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Thread: Renaissance Tunics Help Please

  1. #1
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    Renaissance Tunics Help Please

    I just got a call from a local men's group that will be needing 70 Men's tunic for the Renaissance Festival in Holly MI. They need a plain muslin (heavier muslin) tunic in various sizes. The kicker is they need them in 1 month. Any idea on how I can help this group of men out. Heck if it were only a few I could whip them up likity-split! I wouldn't even know where to start to find them pre-made on such short notice. I figure this group of quilters might be able to help me find my way through this project. The other part of the project I can handle and that is to make a 4-patch patch for each of them. That will be a simple enough project to make. Your ideas will help me out a great deal.

  2. #2
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    ​Google - How to make a quick and easy Tabard or T-tunic

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Anyone else wonder how long they've known they would need 70 tunics?

  4. #4
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I was wondering how many wives refused to make a tunic or two for the group. Any chance some of the men (or spouses) might be willing to help if there is someone running the show? Assembly style, simple t type tunics could be whipped up pretty quickly.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  5. #5
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    Here's a site that might help. Who is supplying the fabric? I would suggest you get other wives/girlfriends/daughters involved if you can. Since it's such short notice I would go as simple as possible.


    https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-T-Tun...naissance-Fair

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    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    Anyone else wonder how long they've known they would need 70 tunics?
    I did also. They are expecting production work like a factory from one person.

    The local men's group need to volunteer their services. They could cut the tunic out and help iron. Two people minimum to do the sewing. One person with a serger would make quick work of the seams and a second person on a sewing machine to do the hems. If they aren't willing to help, I'd would only offer to do the patch.
    Singer 66 treadle, Singer 15-91, JC Penney 6923, Kenmore 50, White 2334, Brother 920D serger. RIP Singer 1036

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Holy cow. That's making at least 2 tunics a day - what were they thinking?!?!!?

    All I can say is good luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    Knowing these guys it might have been thought of some time ago but never really pursued until Monday evening at their regular meeting. I was playing around in my mind getting together a group of people to do the sewing but the cutting is as big a job if not bigger. I admit I was overwhelmed at the sheer numbers. My dear friend didn't pop the number needed until after I told him making a costume was doable.

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliasb View Post
    .............My dear friend didn't pop the number needed until after I told him making a costume was doable.
    JuliaSB ... Operative word "A" ........ not B, C, D, and onwards!!
    So what was your response when he popped the number??
    ...... are you into mass production now?


    In reply to Peckish .... were they even thinking?

    Of course, many of us already know that for those who have no concept of sewing,
    many have no clue how long anything takes to make.

    After all, look at the times we have heard of someone thinking that
    a king quilt can be whipped together in an afternoon! *sigh*
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  11. #11
    Super Member leonf's Avatar
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    At least they aren't asking you to make them out of chain maille.

    Name:  cm Iris  in iron maille   b.jpg
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    But seriously... if they want 70 in a month (absurd) It is time for the men to learn to use power tools with needles.

    I've done enough demos with Handcranks to know that most can learn. You just need someone around for the ooops moments.

    Halloween stores have cheap tunics. Might last a day.
    My greatest fear is all of my family standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" he was.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Quilter 53's Avatar
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    Having sewn various items for a booth at our Renaissance Faire, I can tell you my biggest problem has been trying to decide what sizes to make. Usually, the smaller sizes don't do as well as the XL. Go figure. If your friend can give you a ballpark figure as to how many of each size you might need, that would help out.

    That being said, the closer you can get to "one size fits most", the easier for you.

    The Wikihow link that osewme posted is a pretty basic pattern for a tunic, but once again you are relying on a T-shirt size to get you started. Also the neckline on a T has stretch and depending on the material you are using, you may find the neckline is not big enough for most guys heads. Making a slit in the back about 4 to 5 inches helps, but cutting larger is better. Of course, finishing off the opening is more time involved on your part. Short sleeves or long sleeves, seamstress choice, depends on the width of fabric you have to work with.

