Ottoman Court Garb

In 2019, I decided to make Ottoman Turkish garb for a Near-East-themed Twelfth Night — and won for Best Themed Garb in the Garb Runway Competition! I unfortunately got almost no pictures from the event, but below the cut I have my full documentation, progress photos, and pictures of the finished garb.


Süslü Kadın

16th Century Ottoman Turkish Garb

Detail of a palace lady from Bodleian Library, Oxford Ms. Or. 430 (1588)
Detail of a palace lady from Bodleian Library, Oxford Ms. Or. 430 (1588)

Finished Garb

Full outfit



Items, Patterns, and Materials

Items are listed skin-out.

Çakşir (pants)

Gömlek (chemise)

  • Pattern: Lady Faye de Trees
  • Materials: linen, freshwater pearl button, lucetted linen for button-loop
Detail of stitching on the zıbın. That’s my thumb.

Zıbın (short jacket)

  • Pattern: Lady Faye de Trees
  • Materials: silk, cotton, vintage metal buttons, flat cording for button-loops

Kaftan (long coat)

  • Pattern: Lady Faye de Trees
  • Materials: silk, vintage metal buttons, flat cording for button-loops

Tarpuş (hat) with kaşbasti (veilband) and veil

  • Pattern: Personal, made with reference to a modern Libyan felted tarboosh and “The Two-Hour Tarpuş” handout by Lady Alisandre de la Chapelle
  • Materials: wool (base), silk, linen

Techniques and Construction

  • 100% handsewn
  • Threads are cotton-on-cotton and silk-on-silk
    • The thread for the linen gömlek is warp threads from the fabric
  • Backstitched in areas of greater stress

What I Love

  • POCKETS! Amani Bey hypothesized that the hip-bumps in kaftans concealed pockets, and I loved the idea so much that I added them in.
  • Fabrics and colors! All the colors are period, as are the fabrics, and I am in love.
  • Lining with silk! The kaftan’s silk lining makes it incredibly easy to put on.
  • My hat is full of secrets! the wool used to sew the base is fabric that I handwove as an experiment, using handspun by a friend (also an experiment). The final fabric wasn’t very pretty, but it makes a very nice hat base!

What I Would Change

  • Çakşir (pants): Make my own pattern based on period examples. This is the second time I have adapted patterns for these; each time I’ve had to make significant adjustments (such as removing length or adding a gusset). I also plan to inkle-weave a drawstring.
  • Zıbın (short jacket): Buy patterned fabric that’s the right size! Because I was reclaiming a sari, I had to piece the fabric to get enough for the front, which made fitting a little bit more challenging.
  • I need to take more in-construction pictures!
  • I want to invest in proper shoes!

Period Exemplars

Kaftan of Selim II (1566-1574)
Rose-Pink Kaftan of Hanzade Sultan (1609-1650)

I relied strongly on Issendai’s Ottoman Turkish Garment Database for exemplars. These two kaftans in particular pieces inspired colors, fabric, and construction.


Extant tarpuş and information copied from Lady Alisandre de la Chapelle’s ”The Two-Hour Tarpuş.”


Lady Alisandre de la Chapelle.  “The Two-Hour Tarpuş.” Running with Scissors (and Fabric),

Lady Faye de Trees. “Ottoman Turkish Clothing.” Tastefully Timeless,

Issendai. 16th-Century Istanbul

Issendai. Ottoman Turkish Garment Database,

Master Rashid. “Salwar.” Dar Anahita,

SCA Ottoman Clothing and Culture Facebook group.