31 December 2014

Gold Swiss/German Linen Kirtle

Bryn Gwlad's Candlemas event is a sight to behold.  It's just about my favorite event of the year.  It's primarily an indoor event, chock full of classes, A&S, music, and dancing.  The hall always looks amazing, the feast is lit by candlelight only, and heralds announce each course as a coordinated fleet of servers delivers food to the people who aren't up participating in the ball taking place at the front of the hall before the high tables...to live music.  *happy sigh*

It's also usually a themed event.  This year the theme is Landsknecht, on the road to war (Gulf Wars, in March).  Landsknecht dress, or at least German-styled clothing in general, is encouraged (but not mandatory).  Though I've sworn for five years that I'll never "go German," here is my first one, to wear during the day at the event.

It's based on the following two works by Diebold Schilling the Elder (Swiss, 1445-1485), and a couple of recreations I've seen online that I really love:

unknown, Schilling

Barbara Erlach and daughters,

In Nova Corpora

Sew Mill


The pattern is based on my usual cotehardie pattern.  It's rectangular construction with inset gores, and only the neckline and sleeves have been altered. (The sleeves are short because I'll be wearing a pair of over-sleeves with the dress for part of the day and working with my hands for most of the rest of it; they're cut as modern sleeves with the seam under the arm instead of behind it, which I did for speed as much as for the slightly baggier look they give to the shoulders).   I would really have liked a fuller, longer skirt; but I only had so much fabric to work with. 

The bodice of the dress is flat-lined in white linen; though it is also turned at the neckline/front opening.  The sleeves and skirt are unlined.  I wanted as few layers as possible for this outfit, since a hall full of people dancing, gaming, and milling about gets pretty hot;  I'll be working most of the day, attending dance classes, and wearing braies and a smock underneath this dress as well.  I'd rather not die of heat stroke before lunch.

A close-up of the front lacing after completion, during a test fit.

The lace is a silk twill tape from a stash of vintage notions I received from a friend several months ago.

There are no hooks or loops or holes for the lacing; rather, a thin, double-fold cotton bias tape is attached inside the edge of the front opening. The bias tape was attached with  line of decorative chevron stitches (machined) that run down the entire front opening edge, with gaps in the stitching to form loops in the bias tape through which the twill tape is threaded.

I was originally going to close the vertical slit with buttons or a hook; but I didn't have anything in my stash that wouldn't interfere with the belt I was going to wear with the dress.

(Sorry, the stitching looks horrible from the inside.  On the outside it's nice and even, and practically invisible on the gold linen).

With my newest Caerleon sleeves...which I made like a year ago and never posted to the blog. But I kinda love them.  :)



  1. Wow, stunning sleeves! Please give them a blog post of their own!

  2. Just posted them; and thanks!


Hooray, comments! Be nice to each other, and to me. Or I shall boot your ass and then mail you a dead fish. :D