This ensemble is based on the kirtle and gown from Janet Arnold’s Patterns Of Fashion. The lines suggest that the garments were suitable for pregnancy, but the style was worn by women of all ages and classes, in varying materials.
The Kirtle is an A-line, semi-fitted underdress, with detachable laced sleeves. It fastens in the back with laces, and has separate two-part curved sleeves that lace into the armholes. The hem is stiffened to support the skirts. The front panel of the kirtle can be decorated, or cut in a richer fabric than the rest of the garment. While the kirtle would properly have been worn over a smock, and often a corset, such as the ones in our Underpinnings package, it is not strictly neccesary to do so, and the pattern give suggestions on the most suitable choices of modern undergaments.
The Gown is a semi-fitted coat, with short shaped puffed “mahoitered” sleeves or shoulder wings. It can also be worn with the sleeve styles from the Elizabethan Comfort Modification pack – which generally is a great addition to this set (see below)! There are two front opening options, one cut away to show the kirtle or a forepart, the other fastening down the front to the hem. The gown may be made lined or unlined, with a wide variety of decoration.
The kirtle and the gown have optional maternity hemlines and breastfeeding openings.
In addition, the package comes with extensive instructions: 90 pages of fully illustrated text, 3-hole punched for insertion in a binder. This includes instruction in advanced sewing and costuming techniques, appendices, sizing and measuring charts, a detailed bibliography, and an attractive cover insert.
All Sizes included US 2-30 (Bust 80-140 cm) = 32-56″.