Tudor French gown

Probably, because I like to sew, I’m interested in fashion history as well. My dolls are the perfect models to sew and try historical garments on them. Looking through “The Tudor Tailor” book by Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila, I burned with passion to sew Tudor French gowns for my girls.

First of all, I decided that I would use contrasting color combinations for both gowns (yes, I’d decided to sew only two at the beginning). My choice fell on red color with gold trim and black color with silver trim.

After that I chose red velvet for the first gown and golden brocade for its petticoat, and silver-black jacquard for the second gown and silver brocade for its petticoat.

Then I made a pattern for the Tudor French gown that fits Ellowyne Wilde dolls, tested it and dipped in the sewing process.

Tudor French gown sewing process

French gown front details
French gown bodice front
French gown back details
French gown bodice back
Assembling gown details
Assembling bodice details

I cut out front and back gown details, and because the cut of the gown was very complicated, I had to gather pattern pieces as a puzzle to see how to sew the gown details together.

Upper sleeve attachment to the French gown
Upper sleeve attachment to the bodice
French gown lining
Lining

Then I attached upper sleeves to the bodice. I decided that the lower sleeve would be lined with gold brocade, so I lined the gown bodice first with white cloth to prevent stains on the doll’s body.

After that I prepared and sewed both parts of a skirt. Why I had two parts of the skirt? I’m not a re-constructor, thus I’m guided by the convenience of doll dressing up. Therefore, I used a zipper as a closure at the back.

Tudor-French-gown-preparing-skirt
Preparing the skirt
Tudor-French-gown-back-seam
Baste the back seam
Tudor-French-gown-attaching-bodice-to-skirt
Sew the skirt to the bodice
Tudor-French-gown-zipper
Sew a zipper

Next I sewed the zipper in, and then – the bodice lining to the skirt with a blind stitch.

For the next step I sewed lower sleeves and lined them with gold brocade.

Tudor-French-gown-sleeve
Tudor-French-gown-sleeve-lining

After that I sewed the lower sleeves to the upper part by hand at the same time attaching white false “smock” sleeves. For the next dress I decided to change sewing technology in such a way as to make the sleeve seam last, so I do not need to sew them in by hand.

Next, I sewed the petticoat, making a zipper closure at the side seam (once again, I didn’t sew historically accurate outfit) and waistline edge lining.

Tudor-French-gown-underskirt
Tudor-French-gown-underskirt-lining

As you may guess, after this step I forgot to take pictures of the sewing process. I only remember that it was really hard to make a French hood for Ellowyne head due its small size. It also drove me nuts to figure out how the doll should wear it – I couldn’t just pin it to her hair. Finally, I made ribbons on the French hood’s back, which are tied under the doll’s hair, and a transparent silicone rubber that goes under the doll’s chin. Both, the ribbons and the rubber, securely fix the French hood on the doll’s head.

Then I sewed the second gown from the silver-black jacquard, made the petticoat from the silver brocade and the French hood even with a vail.

Photo story

Sometimes, when I visualize a future outfit I’m about to sew, I also “see” the location where I should take it photos. So this time was no exception as well.

I imagined dolls’ poses, where they had to stand, and, as a result, the full photoshoot became a short photo story…

Tudor-French-gowns-silver-black-dress
Kate thought she finally found a quiet place at the far end of the garden near the ancient brick wall to get lost in her thoughts.
Tudor-French-gowns-black-and-red
… but it was to late.
Tudor-French-gowns-red-and-gold-dress
But it seems Anna is here. Did she follow Kate?


Tudor-French-gowns-black-and-red-2
-Kate, please, stop!
Tudor-French-gowns-escape
Kate tried to escape…


Tudor-French-gowns-close-up
– Let me help you…

4 thoughts on “Tudor French gown

  • I have looked at the photos again and it occurred to me that they look like Boleyn sisters – the one in black is Anne and the one in red is Mary (who was blonde!). Gorgeous dresses!

    • Dear Adriane, I just came across you website drooling over your Ellowyne Renaissance 1540 gowns. Do you happen to know where I can find a pattern for these dolls with this style? I have patterns for AGAT and AG dolls? Thank you for your help in this matter.

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