Pourpoint

It appears that there are 2 different garments that get called a pourpoint. One is an outer layer, often padded that may have started as part of a knight’s armor. The other is a waistcoat style garment that was used to attach the hose, or sometimes with armor the leg harness, as an alternative to a belt.

The pourpoint style we decided to make was a simple waistcoat with no skirt. It was to have a lining to help handle any strain put on it. The outer layer is white linen with the lining of calico.

First step was to make an upper body block. This was adjusted until it fitted snugly. This was done using a combination of the instructions in the Medieval Tailor’s Guide and Wendy’s mother’s knowledge.

Once the block was made up the 2 layers were cut out. Each was then stitched into its own garment that would later be joined together.

Where the holes were to go, to which the hose were to be laced, an additional piece of reinforcing was added. This was also done at the front where the lacing holes for closing the garment were to go. A light cotton canvas was used, this was stitched to the lining.

Once each piece was stitched and fitted to Ian individually, they were then joined together. The bottom, neck, and front seams were joined using a french seam, then the garment was turned right side out through the arm holes, and the arm holes sewn up.

The back of the neck had an extra seam overlaid to keep the lining in place, as did the front hem for reinforcement.

The calico lining layer had previously been hemmed loosely at the arm holes to prevent the fabric fraying while being worked on. Before joining at the arms I unpicked this hem. The two layers were trimmed at the arm holes to align the shapes. Then the rough edges were turned in and hemmed with a double seam (about 3mm apart).

The final step was to eyelet the front and waist for closing and attaching hose.

The front closing was done in 4 pairs to allow for 4 laces to be used for closing. The waist points were added by carefully figuring out where the hose would attach to and then eyeleting those points. If, at a later date, different hose with more lacing are to be used then extra eyelets can always be added.

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