16th Century, Costumes, Grey Mockado Gown

16th Century Mockado Gown: Some progress

I’ve been sitting on this project for some time waffling back and forth on fabric use for Henry VIII’s era and if the fabric I have can be even called mockado. I mentally went back and forth until the project had stalled due to my indecision. But In the end I’ve decided I don’t have any other use for the fabric, and I need to test the dress pattern I want to use for a different project. So this is becoming something of a wearable mock-up with some research to keep my perfectionist side happy.

I’ve long admired the sketch of “A Lady Walking” by Hans Holbein the Younger.
The dress was plain but elegant and she sported a wild headdress that must have been a pain to wear on a windy day.

Englishwoman by Hans Holbein the Younger
Englishwoman by Hans Holbein the Younger

My thoughts and speculations

From the sketch alone: she wears a red half kirtle/underskirt/petticoat whatever you want to call it, it is most likely wool. Over that she wears a gray kirtle, most likely also wool, and over that a blue-gray wool gown trimmed with velvet.

We can’t see if the gown has a waist seam or not, we can only see that the front overlaps, possibly closing with hooks and eyes or it is pinned shut. The gown in the skirt doesn’t look like it is lined and the hem appears not to be bound. The wool is most likely felted or finished to keep it from raveling, giving it that clean edge.

The skirt is full enough that the gown might have a small train, or be floor length, hence the system of straps to keep the skirt hooked up out of the mud. If this is part of the mysterious white band is still up for debate, but a similar device is hinted at on Margaret Clement(?) in the sketch of Thomas More’s family. In the remade painting the figures are rearranged and this detail is a bit harder to see.

She also has a green, perhaps silk tasselled sash, a rosery or paternosterer at her side, small buttons on the top of her velvet cuffs, and a partlet that buttons at her throat.

The gray kirtle looks like it is the same type/weight wool as her over gown and looks to be unlined. On her feet she has the classic square-toed shoes for the era and what might be silk or fine linen stockings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.