Heraldic Sideless Surcoat (part 2)

After whip stitching the first two charges onto the dress, I decided to use a running stitch to attach the third (and final) charge. This meant that one of the patonce crosses was attached with a whip stitch and the other was attached using a running stitch. I wanted to see which would work better covered by the couching cord and which stitch worked better for sewing curves and points. While the running stitch was somewhat quicker, I found that I preferred to sew the whip stitch. To me, it felt like I had better control over the outcome with the whip stitch.

To finish all of the seams, I simply opened them up and sewed each edge flat out in opposite directions. This helped to remove some of the bulk that can form at the seams when two layers of coat-weight wool are sewn together.


The final step in preparing the surcoat to be worn, was to attach the brass plaques. After looking for these for several years, I was finally able to locate them. Because they were square, it was necessary to make certain they were precise and straight. At first I marked the center line on the fabric, but it was still too difficult to make certain the plaques were level to the ground. So instead, I marked the center line with tape and then placed tape at the outer edges of where the plaques should sit in parallel lines to the center line. This allowed me to mark spacing on the top and bottom. It worked well!

Now all that is left is to couch braided cord on the edges of the charges.

I had submitted my Arms for registration before beginning this project, I am pleased to report that they have now officially passed. That’s a relief!  🙂 

~ Cristiana

3 thoughts on “Heraldic Sideless Surcoat (part 2)

  1. Loved the article!

    A few years ago I bought the Period Patterns no 16, and thought I would try to do a garment suitable for the SCA, which I had thought would be fun to start going to. I picked the sideless surcoat, and ordered wool fabric from an on-line company. I got as far as cutting it out, and ended up changing jobs, moving, and everything ended up in storage for a couple of years!

    This week, I just got to thinking I would like to try to do this one again, and dug up the fabric and the pattern. Realized I wasn’t too sure where I was going with this, though. I didn’t have a particular time period or even country, and haven’t attended SCA events in a long time.

    I went online to google for info, and found your site. I still love the looks of this surcoat. I didn’t even realize till a few hours ago that this was NOT a tunic, but a thing to go over the tunic. At any rate – I loved your photos and descriptions and have at least a few more ideas to go on.

    Will you be showing a finished photo of the whole outfit? I am wondering how those square metal attachments fit into all of this.

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