At first, when one of my BFFs Sarah said she was having her birthday party at Castello di Amoroso & asking people to come in medieval costume, I figured, whatever, I’ll wear some of my usual 16th-century garb. It’s what I like, she wouldn’t mind, & it would fit in at the 14th-century-style Italian castle winery. But then, the weekend before the event, I got a wild hair to make a new gown, specifically a gothic fitted dress.
I had a headstart because, two years ago at Costume College, I had taken a workshop lead by Mistress Mathilde Bourette in the SCA who showed us how to mockup & pattern a 14th-century gothic fitted dress. So on Friday night, I dug out the mockup & drew a pattern from it to make sure it still fit. Saturday morning, I started cutting out the linen lining & damask (shhh, it’s poly but soooo gothy!) fashion fabric. I managed to sew everything but the sleeves by the end of day one.
My fantastic, still new sewing machine made the project go smoothly, & I even made the eyelets for front lacing by machine. The only thing I needed to do by hand was the tips of the center back & center front gores. I let the gown hang overnight, then worked on the sleeves on Sunday morning. I used some Arwen/Eowyn sleeves from an old Simplicity pattern, modified a little bit. I’d hunted around to see if I had something splashy to line the big sleeves with, but alas, no, so more black linen. All black on black. A gothic fitted dress in gothic colors.
The hem was a bit tricky to mark on myself, but I measured carefully all around & it turned out even. I did machine-sew that sucker, because, again, not enough time, & this was not meant to be a terribly historically accurate project. I ended up hand-sewing the neckline, turning it under & facing with a bit of silk ribbon. But that was it, done before midnight on Sunday!
I already had a ton of uber-goth accessories, some of which had just been sitting around in my closet, dying for a dress like this. It was so comfortable & fun to wear. Even though it’s much earlier than my usual SCA period, I’m sure I’ll wear this one again!
Here’s my few photos from the day, friends traipsing around the castle & enjoying the party, on Flickr.