A 1470’s Flemish Dress

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A few years ago I made a Flemish tied cap in a class at an event and loved it! It fits well, covers my hair, can give a bit of shade, and looks very cute! But I never knew what to wear it with. So I finally made a short-sleeved Flemish gown to go with my cap. I’m hoping this will be a great spring and summer outfit that is comfortable but also looks great.

I also have been wanting to try a kirtle construction that has a waist seam but no gathering in the skirt. I have made a basic gothic-fitted-gown with no waist seam, and an Italian gown with a gathered skirt, so I wanted to see how this would turn out. There are some images that hint at a waist seam, however it is a bit hard to tell in most. They all have very full skirts and in some cases you can’t see the waist because they have the skirt tucked up and rolled over a belt.

I enjoy rectangular construction and I wanted to conserve as much fabric as I could. I decided to construct the skirt using semi-trapezoid pieces. The pieces have one side that is bias and one side that is straight. This way there is never bias to bias (since this would cause the seams to sag eventually).

An issue with these gowns is that most don’t show lacing in the front or on the sides, though there are some examples of both. This leads me to assume they are laced in the back, so this was what I went with. Usually I can get the dress on without undoing the lacing much anyways, and this dress has been easy to get on/off. Another method may be to use lacing rings that are essentially hidden when the gown is laced tight, so I might try this next time.

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The pieces for my gown look roughly like this:

Flemish Gown (1)
Pattern Pieces for Short-Sleeve Flemish Gown

This pattern is my GFG pattern with a waist seam stopping at natural waist. This gown is self supporting but I also wear my supportive garment under it, also based on my GFG: Supportive Undergarment for Garb. I used 10 panels for the skirt. For the under garment, I made a simple rectangular constructed shift with a v-neck line. I also plan on making a partlet and hood to go with it.

This dress has a lovely flare in the skirt without having to use gores. This gives it a very smooth silhouette all around. It is extremely comfortable and I think achieves the look of these garments in the paintings.

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