23 March 2010

Taymouth Hours gown

Taymouth hours gown
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
I first saw this particular illustration from the Taymouth Hours (ca. 1325-1350) a couple years ago, and I've wanted a dress in this style ever since. It's a woman, hunting a rabbit, and the dress she wears seems like it'd be very practical for shooting in the cooler parts of the year. It's short enough to not to get muddy, leaves the arms relatively free, and can be quite warm depending on materials. Mine is a somewhat light wool herringbone, fully lined with a moderately fulled wool flannel. (The originals probably would have been fur-lined, based both on artwork and written accounts, but that's above and beyond what I wanted to do in terms of work.) It's only slightly fitted, and pulls on over the head, so there's no laces or closures to be hidden. In the picture, I'm wearing it over my Moy gown recreation, which is a comfortable combination. (Please excuse the askew veil - that's the peril of forgetting to check a mirror!)

The cut of the outer fabric is quite sparing, just 2 yards of 60 inch fabric. The front and back main body panels were about 4 feet, and fit side by side, with the last 2 feet for side gores and sleeves. The lining actually required quite a bit more fabric, probably 3+ yards, for two reasons. First, after fulling the flannel it was no longer wide enough for two body panels, so those required separate lengths. Second, the turn back is fairly deep, so that had to be longer, plus it and the sleeves required a second interlining layer of the white flannel to be opaque over such a dark background.


Cathy Raymond said...

It looks great!

I noticed that the white bottom border on the Taymouth illumination you based your gown on is subtly scalloped on top, while yours is not. Was that also to avoid extra work?

Catrijn vanden Westhende said...

Yes, mostly to simplify the project. I put this all together in about two weeks (which is very quick for me), and I couldn't figure out a way to get a neat finish on a shaped edge in that timeframe. Based on my understanding of this period, although the scalloping is a nice detail, it's likely to be the sort of finish that's optional rather than de rigeur (although I can't point to anything specific to back that up), so I don't feel too bad about leaving it out.

Catrijn vanden Westhende said...

Sorry, make that about one week, not two!

Joan Kew said...

May I ask how wide the dark colour of your dress is, at the bottom? I am wondering how much 36"-wide fabric might be required.

It's lovely!

Thank you.

Catrijn vanden Westhende said...

Joan: total hem circumference is about 100 inches. (2 30 inch main panels, 4 gores at about 10 inches each in this case, although different piecing will be more practical for you.)