How to make a kirtle and a Burgundian gown

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 This article was  previously published on Your Wardrobe Unlock’d site – but now I am able to make it available here. it is not the newest piece I have written, but some basics remain the same, so hopefully it can be of some help:-)

In this article I shall discuss the cut of a late medieval kirtle and a very popular V neck gown – often simply referred to as the Burgundian gown.

Let us start with the kirtle.

All women of the late medieval ages would wear very similar layers: a linen chemise and a woollen kirtle underneath their overkirtle or a gown.

The difference in status was shown by the fabric and colour choice. Less affluent woman would most likely be wearing a simple woollen garments, in the more common colours of brown, russet, pale blues and greens.  A richer lady would go not only for more vibrant and deeper colours, but the quality of the cloth would be different. The most fortunate ones would be able to afford silks and brocades for their gowns, with silk, cloth or gold or fur lining and trim.

Despite the differences in fabric and colour, the basic cut would be more or less the same.

Kirtles of that period sported tight bodices, laced in front, back or at the sides, with the skirts flaring out from the waist. Sleeves could be long, short – or, coming towards the end of 15th century, nonexistent – though even the kirtles with short sleeves or without sleeves could have sleeves made of nicer fabric pinned to the kirtle

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rogier-van-der-weydan-1450

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Master-of-the-Lifeof-the-virginThe-birth-of-the-virgin-1470

As far as construction is concerned, there are a few of possibilities. Most of the kirtles till about mid 15 cent seem to be cut in one length, without the waist seam. However, later on there is evidence for new tailoring techniques: kirtles with a waist seem or kirtles with a more advanced fit on the bodice – probably a development of the panelled kirtle/gown construction evident from the findings in Greenland. I have found one example of the bodice with an advanced cut – Agnes Sorel seems to be sporting one!( pic.5)

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Fouquet-Virgin-and-a-child

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rogier-weydenseven_sacraments_altarpiece__central_panel_large – kirtle with a waist seam, pleated

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weyden_Rogier_van_der_Descent_from_the_Cross_Detail_Mary_Magdalene

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Stark-triptyque_National-Gallery-of-Art_1480_detail

The kirtle we are working on here is a rather typical example of a late 15th century one: with a waist seam and without sleeves.

They could be laced in front, sides and back, and it is up to an individual which option is chosen. For this kirtle, I have decided on a front lacing.

Materials:

Red wool – 4 metres

Linen for lining the bodice – 0.5m,

Lacing,

linen thread

 Method:

Prepare the toile of the bodice and try it on. If it fits, use it to cut the bodice in fabric  and lining.

6kirtle-bodice Baste the wool layer together and try it on again.  Mark and correct if the fit is not perfect, then sew:  first the two back parts, then the side seam, and then the shoulder seam.

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If you want your kirtle to have sleeves, cut the sleeves and sew them to the bodice now. Secure the inside seams , then fold down the edges –  front opening, neck, armhole or sleeves, and  stitch it using small stitches.

The skirt.  The skirt of a kirtle could be either attached to the bodice flatly, gently flaring out of the waistline or they could be gathered up or pleated.

As far as construction is concerned, they could be  made out of 3 or more big gores, or simply a large rectangular piece ( or pieces) of fabric. I chose the latter as it saves you time stitching the pieces together and it is easier to work on the hem. Whichever you will choose cut the parts first, then sew them together , leaving  top 10 cm open on one seam – it will be the front , matching the opening of the bodice.

If you are gathering or pleating the skirts, measure up the waist of the bodice and start pinning pleats in the skirt – they could be distributed evenly around the waist or grouped in front or back.  I simply gathered my fabric using the ruffle attachment and then stitched it to the bodice.

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-skirts-gathered-using-the-ruffler-attachment

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gathered-skirts-sewn-to-the-bodice

Once the skirts are attached, put the kirtle on a dummy or a model and check the length. Mark the hem and pin it carefully, making sure it is even all around. Take the kirtle off and hem the skirts.

Next step is lining the bodice.  Sew the pieces of the lining together , just as it was done with the top fabric, insert it into the bodice and pin it carefully.

