The under dress is of pale lavender linen with long tight fitting sleeves.
The over dress is of blue cotton. The neck facing and band at the sleeve seams are rose silk with embroidery. Embroidery is also along the sleeves which are loose and expand to a wide opening at the wrist. They are also lined with rose colored silk.
Hair is tied in long braids and crossed over the top of the head.
The head covering consists of a white triangular scarf, wimple and an oval veil.
Shoes, called poulaines, are pointed and shaped to the foot, distinguishing right from left. They are fastened by lacings. Wooden pattens are worn when outside.
Accessories other than a wrapped tablet woven belt were uncommon. In accordance with English styles, this ensemble doesn't have a belt.
Jewelry could consist of brooches at the neckline. Rings, earrings, jeweled girdles, and bracelets were common. Headbands and circlets were also worn.
When William of Normandy, known as the "Bastard", conquered England, he brought not only a new leadership group but also a new style of dress to the country. The Norman "look" is one of long, thin lines. It was during this time that excessive length in clothing was popular. The longer the dress, sleeves, veil, etc, the wealthier a person was.
Chemise sleeves were the only part of the garment that was visible. The sleeves were very tight and so exceptionally long that they could hang over the hand. The gown was tightly laced at the back or on the sides. Although the skirt was full, hanging in heavy folds from the hip, it was not joined separately to the bodice. The neck was round and slit down the front. The sleeves were wide from the elbow and at times hung to the floor and were tied in knots to keep them clean.
Hair was generally tied in long braids and placed in braid casings, which were then wrapped with silk ribbon. Veils corresponded to the Saxon head-rail but were smaller. It could be rectangular or part of a circle. One straight edge was hung over the forehead, concealing the hair with the rest falling in draperies around the face and neck, and often crossed over the front, thus encircling the face.
Shoes were the same style as the Anglo-Saxon style and were fastened by lacings. Short hose were worn and gartered above the knee.
Accessories were uncommon. The tunics were usually worn un-girdled. If a girdle was worn, it was extremely elaborate and heavily jeweled. Jewelry consisted of brooches worn at the neckline. Ornaments, other than headbands or simple circlets to hold the veil on, were seldom worn on the head. Earrings, rings and bracelets were common. Apparently makeup was not worn during this period.
Typical colors used in clothing were white, dark purple, red, yellow, gray, light blue, green, black, red-brown, and scarlet. Clothes were typically made from linen, cambric, silk, wool, and russet (a coarse, homespun woolen cloth of red-brown or gray color). Borders of dresses were elaborately embroidered with diagonal and angular lines, circles, squares, quatrefoils and dots. Conventional animal motifs as well as people and scenes from the gospels were frequently used also.
The ideas and patterns for this Norman Gown were partially mine and partially Lady Irena die Elsaesserin. Both handouts have been blended together to make this new, updated one as of 2/2004.
(*must have these measurements) All measurements should be 1/4" smaller on all seams for the underdress.
Use either large square graph paper and count 1 square = 2" or small square with a 1 square = 1".
In the upper left corner place a dot. This is the nape point and all other measurements are made from this point.
Measure to the right the length of each sleeve and mark. (Overlay the outline of the under dress and overdress on the same graph.)
Measure to right "Q", mark, and down "R" and mark for under dress sleeve.
Measure down "V" at end of under dress sleeve and mark under dress cuff.
Measure down "J" at end of overdress sleeve and mark.
Measure down from the nape to the hem length for the under dress / front of overdress and mark.
Measure down from the nape to the hem length of the over dress train/back and mark.
Measure down "C", mark, and to the right "D" and mark.
Measure down "F", mark, and to the right "G" and mark.
Connect the dots with lines from "D" to "G".
From 1" below and 1" to the right of "G", mark, measure "K" plus the "puddle" length straight out to the right, parallel to the "floor."
Blend the bodice side seam line into the skirt side seam line with curved line.
Blend bodice side seam line into sleeve seam with gentle curve. The sleeve seam should run parallel to the top fold for at least 2", at the middle, mark the sleeve attachment seam from top fold to sleeve seam perpendicular to the other two lines.
Transfer all measurements to large sheets of paper to make reusable pattern.
The tunic layout consists of a folded layer of 45" by 10 yards long piece of cloth. There should be at least 4-8" of ease in the length to allow for the belt. The skirt should be at least 2" longer than the floor in the front after the belt is put on and bloused.
Cut out all pieces, adding 1/2-inch seam allowance consistently to straight seams.
Lay fabric with overlap just enough for front length of dress. Cut bodice side seams for all layers together.
Cut top layer of skirt at shorter front hem length. Fold front of skirt out of the way and lay train center skirt pattern piece lined up with straight side seam.
Cut two front gore pieces and 2 back gore/train pieces for over dress. Cut four the same for under dress.
Cut four sleeve pieces for over dress with a top edge seam. Cut two narrow sleeve extension pieces on the fold for under dress.
From contrasting fabric, cut four sleeve lining pieces for overdress.
From contrasting fabric, cut neckline facing and sleeve bands, if desired.
Sew neckline before adding any other pieces to the body. The overdress neckline can be cut deeply, whereas the under dress neckline should be cut close to the neck. Use a contrasting fabric and apply to the outside. Turn under the edges and topstitch. Alternately, use same fabric, apply to the outside, and use trim, or table woven band to hide the raw edges. A third method was to use bias tape to bind the edges.
Attach gore pieces to sides of skirt front and back. Use French seams.
Attach sleeve extensions to bodice.
Sew side seams, clip curves, press.
Finish the bottom edge of skirt with 1/4" hem that has been turned twice and topstitched.
Sew top edge seam with sides right sides together so that when opened out "flat" it makes it one long sleeve.
Sew front edge of overdress sleeve piece to front edge of lining, right sides together.
Sew curved edge of sleeve pieces, outside to outside pieces and lining to lining pieces, right sides together, press seams.
Fold sleeve lining inside of dress sleeve. Match the front edge seams carefully. All the seams are hidden inside the sleeve when it is turned right side out.
Top stitch front edge of sleeve after pressing carefully, to keep from sliding later. Also, invisibly tack inside to outside along curved back seams.
Attach sleeve to main body of dress. Pin outer layer of sleeve to overdress and stitch. Do not catch lining layer with stitching.
Press seam toward front edge of sleeve.
Fold and press the seam allowance of lining under between inner and outer layers of sleeve.
Hand stitch lining down, being careful to hide stitches in outer layer seam.
Embellish sleeve upper arm seam line with trim or contrasting band, if desired.
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