|The winning design, although he chose|
Last fall a SCA friend contacted me about making him a good cotehardie to wear to fancy events, court, and the like. He wanted the full deal: a custom pattern with hand dyed silk, fancy buttons, and trim. I was enthusiastic about the prospect but told him he had to wait until I'd survived Feast of St. Nicks and Christmas. With those obstacles past, we got in touch and designed an outfit together, woolen hose, with a silk hood and cotehardie, all custom dyed to match. Parti colored, and with dags and trim and buttons galore.
In the 14th century dagged edges became all the rage. Hoods, sleeves, hems: you name it, if it was the edge of a garment it could be cut in any number of different kinds of fancy scallops. Square, rounded, long, short, even fancy compound shapes like oak leaves can be found in period images. It was a fashion craze, and it's a real pain to do. Unless you work in fulled wool, which is fray resistant, the best way to make dags is by lining and turning. While this method works, the the points between the dags tend to be fragile, and it's hard to get it totally flat after you turn it. It's far from impossible, but it is fiddly and bothersome.
I got to thinking about it while I was drawing up the designs, and it occurred to me, why not do them just like the tabs on a doublet: make them separately, line and turn them, sew them onto the edge, then just hide the seam with trim? it would be significantly easier than finishing a scalloped edge. So, that's what I did, and it worked out really well.
|Dags in progress.|
onto the edge, and flipped the seam towards the body of the garment. I sewed the trim so it overlapped the seam, then sewed the edge of the lining down to the edge of the dags. Voila. you could do any of the simple dags this way, square, curved, even some of the simpler compound shapes, although not the really crazy compound shapes (I've seen beautiful wool hoods with oak leaf shaped dags around the edge.) Those should probably be reserved for fulled wool. Doing the dags was still time consuming and fussy, but on balance, much easier. A side benefit of doing it this way is that you don't have to worry about the tips of the slits, where the seams allowances are very small, and quite capable of working their way out of the seams. Fray check is your friend there, but traditional lined dags are still a little fragile. these are not.
It was a little more tricky to apply the dags to the curved edge of the hood. if you sew a straight edge to a curved edge, it cups, like the bottom of a basket, Obviously that's not a great look for a hood, so instead I turned the edge of the hood, including the lining towards the outside of the hood, and laid the dags over it.