(completed September 2012) – photo of gown by Brooke Perkins
This didn’t originally start as a Swabian gown, it was actually based upon a Netherlandish painting. However, it evolved onto one of these gowns, and I started to notice similar gowns in the artwork of the time and region, including in the neighbouring state Bavaria. So, “southern German” is probably a more apt description, even if examples popped up elsewhere too. It’s my “Ohgodohgodohgod it’s so bloody FREEZING out there” gown, which has seen me through an event in a Melbourne winter, a tournament in the Adelaide Hills that continued on though the hail kept beating down and the cold nights at Festival.
Images above –
from top Row left: Johannas Kapistran, 1465-1475, detail of HOmily of the Holy, Bamberg State Gallery, Germany; Unknown artist (1490) St Margaret and Dorothea, Munich; Geertgen tot Sint Jans, (1480), detail of Lamentation.
Bottom row, from left: Scene from the life of Saint Claire of Assisi, (1465-75); Hans Part, (1489-92) detail from Babenberg Family tree.
I drafted the bodice and skirt as separate parts to be attached at the waist. The bodice was drafted in four parts (left and right front, left and right back) and closes with hooks and eyes down the front. It consists of a wool outer, red cotton/linen blend lining, and two layers of linen canvas on the inside, quilted together in vertical rows on the machine. I tell you what, this combo really stops the wind from getting through, especially when you consider that I normally wear it with a lined kirtle and detachable sleeves, and a linen chemise underneath. I purposely left it sleeveless, to allow for the chopping and changing of sleeves underneath, which means it can be anything from a plain middle class gown during the way to something upper class and fancy when I swap a pair of wool sleeves for some silk damask ones, pop a fancy brocade wulsthaube on, and bling it up with some jewellery.
The fully lined skirt has four panels in it, with triangular gores in between the panels. It is stitched smoothly at the front, with knife pleats and a central box pleat at the centre back.