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If you want you can add a piece of stiffer linen at the front, where the eyelets will be – it will make them more difficult to work with, but they will be sturdier. Stitch it with small stitches – the bottom of the linen should overlap and encase the gathered /pleated fabric at the waist.

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All that has to be done now is the eyelets– use an owl to separate the threads of the fabric, push them aside and secure with a linen thread.

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The lacing can be either ordinary, for crisscross (rare) or ladder lacing, or the eyelets can be offset a bit to allow for spiral lacing They can be placed only on the bodice part, or extend onto the skirts part -particularly when the kirtle is cut as a whole, without waist seam.

Alternatively, you can use small metal rings – sew them to the front opening, and thread the lace through them using a narrow linen tape, plait or a braid.

The kirtle is now ready!

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The gown

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Hans_Memling_Triptychon

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Petrus_Christus_Kneeling-donor-1450-60

Often referred to as a A-line, or V-neck, or simply burgundian gown, the gown worn by the middle and higher strata of the society  was a relatively simple affair, construction wise – but sported an incredibly wide array of interesting detail that  made the gowns distinctive.  The general construction could have been shared by all of them – but contrary to the popular belief, there was an astonishing variety in the layout of the pleats, depth and shapes of cuffs, collars and hems .  lots of examples on my inspiration board here

The one I am going to describe here is a pretty standard version with a v neck collar both front and back. The thing that distinguishes it though, is the fabric – with a silk brocade that sumptuous, I wanted to keep the rest of the details  simple.

 Materials:

Top fabric:

8m of Silk and linen damask (from Quartermasterie). Since the fabric is patterned, I needed much more fabric for the gown . When using plain wool or silk velvet, 5-6 metres is usually enough, depending on how big you want the train to be! The bigger the pattern, the more fabric you will need to match it nicely… you will also need more fabric if your material has a nap – like velvet as then you can only cut it in one direction. if your fabric is plain, you can make up for it in the width – with plain solids you can end up with a more voluminous garments as you don’t need to keep the front and back seams straight to match the pattern:-)

6-7 m of lining (here silk taffeta)

0.5 metre of silk velvet for cuffs and collar (optional: if you have a nice lining, you can just turn it over as it is, saving yourself quite a lot of work!)

Silk and linen threads

Pattern – the construction is relatively easy, the pattern in medieval Tailor Assistant works fairly well (pic. 20 -page 158-161), though I tend to use one length of fabric for a quarter of a gown, not a half – it makes the skirts much wider and flowing. Even if you are economizing on fabric, make sure you do not skimp on the hem width – especially if you aim to portray the weathier strata of the society.

Cut the body of the dress in top fabric and lining out. If your fabric has a pattern, make sure the front centre and front back matches.

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top-fabric-half-back

Cut the sleeves in the top fabric and then in lining- if you plan to have cuffs in different fabric, the lining of the sleeves can be shorter than the top layer – then cut a piece of velvet for the cuffs. The lining with the cuff should match the top layer of the sleeve- but leave plenty of seam allowance

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If you intend to have the collar in velvet, it is best to take care of it now.

Place 1 front piece of lining on the top fabric and fold the section of the lining that will be made into the collar.  Mark it carefully and cut the out . Repeat on the back piece (if your gown is to have a V neck at the back as well)

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lining-cut-off-to-prepare-for-a-velvet-cut

Now you have 2 narrow strips of fabric that would serve as a template for your fancy collar. Place them on the velvet and cut out two of each, leaving at least an inch for seam allowance.

Pin a piece to the lining and stitch carefully

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pin-the-collar-to-the-lining

. Repeat for the other 3 pieces of the lining.

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collar-sewn-to-the-lining

You can now sew all the parts of the top fabric together –  pin or baste the centre seams in front, matching the pattern, then sew. Repeat on the central back seam. Put the two parts right sides in together, and sew the side and shoulder seams together.

