Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Gomlek, Part II

This is the second blog in a series. You can find the first part here.

My (completely hand sewn!) gomlek is finished! And after much nagging, my fiance finally took some pictures of me wearing it (albeit sloppily)...

(Please ignore the deer-in-the-headlights look on my face and the horrible angle. My fiance is 6'5" so I guess I always look like a total frog from his height.)

I put on the black tank top for modesty, of course, but also in the hopes that it would give you an idea of proportions and would help you to see where the neckline ends better than it would on my extremely pale skin.

Using Basina's description as a guide, I went ahead and did the neck-to-navel length neckline. Urtatim mentions a "long slit in the center front," but does not say exactly how long. Because there are no extant gomlek for us to study, this observation comes from miniatures which, to my knowledge, don't show the neckline that well to begin with. So, to be completely honest, I'm not really sure why the neckline has to be this long. Perhaps because it gives you the option of showing a little cleavage or not dependent on your mood? haha I'm not claiming to be an absolute expert or anything, but I have seen many keyhole necklines that look just as good so if you would rather not have to fuss with it that is a viable option.

I'm really happy with the length here. As I mentioned in an older blog, I still can't get used to the look of period salwar (pants) so the more I can cover that up, the better. Since gomlek lengths range from the knee to the floor, I was able to use that to my advantage. However, I think my next gomlek will be knee-length simply because it is slightly more difficult to maneuver in the longer one. The gores on the side offer plenty of walking/running/lounging movement, but I absentmindedly tried to straddle a bench and found myself suddenly bound up about the legs. All I'm saying is I think a more suitable working garment would be a shorter one.

As for the proportions, that picture doesn't tell you much. The gomlek is actually quite large on me, but it is not a tight garment to begin with. There is ample shoulder room and more than enough room for my hips.

The sleeves are very loose and end about an inch or so before my fingertips. Any longer and they would have been in my way constantly, any shorter and they would have felt strange. For those pursuing a Persian persona, your sleeves would have been fitted closely to the arm and very long so that when the sleeve was pushed up to the wrist it would bunch up. It seems the Turks wore their sleeves like this also, but for the Persians it is almost the norm. (An example of this can be seen in the next picture looking at the lady in the middle.)

I cut my sleeves on the fold so that there was no seam running from my shoulder to wrist which seems to be the general method. However, the Codex Vindobonensis clearly shows a decorated seam on some gomlek (as in the woman to the far right below). I'm calling this one a case of personal preference.

Here is a close-up of the neckline. Every edge on this gomlek has a hand-rolled hem with a button hole stitch. I found that it made the nicest edge without the ugly white stripe of a regular hem showing through. I plan on doing the same thing with my veils.

For the loop, I took three strands of white crochet yarn, braided them together tightly, folded them into a loop, stitched them in place and then cut off the excess. Easy peasy!

I found these glass buttons at Joann's Fabrics for a nominal price, I think it was around $1.25. I chose them for two reasons: 1) they were the only pearl-like buttons in the entire store that weren't huge and 2) they are slightly flat! My hope is that the flatness will help them to stay buttoned. So far, so good!

I will wash and iron it before Medieval Fair, check for any frays in the seams and fix those if need be and then I get to wear it for real! I can't wait!

Picture Credits:
Codex Vindobonensis courtesy of Urtatim of Dar Anahita
All the rest taken with my camera phone by either Ashi or myself


Tia said...

I so Understand your comment about salwar...

Ayrlyn said...

Wow, it looks great. Congratulations on getting it done and photographed.

I, too, understand the issue with the salwar. For me, my problem is the thighs rubbing :)