Merchant Class Outfit, 1400

Soon my friends will be putting together a display for an early 15th century Tailorshop, and my husband and I are helping.  My usual late 16th century Italian clothing just won’t do at all.  Time for new outfits!

We are aiming for 1390-1410 so I started gathering images from that time (yay Pinterest!), and quickly started seeing things I wanted to implement.  Things I might like to have:

  • An over and under gown, not counting the shift.  Long sleeved undergowns peaking out from 3/4th length over sleeves seems pretty popular

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

  • Or I could do little dags on the larger styles of over sleeves.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

  • A wide neckline.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

  • Buttons down the entire front of the over gown.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

  • A red bead necklace, probably coral.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

  • A short hood, maybe with a long dagged lirepipe.

hoods

  • Maybe a patterned fabric, or stamped.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

 

I started with my pink sleeveless kirtle as a pattern base.  I have long since lost the original pattern pieces, but it’s easy enough to trace the bodice area to get the approximate size and shape.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

The dagged sleeves were fun!  I meant to have a more rounded set of points, instead of the even zig-zags, but didn’t exaggerate the rounded part when sewing enough.  That’s ok, the zig-zags are cute too :D
Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

The sleeves make for an attractive hat!

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

I was at a friend’s house, pinning the sleeve and armscye together when the resident kitten visited.  I think he particularly liked the rustle of the silk skirt lining.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have it done in time to wear to the Tailor Shop demo as intended, but I could still sew on it while there, and talk to passersby about the dress style, fabric choices, and techniques used.  Also, I am digging the nonchalant way this woman wears her hood.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

The dress ended up quite a bit too big!  I tried it on at the end of the day at June Faire, and was swimming in it!  I took in the front and back seams and tried it on again at home.  Less big, but still getting too much wrinkling around the bust, and the waist is much too loose.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

Even after taking in the front and back seams, it’s still too big!

I took in the side seams this time, and a little more out of the bust in the front, and some in the lower section of the back.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

Mmmm, close up…

This blue dress was not meant to be self supporting, since I have plenty of under dresses to do that job.  You can see the pretty pink undergown peeking through here before I tightened the lacing.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

 

The torso is looking much better now!  It could still have some excess removed, but it’s plenty good enough for now!

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

 

I love how ridiculously full this skirt is!  It’s a bit over long at the moment because I intend to add a pleat/ruffle to the bottom, but really I could just leave it like this for the pretty ‘fabric puddled at my feet’ look.  Not the most practical, but apparently period.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

The red sleeves were a speedy creation started the night before, and finished the morning of this event.  They need to be redone with cute button closures, but the trial run worked pretty well.

Morgan Donner 1390's to 1410 clothing dress diary on MorganDonner.com

I’d love to make a red underdress sometime, to match the red sleeves.

I bet I could get the circle skirt effect if I did a spin in this.  Must try next time I wear it :D

morgandonner overgown blue

I am very pleased with how this has turned out so far, although I’d love to see how it looks after I make a few more changes.  Hopefully I will wear this indoors next time, and get a bit less nature all over the hem. :p

Posted in Clothes, Pre-1600's Tagged with: , ,
5 comments on “Merchant Class Outfit, 1400
  1. Leslie Thaggard says:

    Wow – beautiful – could I be on your list please

  2. nancy says:

    Lovely. What are you using to lace, and how do you reinforce the lacing holes?

  3. Minna Nilsson says:

    Wow, so I found this pin of the lacing a couple of months ago and really liked it but never clicked on the link… but today I found a pin of the whole dress and wow! Did I say WOW? This northern Italian 1390-1410 is my main period and even if not all of you manuscript sources linked here is from that time and place, the result is smashing and close to what you see in the manuscripts. I’m in awe (if that hasn’t gone through yet!) of the dress and it makes me wanna do more upper class stuff again (“no, Minna, do not do that, you will do lower class stuff next!”).

    Do you know how big the skirt is around the bottom? 4 meters? I would also LOVE to see what kind of supportive gear you have underneath.

    Take care, please continue do this awesome stuff and have a nice day!
    Minna // Ylffwa Urwader

  4. Paula says:

    I love the dress, I love how you look in it, I love that you share your work.

    Regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina

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