New Old Orange Kirtle

When I was a teenager I made a back lacing kirtle with a million hand bound eyelets up the back.


I had planned long sleeves, but once I saw this image I decided to skip the sleeves


I never wore it once, because I changed re-enactment groups before I had a chance and my new group only did Italian.

The only person who ever wore this dress was a presenter for a TV show who came to our house to interview my family on our hobby. She saw us all dressed up and wished she had a dress too.

So I decided to convert it to a front laced Italian dress. Unfortunately when I laced the dress up closed I had ‘armpit spillage’ and I knew I’d have to do more work to re-wear the bodice.


So I never wore it.

Now, over ten years later, I am with a group that allows me to do non-Italian clothing. While tidying up I came across the half-finished dress. I remembered originally I had planned on making long sleeves for this kirtle, which meant I still had the fabric

Now I’m on the other side of 30, my body isn’t the same shape- or size- as it was when I was a teenager. And my sewing (and photoshop) skills are better than what they were. So I’ve pulled the bodice off the skirt completely and I’m hoping to have enough fabric to make another bodice from scratch. I aim to make a front lacing bodice and short sleeves. I might need to do some piecing but piecing is period.

It’s like getting a new dress for the work of bodice and sleeves, and I still LOVE the colour.

Oh, and the weekend before my next event is TOTALLY the right time to be starting this project.





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