Burgundian Dress

On this page I want to collect all the research I did about this dress, while you will find the updates on my progress in the blog. But I’ll link the the blog entries here, at the bottom of the page, so you’ve got it all together 🙂

The Kirtle has its own page here.

What is a Burgundian Dress?!

The term ‚Burgundian Dress‘ refers to the dresses worn by women in Europe in more or less the second half of the 15th century.

It was a dress worn by all classes of society: The rich made it out of silk and lined it with fur, the poorer made it out of cheaper material and left it unlined or lined it in different colours. The characteristics of this dress are a wide V-Neck, a high, belted waist and slim sleeves. It was usually worn with cone or truncated cone shaped hats, often covered by veils, which were  held aloft over the hat by wires. The Neckline, Wrists and Hem showed wide bands of the lining; in the back, the wide collar, that there extended into a triangle, reached down to the belt. In some versions, especially of poorer women, you see embroidered or no collars, as they couldn’t afford lining the dress in fur and showing this at the collar and hem. Also in later paintings the embroidered hem gets more popularity.

My Resources:

My only resource is the Internet, but there you find some great pages. I especially like the following ones:

This has a great many pictures and also sub pages with pictures of the different details of the dress – very helpful.

Here someone did a great research and also gives some construction hints and tips.

Here is another site, where you find great pictures, sorted by time.

And here you find a lot of explanation.

I’m not going to repeat all this here, so check out those links, there you’ll find a lot. Though, of cause, I’ll give explanations bit by bit, going along with the construction.

My Dress:

I wanted to make a dress out of silk but not lined with fur – as for one I don’t have any and second, it’s just too warm and heavy for the dress I want to have. So I looked around and did find quite some pictures, where wealthier women are wearing Dresses with coloured (hence no fur) linings:


So I went and bought some nice green and dark red silk fabric – though at that time I had not seen any pictures of that particular combination of colours… But some days later I found the third of the above pictures and the following:


though I’m not going to make those lines, I think because of them this picture is a very interesting one, as it gives clues on the construction.

My plan is to sew the whole dress by hand, as this is the way they were originally made and anyway I’ve always wanted to once make a dress entirely by hand 🙂


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