Bocksten Inspired Tunic, part 1.

Creating the pattern

So, the first task is making the pattern in pattern paper. I based some of the measurements on the book “How to Make your own Medieval Clothing: Basic Garments for Men” by Wolf Zerkowski and Rolf Fuhrmann, which is an excellent and not too expensive book I recommend to anyone interested in medieval clothing.

I measured the length of my arms from the top of the shoulder, my height, the circumference the thickest part of my torso (unfortunately my belly), the circumference of my chest, the circumference of my upper arms and wrists and the length from my shoulder to where I wanted the tunic to go. I made some modifications to the Bocksten design based imagery from the late 14th century.

The first part I made was the torso. The Bocksten torso is made up of two pieces, rectangular, attached at the shoulders (with a hole for the head, of course) and at the upper waist. It seemed to me that it, unlike modern garments, got narrower at the arms.

I have seen similar things in other reconstructions and, more importantly, I have interpreted similar things in depictions and sculptures. I decided to try to reflect this on the tunic. I want to not, however, that my solution is entirely speculative, and if you are following this as a guide, you may want to take it with a  grain of salt. This means that the top of the fabric is as wide as the top of my shoulders, but the rest is wide enough to get around my chest when sown together with the other side.

I also made the opening for the neck larger (but obviously not wider) for the front side, in order to better account for the shape of the human body. I also included a line where I would cut the fabric to insert a triangular piece of fabric (which I will refer to as a gusset) to extent it, starting at just under the navel. I never ended up cutting there, but the original is made in that way.

I made it reach down to blow my knees, and just wide enough for me at the chest.

The next parts I made were for the sleeves.

In my previous tunics or shirts, I always made my sleeves simple rectangles – the same width all the way through. This time, I decided to tailor it more (just like on the original), making it narrower around the wrists starting from just after the elbow. I measured the length from the top of my shoulder to my wrists.

Next, all that was left was the gussets. I decided to take a different approach for this. I chose an angle, around 40ยบ, and cut out a triangle to act as a guide, since I was not sure how long each would be.

Next time I’ll start cutting the fabric.