Persian Miniature Poses
Some moves from Classical Persian ballet that can help us achieve the poses from Persian Miniatures.
Of all the images of al-Andalus, this image from the Alphonzo Book of Games is the best image of women’s salwar. The middle lady in the above image is wearing a sheer qamisa, you can easily see her pants that are tied at the waist with a multi colored belt, loose around the seat, and tapered at the ankle with a bit of gathering. To my knowledge there are no surviving Arab pants from al-Andalus. So I had to do a little research; according to Yedida Stillman’s Arab Dress: A Short History By the 10th century an Arab geographer, al-Muqaddasi, “observed that Maghribis dressed in the Egyptian fashion”.
This led me to the Egyptian pants located in the Royal Brussels Museum.
Below you will see my notes on creating a pattern for myself based on these extent pants.
The pattern is made of 3 pieces:
A: cut 2 rectangles on the fold. Length should be the length from your natural waist to the floor on the outside of your leg. For the width measure the largest circumference of your calf, and divid by 2. Add seam allowance.
B: cut 4 gores. I was a bit confused when trying to decide how wide my gores should be. So this is the formula that I used (if you are better at math then me and know of an easier way to do this please let me know): Measure full waist (37″)*, add 6″ to that measurement (43″)*. Now subtract the full calf measurement x2 from the total waist [43-(14×2)=15]*, then divide that answer by 2 and that will equal the width of your gore (7.5)*. For the length of the gore I measured from my belly button to my calf. For the rise I measured from my belly button to the top of my inner thigh. Then for the diagonal portion I drew a diagonal line from the bottom of my rise to the length of the gore. I wrote down all measurements for future reference.
C. cut 1 gusset. I went with a diamond shaped gusset. Originally I started with a 12″x12″ square, after inserted the shape was not the same as the extent piece I was recreating. So I ripped it out and cut 2 inches off each side and that worked perfectly. So the measurement for the gusset is 12″ for each side and 8″ across the shortest center.
Step 2. Then attach gusset (C) where the 1 would meet on the gore (B).
Step 3. Then attach gusset (C) to gore (B) on opposite leg where the 2 would meet on the gore.
Step 4. Sew seam from gusset up to waist.
Step 5. Fold gusset (C) in half to the back of the pants. Repeat steps 1-4 on the back of the pants.
Step 6. On right pant leg sew from gusset, down the gore to ankle.
Step 7. On left pant leg sew from gusset, down the fore to the ankle.
Step 8. Finish all seams with a flat felled seam.
Step 8. Sew the hem of your pants.
On the image above from the Alfonzo Book of Games, the middle lady, you can see that her belt for her pants is long, flat and multi-colored. My theory is that this is some sort of tablet woven belt. So for my belt I decided to used a 1″ thick tablet woven belt.
For the waist:
Step 1: I pinned my belt into the rolled waist band, starting in the rear and moving forward on each side to ensure the same length on each side.
Step 2: I tacked down the belt inside the the waist band in the center rear to ensure the belt will always stay in place.
Step 3: I used a running stitch to sew down the waist band with the belt already inside. Leaving the front open about 4″ on each side.
Step 4. I sewed in 2 button holes on the outer front in the waist band and pulled the belt through them.
Step 5. I sewed down the inner front waist band to secure it closed.