Garb/dress advice needed

I am making a kirtle/cotehardie in a hurry, based off of this page.

Since the original plan was for a T-tunic, I’m a little short on length in my original fabric. I decided to make a virtue out of necessity and hem the thing with a deep (~9″) guard of a brighter cut of the same fabric.

Right now, what I have is a dress (sleeveless, working on that too) with 10 different hemlines, up to 6″ different in length (I had some math errors, I think, or some measuring errors).

Since the hem is going to be an encased hem, I can’t just sew a strip to the dress and then hem it at the bottom.

So: What’s the easiest way to get a level hem while attaching a deep guard to the bottom of my dress?

Additionally, aesthetically – should I add a strip of the brighter material to the end of the sleeve (which will be belled), inserted just above the elbow as a band, or both?

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5 thoughts on “Garb/dress advice needed

  1. I don’t know if it’s at all period, but maybe cutting your guard as bias strips would work? Are you rounding out the bottom edges, or are they mostly straight?

      • Mrrr. Well, I suspect I’d get someone else to help me mark out a level hemline on the base dress, and figure out how long I wanted the final hemline to be from there. If the grainline is largely perpedicular to the hemline I’d try adding the guard in straight segments that continue the grainline. If the hemline you want is curved, I’d either try a bias-cut guard, or … curved segments, I guess? For curved guard segments I think you’d need to make separate inside and outside pieces rather than folding over, though, and that seems like a pain. If the bottom of the kirtle before the guard is wide enough for comfortable walking at final hem length, maybe the guard can be straight even if the kirtle flares. I’m not sure how that would hang. <ponders>

        • That’s pretty much what I ended up doing. The guard is straight, 130″ of straight <.< (It's quite a hem!) (Event's on Saturday. I still have 1-1/2 sleeves and a neck facing to do.)

          • Lots of hemline makes walking a lot easier! And swirls nicely if you dance. 🙂 Sew like the wind! Pictures maybe when you’re done?

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