View Full Version : Re-making my 14th century dress...need opinions on what overgown to pick.

07-25-2011, 12:13 AM
As you may recall, I pulled off this embroidered, jewelled monstrosity based off of 14th century French fashion last year- http://www.cosplay.com/costume/273272/
And while I love it to pieces, the dress needs a do-over. It wasn't accurate to begin with, and the girdle book is starting to leave snagged fabric on the waist from where it sits on the belt.
So, I need a new and better kirtle and overgown, BUT I have no idea what I should make.
Personally I'd actually go for a bliaut, but I'm a century off for that. The skirt and waist are pretty much going to all fit the same thanks to the kirtle, so my main concern is the sleeves. Personally I LOVE gigantic sleeves (hence, bliaut love), but under my heavy cloak, I don't know if they'd just be an impediment.
So I can't decide if I should replace this dress- http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2382601/ http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2593169/

...With a gorgeous but inaccurate bliaut- http://medievalweddingdresses.ideasforweddings.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/28.jpg
Or a sideless surcote- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Luttrell1_detail_woman.jpg
Or a cote-hardie- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Romance_of_alexander.jpg (If I do that, I probably won't leave the sleeves as just little tippets)
Or just wear a regular kirtle under the cloak.
Suggestions/opinions are much appreciated. Also, they'll be MUCH more elaborately embellished/cut than the photos/paintings show. That's generally just a basis for the cut/style I'm going for.

OH, and I forgot to add, this is largely a cold-weather costume. Heat isn't really a problem. In fact, it being warm is preferred.

09-17-2011, 03:42 AM
I would myself chose the cote-hardie. Mostly for the fact that the sleeves wouldn't be that much in the way, and it was a style that was used over whole Europe at the time (as I'm mostly used to the Nordic fashion). I've seen picture from that time with wider sleeve tippets in that style, but I can't remember where at the moment.

And if you don't want to freeze. I recommend you sew the dress in a thin wool fabric, not to mention that wool is one of the easiest fabric to sew in. My own dress (http://www.cosplay.com/costume/326718/) is in wool and I've never frozen even thou I've been standing still for hours on a middle age fair in pouring rain.

09-17-2011, 08:34 AM
I'm also partial to the cote-hardie, for the same reasons DcastEye mentioned. Also seconding wool, especially if its for a cool weather event.

09-17-2011, 10:41 AM
Oh, thanks, I never thought I'd get responses... yes, I do think I'll end up with a cote-hardie with sleeves bigger than just tippets. Wool, I MIGHT be able to do for the top. Only problem is that it'll be heavily embellished (and I know with some woolens, they're hard to bead&embroider on, but I guess a lightweight one wouldn't be?), and I'm quite sensitive to wool on my skin, so if the kirtle doesn't cover up enough underneath, it won't be pleasant. I was originally leaning toward a short-piled velvety sort of material, but the right weave of wool or wool blend could do it. (Though the kirtle, yeah, that'll be linen or a cotton or such. And it's also getting embroidered...)

09-17-2011, 12:41 PM
I know some people have theirs wool dresses and items lined with linen or something similar. It is more work but it also helps making the clothing more stable and sustainable. You can always tie a small piece of the fabric around your wrist, too check how you react.

I've never heard of wool being difficult to embroider. I guess it depend from fabric to fabric.

09-17-2011, 10:16 PM
Yeah, I guess an actually woven wool wouldnt be hard to work with. I'm used to seeing wool when it's either knitted or boiled or REALLY thick, so not really easy to decorate. I'll certainly keep the fabric in mind. My ideal choice is something fairly velvety/lustrous, but now that I think about my fur-lined cloak, that probably wouldnt fit together very well. Can you get wool fabrics in nice brocade weaves?(nothing fancy, but some extra texture on it and the kirtle fabric would be really nice)

09-18-2011, 01:37 AM
I guess you could find if you look for it. The fabric market in Sweden isn't that big so we don't have that much different fabric types. It's mostly stamped wool or regular weaves, sometimes in tartan or dogtooth.

But I think that there should be some brocades out there since it was an common fabric back in the days.