05 May 2012

Going Dutch :: Any shelter in a storm...

Pouring down rain, but still shouting. That's how I roll.
Not to tempt fate, but our faire has had several years of uniformly excellent weather. Which means it's been awhile since I've had to think about a wet weather option for costuming.

The show, after all, must go on.

My old fallback has been my beloved old parti-coloured "Tolkien Cloak" (seen at right) with it's overcape and voluminous hood. The hood is so deep that the nose of my mask was protected except in the most determined downpour.

All well and good. But it's a fantasy piece, not a period one. Fine enough for a fool, I guess, but I'm a gentleman now and should dress the part.

Oh, and I want something that doesn't drag in the mud.

After a lot of poking around and looking at what everyone else wears at our faire, I've decided to replace it with something not often seen at faires in these parts: a Dutch Cloak.

Looking at some of the paintings and drawings from the age, it's hard to escape the idea that the Dutch cloak was the pea coat of its age. Usually shown worn like a cloak, it nevertheless has sleeves that are usually decorated with stripes of trim either diagonally or horizontally arranged as in the image below.


Below is the pattern for a ropa (a type of robe -- click to biggie-size it) from Juan de Alcega's pattern book. The Dutch Cloak seems to be a halfway point between the ropa and a circle cloak. The shape and arrangement of the standing collar, epaulets, shoulder seams and sleeves are similar to the ropa, grafted onto a circle cloak. 



Note that the upper body in the pattern is nearly identical in proportions and arrangement of elements to a doublet pattern.  I based the pattern I'll be using on the pattern I use for a doublet, sized up in the body and drawing out a line from the bottom of the armscrye to the edge of the wool to give maximum drape and flow to the cape.


More soon!

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