Not for the first time while making this costume, I found myself looking at something laid out on the table and thinking, "My, that's an 'interesting' shape". The latest candidate is the cotton lining for my entari/caftan, which is also doubling as a toile for the outer layer.
Ottoman caftans are described as being 'bell-shaped', unlike Persian caftans, which have smoother lines. This example shows the shape particularly well. (Apologies that I don't have any more details for this image).
|15th century Ottoman caftan|
Even though I need some extra width to accommodate the gathered bulk of the excessively wide trousers, this is taking things a bit far. The illustration that comes with the pattern seems to suggest that some sort of pleating occurs, so I think I'll experiment with that.
|Looks like pleats to me (she says, hopefully)|
While I pondered what exactly to do with my big curvy side pieces, I thought I'd get on with the hat. I have an embroidered hat of Mr Tulip's which is exactly the right dimensions, so I worked from that.
As I no longer need all of the patterned fabric of the shalwar kameez suit set for a wide sash, I used some of it to make the hat. A pillbox hat should be perfectly simple to make; a strip of fabric sewn round a circle of fabric, right? I did just that, with some interfacing sewn in to stiffen it. Unfortunately when I tried the first attempt on, it looked as though the band narrowed from the top down. The effect was a brimless version of this hat, not at all the look I was after!
|The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck|
When I looked at Mr Tulip's hat properly, it was obvious that there was a slight gather where the band meets the top. I did this to my hat, and it looked much better.
To trim the hat I dug out some red and gold braid which had been lurking in my stash for years. It was surprisingly heavy. When I inspected it, I discovered that the red and gold 'cords' which are unravelling in the botton left of the photograph are actually fine wire round tightly round a thick cotton core. Adding a bit of weight to the hat is no bad thing, as it is currently very light and flimsy.
|Braid to trim the hat|
The duppata which came with the shalwar kameez will be pinned onto the hat. The last time I tried using a dupatta as a veil for dancing, I discovered that although it looked very light, it actually had the floaty properties of sheet lead - reasonable really, as the whole point of a dupatta is that you don't want it to blow away! So, I can be reasonably sure that my headgear isn't going to go anywhere.
The gomlek (shift) is a very simple T-shaped tunic with underarm and side gussets. It should be slightly longer, but making it this length allowed me to get both the body and sleeve parts cut out with a selvedge at the hem. The construction is by machine, but all the seams are finished by hand, as I find that this gives a softer result. The neck opening is hand-finished as well. I hadn't sewn the buttons on when this photograph was taken.
The medieval fair all this is being made for is a weekend event. I hate wearing the same shift two days running, so I've had to make two of them. That's a lot of hand-finishing.
So now back to the coat and its huge pleats.