By now you've all seen this:
|15th century longline bra
found at Schloss Lengberg
And possibly something along the lines of this:
|from the Wenceslas Bible
As I said yesterday, I'm not really up for a full chemise under my dresses, especially since I feel like I need to wear braies or shorts of something pant-like under there. Ever since I started seeing these "bras" and bust-supporting chemises, I've been fascinated with them, and with the idea of adapting something similar for my own uses.
What I really love is the idea of not having to wear a self-supporting cotehardie. Don't get me wrong, they're awfully convenient; but it means that I can either wear cotehardies, or I can wear something looser, but wear a modern bra underneath it. And we all know exactly how comfy modern bras are. Especially for those of us blessed by a bit extra frame size, girth, or just extra boobage.
Enter the supportive chemise! Hallelujah!!! I can wear a cotehardie I can BREATHE in!* I can wear my bliaut without a cote or modern bra underneath! I can wear looser, earlier-period stuff and not wear a modern bra or just walk around sagging all day! BOOB SWEAT!
Except that I still don't want a full extra layer. Solution #1 was the gaucho panties from yesterday. Solution #2 is a Medieval Sports Bra:
Technically this top should have a pleated skirt hanging from it, and yes, I do plan on making some full chemises like this in the future, but for now, until it cools off, I'll be rocking this ensemble under my clothes. ONE underlayer, ONE overlayer. Period. (Joke! Ha!)
I started with my basic cotehardie pattern with the straight shoulder seams. I cut the bust a bit long, like I did with the faux-hardie, and then adjusted the armholes in and the shoulders up a bit to fit the pattern better (I'm a growing girl!) The entire thing is cut on the bias, so it's nearly as stretchy as a modern sports bra, but since it's linen and not spandex, it's much softer against the skin, and breathes MUCH better.
You'll notice it gaps badly in the front. This is because I put hooks and eyes up the front, inside the front edge. I didn't want to have to bother with lacing myself in and out of this, and then also lacing up a dress - getting dressed in a tent already takes long enough, you know? Thankfully, it doesn't show under a cotehardie or my bliaut. And it's so FAST to take off and put on. Only way it could be faster is if I put a zipper in it, hehe....and don't think I didn't think about it.
Overall: YAY! As with the gaucho panties, the sports bra will get its first test run this coming weekend at the first even of the season. I'm so excited!!! I can has Friday yet?
* my cotes are actually really comfy, but when my asthma's acting up? Psh. FORGET IT.