If I had the time, I’d post a picture of the thing I’m currently wearing. Not because it’s pretty — far, far from it — but because it is the result of my first-ever attempt to draft a piece of clothing completely from scratch, with nothing more than my dress form, some muslin, and lots of pins and markers.

I doubt I’ve done a very efficient job, mind you; there’s been a lot of wasted muslin along the way, as I reinvented the wheel of things like arm holes and Redesigning Men’s Garments For People What Have Breasts. It would have been easier had I used darts, but weirdly I decided to avoid them, as they were not used in the days of doublets. I say “weirdly” because I’ve got another design element in here that is likewise not period, but that decision was made long after I’d progressed beyond the darts decision, so oh well.

It doesn’t have to be period. It just has to be functional. When I get time to work on it next, I’ll be cutting it out of some leftover taffeta from another project, to see if it still hangs okay when rendered in a stiffer fabric. If that works, then the next step is to take both the taffeta and the brocade I’m ultimately going to use and have them punch-tested, because y’see, what we are making here is a fencing doublet. (Or two, if the taffeta works out acceptably.)

And once we know whether I’m safe from being skewered, then we make the final version. And then I will have a hood and a jacket, and if I stick underarm patches on some old shirt the only loaner-wear I’ll still need is a gorget.

Which I can’t make myself. But I can make pretty-please eyes at other people, and think about buying my own blade (since I’m not using the ones I have), and then I will be loaner-gear free. Huzzah!

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