A Gothic Gothic Fitted Dress

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.

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16 Responses to “A Gothic Gothic Fitted Dress”

  1. Pixel Pixie says:

    Wow, what a great job in such a short period of time! Truly fantastic! I think the belt really brings the whole thing together.

    I’ve been meaning to make myself a dress of this sort, and seeing The Hobbit (twice!) and treating myself to an LotR marathon only reinforced the desire. But I am so desperately trying to work my way through my embarrassingly large stash that such a thing will probably not happen for quite a long time.

    • Trystan says:

      Yes, the belt & the circlet were things I’d had for ages but didn’t have anything just right to wear with! They’re just *right* for this gown :-) I definitely recommend making one of these too.

  2. jola says:

    love tat fabric by the way <3

  3. Kendra says:

    SO PRETTY!!!! And so classic trystan! I love this so much – you are an evil gothy queen of fabulousness!

  4. heather says:

    You look STUNNING! :D tip to toe!

  5. Je nThompson says:

    Oh WOW! That is so beautiful, and so perfectly YOU! Well done!

  6. Leia says:

    Lordy Trystan!!! You look HAWT! rrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrr

  7. OMG! You look GORGEOUS in this gown! What an amazing job. Oh Trystan, you are such a talent.

  8. Victoria says:

    I’d live in a dress like this if life permits – it’s my absolute favorite style.

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