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back pieces sewn, matching the pattern

Put the velvet cuff right side on the top fabric of the sleeve. Pin it and sew it on

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Unfold and iron the seams flat.  Fold the sleeve lengthways, pin and sew carefully – if your cuff is in a much darker or lighter fabric, make sure you use different colours of thread for sewing the cuff part and the main sleeve part.  Once finished, turn it inside out  Repeat on the other sleeve.

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Pin the sleeves into the armholes and try to gown on. Adjust if necessary, making sure that the armhole is not too neither tight nor too wide. Once you are satisfied, set the sleeves in.

The top part is now ready. Turn it all outside out, iron all the seams flat and couch them down to make sure they stay flat  and to preserve fraying. Fold the hem and stitch it carefully, making sure the hem is even and that it curves gently into the train.

Repeat the same steps for the lining. For the body of the lining, you do not need to worry about matching the pattern – but if you have a collar in a different fabric, make sure the edges of the collar match.

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Set in the sleeves, iron out and secure the seams.

Inset the lining into the gown. Stitch the edges of the collar to the top fabric – either on a machine, or by hand.

Once the two layers are collected at the collar, turn the whole thing inside out – you should now have the lining on top. You will instantly see that the sleeves of the lining are shorter. Pin then carefully to the top fabric, and then fold the cuff back over – it should reach the lining without straining the top layer.  Fold the edge in, pin it and carefully stitch it to the lining  (or, you can fold the lining’s edge in and stitch it to the cuff – both ways work). Repeat on the other sleeve.

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pinning-the-cuff-to-the-lining

The sleeves are now ready, and you can turn the gown outside out again.   It is time to work on the hem.  Hang the gown securely on a hanger and hang the hanger high, so that the whole gown is in the air. If you have time, leave the gown hanging for a few hours or overnight – it is important especially if your gown in wool lined with linen, as they tend to stretch.

Place pins at the bottom of each seam, pinning the two layers together.  Place more pins around the hem, at about an inch from the hem.  Sit next to the hanging gown and start folding the lining and pinning it to the top layer. Do not stretch either fabric, let it hang smoothly naturally.  Pin all the lining in, and leave it pinned for a few hours again. After that check if the lining hasn’t stretched even more – if yes, re-pin. Once the fabric of the gown hangs in smooth fold, without the top layer puckering or the lining hanging lower than the top layer, secure the lining to the top making small even stitches.

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stitching-the-lining-to-the-hem

Alternatively you can guard your gown with a band of different fabric- my own is bound with a narrow band of the same velvet I used for cuffs and collar (pic.35).

Your gown is almost ready now. All that remains to be done is making sure the collar is lying neatly and flatly. Put the gown on a dummy, secure it with a belt and fold the collar back out, showing of the lining (or the velvety/ satin  bits).  If you wish, you can secure the folded collar with a few stitches, on the top of the shoulder.

The gown is now ready

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All you need now is a belt, appropriate headgear , hose and shoes and you are ready to go out and attend a tournament, cheering  your knight on as he smashes lance after lance at the tilt!

Other examples of gowns made with this technique:

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gown for Duchess Cecily Neville – so in royal purple, with cloth of gold trim, on silk flat fronted kirtle

Sudeley Ricahrd III-37

a gown in silk damask, this one is trimmed with fur

kitty burg

silk velvet with taffeta lining

buregred1

wool with linen lining

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silk velvet, taffeta lining and satin trim

Bedford Borough-20130129-02177

silk/metallic brocade, silk taffetalining

frocks, needless to say, by Prior Attire

Bibliography:

Boucher, François. A History of Costume in the West, Thames & Hudson; Enlarged edition (23 Sep 1996)

The secrets of Burgundian costuming, Marie Chantal Cadieux, http://cadieux.mediumaevum.com/frontlaced-kirtles.html [Accessed 27/12/10]

Maria Gutkowska Rychlewska “Historia ubiorów”, Ossolineum, Wrocław 1968

Sarah Thursfield, The medieval Tailor Assisstant, Ruth Bean Publishers, 2001

Tudor Kirtle and Gown

 

