Medieval dress attempts

I would love to have a fitted medieval dress for Alexandra. It was called cotehardie or kirtle and worn ca from 1330 to 1500 just as it was, or as an undergown with surcotte. Details of a cotehardie changed with time – small, big, round, boat or square neckline, lace up or buttons, loose or fitted sleeves, not counting material and embroidery development. My goal is to reproduce a cotehardie from cca 1375, a fitted dress with a wide skirt and lots of tiny buttons.

Spectaculum Humanae Salvationis, Hörder Heilsspiegel, ca. 1360

You can see tippets (long added “sleeves”) and kruselers (ruffled veils) on this illumination. Tippets were fashionable to ca 1350 for noblewomen and some time longer for townswomen. I am not sure about the tippets but will definitely make a kruseler for Sashenka.

This was the very first version, made of slightly stretchy kind-of-canvas fabric.

Medieval Alexandra

And second version, still without buttons.


For next attempts, I will have to refit the top of the dress and find a non-stretchy thin canvas fabric. The big challenge are the buttons – they will not be functional, I plan to use small metal beads. Sleeves and dress front will be probably fastened with tiny patents.


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