Monday, November 22, 2010

Malachi's Yellow Wool Medieval Gown

Yesterday afternoon was our first participation event with the Barony of Illiton. I just barely got our basic clothes finished in time. Actually, I still have quite a lot left to sew for us but at least we all had a basic garment to wear. I will never attempt to make a kirtle, two little-boy size tunics and a baby gown all in one week, ever again. It was a lot of work and the last few days incredibly stressful since I didn't think I'd get everything done in time.

I brought my camera to the event but due to the wild behaviour of our children, and my resulting disappearance from the audience to sweep the unruly boys outside, I did not get any pictures. At all. Much to my dismay, because there were some really lovely clothing examples there. I was so inspired by everyone and am sooooo excited about being a part of this awesome group of people.

Some of you may remember the diagram of a childs dress I posted about a few weeks ago. I fell in love with the style when I saw it so I was excited to try it for Malachi. It is an easy style to adapt to specific measurements and Malachi's dress ended up taking me only four hours to make, including a lot of handsewing. The wool is a yellow-tan color and is lightly twilled and a bit on the fuzzy side. In these pictures it looks a bit darker than it really is since I had to wash the gown this morning and it is still currently quite damp. Malachi decided to dunk a chicken leg in some beef stew and press it fondly against his heart yesterday, leaving quite a horrid pinkish-brown spot down the front of the dress! Thankfully the stain came out after two washings!

I absolutely love how clever 14th century cutting and piecing techniques are! Malachi wears a size 2/3 and this dress, being full length, took just under a yard of 60" wide wool.

I cut it large, so hopefully it will fit him for a while. It is unlined and the neck is faced with a straight grain strip of lightweight linen.

He looked quite adorable, if I do say so myself. ;) Unfortunately, he is learning how to use his cuteness to advantage in order to attempt to decieve and emotionally control other people. Sigh.

Here is me and my baby boy. I am pretty happy with how my kirtle came out, although I think I may have to take it in a little under the bust since it seemed to stretch a bit as I wore it. I will hopefully have pictures of it later this week, as David will have some time off for Thanksgiving and will be able to help me take some photos. I think I'm hooked on medieval style clothing!

Have a wonderful start to your week, dear ones!


  1. You look great! Sorry you didn't get any pictures.

  2. You both look fantastic! I love the simple in their lines.

  3. Hey, lurker here. Did you finish the seams in any way?

  4. You have to be some of the most well dressed newbies to an era I've ever seen! Looking forward to more pictures later :)

  5. Lauren, I think another member of our group has posted photos of the event on FB, and if the link is public I can post it here.

    feebeeglee, I did finish all the seams except the armhole seams, with a run and fell seam. I pressed all the seams to one side and tucked under the raw edgs and handsewed it down to prevent fraying and to add sturdiness. I think for this springy wool though, turning under the raw edge was not necessary and added a lot of bulk. For David and Judah's tunics, I pressed all seams to one side and because the fabric I used (a tight worsted wool) did not fray much, I just used a running stitch to hold the seams down instead. It was a lot flatter, and looked better. And held up fine through washing! (David vomited on his tunic while we were eating so I had to totally wash it later).

  6. Sarah, all your projects look wonderful! i am always impressed by how much sewing you can get done with small ones underfoot, dear as they may be! I love to see how big Malachi is getting! We were both posting alot on SandS forum while were were finishing our pregnancies, so he and my Hadassah are nearly the same age--she being born Feb 6. I love seeing all the delights you are creating! cheers, kat menard

  7. We are going to a New Years Ball and our whole family will be in this century of clothing. I couldn't find anything for my little 20 month old until we saw this on your blog. We are making him one. I don't know what to do for the little hat though.

    I and my dd are members of SandS with case you are wondering. LOL!

  8. Mama Ant, it is great to hear from you! I have met so many many wonderful ladies from the S&S board. Definitely a group of kindred spirits.

    For the coif, I used a 2 piece diagram from the book The Medieval Tailors Assistant. I had to play around with the shape to get it to fit Malachi and even so, it does not fit him exactly as it ought and tends to slip off his head. I don't know if 3 piece coifs were used in this period but based on experience with Malachi wearing a 3 piece cap (a center part and two sides) it does fit and stay on much better than the two piece cap. The 3 piece construction conforms to the shape of the head much better. I have a diagram/pattern posted for a 3 piece cap on my pattern blog; the 2 piece cap is even simpler but the fitting a bit tricky. . .

  9. Hi Sara
    I am from Madrid and we are going to make a medieval event in september. I can´t access to the link "diagram of a childs dress"Is possible you sent it to me by email? Really much appreciate. I promise to sent you the photos. Have a nice day


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!