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How to Make a Tudor Kirtle and a Gown

a bit of a warning – this post is a  rehash of the article i wrote some years ago and includes old photos etc –  so the photo quality is not the best, alas. also, since most of the gowns were made some time back ( 7, 5 years ago or more) when i was starting, they are not flawless, and I admit I have learnt a lot since then. nevertheless, the basics  remained the same, and i thought that the post may be useful before i can update it ( and since a rather posh frock is being made in June, there will be more info  then…. 🙂 )

 

With the Tudors recently enjoying such popularity, the demand for Tudor clothing has been high – after all, the clothes are very flattering for all figures and the period fabric are simply sumptuous. As a result, I have been working on several Tudor projects in the last few years and have repeatedly been asked for hints and advice on making the garments.  In this article I will discuss the making of a kirtle and a gown suitable for a Henrician lady at around 1530 – 40.

 

The garments of the period were complex and a lady would be wearing the following layers:

A smock (chemise),

Hose and shoes,

A petticoat,

A kirtle,

A gown,

False undersleeves (foresleeves),

Girdle,

Headdress (a French or English hood, or a coif and a flat cap)

Optional – a farthingale: a hoop skirt in linen or in silks, with rope, reeds or cane hoops

Partlet – either a linen neckerchief, often decorated with embroidery, or made in silks, wool and sometimes fur (particularly for later styles).

 

I will concentrate mainly on the instructions how to make a bodiced kirtle and a trained gown, specifying fabrics and techniques used, and presenting the process step by step using illustrations to show the details.

I will also briefly discuss sleeves, cuffs and girdles, and the detailed instructions how to make a gable and a French hood will be covered in a separate article.

 

 The kirtle

 Materials:

4-6m of silk taffeta for top fabric (good quality wool can be used for middle/upper class attire; silks for higher classes, including damasks and jacquards.

2m of silk velvet for borders, front and guard (ignore if your top fabric is sufficiently decorative in itself)

4 m of linen for lining (thin wool and silk can also be used)

0.5m of linen for interlining the bodice

Reeds for boning the bodice

Metal braid or gems for decoration

4m of narrow braid

Linen and silk threads

The Pattern

 The patterns shown in The Tudor Tailor book and sold online (http://www.tudortailor.com/patternshop.shtml ) work very well, though adjustments will be necessary for different types of figure – I always make a mock up to check the fit.

The Method

Cut the pattern pieces for the bodice in calico.

For fuller figures, it often helps to cut the front piece in buckram or even stiff paper to see how the stiffened front will look, however, to get the best results, bone your mock up as you would the kirtle.

Stitch the pieces together and try on. Adjust if necessary and mark the changes on your pattern.

Cut the front piece in linen – 2 layers.

Baste the layers together and mark the boning channels. You can follow the channel layout presented in The Tudor Tailor

Or make all the channels vertical – often works better for fuller figures

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vertical boning on another kirtle bodice

Sew the channels – either by machine or by hand (small running stitch or backstitch work best).

Baste the back pieces of the calico mock up to the front piece.

Stitch a readymade lacing strip to the back pieces- it is only a temporary measure used for the fitting.

Insert boning and try the bodice on, carefully checking if the boning is of correct length, and mark the position of the shoulder straps on the front piece.

If everything fits well, take the bodice off; remove the lacing strips and the boning. You can use the mock up pieces as an interlining.

Cut the pieces in top fabric and lining.

Lay the top fabric on the boned front piece and baste it together.

Place the back pieces (top fabric plus interlining) on the front piece, right sides together and sew. You should now have all the bodice pieces together.

If you plan to bone the back pieces to make lacing more durable, do it now.

Secure the shoulder strips to the front piece.

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boned foundation for the kirtle bodice – handstitched

If your neckline is gaping, sew a narrow bias cut tape or strip of fabric around the neckline, stitch it down and insert a narrow braid. When pulled tighter, the braid will pull the neckline closer (see The Tudor Tailor for details).

This step is not always necessary, on some figures the kirtle top sits nicely and snug without the additional incentive!

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bodice covered in silk taffeta and you can just see the channel for the drawstring…

If you plan to use a more decorative fabric to border the neckline, do it now. Simply cut pieces of fabric and stitch carefully to the neckline.

