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The sleeves of the Cotehardie and Houppelande are very interesting as they are contemporaneous and so different, but they are not. For they are not related, remember that most of the time a Cotehardie was worn under a houppelande
Sewing your Cotehardie can be easy but it can also be the hardest project you have ever tried. It all really debends on how much you want to put into yout Cotehardie. I always make mine with a lineingand even an interlineing, so in effect there are three cotehardies sewn together. Though the ease of the job will also lie in the pattern you use. If your sleeves are a one piece type, that will be easy to sew. should you chose an exsecivly tailored sleeve made of thirty of forty peices your in for a good slog and probably a little aggrivation too. The body may be a chalenge for you depending on how tight you want it to fit and the shape of the body you're fitting. THe number of primary body pieces can be from three, to as many as you like, four or eight are most common for the ladies, mostly only four for the lords. Breast, nice as they are, present an architectural connundrum which you may have to deal with. the bes way to fit them is to have a seam ove the breast which is easely done with a pattern useing eight body parts. Do watch that this seam up the two front pieces goes up to cross the sholder seam, at a right angle even. Patterns were this seam curves in to the front of the arm hole, and the same on the back, are not known in the past (though there is some debate about this)
Now remember too that the Houpellande is not tailored like the Cotehardie. Any fitting is going to be in the shoulder area, sholders, arm holes and neck. General help and advice on those are found in my Sewing Site :o)
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| © Ragnar Torfason
2005 January 28