Monday, June 21, 2010

Golden Cotehardie

I entered this dress for my first A&S competition. This dress is made with Duipioni gold silk was a lesser more affordable silk for those imitating the costly courtly fashions. I lined this piece in cotton (which I later found was a mistake!) I learned that cotton was VERY costly during this period and only the very rich ever had access to it because of the size of it's fibers. Cotton, as a fiber, is quite short, and so it does not make a very strong warp. The warp, of course, is the part of the textile that is strung on the loom, and the weft is what is woven into it. Linen, on the other hand, is a very long, and therefore strong, fiber, and makes a very good warp.(A good discussion on this topic is found here:

Anyway, the highlight of my dress is the buttons and buttonholes! There are 54 handmade buttons and 54 hand-stitched buttonholes down the front of the dress, which I fashioned after reading "Textiles and Clothing, c.1150-1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London), by Elisabeth Crowfoot, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland (Author).

I must say! Pick up this book! It is an invaluable resource for any re-creationist! Here is samples of the images found in this book, and my own buttons I created. I added an extra step when I created my own buttonholes turning them inside a second time.

This dress turned out beautifully, however I do need to work on the fitting. I used the princess line pattern for this dress, and therefore it was difficult to pattern close to my body. After creating this dress I did more research and found a method of paneling, using four panels, that creates a personal block fitting to the body. But definitely a wonderful experience!

-Ysabel la Broderesse

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