Medieval Style Gown

August 2009 – July 2011

A medieval style gown in forest green silk noil. It’s a princess seam dress using Butterick’s pattern #4827 as a base. It was intentionally made a bit less historical and more fantastical, largely through the styling and silhouette.
The alterations I made were basic, though numerous. It was easy to move the gown’s opening to center front since the pattern’s center front and center back were basically straight seams. The underarm seamline was raised and the sleeves were replaced with the Tudor Tailor‘s two-part curved waistcoat sleeves (page 85). I reshaped the neckline to a shallower bateau cut. To widen the skirt hem, extra width was added along each princess seam, from the waist down. In order to fit the pattern onto my yardage, the center back skirt was sliced off and turned into a gore. The dress has spiral-laced closing. The tippets were an addition: they are long rectangles sewn directly to the back of the upper arm. With just a few more tweaks, I think this modified pattern could work for a historically-styled princess seam gown.

Bug on voile
Back skirt gore
Princess seams
Jean Fouquet, 1450: Madonna and Child
Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium

The entire dress is underlined in cotton voile. And if you’ve ever wondered what voile looks like very close-up, this bug landed right on my fabric. He stayed long enough for Aaron to get out the macro lens. Bias facings of cotton chambray finish the neckline and hem. A few bands of gold trim decorate the dress.
In these photos the dress is worn over my Victorian cancan corset and Edwardian yoke petticoat. The matching belt pins closed. Pointy-toe flats from the thrift store were painted with gold acrylic paint. The wonderful crown is from Pewter Replicas, a Fleur de Ley circlet.