Young Girl’s Loose Gown 1610-20

Please ignore any posts previous to this one where I refer to this gown as being from the Elizabethan era. My maths was wrong and I’m just 7 years short of that deadline with this gowns date. However that’s not to say gowns of this style weren’t worn say, 10 years earlier to squeeze them into that time from which no doubt they were worn. If someone could link me an accurate timeline of costume history that goes through the eras names that would be wonderful! I can’t find a full list anywhere.
Wikipedia has failed me.

Remember my trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum? Where I desperately looked for the gown I’m looking to replicate from Janet Arnold’s ‘Patterns of Fashion Book 3’? THE BOOK THAT DIDN’T SPECIFY THAT THE GOWN WAS NOW IN STORAGE
Yeah that one.
As of three days ago I only had the replicated image of the gown from the book to go off as I couldn’t find any sources with photos of the original dress. But I found a website that documents all of the V&A’s costumes,objects and all manner or fancy old things they horde there. And would you guess what I found!? You guessed it! The gown, in storage…
The link to the gowns specific page is here which links onto another page which has photos of it Yay Photos!. Can’t be bothered opening a link?
The photos are below.

This gown is at least 405 years old so be kind, she’s precious.
I’m really pleased I found these photos as its given me a much better idea of what the gown will look like put together.
In the era the gown is from as soon as a child could walk/hold their own weight they were given ‘proper clothes’ which were miniaturized versions of what adults would have been wearing at the time. So In reality this gown would have been worn by a young girl. But the same style would have also been worn by adults which still makes it an appropriate costume for me to make and wear myself.

So in review,

I am going to be making a ‘replica’ of this gown. Replica with the addition of me using dark reds instead of olive green. (I am a very pale person, olive is not a good color for me I’m afraid). I’m not using the same materials unless we’re counting the dress worn under the gown in that case I would be.
The fabrics being used are red silk and a dark burnt red brocade.
fabrics and dress
The silk (I think?) being used for the dress worn under the gown. And the brocade being used for the gown itself. The shoulder wings and the hanging sleeves are both attached to the gown and will be made from the same brocade fabric. I will be getting trims for this dress when I get home either at Spotlight or I will order some online.
The pattern for the gown is in the book ‘Patterns of Fashion 3’ and can be seen below along with the blurb for the gown.
I have decided that I could possibly make the gown part of this costume in my Fashion and Textiles class at school, that way I can get credits for it! I’ll need to talk to my teacher to make sure it meets the standards requirements but it should work for it.

And that’s it for this update, I will be starting these costumes when I return to NZ in two weeks time.
Thank you for reading


8 thoughts on “Young Girl’s Loose Gown 1610-20

  1. This will be so cool! As for timelines of fashion history, the problem is that everyone defines the transitions slightly differently, so you won’t find anyone who agrees exactly on where the cutoffs between eras are, especially not when the margin you’re looking at is only one of 7 years. (For example, the Regency fashion era extends beyond the actual Regency in both directions.) This makes timelines not that helpful when you’re looking at the in-between times. Have you tried doing a burn test on the silk? If it’s real it will crumble away easily into powdery grey ash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh I see! I didn’t know that! As for the ‘silk’ I can not remember what the fabrics type is, I was told by the staff member that it was ‘historically accurate’ which is a bonus. I’ll try the burn test on a scrap of it when I make the dress. I bought so much fabric that day I’ve muddled the names of everything but the brocade up ! I’m not too sure it is silk however so please share your thoughts!


  2. Lol. Giant masses of fabric are fun but crazy! I can’t see the fabric in the picture well enough to hazard a guess on the weave, and even then it would only be a guess without being able to feel it. I find the best way to familiarize yourself is to order swatches from an online fabric store like Mood, that way you can feel what different ones are like and know them when you see them again. The burn test is definitely a great easy, and reliable way to ID fabrics. You can find charts for it online (or probably a more reliable one in whatever textbook you have to get for your Fabric and Textiles class!).


    • That’s a great idea! I’ll look into ordering some swatches from there when I’m in NZ. I’ll look for a fabric chart too! And no textbooks for my textiles class just the textiles and one amazing teacher 🙂


    • That’s great to hear that this helped. The gown is still currently in the mock up stage as I’ve been working on the dress it pairs with but there should be some major updates in the coming weeks. Thank you for your comment 🙂


  3. Pingback: Young Girl’s Loose Gown Skirt/Blouse Construction Part 4 (Final) | Niveraswings Costumes

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