Making the Irish Leine
Carreg Wen Academia, Nov. 7th, A.S.

Lady Meghan Paget

Outline and sewing notes Pictures and historical paintings Pattern pages

Warning - graphics intensive!
Sorry, the pix are huge. This is how I can easily convert them from the diagrams that went into the Word document. If I try to shrink them they become unreadable. Maybe I can figure something out later. -Meghan

Creating the Leine - pattern pieces

Important note - green lines mean cut this on the selvedge. Orange lines mean cut this on the fold. Blue lines are other cutting lines.

These pictures are all in proportion, but not all to the same scale. The numbers shown are for a leine for me (all units are in inches). I'm going to include details about how to convert your measurements to your own pattern.


Ok, here's the sleeve. You need to cut two of these. The left straight line is for your wrist. Be SURE to cut this on the selvedge. Take some measuring tape, drape it around your wrist, see how far down you'd like to have the sleeve opening hang. (Remember, the sleeve is also your pocket, and that's the opening you put things in and out of.) For the top measurement in orange - this goes on the fold - measure from the spine at the base of your neck out to your fingertips. The dotted green line shows how far down the sleeve hangs. How far do you want it to hang from your arm? Experiment with a measuring tape. Warning - I don't recommend making it longer than the length from your wrist to the ground, or it will drag. The line on the right is for where the sleeve meets the body. Try draping a measuring tape over your shoulder and down under your arm. If you can try someone else's leine on, this is helpful. If in doubt, unless you're VERY different from me in size, for your first leine I recommend using my number.

This is the front yoke. You need two of these. Cut the top edge on the selvedge, and one side on the fold. Yes, the front yoke ends up being a double layer of fabric. (Makes it a great spot for embroidery) For height, measure from the top of your shoulder down to where you want the yoke to end. Again, if you can try on someone else's, and measure what theirs is like, that's helpful. Try on mine in class if you like. For width, use half of the back yoke.

This is the back yoke. You only need one of these. It's best to cut the top edge on the selvedge. Things are tight enough around the shoulder/collar seam without having to worry about going back to finish the edge. For the height, match the front yoke. For width, measure in inches the length from the tip of one shoulder to the other, then double that. Sounds too big, doesn't it? The yoke doesn't just cover the body, it goes over the shoulder and partway down the arm as well. (Like we said - Irish, lots of fabric, conspicuous consumption.)

Here's the body piece. You need two of these, one for the front and one for the back. You use the whole width of the fabric - so both of the sides are all selvedge. (Yea!) The length is how long you want it from the bottom of the yoke to the bottom of the leine. For women, about ankle length. For men, around calf length - you blouse it up to around the knees or just below.

If you've got 60" fabric, great. If you've got 45 inch fabric, and you want it really full - or you want a nursing leine - make TWO front pieces, and sew them together down the middle before you do the pleating. Optionally, do the same with the back piece.

Gussets. Gussets are your friend. I recently had to put gussets in Kevin's red leine. (Not originally made by me.) So now when I'm trying to figure out what size to make them, his comment is - "Lift your hands over your head. Then measure the holes." Too true.

You need two of these. I recommend about a 3 inch square. It's a nuisance to finish the edges, but you better. On this piece, I recommend finishing the edges first, before it's sewn in place, no matter how you're doing the others.

Ok, here's the collar. I like an approx. 2" collar - take the height you want and multiply it by 4. For the width, take a tape measure, and hold it around your neck, at what you think would be a comfortable collar. Don't make it too tight. Add seam allowance at both ends.

Cuffs - same deal, basically. I like the cuffs the same height as the collar. For the width, the procedure is the same as a collar, just measure around your wrists instead of your neck.

Leine Outline and sewing notes Leine Pictures and historical paintings
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