You can now add any decoration or jewels. You can stitch them onto the decorative border or simply on the top fabric.

 

Lining: stitch the back pieces to the front piece in the same way as you did the top fabric.

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decorative velvet pieces stitched on

Pin the lining into the bodice, and stitch around the edges using a slip stitch – make sure the lining covers any stitches from applying the decoration. Do not stitch the lining to the bottom of the bodice, but pin it slightly up, out of the way.

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lining stitched inside

 

Work the eyelets at the back – use an awl and take care not to damage the fabric. Work the eyelets in linen or strong silk thread.

 The skirts

The skirts can be either even or trained. If you plan to wear your kirtle over a farthingale, make sure you measure for the kirtle on the farthingale – it will need to be longer! It is always a good idea to make the skirts voluminous and long enough to be worn on a farthingale – it is easier to make one that can be adaptable to both styles.

Cut out your pieces in top fabric and lining.   If you are using more decorative fabric on the front and hem of the skirts, you will need to piece them first. It is advisable to interline the front panel – especially if your fabrics are light.

Stitch the top fabric pieces together to form one layer. Leave a small opening at the back seam – or at the side seams if your bodice is side laced!

Do the same for lining, then insert the lining into the skirt and baste the layers together at the top.

Arrange the pleats, pinning them firmly in place and pin the skirt to the bodice. Try it on, wearing a farthingale if you plan to wear one.

 

Re- arrange the pleats if necessary. Take the kirtle off, place the skirts right side together to the bodice and sew. Alternatively it is possible to sew the skirt only to the boned interlining – then the top fabric can be couched on top – on option for those who like handstitching )

Be careful not to stitch the point at the front to the end – leave a small gap and finish it off later by hand, making sure the point is sharp and lies flat.

Fold the bodice lining over the seam and sew.

The bottom of the skirts can be either bound or unbound.

For unbound finish, simply fold the top fabric under and hem, and then attach the lining with a slip stitch.

For a bound finish, cut diagonal tapes of fabric or appropriate width – the binding or the guard, can be wider, as it protects the fabric of the skirt proper from damage and dirt. If the binding gets dirty and tattered in time, it can be removed and a new one sewn on.

Bind the skirts, carefully enclosing the edges – the process is discussed in more detail when we focus on the binding of the gown skirts.

 

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knife pleats of the skirts, attached to the bodice and additionally secured with top stitching.

Your kirtle is now ready.

Kirtle worn without the farthingale – this kirtle is entirely hand-stitched

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Kirtle worn on a farthingale, and below, others without farthingales

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The gown

Materials:

8-9m of top fabric:  silk damask, brocade, cloth of gold, tinsel, silk velvet, satin or taffeta are appropriate

The amount of fabric will depend on how wide your fabric is, how voluminous you want the skirts, how big the sleeves and how long a train, if any, you want your gown to have.

8-9m or calico for interlining

8-9m of lining (lower grade silk, taffeta, fur)

2-3 m of lining fabric for turn back sleeves, if you plan a more decorative finish – fur, velvet or different colour silk works well.

Fabric strips for binding the skirts

Reeds for boning the forepart

Silk and linen thread

Method

As always cut the bodice pieces in calico only first. Baste together and try them on the kirtle. Adjust if necessary.

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trying on a mock up in calico

Cut the bodice pieces in top fabric, interlining and lining. If you are working with slippery fabrics like silk velvet, it is a good idea to cut the interlining first and then the top fabric, pinning the interlining pieces to the left side of the velvet. If your fabric has a pattern, be careful to match it, if possible!

 

Pin or baste the top fabric and interlining together.

Start building your bodice from the back.

Place the two back pieces right sides together and sew. If  you are sewing by hand, backstitch works best – then fold  the seam allowance twice, hiding the edges, and couch them down to the interlining. Whether sewing by hand or by machine, press the seams carefully.

Repeat the steps for all the back and side pieces.

 

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top fabric and underlining

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hand stitching done, awaiting pressing

The pieces in the very front, the forebodies, can be cut in a cheaper fabric as they will be completely hidden by the placard. Work on them first, before attaching them to the rest of the bodice.

