Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lady's Fitted Gown - Angryhat's No Fuss Method

There are many names for the fitted garment that women started wearing at some point in the 14th century, but whatever you want to call them there are two things they all have in common. They had wide skirts created with multiple gores, and the bodice was fitted with some manner of closure (buttons or lacing) for that close fit we all know and love. For more information on this garment I suggest reading the wonderful research at La Cotte Simple already done by Tasha Kelly McGann.

There are many theories and methods on how this garment was put together this is in now way more or less right than any other. I have found that this gives me the right length, nice full hem, and very little waste all with about 5 yards or 4.5 metres.  This will all vary of course depending on your height and size, but I present my method for you to adapt and make your own.


  • good supportive bra, this cannot be a padded bra if you intend to wear this dress without one
  • fabric will need to be 60 inches wide to use this technique feel free to adapt to suit your needs
  • fabric cannot have pattern or nap you need to be able to turn pieces upside down and sideways without issue
  • pattern from La Cotte Simple straight seam or curved front seam 
  • pattern for sleeve either drafted or from another pattern 


  1. Back Height - Where your shoulder meets neck to floor being sure to hold close to the small of your back to account for booty
  2. Front Height - Same as last one but front, make sure to do this from the top of shoulder over the fullest part of your bust then hold in against your stomach and to the floor
  3. Waist to Floor - This is to find your gore length, if you don't have the hourglass figure then from wherever your belly button is to the floor will do fine.
  4. Back Waist to Floor - This is to find the length of back gore you need, even if you think you don't have a booty best to do this anyway plus 1 or 2 inches more if you want train .
  5. Bust - Standard around the fullest part of your bust, do this with the already mentioned bra on
  6. waist - be realistic here no fudging, sucking in, or accounting for that 10 lbs you are going to lose.
  7. Arm - Top of shoulder to knuckle while arm is at side
  8. bicep - widest part of arm with your arm flat against your side plus 1 inch
More to come

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