Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sewing for Byzantium--Planning the Himation

My himation will be the same pattern as the Manazan shirt I'm finishing, but without the front slit and collar. It will be made from a heavy-weight linen in a delicious shade of green, courtesy of, shown on the left. I bought the trim shown on the left from an EBay vendor who trades under the name "Celtic Trims." I plan to use the trim doubled, sewing two lengths together (with the checkered border on one piece folded underneath) so that the result looks like a border of flowers inside a row of diamonds--a design that is vaguely like a period embroidery design I've seen in one of Timothy Dawson's monographs on Middle Byzantine costume. A picture of the trim appears above. It is a bit over 1 inch (25 cm) wide.

Because the neckline on the himation is supposed to be round, and is supposed to lie neatly right up against the bottom of the shirt collar, it will have to be small enough to require a slit, and a button and loop to close it. I plan to buy some blue cord to make a button and loop from, and the slit will extend onto the left shoulder to be camouflaged by the trim around the neck. I also plan to acquire green linen thread to sew the himation with. (I already have dark blue thread I can use for sewing strips of the trim together, and also for sewing the trim to the garment, if using blue thread turns out to be less obtrusive for the purpose than using the green thread would be.)

There will be photos, once I have gotten far enough along to have something to photograph.

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