Child’s 12th Century Saxon Dress

Lady Katherine Percival, A&S competition 2007

The dress is made of a dark blue cotton twill with metallic (silver) with dark blue trim fashioned in the style of tablet weaving. The dress pattern was adapted from my own Anglo-Saxon garb.

The biggest change being that I did not allow for large sleeves as these are a challenge for the modern day adult let alone a toddler.

The pattern: The pattern I used was based on my own Saxon dress however the pattern matches very closely to the basic female Byzantine Pattern shown below

Female Byzantine Pattern

The material:
Cotton is a natural fiber made from cotton plant. Cotton’s exact age is unknown. Scientists have found pieces of cotton cloth in caves in Mexico that are at least 7.000 years old. Cotton was grown and made into cloth in the Indus River Valley in Pakistan as early as 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. Egyptians were also weaving cotton fabrics around the same time. Cotton arrived in Europe, through Arab merchants, in approximately 800 A.D., although, flax linen and wool remained the primary fabrics for common clothing. Christopher Columbus found cotton in the Bahamas in 1492. Cotton was known all over the world by 1500. (Extract from http://www.thehoodedhare.com/research/introduction_to_sca_early_period.htm)

The trim:
The trim in period would have been made using tablet weaving techniques. The pattern and trim on this item are not period but were attractive and readily available at the fabric shop.

Making the dress:
The following website http://www.vertetsable.com/demos_facings.htm was of great assistance in understanding instructions to create the signature key hole neckline which can be tricky for the novice dress-maker.

Web References:
1. Compiled and illustrated by THL Arnora Dunestan (AoA, OW, OC) 3rd Edition, November 2001 (http://www.ece.uwaterloo.ca/~arnora/arnora/costumehdbk.htm#celtfem)
2. Introduction to SCA clothing (http://www.thehoodedhare.com/research/introduction_to_sca_early_period.htm)
3. The Renaissance Tailor (http://www.vertetsable.com/demos_facings.htm)