After having a good time recently at the Traquair medieval fair, I've developed some interest in medieval clothing. After a bit of research, it seems that just about everybody wore some sort of light tunic as an undergarment, and they were invariably made of linen. I decided to have a go at making one, and got some natural (not dyed or bleached) lined fabric from the Cloth Shop in Edinburgh (a branch of Remnant Kings). To work out sizes and overall style, I used my Swanndri Bush Shirt as a basis because that's a pretty good fit and has some features that I wanted to include in the tunic (the general cut, and the gussets in the underarms and at the hips). After a bit of measuring and sketching, I had some material sizes worked out and did some cutting. I had got just under 3m of fabric 1.4m wide, so went for a single-piece body with the fold at the shoulders, and hanging down 90cm from the ridge of my collar bones... The neck hole size was worked out on some scrap cotton (easy to get on over the head without being too large), and then drawn onto the fabric using a home made compass... The neck hole has to be offset from the centre because humans aren't symmetrical from front to back. There's a faint blue chalk line on the centre which I've indicated with a couple of blue marks. Again, the scrap bit of cotton was used to work out where the ridges of my collar bones were when the neck hole was sitting about right. The linen has quite a loose weave and tends to fray easily, so I used my plastic fantastic domestic machine of many stitch patterns to overlock all of the cut edges... The unsewn edge on the top piece is the selvedge of the fabric and shouldn't fray. It was very handy having two sewing machines - I was able to leave the multi-stitch one set up for this and use my old Singer for the actual sewing. I had found that setting the tension was quite finicky and needed tiny adjustments to get it right, so a couple of machine swaps was less hassle than trying to readjust. The arms were sewn on, and the fabric was then folded into quarters along the centre of the neck hole circle and the hole cut out, overlocked, and a narrow fold applied for a hem... You can see how the centre lines of the arms are offset from the centre of the circle. I really like these little clips instead of using pins... I've found pins a bit fiddly to use, especially with a narrow hem like this (about 6-8mm). These go on without having to flex the fabric, have a good grip, and are easy to remove when you're sewing at the machine... With the neck and arms done, I then made the gussets... The arms have a slight taper, so the gussets for those are a slight rhombus shape, which means the garment will lie flat - if they had been square, the arm seam would have been pulled out of line. The sizes for these and the hip gussets are the same as on the Swanndri Bush Shirt. (Most of the seam allowances as 12-15mm, incidentally.) An underarm gusset sewn along two edges, to the body and arm... ...and a whole arm / gusset / body seam clipped together prior to sewing... I didn't sew this in one go, but did the arm seam first, then flipped it over to do the two gusset seams, and then the body seam. This let me feed the arm into the machine from the cuff with the bulk of the fabric to the left, then do the gusset with the smaller piece on top so that I could keep an eye on it, and then flip back over to do the body seam from the gusset downwards, again with the bulk to the left. The other side was the same but mirrored. The hip gussets were hemmed on their unsewn edge and then done similarly. Then the lower parts of the unsewn sides were hemmed, along with the bottom edges. Finally, I tried it on, set the length of the sleeves and hemmed those. And here's the finished article... It all fits nicely - goes over the head easily, and upwards arm movement is very good. If anything, there is some gathering of the cloth in front of the shoulders due to the simple arm holes, but I expected that. I'm pleased with the result. It was pretty easy to make and I didn't use a pattern apart from the gussets, which were small enough to print - just some careful measuring and marking, using dimensions from my sketch.