the following measurements. (Where measurements are divided use the number obtained by division).
Add 1/2" around all patterns for seam allowance.
EACH STEP IS NUMBERED AND SHOULD BE MARKED ON THE PATTERN AS THEY ARE USED. THESE NUMBERS WILL SERVE AS REFERENCE POINTS.
Now draw the seam allowance onto the patterns. Also, write the initial measurements directly on the patterns to facilitate changes in the future. A cote made directly from this pattern will be very snug. if more ease is desired, add 2" to each measurement before dividing it.
Remember to cut all pieces on the grain, not the bias.
Fold fabric lengthwise.
Make pattern using directions given in this section.
Cut two of both front and back of cote in both white and black fabrics. Remember to make the neckline higher in the back to prevent the dress from falling off of the shoulders. Remember to make the seam allowance 1" on each side of the center front for the buttonholes.
Cut two white sleeves and two black sleeves.
Sew together both black and white back pieces.
Put "right" sides together and sew the back to the front at the shoulder seams
Without separating the front and back of the cote, sew the side seams together from armpit to hem.
Bind the nexk edge with 1" bias binding
Fold each sleeve in half making a tube. Then sew from armpit to end of dags. Sew all four of the sleeves in this manner.
Place one white sleeve inside the other with "right" sides together Repeat for the black sleeve.
Sew 1/4" around the edge of all the dags. Turn each sleeve so that "wrong" sides are together. Press.
Turn the sleeve insdie out and pin the sleeves to the cote sleeve opening. This means the sleeve will be on the inside of the cote, which is still "wrong" side out. match the top curve of the sleeve to the shoulder seam of the cote.
Press stabilizer to the inside 1" of both of the center front edges of the cote. Turn each of the raw edges inside 1". Topstitch to close.
Sew buttonholes 1" apart down the left side of the cote. Sew buttons 1/4" from the outer edge on the right side of the cote.
Hem the bottom of the cote with a rolled hem.
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