Making a Damask Print Medieval Dress, Part Three


This is another project that I forgot about for a while there. I’ve been so focused on new stuff that things I finished a few weeks ago have totally slipped my mind!

This is the third post about making my Damask Printed Medieval dress. Part one about this project is posted here, and part two is posted here.

Step one was cutting out all the skirt panels. Which was easy since this skirt is just a rectangle. And since my fabric is very wide I only had to cut out two panels to get the hundred and seventy inch width that I wanted. I think they were both around fifty one inches long.

The panels were sewn together with the wrong sides facing each other, then the seam allowance was trimmed and the fabric was folded and sewn with the right sides facing each other. This way the raw edge is hidden between the folds of the fabric and you’re left with pretty french seams!



For one side of the skirt I added strips of interfacing to the top ten inches of the edge. That got fused on, then the edge was folded inward by an inch. This will be the opening of the skirt that makes it easy to get on and off.


That seam was also closed with a french seam, I tapered the stitching off once I got to the point where I wanted the opening to be.


Once ironed it looked like this!


Since I wanted to cartridge pleat the skirt I decided to back the top edge with a thick material. I’ve done this a lot and I always end up using strips of flannel, it seems to work the best for me!


Those got folded in half and sewn onto the top edge. Then I pinned some home made bias tape over top to cover the raw edge.


Which also got sewn on. These colors look so out of place against this fabric but I promise they aren’t visible in the end!


I stitched a half inch away from the hem of the skirt, then I turned the fabric over at that stitch line and basted it down with loose running stitches.


I marked a chalk line three inches away from the lower edge of the skirt, then turned the hem inward and pinned it so it touched that line.


I sewed it down with a cross stitch because I was feeling extra patient that day!


Then I switched back to working on the top edge of the fabric. I drew lines every three inches to create a guide for my cartridge pleats.


I sewed over/under each marking I made to create 1.5″ deep pleats. I used upholstery thread for this to make sure it wouldn’t snap part way through. I’ve had that happen to me a few times and it totally sucks!


I straightened out the pleats, then sewed through the back of them.


And through the front of them, about a half inch lower than where my original gathering stitch was.


I think they look pretty awesome at this point. So uniform and cool. But I regret making them this stiff and massive. They stick out too much and look a bit silly. I should have only used one layer of flannel. And less fabric.The skirt did not need to be this big.

Unfortunately this fabric is one that tears easily, and I knew needle marks would be visible all along the top edge if I removed the stitching and tried again. So I decided to stick with it and move forward.


The skirt got pinned on.


And whip stitched in place. That was pretty much it! The dress was done.


Well, it should have been done. But I tried it on and really hated the sleeves…so I cut them off. I also removed the fur trim from the sleeves edge and sewed it around the arm holes instead. I much prefer it this way. I really liked how the bodice looked over my rose colored chemise, so I think i’ll pair this dress with that and let the chemises sleeves show. It isn’t accurate at all, but I think it will look nice.


Even with the sleeve change i’m not super happy with this. It really didn’t turn out the way I wanted and i’m not sure why. I’m hoping to get some worn photos of it on Sunday, maybe i’ll like it better once it’s against a better backdrop!

Unfortunately I don’t have worn photos of it to share right now. The weather here has been stormy for the past week, which doesn’t provide enough lighting for indoor pictures.

I’m sorry I haven’t had very positive feelings about my last couple projects, they just didn’t work out that well in my opinion. But I recently finished two more things and I love how they’ve come out. And i’m really loving my current works in progress too, so I think my next couple posts will have happier endings!

Also! There is a video that shows the whole process. It can be watched here or below.

Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Making a Damask Print Medieval Dress, Part Three

  1. Sasha says:

    I love reading your blog entries and watching your videos – I’m learning so much about techniques I’ve never done from them! I have a question – when you do cartridge pleating, what happens to all that bulk around the waist? I’m having trouble figuring out why it doesn’t show as a big thick roll around your belly through the bodice…

  2. Linda Craig says:

    Hi Angela,

    I love looking at your posts & marvel at your creations. What fascinates me the most is your statement:

    “For me much of the joy in creating something is figuring out HOW to create it, which is why I prefer to learn through trail and error, as opposed to classes.”

    You are brilliant!

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