Cut them in lining, interlining and top fabric.

Pin the interlining to the top fabric.

Place the top fabric and lining right sides together and sew at the centre front line.

Turn out and sew the boning channels.

Fold the upper edges to the inside and stitch carefully.

Bone the forebodies, and work eyelets.

Attach the forebodies to the main bodice.

Fold the neckline edges in, and stitch using a silk or linen thread

Try the bodice on to make sure it fits correctly.

 Sleeves

Cut the sleeves in top fabric, lining and interlining.  You may have to piece the sleeve if you don’t have enough decorative fabric to cover the entire sleeve.

 

Top fabric and calico interlining

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Decorative sleeve lining, made out of 4 pieces.

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Baste or pin the top fabric and interlining together, fold and sew with right sides together.

Turn right side out, fold the hem and stitch, securing the edge.

Press the seams – for the curved seams use a tailoring ham.

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Pin the sleeve into the armhole and sew.

Tidy the edges and notch the seam – it will work better and the seam will lay correctly, without stretching the fabric too much.

Notched seam in the armhole

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A hand worked seam seen from outside

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Repeat the same steps for the lining, starting with the back and side pieces of the bodice and then inserting the sleeves.

Set the lining into the bodice, sewing with a slip stitch.

For an earlier style, you can bind the edges in contrasting fabric – it works especially well for the bodice with ties.

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Finish the sleeves as well – slipstitching the lining top the folded hems of the sleeves.

Your bodice is now ready. Do try it on the kirtle again, making sure that the waist line is in correct place and that the sleeves lie correctly.

A bodice of the gown over a kirtle in gold.

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The skirts

Making of the skirts is very similar to the kirtle skirts.

Cut the pieces in top fabric, interlining and lining.

Baste the interlining and top fabric pieces together, and sew – it is often easier to start with the back pieces.

Repeat for the lining.

Place the lining right sides together, on the top fabric. Pin at the top and sew.

Turn over and press the seams. Fold again, this time left sides together and press.

If necessary, sew with a running stitch at the edge, just to make sure the edge is firm and even.

At that stage, especially if you are using silk velvet, hang your skirts for a few hours, allowing the fabrics to stretch.

If you are finishing the skirts without binding, fold the top fabric and stitch it down.

Pin in the skirts on a dummy, on the farthingale, if you plan to use one and check if the hem is even, and pin the lining to the top fabric, making sure the lining is not too long and does not sag below the hem.

Fold the edge of the lining and slip stitch. It is actually easier to do that while the skirts are still on the dummy!

If you are binding the skirts, there is no need to hem the top layer.

Simply pin the three layers together at the bottom – again, working on the dummy makes it easier.

Take the skirts of and lay it on a flat surface. Tidy the edges.

 

Pin your binding fabric onto the skirts; the pins should go through all three layers.

 

Sew along the edge all around the skirt’s hem.

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Tidy the edges so that they are even.

 

 

Unfold the binding and press.

Bring the binding over the hem, fold it and pin, so that it completely encloses the edges.Image

Slipstitch with a matching thread.

Your hem is now bound!

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You can repeat the same steps on the front edges of the open skirts – here, since the line is straight and not curved as in the case of the trained skirt, the binding cut on the straight grain, not on the bias, works better.

All you need to do now is to pleat the skirts and attach them to the bodice.

You can use either box pleats or cartridge pleats, or combination of knife and cartridge pleats.

For box pleats, more suitable for the earlier gowns with closed front, simply arrange the pleats, pin together and sew together.

 

You can also stuff the pleats with woolen waddling, a technique described in The Queen’s Servants book.

It provided the back of the skirts with more volume, achieving the fashionable look depicted in the famous Holbain sketch.

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Alternatively, for open fronted gowns, a mixture of knife and cartridge pleats works better.   Arrange the front parts of the skirts into a few deep knife pleats, and leave the back section to be pleated into large cartridge pleats there.  Before stitching the pleats, try the pleated skirts on the dummy – with the farthingale, making sure that they fall gracefully.

