Because of the impending doom, er, Coronation, I’ve been getting pinged a lot here in the East on how I tie my chiton and get my Roman clothing to drape properly. So, I made this handy dandy 10 minute vid to help explain my method, as well as give a brief look at my new dark blue stola. I hope it helps.
They aren’t scanned fabulously, but heck, you get how they work. These WILL be posted on my Eastern Roman Garb page as well, but I wanted to get these on a blog page and tagged for searchability as I plan a better layout for the current page, but this is a huge step in the content direction.
Also, let’s try to start using the Greek terms, Kamision and Delmatikion, for Tunica and Dalmatica respectively to help disseminate Greek over Latin.
Anna’s Quick n’ Dirty Byzantine Kamision (tunica) and Delmatikion (dalmatica) Patterns!
These patterns are pretty self-explanatory for folks that are used to basic medieval clothing. Byzantine garb is basically all t-tunics, with only a few minor twists. The biggest issue is really the width of your fabric allowing for the nice curved underarm seam, that’s about it. These blocks are not the be-all-end-all ways to make these garments, but rather one interpretation to show you the pieces needed. Once you get a handle on the basic construction, all that’s left is embellishment and sleeve variations.
My pattern is based off of the 7th Century tunic in the permanent collection “Under the Stairs” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Kamision (Tunica) instructions:
Recommended fabric: linen or very light wool
Recommended yardage: 4 yards of 60” wide
First, assess your fabric, and see if you can use this pattern layout, note the positions of the folds. This pattern is not to scale, and the average sized person may not have enough extra fabric on the sides to warrant the inclusion of the gores. This is okay, as they can be cut separately.
A breakdown of the measurements you will need as laid out in the patterns, they DO NOT include seam allowance:
A: Tunica length. Measure from the nape of your neck to where you want the tunic to end.
B: 1/4th Chest measurement + ease. Typically what I do is take a chest measurement, divide it by 2, add 2 inches, and divide again by 2. That is your number.
C: Upper arm length has everything to do with the width of your fabric and not your arm. If you can fit the length of your upper arm (shoulder to elbow) here, that’s awesome, but it’s not necessary, you will want at least to the half-way point between your joints, otherwise your underarm will not fit.
D: ½ Bicep measurement. Remember your fabric is on the fold at the top for your sleeves here, so you don’t want this to be very wide against your body. Tunicae were fitted as dalmaticae were not, so you will want to adjust ease here as necessary.
E: Lower arm length is the difference from where your upper arm length ends to your wrist.
F: ½ Wrist circumference is actually ½ the measurement you get around a closed fist. You want to get your hand into your sleeve, after all.
G: Gore length is the measurement from the top of your hip to the desired hem of the tunic. Now, if you have a fine derriere, so to speak, feel free to elongate that gore to your waist, but the original tunic’s gore comes off the hip.
There’s a variety of formulas out there to make a neckline. I have a small neck at 13”, so my go-to cut is 4” from the center point on each side, with a 1” dip in the back and 3” dip in the front, but a 2” dip in the back and a 4” dip in the front should fit most people. A boatneck, or basically just a slit, is also a common style for this period. The tunica at the Met has a keyhole neckline with the opening on shoulder seam. I’ve done that before as well. I recommend finishing your neckline with bias tape or a narrow hem before moving on.
Before any piecing of the pattern takes place: GET YOUR EMBELLISHMENT DONE. There is no way to apply clavii to a tunica once those side seams are in place. Get any roundels or segmentae you want on as well. It’s just easier to handle at this point.
Follow the diagram on the piecing. If you are going with the smaller gores if you were able to cut it from the folded fabric, follow the illustration at top, if you cut gores from a separate piece, follow the bottom. Apply trim over the seams where the upper sleeve joins the lower sleeve. This is definitely something else you want to do before you sew up the side seams.
Now all that is left is to join the front to the back along the side seams, hem the sleeves and bottom, and finish trims, and you’re done!
Delmatikion (Dalmatica) instructions:
Recommended fabric: Linen, silk, damasks/brocades, light to medium weight wool
Recommended yardage: 5 yards of 60” wide
Think of the Dalmatica as an oversized tunica, but as the tunica can be worn by itself as one layer, the dalmatica is an overtunic only. This is a unisex garment, and sometimes for women you may see it referred to as a “gunna.” Either way, this is where you really get to jazz up your wardrobe. They can be floor length or short enough to show off your tunica embellishments.
