14th Century English

Lady Margaret Lad is a 14th Century English Noblewoman. I would consider her to be my primary persona, though I often wear clothing from other countries and time periods.

When dressing as a 14th Century Englishwoman, I generally wear a front lacing cotehardie or gothic fitted dress (GFD for short); a belt, of which I have several styles; knee-high socks or stockings with garters; ankle high boots in the 14th century style; and a head covering of some sort.

I also have a variety of accessories that I like to wear. Accessories can really enhance the overall look of garb and are usually come at a nominal investment – I highly recommend them! Typically, I wear a variety of rings that are reproductions of pieces found in the 13th-14th centuries. I also have several annular and penannular brooches that I wear pinned to the chest/shoulder area of my gowns. For my belt, I like to wear a rosary or paternoster, which are found worn in illuminated manuscripts of that time period. I also have several bags that I carry so that I can hide my modern necessities 🙂

A blue GFD, made by myself, with a hood made by Historic Enterprises, bycocket – a hat typically worn in the 13th-14th centuries, belt, rosary/paternoster, and leather gloves. Photo credit to Lord Naran Numuchi.
The same GFD with a red pilgrim’s bag, a shorter rosary, and no head covering – GASP! This picture was taken almost two years ago, before I realized how much covering the hair in a period style really lent itself to the authenticity of the overall look I was trying to recreate.
The same GFD, this time with white tippets worn on the sleeves, and a coif with a frilled veil. Photo credit to Master Ursus.
A red GFD, made by myself. Worn with a belt and red pilgrim’s bag. You can see a small red paternoster hanging from my belt, as well as my pointed 14th Century shoes peeking out from the bottom of my dress. My hair is worn in a period style referred to as “hair taping”, though it remains uncovered.
Disregarding my ridiculous pose in this picture 😉 You can see the details of the rings I typically wear, along with details of this beautiful belt made by Billy & Charlie’s Fine Quality Pewter Goods. I am wearing my hair tucked into a coif under my bycocket.
A green GFD, made by myself. Worn with a belt, annular broach in the shape of a heart, wimple, and frilled veil.
Another photograph of my green GFD, credit to Lady Machteld Kleine. This is the only photograph I have where my 14th Century shoes – courtesy of Viking Leather Crafts – are visible, along with the knee-high socks that I typically wear.

In regards to the picture above, I do want to note that tucking the ends of a dress into a belt in such a way is NOT a period fashion. Typically the dress is pulled up from the waist, with the excess fabric hanging over the belt. The next time I wear my dress in such a way, I will take a photograph to post here as an example.

Patterning a GFD

The gothic fitted dress is typically meant to be self supporting, which means that the wearer does not need any type of supportive undergarments for the top half of the dress. In order to achieve this look, patterns need to be custom-fitted to the individual. I have had the great fortune to attend several workshops in Northern Atlantia where custom fittings have taken place, and the principles of which have also been taught, by Dame Emma West and Mistress Drea di’ Pellegrini. As a result, I not only have my own custom pattern for this style of dress, but I can fit others as well.

I have offered fittings in the past at events and hope to do so again in the future.

Resources

In the meantime, here are a list of resources for patterning and making a gothic fitted dress that may be helpful:

La cotte simple – http://cottesimple.com/

Rosalie’s Medieval Woman – http://rosaliegilbert.com/index.html

Festive Attyre – specifically the article on spiral lacing, which is used for this style of dress – http://www.festiveattyre.com/p/the-zen-of-spiral-lacing.html

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ladymargaret86

14th Century English Noble woman with a passion for archery, embroidery, and service.

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