Skirts with pinned pleats – the first knife pleats work better on farthingale if they are deep.

Place the bodice and pleated skirts right sides together, and whipstitch them together.Image

Back cartridge pleats whipped to the bodice – inside and outside view

 

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All that remains for the gown to be ready is a placard.

Cut the pieces in interlining (2 layers, light buckram works well, plus one layer of linen or calico if your top fabric is flimsy), lining and top fabric.

Place the two layers of interlining together and run a channel for a bone at the centre front. It always work well to run bigger channels  across the whole width of the placard as this will stiffen the fabrics even more , even if you do not place the boning inside.

Place the buckram layers on the left side of the fop fabric (with interlining if necessary).

Fold the top fabric edged down and stitch, securing it to the base.

Line the placard with the last piece.

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Finished placard with a decorative jewel

The placard will be pinned to the bodice using pins – a method evident from a few portraits from the era, the most famous one being the one of Jane Seymour, by Hans Holbein.

 

Pinning the bodice works well as it is possible to adapt the size of the gown with the lacing and removable placard – important for example in case of pregnancy. It is a painful and lengthy process however, often requiring the help of a maid, and many re-enactors and actors often resort to sewing one side of the placard to the bodice and pinning only one side.

Alternatively, it is possible to discard the pins altogether and used hooks and eyes – but that method obviously does not allow for size fluctuations!

The gown is now ready, but it still needs accessories.

  The false sleeves (foresleeves)

Fabric:

1m of top fabric, and lining

A piece of white linen for puffing-outs

Gems, ouches and other decorative items

Linen tapes or braid for attaching the sleeves to the gown.

There are excellent instructions on how to make the sleeves to be found online, again, curtsey of The Tudor Tailor.

here...

 

I used the very same method to create mine – with ouches and pearls

Attach the ties to the sleeves, and to the inside of the gown’s sleeves.

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For a complete look you will also need cuffs.  Cuffs can be a part of a smock, but can also be made separately so that they can be changed and washed separately from the smock. They were often embroidered with blackwork or redwork.

They can close with buttons, hooks and eyes or can just be pinned together. These were embroidered with black silks by Embroidery Emporium.

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Embroidered cuff, open

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Cuff pinned close

 

Girdle

 All you need is a length of fabric- taffeta, velvet or satin.

Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, right sides together, and sew.

Turn right sides out; secure the ends by folding them in and stitching.

You can tie a knot at the ends, sew tassels or hang a pomander.

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Add hose and shoes

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And a French or English hood and you are ready!

A gown in silk/linen brocade, worn on a farthingale, French hood. ( the whole outfit is entirely hand-stitched)

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Other gowns created using the same methods:

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Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard interpreters wearing French gowns, one in silk velvet, worn without a farthingale, the other is silk damask on a farthingale. Gable and French hoods. ( Black Knight Historical event)

 

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 The damask gown, side view, and the velvet gown side view below

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  Gown in cloth of silver, worn without a farthingale, and with a farthingale, below


 

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shamelessly flashing my layers – including a silk taffeta petticoat… love the woolen stockings from Sally Pointer btw…

Bibliography

 

Boucher, François. A History of Costume in the West, Thames & Hudson; Enlarged edition (23 Sep 1996)

Mikhaila, Ninya and Malcolm-Davies, Jane. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing sixteenth–century dress. London: Batsford, 2006.

Caroline Johnson,  The Queen’s servants, Fat Goose Press, 2011

Hayward, Maria. Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII. Leeds: Maney, 2007.

The Renaissance Tailor: recreating the 16th and 17th century clothing : http://www.renaissancetailor.com [Accessed 27/01/2012]

Elizabethan Costume Page, http://www.elizabethancostume.net/  [Accessed29/01/2012]

 

 

Useful links to suppliers mentioned in the post, or providing decoration/fabric etc  used in the creation of the gowns

The Tudor Tailor

Sally Pointer ( lovely stockings!)

Gina Barrett ( spectacular tassels)

Embroidery Emporium

 Pilgrim shoes

jewellery Gemmeus

and my own page for the costumes shown here…. Prior Attire