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MP-021 Cotehardies and Sideless Surcoats Pattern

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MP-021 Cotehardies and Sideless Surcoats Pattern

Cotehardies were worn by both sexes of all ages and classes for over 200 years, from England to Bohemia and from Norway to Spain. While there were regional variations, the basic cut of the cotehardie was the same throughout Europe. Originally a version of the tunic (MP-016 Tunics), cotehardies differed in sleeve cut, variations, and their tailored fit. Woman's cotehardies were fitted or even tight to the hips, then flared to the hem. They most often had long tight sleeves. They would be worn over a chemise (MP-090 Women's Undergarments, Ruffs, Collars & Cuffs). Men's cotehardies, worn long or short, were initially tight to the hips, with long tight sleeves. They were worn over a shirt (MP-043 Men's Italian Renaissance Garment) and hose (MP-101 Medieval Military Garments), often with hoods. In the first half of the 14th century a major style change occurred. With the invention of curved sleeve caps, gussets under the arm became unnecessary. Puffed chests and full sleeves became fashionable on men's cotehardies by 1350.

Sleeveless tunics or surcoats (from the French "sur le cote", i.e. over the cotehardie) were worn by both sexes as early as the 12th century, but with the return of crusaders from the Holy Land the style became wildly popular. The armholes deepened to the waist, then (particularly on woman's surcoats) to the hip, earning the name "sideless surcoats". These worn by women over very tight cotehardies, roused the ire of the church because their revealing cut was considered too seductive - the clergy dubbed these "the Gates of Hell".

Surcoats and cotehardies for both sexes could be plain and somber, or wildly colorful. Heraldic motifs were common on these garments (MP-PUB4 Wearable Heraldry). Both sexes began wearing houpelandes (MP-026 Houpelandes) over a cotehardie after 1380. Cotehardies and surcoats as outerwear became unfashionable by 1425, with one exception. Cotehardies, with or without sideless surcoats, remained fashionable for women, as regal ceremonial garments, until well into the 16th century. When the houpelande went out of fashion, the cotehardie for women briefly re-emerged, with slight changes, as the kirtle (MP-051 Early Tudor Women's Gowns). Men's cotehardies had meanwhile evolved into the doublet (MP-043 Men's Italian Renaissance Garment and MP-053 Early Tudor Men's Garments).

Period Patterns #21, Cotehardies and Sideless Surcoats, has 3 cotehardies and 4 sideless surcoats patterns. This pattern includes women's sizes 6 through 20.

These Cotehardies and Sideless Surcoats patterns cover fashions from the 14th through the 15th centuries.

These Cotehardies patterns were designed for real authenticity. Each pattern includes historical notes for background, and variation enhancements for the finished costume. Sewing instructions and suggestions for fabric choices and notions are included.

This pattern is complemented by MP-026 Houpelandes, MP-090 Women's Undergarments, Ruffs, Collars & Cuffs, MP-092 Capes and Tabbards and MP-093 Bags, Purses and Pouches.

For your convenience a women's basic measurement chart appears below.

Body Measurements (Womens's)
SizeBustWaistWaist to HemBack Waist Length
630234115 1/2
832244215 3/4
1033254316
1234264416 1/4
1436284516 1/2
1638304616 3/4
1840324717
2042344817 1/4


This pattern is for experienced sewers only. The instructions for turning the surcoat after attaching the lining have been reported as being incorrect. The cotehardie is a very fitted gown, it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to make a muslin mock-up first to get the fittings correct. Experienced sewers who have made muslin mock-ups to do fittings have reported very good results with this pattern.

The extensive historical notes that accompany this pattern are particularly good.



  • Item ID: MP-021
  • Shipping Weight: 0.375lbs







This product was added to our catalog on Friday 01 January, 2010.

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