HSM: 1470’s Dress


One of the awesome things about the internet and Facebook is finding different groups of people who share some of your passions.  It makes me feel less of a dork for spending so much time on my weird hobbies when others do the same thing.

A group that I’ve been watching for at least a year is the Historical Sew Monthly.  If I remember correctly, this is the group where the Historical Food Fortnightly got its start.  The Historical Sew Monthly runs themed challenges every month to make clothing or accessories from a time period before 1938.

This year I have told myself that I’m going to stop procrastinating and saying I’ll do stuff later and instead, just do it.  So here is my first attempt at participating in the Historical Sew Monthly challenge.

This month’s challenge was procrastination.  So I decided to finally finish up an SCA dress I’ve been working on for ages.  I have been wanting to make this dress for at least a year, and I’ve had the pattern done for several months.  Once I finished up the bodice, it sat for a while longer.  Every time I got a step done, I put it aside and did something else.  The original due date for this dress was the beginning of December 2015.

I’m not happy with the way it turned out, like with most of my garb projects, so there aren’t too many pictures.  But I think I know where I went wrong for next time.

This dress was based off the Francesco del Cossa painting Cycle of the Months and the specific sections of the Allegory of March – Triumph of Minerva, and Allegory of April – Triumph of Venus.


The Challenge:  Procrastination

Material / Notions:  I used a medium weight linen for the sleeves.  The dress itself is a cotton/linen mix, if I remember correctly – I bought the fabric ages ago.  The lining is a heavy weight linen and the interlining is duck canvas.  I hand sewed the eyelets in front on either side of plastic boning but the sleeves are fastened with hooks and eyes.

Pattern:  No pattern, just draping with the help of a friend.

Year: 1470’s – 1480’s Italian

How historically accurate is it? I’d like to call this sort of accurate.  The fabric is a little off since it’s a cotton blend.  The hooks and eyes were used during this period – or at least I believe I’ve been told they have been used.  I can’t think of where I have seen that before.

Hours to complete:  Maybe ten?  From start to finish, about six months.

First worn:  Today.  I haven’t worn it to an event yet.

Total cost:  I bought the dress fabric on sale a long time ago and I don’t remember how much it was.  The sleeve fabric was left over from a different project, and the boning I had on hand.  I had to buy new hooks and eyes, and that was probably about $10 all together but now I have a bunch of extra hooks and eyes.

I keep hoping that I will grow to like this dress, but at the moment, I think that will be a while…

This entry was posted in Garb, Historical Sew Monthly, SCA, Sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

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