“Kievan” Tunic

Family of Great Prince Sviatoslav Iaroslavich (11th cent.); from an illumination
Family of Great Prince Sviatoslav Iaroslavich (11th cent.); from an illumination

Because of lacunae in Giliarovskaia’s drawings, this pattern requires a mock-up before cutting the good fabric.

This garment may be made into an over-tunic or into a coat, depending on the fabric used.

As a coat, it must have a front opening. As an overtunic, it may be either a pulled-over or a button-front garment. Use shank buttons, preferably cloth-covered, and loops, not buttonholes. Loops can be easily made from rattail cording.

Calculate Unit as directed.

Transfer pattern to paper, then to fabric. Do not forget seam allowances: it is recommended to use generous allowances in the mock-up (about 1″). If the pattern is placed on the fold, mark carefully the top of the shoulder (corner A) on the sleeve. To adjust the length of the sleeve, shorten as needed, but do not modify the dimentions of the top (wider) edge. The bottom edge (narrower edge on the pattern) may be modified as desired to obtain a different shape of the sleeve, although it is recommended to follow the pattern precisely the first time.

KievskiiKaftan
Pattern for Kievan Tunic

Cut 2 each of Back and Front, and 4 of Sleeve. Alternately, place vertical line A on fold and cut 1 Back, 1 Front, and 2 Sleeves

Sew together 2 Back halves if necessary. Sew together 2 front parts if this is to be a pulled-over garment. Sew together halves of sleeves.

Sew Back to Front at shoulders. Attach sleeve to body. This is the difficult part: Giliarovskaia’s pattern does not indicate the size of the inset (see 29* on the pattern). Match shoulder seam with top (or seam) of Sleeve.

Baste sleeve in place. The top (wider) edge of the sleeve must fit precisely in the inset, turning corners. The bottom seam on the sleeve will meet with the body seam under the arm. Adjust the seam allowances on the body of the garment to fit the sleeve, not the sleeve itself.

Sew side seam along body and under sleeve.

Fit and adjust body length. Note that Russian garments never trail on the ground, and usually reach the ankle, or just below. An overtunic often reveals embroidery along the hem of the undertunic: adjust length as desired.