Posts Tagged With: gambeson

Gambeson – Part 2

Read Part 1

One the gambeson fabric has been quilted, I cut the fabric and sew the pattern pieces together. This is also the point to test fit and make any necessary alterations. I noticed with my last gambeson that it shrank considerably in the first wash (even with pre-washing the fabric), so this time I serged all the edges and threw it in the machine before the final fitting. Because I’m using 100% cotton batting inside, the gambeson will get a crinkly look after washing. I’m not really sure how to prevent this, so I just put up with it. It wasn’t overly noticeable on the last gambeson, but with this heavy linen it’s given it an oddly crocodile-like look. C’est la vie. The breathability of the cotton batting trumps an un-crinkly gambeson.


Gambeson in progress

Once fitted, there’s a fair amount of hand-finishing to complete. I sew bias tape over all internal seams. This has the dual benefit of reinforcing the seam and preventing chafing when worn. Then I bias bind around the unfinished edges.

Bias Bound Seam

Bias-bound seam

One all of the binding finished, I attach the sleeves and sew the Velcro fastenings in place. The sleeves are sewn to the shoulder only, to give better range of motion (and air conditioning).

And there you go, a finished gambeson.


Happy hubby

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Gambeson – Part 1

I’ve promised the hubby a new gambeson for his birthday.

I made his first gambeson five years ago, based on the instructions by Inga the Unfettered. For the body block, I used a commercial PJ top pattern (McCalls 4244 to be exact), and then modified it from there. I keep a copy of all the patterns I use, so I still have the original pattern. The new pattern will be a little wider in the chest, and quite a bit longer than the original.

We’d ordered the fabric some time ago. It’s going to be blue with a dark purple lining and black bias around the edges, all in a heavy linen (7.1 oz). The padding is 100% cotton batting.

The first step is to quilt the layers of fabric and padding together. I do this before cutting out the pattern, as some of the fabric gets taken up as it’s quilted and I don’t want the gambeson to end up being too small. I do break the fabric down into smaller pieces to make it easier to quilt, though. I like to use a fairly small diapering pattern, so as the cotton breaks up over many washes it can’t travel too far from where I want it and get all clumpy. The last gambeson was done in 1″ squares on the diagonal. For this one, I’m doing a long and short rectangle pattern.


The quilted fabric

Then, I make the bias binding. Yards and yards of it. Enough to bind all seams and edges. Truth be told, I usually alternate between these first two steps, as there’s only so much bias binding or quilting a person can handle in one sitting. Whatever works. Really, most of the work of making the gambeson happens in these two steps.

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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