Monday, September 29, 2014

An attempt at the Moy Gown, part 1

First, yes, bedsheets work wonders for mock ups. Particularly the ones you've hated for the past 10 years since your mother got them and put them on your bed in the beach house. :-) You have no idea what pleasure it was to chop this baby up.

Second, the Moy gown. There are now several good write ups out there on the Moy Gown. The first of which is March Carlson's experiment on the construction of the gown. Another fabulous one is here by Matilda La Zouche.

Basically, the Moy gown was found in an Irish bog back in 1931. It's most likely from about the 1460's to the 1480's based on contemporary drawings of the time - however it might be a bit later than that as Ireland tended to be a bit behind the times when it came to fashion.

The above is from 'Sol und Siene Kinder' by the Housebook Master, the last quarter of the 15th century, South Germany.

This image done by Maître François in his illuminations of La Cité de dieu by Augustine around 1475-1480. This image is called Mysteries of Cybele (Virgo caelestis, Berecynthia) – fol. 86 verso. (I found it at

I want to create a Moy gown because I am fascinated by something that has lasted this long, clearly spans a few countries (France, Germany, Ireland), and it looks interesting in construction. However it's the construction that is getting me right now.

Although the body was easy enough -I used my 1790's bodice as a template since it has the weird back thing going on as well- the sleeve has me going crazy. I'm leaving it as is until the morning.

I had to play with the construction a bit in the body as well - the original neckline I had was too wide, which is why I have it pinned.  Other than really was easy.  Now to figure out that the morning.  Hmm...

Edit: Me? Actually wait until the morning? Bwahaha!

Fixed it! The sleeve fits perfectly now. The bodice is a bit tight but that I know how to adjust for. Now to do the second mock up, fully destroy these hideous sheets, and then work on the actual dress!


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