In the event Laura makes her way here, here's an answer:Hiya! I'm making my first ranger outfit at the moment, based on the Ithilien style outfit, and i'm pretty new to sewing so it's a bit of a challenge and a lot of trial and error at the moment! Lots of fun too though. Hoping there may be some larger chested ladies out there who can offer some advice though please? I'm trying to make a vest/jerkin style top but i'm having problems coming up with a pattern that fits right and doesn't gape in the underarm area! Just wondered what other ladies are wearing as tops? Any ideas would be great! Or pattern tips!
Almost all the bottom layers can be made just the same with minimal adjustment.
For the tunic, you can use a standard Nockert pattern. Here's mine:
http://middleearthrangers.org/forum/vie ... 715#p39885
The only thing you need to do differently is cut the front panel a few inches wider than the back panel. *How* many inches wider obviously depends on your shape, but it'll probably be in the 4-8" range. Just play with some muslin until it fits about right. You match the shoulder seams just like the guy version, and the front surface just sort of poofs out to give you more room in the chest. This does mean you'll need to adapt things at the neck. I used a standard gown scoop neck, so didn't have any more to do. If you want a standard guy's keyhole neck (which WOULD be better for keeping straps off your neck) - then I think the best way is gathering the top edge of the front piece to match the width of the back piece prior to stitching the two together.
Clear as mud?
The surcote works exactly the same way: just make the front panel a bit wider than than the back. If you're going to be very active, you DO want all four "tails" separate, with neither the front/back (like WETA Ithiliens) nor the sides (like WETA Rohirrim) closed up. I think all of us who've made this garment had the same experience and are pretty unanimous on that point now.
Anyhow, a wider front panel DOES mean if you want all four "tails" to be the same width (or even be wider in the rear, which looks a bit better on curves I think) that you have a bit more tailoring to do. Figuring the ranger's surcote was meant to be a fairly rough working garment, I went the simple way and just trimmed the front panels to match the rear. I also narrowed things at the waist with drawcords to get a better shape rather than leave it baggy in the belly. If you look in the bottom right of that picture, you'll see that the fabric on one side of the drawcords is pretty straight down from the placket: the other follows a curve. The curved portion is the front: that's so the front leg panels are the same width as the back while leaving more room in the bust.
If you want to be a bit more stylish, you can cut the bodice and tails separately and even add some gores in the rear tails to floof out the tuckus. That does start to push the look of the garment from a fairly crude woodsrunner's sucote to more careful (perhaps out of period? elvish?) tailoring.
http://middleearthrangers.org/forum/vie ... 618#p43782
(I've a more proper "civilian"/ladies' version of this garment half done: the biggest difference is that there is no split in the front or back, as it's going over a gown anyway and there's no need for the extra mobility. It's also a spongier/softer wool that can be fitted better with cords.)
The trickiest part I think is the leather jerkin on top. I can't help too much, as I only started that project a year or two ago before other things took precedence. Right now my lining is cut out and waiting for me to get back to it, but I never even bought the leather.
Anyhow, I can say the path I think is most promising - and the one I've started down - is again starting with Greg's pattern:
http://middleearthrangers.org/forum/vie ... =25&t=3643
... but then making each of the panels a bit bigger than necessary, and pinning them to fit over your underlayers. You follow your curves just by how you fit those panels together.
This does require a friend or a dress form, but lets you get pretty darn close with a minimum of modern-looking darting.
Does that help?