Elizabeth Woodville portrait dress (part 3)

Dress with the cuffs, collar, and a little matching pouch

Dress with the cuffs, collar, hat, and a little matching pouch

In an earlier post I showed off the simple black dress I made for (Kadie/Sicillia). The dress is fine as-is, but in order to make it more like the portrait she wished to emulate, I needed the cuffs and collar as well…

Direct link from Pinterest. Click for original, or the original source here.

As a reminder, above is the portrait we’re referencing for this costume… a portrait of Elizabeth Woodville.

Collar & Cuffs

For the finished garment, the collar and cuffs will be made from the a red floral vintage brocade donated by Caterina/Shannon. This is a synthetic fabric with a fairly heavy texture, and I’ve also used it on the henin.

The collar is “detachable” – meaning it’s made up entirely separate from the dress and then will be hand-stitched on. This is partially due to the way the collar hangs on the dress – below the neckline at the front – but also means that if it were made up in a more delicate fabric, it could be laundered separately (if one were willing to unstitch and re-stitch it…).

Detachable collar clipped and ready to turn

Detachable collar clipped and ready to turn

First, the collar…

I cut out the collar in interfacing, the red brocade, and a lining in black wool. I didn’t include seam allowances for the interfacing though, so I wouldn’t have to grade down the seam allowance on the finished version.

I pressed the interfacing, sewed the seams, and then sewed the collar lining to face right sides together. I left a small opening at the centre-back neck to turn it. I opted to use the black wool for the facing for three reasons:

  1. There is very little of the red fabric, and I wanted to use it to it’s best advantage.
  2. The black wool of the lining should “stick” a little to the black wool of the dress, holding the collar in place as it’s worn.
  3. The black lining won’t be as visible against the black dress as a different fabric would be.

I clipped the curves (it’s pretty much all curves!), turned the collar, and pressed it. I whip-stitched the opening closed.

I decided NOT to sew the collar directly to the dress however. Since I won’t get the chance to put the dress on Kadie before the event (most likely) I wanted to pin the collar in place, in case anything had to be shifted around at all. She can whip stitch it in place either at the event or after if everything is laying properly. (Unless I can find a fit-model before then!)

Next, the cuffs

Finished outfit in the style of the Woodville portrait

Finished outfit in the style of the Woodville portrait

The cuffs were drafted based off the sleeve, and I referenced how long they were in regards to her hands, but made them a little shorter than an equal amount using my own (large) hands as reference. These I lined in the same black silk as the hat, because I want them to slip on and off easily. The opening is very narrow, and I know they won’t “slip off”, so I didn’t want the “sticky” wool… so instead the more slippery silk should work nicely – I hope!

Like the cuffs for my Byzantine outfit, these will just slip over her hands – they aren’t attached to the dress. Again, these CAN be whip-stitched to the cuffs if she desires, but my thought is that she’s very active, and might want to take the pretty cuffs off to wear the dress during the day, and then slip them on for court in the evening.


I also used some of the red brocade and silk scraps to sew together a little pouch. I’ve been making a lot of little pouches to keep things like matching belts, cuffs, necklaces, brooches, etc in… basically to keep all the little bits of a costume together. It’s less useful for my Viking kit since I have so many garments and accessories, but works well for the costumes that are basically one-ofs.

Front, side, and back of the black wool dress with red brocade cuffs, hat, collar, and pouch.

Front, side, and back of the black wool dress with red brocade cuffs, hat, collar, and pouch.

Read more!

For more posts about this costume, click the “Woodville” tag, and for more posts about clothing and projects I’m working on for Caterina’s Elevation, click the “Caterina’s Elevation” tag!

If you’d like to see what I’m up to next… either click the “subscribe” button, or follow me on Facebook where I post my projects on Dawn’s Dress Diary. If you want to see my works-in-progress (along with goofy selfies and food photos…) follow me on Instagram too!


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