Braies: The Medieval Boxer Shorts Project
I'm not entirely sure why I did this project. I had been making hose during the spring of 2007, and then I started downloading information on braies and drafting the patterns. I was given a bolt of white muslin at the end of that summer, and I decided that I may as well just make them up. I've included my notes, when I had anything much to add. Check the original links, if they still exist, for all details. The photos are of the braies as completed (minus drawstrings). If I can convince someone to road-test and model each version, I will add more pictures and commentary from the tester.
Recommended research source: The history of underclothes, C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington, Dover Publications, 1992 (originally published 1951).
Anne Freitag, July 2008
Website: From the Skin Out: http://www.maisonstclaire.org/resources/skin_out/menswear/menswear_pattern_longbraies.html
Date of design: 1404
See the website for pattern, notes and documentation. These were easy to put together.
Full-size picture: http://www.hrgalaska.org/Images/Longbraies.jpg
14th Century Braies:
Website: Recreating 14th Century Braies: http://thescholarsgarret.com/artifact/braies/
Date of design: 1300s
See the website for pattern, notes and documentation. These go together like a bit of origami. The documentation looks good. This style is also shown in Phyllis Cunnington's book.
Full size picture: http://www.hrgalaska.org/Images/14thcen.jpg
Markland Militia Braies
Website: Marklan Militia: http://www.markland.org/docs/basicgarb.pdf
Date of design: general medieval (not specified on the website)
See the website for pattern and notes. These are a simple version, with a square gusset.There are two rectangles, which form the legs (this is the same pattern as the rectangular gusset. The square goes just between the legs, and doesn't extend to the waist. It gives freedom of movement without bulk. I used the figure 2 variation. The documentation on this specific style isn't really there
Full sized picture: http://www.hrgalaska.org/Images/markland.jpg
Thirteenth Century Braies
Website: Vanished! It used to be at: http://www.thirteenthcentury.com/pages/braies05.html
Notes: These were cut in one piece, which is folded and stitched in an interesting fashion. They are hugely oversized in style. I will try to get the pattern and directions scanned and linked in to this file.
Full size picture: http://www.hrgalaska.org/Images/13thcen.jpg
Phyllis Cunnington Diagram
The website cites Phyllis Cunnington, again. These are simple to make; they use a rectangular gusset instead of a square one. There are two rectangular side pieces, forming the legs, and the gusset goes between them, from the front to the back.
Full size picture: http://www.hrgalaska.org/Images/rectangulargusset.jpg