Location: Barony of Stierbach, Atlantia
Category/Level: Historically Focused/Intermediate
About Johanna: I have been in the SCA off and on for about 20-some years. I have been sewing since I was a child, and enjoy making garb and working in other aspects of the fiber arts. This project is a bit of a stretch for me. In the past, my focus has been on early 14th century western European women’s garb. I have only gained an interest in Ottoman garb in the past year. Although I have been trying to use period techniques as I learn them, my access to completely period materials is limited by my budget. I would love to use the gorgeous brocades and silks that are seen in extant pieces, but this will be a simpler, working man’s outfit. For this project, I am imposing the additional challenge of purchasing as few materials as possible. The fabrics I use will be mostly from what I already own. I have not settled on an accessory layer yet, but I think that it will be in leather working, which I have never done before.
Their Project: I will be working on a 16th century Ottoman man’s outfit. My specific interest is in the Janissaries. The Janissaries were an elite infantry corps in service to the Sultan. I have several extant pieces of garb as well as several illustrations that I am using as inspiration. Several of the extant pieces are in the Topkapi Palace Museum, some were auctioned by Sotheby’s. The illustrations I am looking at are from the late 16th through mid 17th century. Several of them are not specifically of Janissaries, but serve to show the general style of the period. I have been wanting to make an Ottoman outfit for about a year now, since I joined the Osmanli Mehter Takimi (Janissary Band) at Pennsic last year. I had quickly cobbled together an outfit that was suitable to march in, but now that I have studied the period more, I see many flaws. I would like to create a more correct outfit that has the correct layers, is made of the correct fabrics, and completes a more authentic look.
My garment is intended to be suitable for a member of the Janissary, the elite guards of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, dating to the reign of Suleiman I (1520-1566).
For Layer 1 of my garment, I made a base layer of underpants and an undershirt (gömlek). Extant examples are made of fine linen or cotton. I made the underpants first and made them of linen, and hand sewed them with linen thread. They have a drawstring waist with a linen sash. The long seams were sewn with a back stitch for durability, and felled with a whip stitch. The waistband was folded over, and the bottom edge rolled so that there would be no raw edges. I used a small herringbone stitch to secure this seam. Due to the taper of the legs, the leg seam was left open a bit at the ankle, and the bottom hem is finished with a rolled edge.
The gömlek is made of cotton, and is hand stitched with cotton thread. I used cotton rather than linen because I had it on hand, and I was intending for this to be a rough draft, and to make a final copy in linen. However, since it fit well, I went ahead and completed it for the competition. The pattern is based off extant gömleks that have the sleeves and gores all in one piece. Long seams are backstitched, felled with whip stitch. The keyhole neckline and hems are finished with a rolled edge.