Diary Started April 24th 2005 - Dress finished May 4th 2005
On this page:
The result - Go on to the picture page (warning, large images, may take a while to load) to see various pictures of the finished outfit.

Research and background

Running costs

Linen from stash (6.5 metres @ ~35 kr) 227.50 kr
Trim 4 metres (3 metres @ 15kr) 45 kr
Satin lace (1.5 metres @ 5kr) 7.50 kr
Eyelet tape (2 metres @ 43kr) 86 kr
Total: 366 kr
Wanting to have something easy to wear and sturdy enough to take some beating for Double Wars 2005 I decided I needed a doublet bodice kirtle. The pattern stolen from the Brown Doublet project and the working class tudor, this is a simple, linen dress.

To be frank, this was a project started for a few very simple reasons: project burn out (re: the GFD), sheepage (two of the local sewing circle ladies were making simple 16th Century field-garb and I wanted some too) and the thought that I had some six metres of ugly, but passable blue linen in my stash.

I am almost changed in my opinion on the third, the linen is very coarse, but for a lower class style dress that will stand up for some abuse it will be perfectly adequate. The research used to make the pattern I had already done in relation to the Brown Test Doublet so I simply stole that pattern along with my petticoat layout.


The bodice pattern pieces
The skirt pattern pieces<
April 24 - Making this dress went fairly quickly, and I did not bother with a diary to begin with, but I did take pictures and put them in a gallery. The doublet was patterned on the Arnold doublet (PoF 43 pages 106-108) and I had that already drafted, so using that cut out my bodice pieces out of double layers of my linen, one layer for shell, and another for lining as I decided it will be self-lined. The skirt pieces were cut according to my petticoat pattern, extended to fit the width of my fabric. This produces a flared skirt with a hem of just over three metres, for my fabric at 150 cm wide. In the picture the front piece is to the left, and there you can see a discrepancy between centre front and side-seam length - I had not quite enough fabric for the full length of my pattern, but since the pattern is drafted to go over a farthingale, this will not matter.

The bodice mounted to interlining Next step was to put the bodice together. I cut out the pattern, sans seam allowance, in my hideous interlining fabric, and mounted my linen to that. I fouled up a little in that I mounted the two front panels the same way, so I had two left sides, but since I am bag-lining with self-fabric this did not matter. Debating whether I wanted to cheat, or forego the aggravation of wrestling with sewing machine I decided to go ahead and finish the bodice the rest of the way by hand as well. It all went smashingly, and I turned it all inside out, pressed seams and neatly finished the lower edge which I had left open for the turning. I also cut out and attached a couple of collar-pieces, same method as the main bodice, with interlining, two layers of linen and turning it inside out.

The bodice finished, minus shoulder-treatment and trim Then I turned my attention to decoration - purchasing 4 metres of trim (for which the clerk charged me for three metres) I played around with the placement of it and arrived at a suitable look, seen to the right.

At the sewing circle yesterday I then used a sewing machine, zoomed through assembling the skirt, zig-zagged all raw ends on the inside and have pinned it to the bodice. The plan is to have this outfit finished for Double Wars which I am leaving for on the 30th, and I might just achieve it. Left to do is:

April 26: Cheating - Well, I went ahead and bought the eyelet tape for a quick and dirty means of lacing the doublet bodice shut. I got enough so that I will be able to mount a strip at the armscyes as well for lacing in sleeves. At the same time I got satin tape for lacing the front shut. Quick and easy. However, if I had been thinking I would have gotten quite a bit more to cut off for permanent placement inside the doublet for lacing in the sleeves. As it is now, I am not sure I have anything suitable for this purpose.

The Result

The dress finished, from the front The dress finished, from the side May 10: First wearing - I managed to finish the gown in time for the event, it was quite a wearable dress in the end. Comfortable, if I sat up properly and did not try to crane my neck downward as that made me choke a little on the tight collar. While not overly tight, it is closer to the throat than I have been used to. With the sleeves I made last August (for wearing with the Tudor working class dress) it was also quite warm enough. I did need to borrow a shirt to wear underneath it, but I have the linen and plans for making myself a shirt. The side-on shot of me in the dress shows the borrowed hat as well, which makes it look a bit more thought through.

After finishing this dress for the event, I went back and opened up the skirt in front, making it hang better, and look prettier. For better and more updated pictures of me wearing this outfit, check out the picture page.

Photo Gallery

For images I may not have linked in the diary, close-ups and overviews et cetera please have a look at the photo gallery.

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