Black and white striped Ottoman Entari

Striped Ottoman Entari - a black and white striped cotton trimmed with blue silk.

Work in progress – Striped Ottoman Entari – a black and white striped cotton trimmed with blue silk.

While going through my sometimes overflowing collection of fabrics, I started sorting out some of them into boxes of what kinds of fabric they were (green suit-weight wool, pale linen, etc) but some lengths of fabric quickly made me think of particular costumes, so I ended up bagging them together, hoping that they’d inspire me to SEW…

One of those fabrics was a black and white striped cotton that I received from my former teacher. There was about 4 meters of it, which was enough to make a late-period Turkish (Ottoman) Entari. When I was originally making my first Turkish costume, I wrote in my overview that this coat was:

“Medium-weight A or bell-shaped coat. Fitted to the waist and shaped with side gores with an overlapping front gore. Usually floor-length. Round or v-neck. Closed down the front with small buttons and loops or long frogs. Often depicted unbuttoned from neckline to chest and waist to floor. Most often with wide, elbow-length sleeves, though also shown narrow and wrist-length. Occasionally extremely long maunche-like sleeves with slits. Most often made of silk, lined in cotton. Rarely trimmed, but the inside edge was often faced with silk.”

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Small Ottoman inspired woodburned box

New small pyrography decorated bling box with a tiger-stripe & 'chintamani' Ottoman design

New small pyrography decorated bling box with an Ottoman design

A while ago I made a large bling box with a design inspired by Ottoman garments to hold and transport the bling for my costume.

Simple circles on the woodburned box for my Ottoman Empire Turkish costume elements.

Simple circles on the woodburned box for my Ottoman Empire Turkish costume elements.

Although I love the garb for this costume, and am in the process of making more – I don’t have a lot of jewellery for this costume. Although I have a few accessories (hat, belt), they’re too bulky to all fit in the box.

Which… kind of makes the box less useful right now until I make more bling for this costume!

With that in mind, I figured I’d make a smaller box that can just hold the few pieces I do have – and it will fit inside the bigger one if I want.  Continue reading

Ottoman Capsule

Lifting my hems to show off the Shalwar of my Ottoman Empire costume

Lifting my hems to show off the Shalwar of my Ottoman Empire costume

My Ottoman ‘wardrobe’ is a great contender to look at expanding piece-by-piece because it has many layers which can be worn interchangeably. This should work very well for an Ottoman Empire capsule wardrobe.

I only have one full outfit right now, but could easily duplicate pieces to expand the wardrobe.
The current wardrobe includes:

  • White linen underdress
  • Orange/pink silk block-printed vest
  • Hot pink linen block-printed coat
  • Navy pants
  • Bright blue and teal silk hat
  • Jewellery


The existing colourway for my Ottoman Empire costume wardrobe

The existing Ottoman wardrobe colourway

The only real colour story here is “bright”. I think that if I were to make new pieces in pink, blue, or orange, I’d be able to mingle in new pieces as long as the shades were not identical.

On the SCA Clothing & Culture Facebook page, one of the members identified that “the vast majority of clothes were solid coloured”, and that the most popular colours were red and blue. The poster also noted that there was a lot of green and yellow. Another note was that they preferred strong colours and lots of contrast. I won’t say that this is overwhelming evidence… but honestly since this is not my primary area of interest, I’m willing to run with that for the time being.

The colour palette was created from a site called ColorMunki. Of course, the colours aren’t 100%, because they were based on my memory and what I was seeing on my screen… and every screen is a bit different.

Potential new pieces

I feel like the fabric will really be what speaks to me in making new garments for this wardrobe. I feel like I will most likely focus on duplicating the coat and vest, rather than the (unseen generally) pants, or utilitarian underdress – though at some point the underdress will need replacing if for no other reason than fit and wear.

iPhone selfie in my Turkish Ottoman Empire costume

iPhone selfie in the completed outfit

I think I’ll keep an eye out for fabrics that speak to me for:

  • A bold/bright blue coat
  • A bold/bright blue/green vest
  • Possibly a green hat
  • A new white linen underdress

I’ll largely look for silks for the clothing and linen for the linings of the coat and vest. I’m also keen on more block-printing, but will likely go with higher-contrast colours than I’ve already used.

Going outside of this colourway, I would also consider a red coat block printed with yellow motifs… once the blue/green vest is already complete (because I don’t think it would work well with the orange one).

What’s next?

selfie in my Turkish Ottoman Empire costume

Completed Istanbul outfit

I’ll continue over the next few blog posts to look at other costume ‘wardrobes’. Stay tuned, or follow the “Capsule Costume Collection” tag to read more if you’re coming to my blog well after the original publication date.

You can also follow my page on Facebook, where I’ll share updates from this project, as well as interesting stories I find online around costuming, sewing, and crafting… along with lots of Viking Age stories too!

June 2016 Historical Sew Monthly – Ottoman costume

Completed Istanbul outfit

Completed Istanbul outfit

I’ve already started posting about my Ottoman costume- and it happens to fit perfectly into the June 2016 Historical Sew Monthly challenge! Since the Ottoman costume is intended to participate in the current (SCA) Royal Progress (the King and Queen setting different locations that their personas are travelling on) it matches the theme of travel (inspired by the Royals’ travel) really well!

I started mid-May doing some of the initial research, in order to have the project done by the first weekend in June, and you can read all of the posts about the different element of this costume by clicking the Ottoman category.

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