Category Archives: Misses

Women’s Kirtle’s and Cotehardies


I finished the details on a pattern for plus size cotehardies.  Sizes in this range are a little tricky and I think making this out of old sheets first would be wise.  People gain in vastly different ways and you want to be comfortable in this garment.    So here is the plus size women’s pattern:

cotehardies in plus sizes

Roman de la Rose

Detail from Roman de la Rose

I don’t like to duplicate work, so I’m also including a paper I wrote years ago called Women’s Kirtles and Cotehardies.   It was written to teach a one hour class.  It’s one of my favorite things to teach.  So, if you have any problems or questions regarding cotehardies for women, let me know.  I can go on about them all day.

Women’s Kirtles and Cotehardies


Cotehardies in Multiple Sizes


I know this is a repeat, but I spent days trying to learn a computer program that was supposed to make pattern making easier and have gone full circle back to inkscape.  I haven’t given up on the program yet, I have a couple weeks left in the free trial, but so far it feels harder.  Hopefully it will become easier and it can help me get these patterns out faster.  I can grade this in inkscape pretty easy, so I will have 6 and 8 up soon.  I may put up 18, but I’m concerned about grading that far out from size 10.  We will see.

So enough sewing geek talk.

Here’s the new file:

cotehardie back pattern

  cotehardie front pattern

Update:  I did get the 6 – 8 – 10 done more quickly than I expected:

Cotehardie Back Pattern Small Sizes

Cotehardie Front Pattern Small Sizes

Medieval Cotehardie


I had grand plans to offer this all graded out in different sizes this week, but that is just not going to happen.  I’m too busy to grade it by hand and I haven’t learned enough to grade it in the pattern maker software I am testing out.  I do have to make some grocery money this week and I have a huge pile of alterations to get done.

I am a costumer in the SCA which is a medieval enthusiasts group.  One of my pet peeves is when people tell me the Gothic fitted dress would not have been done with princess seams.  It’s not as commonly depicted in medieval artwork and extant finds that I am aware of do not possess this construction technique, but it is seen.  Never say never.  The first one everyone sees is the Fouquet Madonna picture.

ca. 1450 AD

Additional sources:

Victoria and Albert Museum
T. 202-1957
The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries
George Wingfield Digby, assisted by Wendy Hefford
H.M.S.O., London, 1971 ISBN# 0-11-290037-2
Plate II (Roman Numeral 2)

Hours of Adelaide de Savoie
Jean Fouquet
about 1455
Musee Conde, Chantilly, France
Ms. 1362 fol. 21 – The Sibyls and the Virgin
Jean Fouquet
Klaus G. Perls
Editions Hyperion, Paris, 1940
Page 84, Plate 47

Le Boccace de Munich
Jean Fouquet
about 1459
Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Germany
Cod. Gall. 6 fol. 210v – ³Case² of Three Queens Called Cleopatra
Jean Fouquet
Klaus G. Perls
Editions Hyperion, Paris, 1940
Page 159, Plate 159

I like the two in the Falconry tapestry best.  One is “the miller’s wife” in the center, she is spinning, and the other is a barefoot shepherdess.  I have made tons and tons of cotehardies over the years.  My class handout on how to make them can be found on another website here.   Last year I did some commission cotehardies based off a dress that the women already had that they liked.  I don’t do cotehardies on commission any more due to the difficult nature of the fashion.  This garment is designed to make you look hippy and with a belly.  Modern women have a hard time with this.  It’s just not the aesthetic of our current society.  I love the look of this when it is more medieval sadly.  This garment was an early form of corset and is self supporting.  Sometimes when people come to reinactment, they are hesitant to take off the bra and don’t believe this style would be comfortable without one.  That is where this dress pattern comes in.  This gives the right look, is plausibly period, and works better with our modern eye for fashion.  Additionally, it looks better if you wear it over a bra than the other way of cutting it.    They were also insecure about people telling them it wasn’t “period”.  It is, see above documentation.  It’s more important to feel pretty so you can have fun than meet some sort of strange uptight standard anyway.

Today this pattern is in a size 10, the measurements on it would be 36-27.5-37.5 inches.  I sincerely hope to have it graded and up in the next month or two. I have decided to split them due to some trouble I’ve had at Office Max.  Their printers just don’t want to print pages longer than 48″, I’m not sure what to do with that and they can’t seem to tell me how to fix it.  These are each 36 x 60″, but that is as small as I can make a full size print sheet for this particular dress.

cotehardie back

cotehardie front

She's just as pretty on the inside!


Yes, we did it in hot pink! and this is one of my favorite people to dress.

Pajama Pants


I receive a lot of requests for drawstring or elastic waistband pants.  These are very functional and look fine under the Medieval Style Tunic posted a few days ago.  I’ve used this pattern for many different costumes, most recently Jedi outfits for my kids.  Today our free pattern offering is for generic Pants pattern.  The instructions are for pants with an elastic waistband, but putting a drawstring in is just as easy.

The only real change for women would be in the length.  This should help all those people out there tracing pants and being frustrated with fit.

If you would like a custom version of this made, I charge $25.  You can contact me at with your request.  I will let you know what measurements I need.  I can send the file in pdf or on paper.

Picture of pants sold at Nordstrom

Women’s Medieval Style Tunic


We have a men’s style available, so here is the women’s version.  The main difference is the length of the dress and the sleeves.

womens medieval tunic