Chou

Shirt Neckline Fitting

13 posts in this topic

I want to more properly fit my hauberk neckline, specifically the back of the neck. It's a 45º style. Are there any articles on this? Can you show me what you've done?

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There are a few things that I was taught to do to help with the fit of a shirt, which also affects the neck.

1. Because your arms rotate forward more than they do backward, the back of your shirt should be wider than the front of your shirt. I think the normal difference between front and back is about 10". If your back and back of the neck are fairly tight, this adjustment will help.

2. Your head hole should not be exactly centered on the shirt, but should instead be a a little forward. If you are being choked in front and it is loose in the back of your neck, moving the hole forward should help.

3. Even though one's back (and therefore, the shirt) is fairly wide around the shoulderblades, it needs to taper down by the time it gets to the neck. You can choose to do this with contractions, switching to smaller rings for a few rows, or edging the neck with a tighter weave that will pull the neck in. If everything else fits fine, but the back of the neck is still loose, tightening up the back of the neck should help, Whatever your method of contraction, keep the contractions above your shoulderblades.

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I don't want to, as it's a full length hauberk, but I think I'll have to make the width adjustments. Could you show me an example of the shoulder tapering and contractions?

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To Zlosk's point #3, I find that edging the neck in Half Persian does a pretty nice job of helping to pull things in.

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Trevor Barker's Mailmaker's Guide (thankfully preserved by the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm) shows a very good way to incorporate the expansion/contraction, depending on which way you are going. The Hauberk section shows all of the various expansions/contraction areas used in  this shirt in the Wallace collection . If you need, I can take pictures of my shirt that I've done this way, but I think that the Guide is easier to understand.

Also, I've been where you are with having to tear apart a shirt to deal with tailoring, a few times. It sucks every time, but it's worth it to have a decent-fitting shirt.

Edited by Zlosk
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I concur with Zlosk.  Re-do the entire shoulder section, if necessary, as in the Trevor Barker.  The Colluphid/Area51/45 degree yoke top shoulder has a number of minuses, though it attracts a lot of first-timers despite them.

The Trevor Barker reproduces, you see, a shirt (hauberk, habergeon, or a 15th century infantry/light cav shirt like this one is) like they made and tailored when mail was worn for keeps. Life and death.  This redoing remedy is just as slow as you expect, but it does make the shirt wearable and very liveable.

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Well I'm definitely not changing the entire shoulder area to a non-45 style, you couldn't pay me enough to tear that apart after all the hours I put into it lol.

I am going to move the neck forward and expand the back / contract the front though, that one's a relatively simple fix. I can still apply many of these tailoring points to what I already have.

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you can incorporate all the expansions/contractions of the trevor barker (90-degree) model into the bladeturner (45-degree) model and, in my opinion, makes a more comfortable shirt to wear than the trevor barker alone if you don't have super broad shoulders.  it does make it more difficult to lift your arms up, though, so if you plan to do a lot of sca or hema fighting in it, it may require some gussets under the arms.  

they aren't super-detailed pictures, but here was mine.  you can see on the reverse picture the expansions going up the back pretty much from the waist to the top.  i found i didn't need the "A" contractions from trevor barker because of the different panels in bladeturner (though i did add a couple contractions right at the neckline to make it sit better, like zlosk's #3) - you can just make the front smaller (hence, the back neckline being about 30 links across and the front about 10). 

mine's not perfect, but it's infinitely better than bladeturner alone.  it is definitely worth taking the time to do these adjustments if you plan on keeping the shirt for a long time.  

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On 11/6/2017 at 6:26 PM, Zlosk said:

Trevor Barker's Mailmaker's Guide (thankfully preserved by the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm) shows a very good way to incorporate the expansion/contraction, depending on which way you are going. The Hauberk section shows all of the various expansions/contraction areas used in  this shirt in the Wallace collection . If you need, I can take pictures of my shirt that I've done this way, but I think that the Guide is easier to understand.

Also, I've been where you are with having to tear apart a shirt to deal with tailoring, a few times. It sucks every time, but it's worth it to have a decent-fitting shirt.

oh dear, i'm not doing any of the expansions or contractions so far in that web archive link!

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don't despair - it's not terribly hard to open up vertical lines in the shirt to add expansions.  in fact, you'd probably do it a few times even if it was in your plans to begin with as it is difficult to judge exactly where each should be.  the shoulder blades, waist, hips, etc. are all going to sit in slightly different places with each link size, material, and person.

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Please realize that the Mailmaker's guide can give you a shirt tailored exceptionally well to your body, by which I mean it will move with you through your entire range of motion, but it also will be near the minimum amount of material (and therefore weight) to do so. The 3 points I brought up in my first post are enough to make a decent shirt, built like a T-shirt. If your chest & belly are about the same size, T-shirts fit great. If they are different, you either deal with it fitting in one area and being tight in another, or going up in size and fitting in one area and being loose in another. Since maille is like a Chinese finger trap, it never really gets loose; it just squeezes to the body and gets longer. My first shirt (16 ga. x 1/4 galvy, short sleeves, mid-thigh) was made in this manner, and works fine, at a weight of 28 lb. It's just heavier than it needs to be, and I could probably shave off a couple pounds.

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I expanded the back about 4 inches. Getting the neck shape was a pain, but it's so comfortable now. 36lbs isn't that bad when it's draped correctly.

 

Also the armpits are deeply gusseted. I can bring my upper arms up to shoulder height before the shirt starts to lift.

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Edited by Chou
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