Sleeves can be short, long, or extra-wide as was the style in the 11th and 12th centuries when my persona lived. The only real difference is that typically the dalmatica was cut from one piece of fabric, including the skirt width, whereas the tunica had gores. However, gores are still a perfectly period option in the event of a smaller bolt width. Follow the instructions as laid out above for the tunica, and you should be in good shape. As far as embellishments go, the best way to go about this is to follow some period examples. Clavii didn’t seem as popular on dalmaticae as the centuries progressed, and richness was displayed not so much with embroidered bands of trim but rather in the heavy silk damasks and brocades that were in fashion. My drawings including clavii to better illustrate how to embellish.
Note that I included a curve at the edge of the skirt portion in order to better facilitate trim application on the dalmatica’s hem. This is optional, especially if separate gores are chosen, but note that wide trims will require careful piecing and pleating to better conform to the hem.
Just like in the Tunica instructions, remember you NEED to add any embellishment such as clavii and other appliques BEFORE you close the side seams.
Anyways, the boozes did well at Great Northeastern War. My conditum paradoxum and rose-lavender cordial were paneled and both scored relatively well for my first foray into the guild scene. My mead and cordial both one best in their division. There was only one cordial, but…hey, there were 8 meads. That counts for something.
Nobody showed up to my Roman garb class except for my friend Elinor Strangewayes (see also: woman who makes Roman phallus beads,) but my Varangian Guard class had a good group, even though I didn’t prep a good lecture, we sat there and talked for an hour and I spewed what I could from the top of my head. They loved the extensive biblio I put onto my handout. I think I will be posting that in the future.
The Byzantine garb page is almost finished, I hope to get that up in a day or so. I basically copy-pasta’d my handout, but I’ll also be adding more stuff. Since my persona is 11th Century, I need to focus on finding more information about that more rather than the generic “Throw clavii on a tunica and call it Byzantine” look. At least there’s lots of fun vocabulary to learn, right? @_@
I am also going to be playing with some Norman garb for upcoming events this fall and winter. The boyfriend is Norman, and technically so is half of my persona, so I get to wear Western European garb for the first time. Ever. I don’t count my Viking, that’s Northern. 😛
Oh, and a gallery, must put up a gallery!
The semester is over. YAY!
The summer means I work…work…work…(with that said, if you are reading this and you need garb, please send me an email!) And because I wasn’t able to work all last semester, and I was planning to study abroad this summer but the trip was cancelled…My heart and my wallet were not really prepped for Pennsic. Right now, there is only a slim chance I will make it for war week, but with the dates being so much earlier this year, and the fact that I am working on applying to grad schools and taking the GRE (EEP!) I think it’s more advantageous that I take a year off from the Big One, focus on real life (boooo…) and…GET TO PLAY AT LOCAL EVENTS I HAVEN’T PLAYED AT BEFORE!
Such as: Great Northeastern War in Maine! YAY! It’s always a week or two before Pennsic, which makes it hellish to do both, so I’ve always skipped GNEW for Pennsic. This year, I don’t have to!
I will be teaching my Roman Dress class at GNEW, and my new Varangian Guard class, which is a history lecture, not anything about fancy garb. I will try to include what I do know about what was worn, but that’s not the focus of the class. I had contemplated doing the Byzantine Garb class as well, but I think 3 classes would be overkill for a weekend event. Even though I’ve taught 3 classes in one day at Pennsic (and lost my voice in the process) I’d much rather be able to do other things at GNEW such as um, fight, than teach all day.
I will be at War of the Roses this weekend in NY, but I am not teaching. I’m planning on relaxing the best I can during a soggy weekend.
I am also planning on writing a Compleat Anachronist this summer, as well as some articles for the East Kingdom A&S e-zine, Ars Scientia Orientalis. I need to get my work out there. So even though Pennsic isn’t an option, that doesn’t mean my life with the society ends. I merely look at it as 2 weeks I get to spend quietly with my boyfriend, who is unfortunately set to deploy in October, and work on documentation and publications. 🙂
Happy summer, and safe Memorial Day weekend!
I was able to successfully film my class at Birka 2 weeks ago, and I will be working on getting that edited and posted soon on Youtube. I will also be getting my pages up for Roman and Byzantine garb this week. I have been a bad, bad slacker. 🙂