Thursday, March 1, 2012

The 12 Hour Gown

Last Thursday I decided to drive up to the DC area for a an event in Fairfax with my laurel's husband.  After going through my pile'o'garb, I decided I didn't have anything to wear that would go with my new circlet and would attempt to make something suitable for an indoor, semi-dressy event on Friday.

So I did.

Picture Project Runway-gone-Medieval style madness, but I did it!  The red wool over-gown was started Friday morning and totally finished less than 12 hours later.  Nothing is glued or safety pined.  Granted, the seams are serged and I already had the base pattern from making the green linen kirtle, but I'm still pretty pleased with myself.  The only visible machine stitching on the outside of the gown are the buttonholes.

Unfortunately I have lost just enough weight since making the kirtle that it no longer supports me the way is should, so the whole thing will need to be taken in a bit sooner rather than later.  Also, the neckline on the overgown needs to come down a bit and I will eventually want to replace the buttons with something a bit more authentic (there are plain silver shank buttons on there now, not terrible but not quite up to standard either).  The green kirtle under this gown is the straight front pattern, which I find to be less flattering on my body than the curved front version.  I think I look about 4 months pregnant in it, no matter what I do to suck in my gut or stand straight.  This doesn't seem to be as noticeable in pictures of the curved front dress, but part of that may also be because that particular gown has a waist seem, which generally has a slimming effect on me at least.   Once I get the whole thing taken in, perhaps it will be a bit more flattering.


  1. That's just awesome! You gots skilz woman! From the photo you'd never know it was a quick throw-together.

  2. That's amazing! I agree - you'd never know it was a speedy sew.

    As for the neckline, I personally think it looks better that way than the lower ones you commonly see on Gothic Fitted Dresses. At least for the 14th Century, I think it better matches the dresses you see in manuscripts.

    I'd love to see close ups of how you've done those sleeves. They are very intriguing. Do you have a source inspiration for them or are they just for fun?

  3. I just posted some pictures and links to some of my sources on the sleeves. The construction is *really* simple, it's just big rectangles, with some simple shaping at the top, set into the armscye. Doing the lining was the hardest part, but that just took some patience and a lot of pins. And adequate floor space to lay the whole thing out flat. I'll try to get some detailed pictures of them of them for you.