I think he's dead, Martin! I think he's dead, Martin!

Simple Tabard/Surcoat Directions with Applique

  • Black Trigger type cloth
  • Gold Trigger type cloth
  • Gold Double Fold Quilt Binding
  • Black thread
  • Yellow thread
  • Heat-n-Bond Lite
  • Pencil and Paper for tracing
  • Download the art work for the Northshield Griffin JPG PDF
  • Download the art work for the Northshield Compass Rose JPG PDF

Fuse the Heat-n-Bond to the back of the gold material (directions are with the Heat-n-Bond) making sure to cover a large enough area to draw the griffin.

Enlarge the griffin to the size you need. Trace the griffin onto plain paper then cut it out. Lay it onto the backing of the Heat-n-Bond and draw/trace the griffin, making sure when you do this that the griffin will face the correct way when the fabric is flipped and sewn on, then cut it out.

The Tabard
Take these measurements over your Armour or do it over your body and add 5 inches to the measurements.
  1. Around the chest under the armpit: [____ +2" (for the seam allowance)]/2 = ____.
  2. Height which will be shoulder to where you want the tabard to end: ____ +4" (seam allowance and hem) = ____.
  3. Measure around your head With Helm: _______. This is the Circumference (C). Your going to do a little more math now. You need to calculate the Diameter (D) of the head hole you need to cut out. You are going to divide your Circumference by pi (3.1415) to get the Diameter: C/π= D

There are 12 inches in a foot, 3 ft in a yard. Trigger Fabric usually comes in 60" widths. You want to purchase the amount of yards that #2 adds up to. This amount will be around 2 yards for an average sized fighter.


Your fabric is 60 inches wide. You need to split it that you have two sections of 30 inch widths of fabric. Sew these together to make one long section. Measurement #1 will be the width of the tabard, #2 the length from the shoulder seam, which is where you just joined the two pieces together. Take your neck measurement diameter and draw your circle on paper and lay it on your fabric, in the center, where the two sections come together. Draw the neck hole.

Take your griffin and pace it where you would like it located on your tabard or surcoat. Place it heat and bond side down. Follow the Heat and Bond directions to adhere it to the fabric. One it is stuck on then you can appliqué around it using a narrow and tight zig zag stitch. You will put that around the edge of the griffin to hold the griffin design to the black fabric underneath. You can then use the same zig zag stitch to add detail tot eh inside of the griffin design if you wish.

When you know the measurement of the edge all around your tabard and the head hole circumference that is what you will need to get of the Double Fold Quilt Binding. It comes in packages of 3 yard lengths. Pin the binding all around the tabard and the head hole.

As you come to each corner fold the binding around corner so that a neatly mitered pleat is formed on the top and bottom at the corner and pin.

Binding is cut on the diagonal (called bias). Because of this it lends itself to curves easily. For the head hole pin the binding around the edges with the fabric edge all the way inside the binding. When you are done pinning sew it up avoiding hitting the pins. Remove the pins as you go.

If you wish to make a longer surcoat type design then you can make the measurement #2 as long as you want it and put a slit up the front and back. The slit usually goes to about the groin area. You will need to remember that if you choose to sew up the sides of your longer surcoat you will need to give the garment a bit of a ‘A’ line flair from the hips to the bottom so that there will be leg movement room.

Credit: Instructions borrowed from www.ansteorra.org and modified to reflect Northshield designs and colors

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