First, a close-up of the sleeve showing the embroidery. (It’s those Celtic hounds again… Actually, this was the FIRST time I used this design.) Silk floss on 28-count fabric.
The gown itself is linen. I did the embroidery BEFORE choosing a fabric for the garment (because I’m stupid — I mean, I get caught up in an embroidery idea and don’t ask myself what I’m going to DO with it), and I was very lucky to find such a nice fabric that exactly matched one of the colors.
The gown was made from a commercial pattern — one of those that’s nice for a costume but in no way “historically accurate,” you know? (It’s one of the “Mists of Avalon” patterns, but I don’t remember if it was from McCall’s or Simplicity… and to make matters more confusing, my brown bliaut-thing was made from the OTHER “Avalon” pattern. *shakes head* And now I’m gonna have to come up with one in a lighter blue just because… Maybe a use for that HUGE piece of cornflower-blue linen finally?)
Here’s a full-length picture of the gown. the sleeves are lined in white dupioni and there are narrow undersleeves made of white voile, because I didn’t want my arms to be bare inside those wide sleeves.
The double-wrapped belt is white linen appliqued with triangles of green and blue cotton broadcloth (the only way to get the colors matched). The belt’s long ties are braided out of pearl cotton and have silver and painted wooden beads at intervals.
Zipper in the back? Heck no! Not after doing all that work (the embroidery, the hand-stitching and finished seams everywhere)! The back of this gown has hand-sewn eyelets for lacing.
This is how I (mostly) got over my fear of buttonhole stitch, by the way. After sewing 40-something of these eyelets, I knew I could do buttonholes (or more eyelets) with no trouble.
I don’t have a photo of it, but to draw attention to (show off) the hand-sewn eyelets, I braided the lacing out of green, blue, and white embroidery floss so it wouldn’t blend in with the color of the gown too much.