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Egyptian Tunic and Pants, 1315




  1. Entire line drawing of tunic.  * = tiraz band: a decorative band sewn to the upper sleeve.  Usually had embroidery or stamped calligraphy or geographic shapes.  Front and back pieces= shoulder to knee measurement.  Sleeve length= shoulder to wrist measurement.  Sleeve width= personal preference, but sleeves are semi-full.  Tiraz band width= about 3.5 to 4 inches wide.  Fabric recommendations:  linen, raw silk, cotton.
  2. Gusset.  Usually measures about 4-5 inches sq.  Cut a square to this measurement and then cut across diagonally to make into 2 triangles.  Sew on either side of the sleeve so that when it lines up, it looks like it does in picture A or E.  (This step not featured in diagram).
  3. Side gores.  Length= from point where sleeve or gusset will end to bottom of tunic.  Gores are right triangles, so keep this ratio in mind when determining the bottom width.
  4. First, sew shoulder seams together.  Next, fold sleeves in half and place middle point at shoulder seam.  Sew the tiraz bands to the outside of the sleeves.  (this can also be done before you sew the sleeves to the body)  Then, sew sleeves to tunic body.  Sew in side gores by first sewing outer edges to body of tunic.  Sew from wrist, along sleeve, along gusset, along two inside edges of the side gores to complete the seams of the tunic.  (This step not featured in diagram).
  5. Fold the tunic in half.  Find the point in space where the midline of the tunic and the shoulder seam meet.  Use a string that is as long as the tunic, plus has enough length to tie around a piece of chalk, pencil, etc.  Hold the end of the string at the above mentioned point in space.   Use the chalk or pencil to mark the hem so that is the same all the way to the outer edges.  Trim and hem the bottom of the tunic and finish the neckline.
  6. Headgear:  Figure 1 features a woman (automaton) wearing a veil on her head, which is pulled under her chin and attached apparently under the opposite side of the veil.  It is secured by a headband or thin scarf that encircles the forehead.  The scarf is probably of stiff fabric since a loop of it stands above the head.
  7. Pants:  these pants are fairly loose at the top and taper to the ankle.  See “shawlar” for how to make them.


Automaton Painting Source:  Scarce, Jennifer. (1987) Women’s Costume of the Near and Middle East. Unwin Hyman Limited, Great Britain

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