sleeveless gown

These are some paintings I found on the imareal database showing women wearing a kind of sleeveless gown:

birth of Marys birth of Mary Predigt des Hl. Johannes Kapistran

sleeveless gowns

The gown looks rather well fitted on the upper body and widens below the waist. Beneath these gowns an expensive (the pictures suggest brocade or velvet cloth), fitted dress with tight, long leeves appears to have been commonly worn. The gowns in these pictures all seem to be lined or trimmed with white fur. But as I might have to wash the dress once in a while, fur would be quite impractical. And as an alternative to fur - velvet trimming on dresses seems to have been used as well:

Beschneidung Christi Heimsuchung Mariens

fur or velvet?

Check the picture on the left: Green fur makes not much sense so that means it could be fabric. On the right picture the decoration on the sleeve seems to look rather velvety and not very furry. But of course maybe this is only the shortcoming of the painter... Still, I think I might just settle for velvet.

November 30, 2009: I have finally started working on that dress again. Making the pattern for the dress was rather straightforward: I've used my standard block for the upper body, letting the dress gain fullness below the hips. To get a wide hem I added four wedge-shaped 'geren' at hip-height (picture 1). I've picked a golden brown silk I had lying around for ages for the lining (picture 2). The woolen pieces are now all sewn together and I'm quite happy with the fullness of the skirt (picture 3). I plan to lace the dress on both sides, as the artwork suggests a rather close fit of the upper bodice, but no visible lacing on the front. The side of the dresses is more or less hidden in all cases, so there could theoreticallly be some lacing there that is just not visible. I'm using strong linen to strengthen the fabric around the eyeholes (picture 4). Next thing to do is neaten the seams and finish the lining.

green dress green dress green dress green dress

pattern for the sleeveless gown

January 03, 2010: During my Christmas holidays I did some work on my green sleeveless gown, as I want it to be ready to wear by the end of January. I have now completed the silk lining, neatened the seams of the woolen outer fabric (picture 1) and sewn the lining to the wool (picture 2) - except for the hem of the dress which I still need to shorten to the appropriate lenght. Yesterday, I've even started sewing the eyeholes (picture 2) - 21 done by now - 27 still in need of doing... As well, I've ordered silk thread for the laces from Devere Yarns of a green and gold-brown colour that matches the colours of the dress rather well (picture 4).

green dress green dress green dress green dress

sewing the sleeveless gown

January 26, 2010: I tried to finish the dress for the Wintertage and I almost succeeded :-) It now misses only one lace (I used an untidy one which I unsucessfully tried fingerlooping by myself - for these long laces I need the help of another person...) and the velvet trimming at the hem. I've kept the skirt a bit longer than ground level (we'll see whether that was such good idea when using white velvet trim once it gets worn on out of doors events). I want to add pictures of some details soon.

sleeveless gown sleeveless gown me and Karsten

the almost finished sleeveless gown

April 02, 2010: I've added the velvet trim to the hem a while ago, but had not managed to take any pictures... I took advantage of the Easter holidays to resolve that :-) So, here are some pictures of the finished gown (worn over the new short sleeved working dress with Grande Assiette tailoring):

detail of the lacing sleeveless gown sleeveless gown
sleeveless gown sleeveless gown sleeveless gown

the finished gown