Gomlek

07/20/2012

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There are several variations on the potential construction for the under tunic, or gömlek or khamis, making it a little confusing on where to start.  In doing some research, most have recommended the construction of the Persian extant.  At first I found this odd, but additional research indicated that while different and typically at war, the Ottoman’s tended to copy and somewhat alter Persian fashion for court, so it wasn’t as out there as I initially thought.  I do believe a basic T-tunic construction would also be appropriate, efficient, and simple for the less adventuresome. 

To this end, I started making my gömlek with the T-tunic construction theory so I could have something quick and simple.  I made both myself and my daughter one out of a cotton/linen blend in natural with “gold” thread every ½” using the T-tunic basic construction with gores and slightly belled sleeves.  While I really love these tunics, they are a bit heavier than I was would like for warm weather (which I decided at an extremely hot event after having made hers and finishing mine), but will be fantastic for cooler or indoor events.

Therefore, I ordered some 2.8oz linen, linen gauze, to make myself a gömlek.  I also found some gorgeous 80% cotton/20% rayon sheer burnout fabric to make my daughters, which they only had a yard of – total bummer as it feels almost like satin is super lightweight and has a great hand.  Since I was making the gömlek for a second time, I decided to be a bit more adventurous and follow the Persian construction.

Layout patterns are abundant on the web, so it was just a matter of finding one and going with it.  I did alter the sleeve, which is tapered in the Persian, opting for the bell shaped sleeve represented more commonly for the Ottoman style.  A few notes when sewing this together:

1.       Measure everything accurately first, precision here makes the whole thing easier and quicker to assemble.

2.       Make sure your bottom edges are as straight as possible, see point one for why.

3.       If using the linen gauze, I would recommend sewing with it before washing, adjusting your measurements some for shrinkage.  The stiffer, pre-washed linen would have been infinitely easier to work with than the soft, crinkled, flowing, post-washed.  Just a thought.

4.       Don’t cut out the neck yet, or if you must, make it VERY small.

5.       Attach the side gusset to the side gore/panel first.

6.       Sew the side to the body panel, matching the bottom seam.

7.       If you have very sheer fabric, be sure to finish your seams as you go.  Flat felling is awesome for this.

8.       Pin and sew the sleeve to the body around the arm hole. 

9.       Find the middle of your side gusset and mark.

10.   Sew the sleeve to the center mark on your gusset for both sides.

11.   Sew the remainder of the sleeve closed.

12.   You can now finish your hems.  Your bottom hem needs no adjustment if you cut everything straight and marched your panels as indicated above.

13.   Finally determine how you are going to do your neckline.

This is what I learned.  Another important lesson, is that linen gauze has a mind of its own.  This is not for beginner sewers.  It also stretches oddly.  I made a small neck hole to start with and it stretched to something larger by the time I was done, which is not something that typically happens to me when I sew.  In order to adjust this, I essentially V the neck line and then pinched the fabric at the bottom of the V, which was hidden by trim to force it to lay parallel, which was tricky.  Of course this was easier to do with the gauze than it would have been with another fabric, so just be careful.

As hinted at above, I also added gold trim to the front, neckline and top line of the sleeves using the numerous drawings indicating a decorative or gold element at these points.  I then used a pearl button for the neck closure.  The gömlek is very loose on me.  I’m not sure if it was meant to be much more fitted then what I did or not.  It hangs pretty much the way you see it on the mannequin.  This doesn’t really make a huge difference as I will have the chirka or vest to pull everything in.

 


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