Feature Friday: Baseborn
While we here at Redthreaded focus on corsetry, what you wear under your stays can be just as important, and this month’s feature, Baseborn, is on a mission to craft high-quality foundation garments, particularly shirts and shifts, that will last a lifetime—or longer!
Based in Portland, Oregon, Baseborn specialized in designs “informed by extant garments from 9th–17th century Europe, as well as illustrated manuscripts and paintings depicting everything from daily life to the fantastical.”
Devon, the owner, creator, and sewist behind Baseborn, expanded on this. “My favorite things to sew are the daily-use clothing that the average person from 12th–17th century Western Europe might have worn. It is called Baseborn after all. Foundational garments like linen shifts, braies, hose, petticoats, to outer work-hardy wear like wool kirtles, hoods, capes, tunics, and cotehardies. Simple but effective construction and modular design elements (like detachable sleeves!) are the stuff of my dreams!”
In fact some of the company’s most popular offerings include these types of rectangular garments, like this Renaissance-inspired shift. “My interpretation of the Renaissance shift, inspired by smocks and shirts from the 15th–17th centuries, became, I suppose, my staple piece—and remains the garment I make the most of for patrons,’ Devon continued. “Yards of lightest weight linen gathered neatly into an elegant band collar, full sleeves that drape artfully as the wearer moves their arms.”
Baseborn’s focus is on quality pieces made from sustainable materials, pieces that are made to be worn for years to come. Devon added, “I have always wanted to sew clothing for other people but have intense standards for the finished result, thus I held myself back until I felt well and truly ready—deserving, actually, of their hard earned dollars and faith in my endeavor.”
Devon went on to say, “I believe clothing should fit the wearer (not the other way around), and it should be made with care to last…I think it has been received well because I found a good balance between historically informed and a modern-enough construction that I can offer it at an approachable price. Still, I take pride in utilizing only strong and beautiful finishing touches in all my offerings, such as french seams (so nice you sew it twice!), hand-gathering, buttons made from horn or deadstock metal, natural fabric like 100% linen or 100% wool, hand sewn eyelets, and so on. For the more accuracy-enthused patron, I would even go so far as to sew a frock completely by hand.”
You can find a selection of clothing that is ready to purchase on the company’s website, like this medieval-inspired wool cotehardie or this 10th century-inspired linen tunic, but Devon’s true love is for custom work. “While I try to keep a small stock of ready-to-ship garments on my website, bespoke garments spark my passion for making things that people can feel beautiful in and proud to wear. I welcome commissions throughout the year! All you need do is reach out.”