The Loose Gown

So Today, I decided to make a Loose Gown.    There are 2 patterns available for purchase, Margo Anderson and Reconstructing History

I've heard nothing but good things about the Margo's. I have her Elizabethan and Tudor patterns and could not be happier, however this time round I really don't want to spend the $30.00 on a pattern. That's the cost of 2 linen smocks!

I've not heard good things about Reconstructing History and personally, I have the jacket pattern and there is no help in the sewing side. The sleeves on the jacket do not fit without rework (at least for me). So take your pick.

Well, my dear MIL gave me the Comfort Pattern from Margo Anderson for Christmas. 

Suggested Fabrics:
Kirtle & Sleeves: medium weight silk or linen
Gown: silk velvet, plush, or brocade

Yardage Requirements:
outer material & lining " 4 yds (each) at least 45" wide
hem linings & facings 1½ yds (each) at least 45" wide
center panel 2 yds at least 45" wide

outer material (with nap) 8 yds at least 45" wide
outer material (without nap) 4 yds at least 45" wide
lining 4 yds at least 45" wide

outer material 2 yds at least 45" wide
lining 2 yds at least 45" wide
brocade decoration 2 yd at least 45" wide

The finished back length of the Kirtle and Loose Gown is 58". For every inch longer in finished length required, you will need an additional 1/8-yard of fabric.

Notions (optional):
Bias Tape: 3 yds at least 2" wide
Hem Binding: 4 yds (each) at least 2" wide
Sleeve Foundation: ½ yard buckram
Sleeve Ribbon: 1½ yds 1" wide ribbon
24 to 30 frogs or other closures
Cording and appliqué to taste



   Achetée to Venice originating in Spain made of oriental silk 1600,

  from the © Musée national de la Renaissance Château d'Ecouen 

  surcoat  Janet Arnold Pg. 111 Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620

Women, men and children wore these Loose Gowns.  Here is one that has the shoulder wing that mine will have.  These are made of smaller pieces but mine will be one piece.

gown    Janet Arnold Pg 98 Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620


kirtle loose  Janet Arnold Pg. 109 from Patterns of Fashion 1560 - 1620

So this late period combo of the surcoat and the kirtle are both loose fitting.  Probably made for women who were pregnant or just getting over one. Perfect for a women who has a very modern body and wants to do late period. 


Material:  I have 2 curtain panels that will work for the surcoat.  material  I've got some fustan that is a light beige and I'm going to dye it another color to go with this black & white fabric.

My daughter says she really likes the fabric, I think it a good choice.                           7-1-10

3-30-12  Well my daughter took the fabric curtains and is using them for their intended purpose.  I'll have to find some other fabric to make the Comfort Gown.

Materials:  I don't have too much of this cotton Jacquard fabric less than 3 yds @ 54" wide 

4yds @ 59" wide 100% linen

PHASE II - The Loose Kirtle

5-3-12  I went stash diving today and pulled up what I think will work for this outfit.


This is a cotton brocade which I picked up on sale somewhere as a remnant since I don't have much of it.

I'll be using Margo's Comfort Pattern so I don't have to do it myself.  I can but it will take longer and I'd like to do this by May 19th!  I know I'm crazy.


So today I'm tracing out the pattern.  Will probably make the loose kirtle a simple slip over the head rather than lace up the back.  Maybe a hook & eye at the top. So I can get my head through.  The neckline seems close and I need to wear a smock underneath.

kirtle pieces   I had enough fabric to cut the side pieces as well and still have enough left for the sleeves.  The back will be out of linen.

  All but the side seams are sewn.  What I'm doing here is trying to aline the interfacing so it is all even along all the pieces.  This is the inside of the gown...doesn't look half bad. and here is a photo of the 1st fitting. 

The neckline is high but seems to be OK for my neck. 

Bias Bindings, Seam Allowances and Hem are all that is left to do.

Man that seam bindings take forever to do. If I'd had the time, I'd make the binding myself as it was I used something from stash. Single Fold.



sleeve pattern  sleeve lining

So even though I thought the pattern too big, it works just fine.  Should know to trust Margo's Patterns

Cut the fabric for the sleeves I have only about 12" left of this fabric.  Cut the 2nd sleeve lining.  This silk fabric is from a bliaut given to me by my friend Iuletta who doesn't wear this style or didn't like this gown.  I couldn't let it go to waste (so another fabric from stash)

Got the sleeves done today all but the lacing holes.  I think I'll just add laces and loops   5-8-12

kirtle   Got some gold rings to use on the sleeves and then the hem.

There are still some SA that need to be done.  finished   Got it all finished            5-18-12   comfort gown   

Phase II - The Loose Gown or Surcote/Ropa
  It's Odd that the outer coat is called a gown but here you go. 
Materials:  4 Yds of Silk @ 53" wide Hardly any slubs and feels like taffeta.  Purchased at Fabrics R Us.   and a close up 
  I'll trace out the pattern and when making up the gown will use french seams as silk has a tenancy to fray badly.

I'm ready to cut the silk as the pattern copy is all ready.  I'm just at the minimum for the Gown.  I'll have to have a seam up the back which is not called for but I don't have enough fabric to do it on the fold and get the maximum yardage for the hem.

I think I cut one of the pattern pieces wrong as the armholes do not match up, but I can make the adjustment without difficulty.

8" x 53 and pieces are all I have left after cutting out the Gown. remants

     front of the Gown and Back of the Kirtle    

  I sewed up the back seam but I'm going to wait for the fabric to hang 24 hrs.

  Wow this is a big hem line!                                                                                                                          progress  

One side of the side gores are set in.      5-6-12

Got the front facings put on out of silk and attached some gold trim to the front.  I think I should make buttons for this for a closure.

gown  Put some trim on the collar and put it all together.  Don't know how to close it though.  Nothing for now.

Collar is attached 5-9-12  It was difficult to attach the straight collar to the curved opening of the neck.  loose gown collar      Next the Wings which I'm going to sew onto the shoulder

OMG!  It took me 4 tries to get one wing done right...not only that but I had to unpick each time because I don't have enough fabric to make extra.

It was worth it though.             5-9-12                                                          shoulder wings

      Only hems to do now and the lacing rings   5-16-12

Trim, hems are all finished today  5-17-12                                loose gown       comfort gown

Adjustments needed for Kirtle

The length is too long.  Adjust the length by 3" while still allowing a 2" hem. [ I miscalculated the length or the dress form shrunk, hem is only 1/4"]

The sleeve for my size is 25" and that is too long for my arms.  After sewing the sleeves together, I removed 3" from the length. 

Adjust the shoulders by at least an inch.  The sleeves pulled the shoulder fabric down and then the sleeves were again too long so I had to fold them back as seen below.


Adjustments needed for Gown


Cut the collar down by 1/2 inch, it's fits perfect!!

added some interfacing for the collar and the wings (need an extra lining for wings if interfacing)

I need to cut down the shoulders by at least an inch.


Mists Investiture and I have new duds!

Made a pearl necklace to wear as well.     5-19-12

So excited today, I had to take in my farthingale by an inch!


loose kirtle  Ready to go to the Event       smock & farthingale  Here are my under things

We didn't stay for long, but I did get several compliments on my gown!!

loose gown  I've lost a bit of weight since this photo will try to get an updated one and change out the ribbons to something smaller.


updated 5-18-12


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