Project started June 3, 2005 - Dress Finished June, 2006
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Research and background

Running costs

Army green linen (4 m @ 50 kr) 200 kr
Black linen sewing thread 40 kr

Total: 240 kr
There are only a few details that makes this dress different from the plum wool GFD, and those are:
  1. Buttoned sleeves.
  2. No gores.
  3. Linen rather than wool.
  4. Only half lined, the bodice being flatlined for stability.
The similarities are of course: It is a dress in the style of around 1410, fitted, laced in the front with a wide boat neckline.


The largest variation was using the pattern I fitted to myself for the plum wool gown, and flaring the sides of it out to incorporate gores directly into the dress. Thus, my dress needs only four panels, two front and two back panels, plus sleeves, and I was able to cut this out of 310 cm of fabric with very little waste.


I had a bit of a false start, when I stitched up the back seam using polyester thread, and the sleeves using the same. But a bit of friendly taunting, the suggestion that I was too chicken to do buttons on my sleeves, had me starting over again.

I ripped the seams I had already done, cut out an interlining layer out of the remaining cut of yellow linen from the plum gown so I could flatline the upper body of the dress. All three construction seams of the dress are flat felled. Backstitch through the lined areas and running stitch with the occasional backstitch down into the skirts. I used black linen thread that I bought from a friend who had some to spare. There is nothing that quite measures up to the experience of sewing using waxed linen thread. The sleeves were also finished as much as could be done without buttons and I stitched them into the armscyes.

The front opening was finished off to either side, as well as the neckline, and I measured where I wanted the eyelets to end and went ahead and overcast them all using silk sewing thread. I only finished a few of them nealty with buttonhole floss. Then I whipped the rest of the front seam together from the end of lacing down to the floor, and tried it on. Since I had been quite careful about cutting the panels out, I could also see that the hemline was falling evenly and did a simple double-turned up hem all around.

The project fell into obscurity for a while then, until Christmas time when I invited a friend to our annual feast and she needed something to wear. The gothic army dress was finished off, hemmed, neckline done, and eyelets useable - the only thing missing were buttons for the sleeves. Not to worry, I just whipstitched the sleeves together and turned the extra length in on itself and it was perfectly acceptable for use.

After christmas then, in the beginning of 2006 I cut out a multitude (16+16) circles out of the scraps of green linen and I made cloth buttons for all I was worth. Of course, while the buttons were nearly finished they were not attached to the dress and no buttonhole were done when I attended Nordmark University II with the sleeves stitched together like the cheat I am.

The Result

Gothic Army DressOf course, getting the buttons stitched to the sleeves (at 1.5 cm intervals) took no time at all, and looked rather nice. It then took me three months to do the 32 buttonholes to match. At the time of writing (January 2007) they are not all stitched with buttonhole stitch, rather most of them are overcast with silk sewing thread. But with the buttons being so close together and flattened, nobody will ever see that particular cheat.

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