    Tabards are some what easier as there are no sleeves and no side seams. They are worn over other clothing and are fastened loosely with a separate belt, not part of the tabard. They can be cut with the fold at the shoulder eliminating a seam, or cut in 2 pieces and stitched at the shoulder. Again, seamstress choice because of fabric size. I did a search "how to make a tabard pattern" and got lots of hits. The PDF from amtgard is a good one, but it's pretty wordy because they are assuming you don't know how to sew.

    When cutting, don't worry about being too accurate. Stack as many as you can safely cut, use a new blade in your rotary cutter and go for it.

    As far as I'm concerned, all of the above is the hardest part!

    If you have a serger, use it. Saves lots of time. I serge the edges and then just fold that over and straight stitch it down. You can finger press to save time. Both sides, hem and neckline, too if it is cut large enough. No facing for the neckline then. Remember this is a costume, you are not really sewing for the king.

    Hope this helps you somewhat. Wish I was in the neighborhood, I'd be glad to help you out!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Quilter 53's Avatar
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    Forgot to add, post a picture when you can. Would love to see your finished project.

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    Yikes! Maybe you can tell your friend that one top was doable - not 70.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliasb View Post
    I just got a call from a local men's group that will be needing 70 Men's tunic for the Renaissance Festival in Holly MI. They need a plain muslin (heavier muslin) tunic in various sizes. The kicker is they need them in 1 month. Any idea on how I can help this group of men out. Heck if it were only a few I could whip them up likity-split! I wouldn't even know where to start to find them pre-made on such short notice. I figure this group of quilters might be able to help me find my way through this project. The other part of the project I can handle and that is to make a 4-patch patch for each of them. That will be a simple enough project to make. Your ideas will help me out a great deal.
    I am sorry this is just wrong. Guys can sew too.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
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    I think that is unfair of them to ask for these tops in a month and that many too!!! Can you recruit some volunteers from a quilt guild or some of the men's wives? Someone can at least cut out the tops and maybe just get an assembly line of sewers and get them done.

  17. #17
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Or, to quote Nancy Reagan, "just say no."

  18. #18
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Here are two pics of the bolt that I have left over from the rag rug business.Name:  20190627_073314_resized.jpg
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  19. #19
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I tweaked a few of the replies here and got back with him last night. Putting the men to work to do both the cutting and sewing. Why shouldn't they? He can probably get about 8 men together over 2 days. He had no concept of the cost of fabric, thread and most importantly scissors! I told him I don't know many quilters that would turn over their scissors to any one. He was serious when he ask me this. "how many of the people on your quilting group do you think would be willing to help?" That is when I turned it back to their membership. He will get back to me.

  20. #20
    Super Member leonf's Avatar
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    Good for you!!!
    My greatest fear is all of my family standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" he was.

  21. #21
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I'm glad you put it back on him to get help! Good job!

    I have on question? Do they have to be muslin? If you could make them out of cheap poly felt, it would be much easier. No hemming or seam finishing. Just cut them out and sew them up. I use felt all the time for costumes because of that.
    Patrice S

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  22. #22
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I just finished ordering 45 yards of unbleached muslin (108" wide). This should be enough for all the tunics that this KofC group is going to need. My friend will bring by a single yard so he can visualize just how this will make 2 tunics. I will give them general washing instruction and tell them do not put in the dryer. Hang to dry and opps they will have to iron them. I Will be supervise 8 men cutting 4 men and 2 women in how to get this going quickly. I will put my serger to use on the primary seams that should make short order. I even have a couple extra machines if they have a couple others who want to sew. Now I have to figure out how much thread and how many pair of scissors to cut the fabrics. Believe me it won't be my expensive sheers. The fabric will be here in 6-10 business that will put us almost to the middle of July to prepare for a marathon of sewing. If they can come up with a couple other people to do some sewing I have a couple extra machines that can be used too.

  23. #23
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    This should be an interesting saga!

  24. #24
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Instead of scissors ..... what about cutting with rotary cutters?
    Could layer the fabric and cut several at once.

    Yes sharp items ... but they can man up!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    This should be an interesting saga!
    I sure hope we keep getting installment updates, along the way! D
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  25. #25
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    This article reminds me of someone wanting a quilt done in a day or two. They should research the requirements, etc., required before they ask anyone to do such a job.

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