Female Dress Instructions

This style is appropriate for both Anglian and Saxon women, the main differences between the two being the predominant brooch styles in each area, more details of which can be found on my brooches page. Additionally it is more common to find wrist clasps in Anglian areas.

For women's tube dresses I like to use 60 inch wide fabric, I use 2 metres for an adult woman. I read once that the elbow to elbow measurement could be used, however as this does not take into account the fullness of the figure I have found it often is too small for most people, but OK for thinner ones !! This has seen me up to 9 months pregnancy comfortably & I get pretty big ! I do a single seam which connects the two cut edges, generally I will make this a French seam to prevent fraying, as most modern cloths are fairly loose weave and are not fulled. This leaves the selvage edges as your top & bottom edges, use of the selvages means you don't have to hem which tends to make the garment hang better. These edges then generally have a tablet woven border attached. It is a very easy & quick garment to make up ! For girls the measurements get a bit more difficult. The elbow to elbow thing falls apart completely as their body ratios are completely different !! If possible I get cloth of lesser widths & use it in the same way. Generally this is not possible, so I cut the fabric along its length, so that you keep one selvage edge. If I am putting a tablet woven border on I put it on the cut edge, often I only do one border on a childs dress, mainly due to time restraints ! Width wise I do this individually using some uncut fabric to measure the way the dress will be pinned , then adding a bit for growth. Children grow upwards quicker than widthways, so extra length is important, a large bottom hem can be produced or the excess just bunched up by the belt. With children it is important to choose a fairly fine weight of wool as otherwise the excess bunching under the arms is uncomfortable for them. Very young children 4 & below, do not seem happy in tube dresses, particularly with brooches, as the tend to stick in their chubby necks their not being much shoulder to take it up. Sewing those positions works OK, but I'm not sure it is a type which would be worn daily by very little ones, As mentioned before the one shoulder option seems to work better. My six year old is however very happy in full tube dress, brooches, beads etc ! But proportionally her shoulders are noticeably bigger. We use mainly wool 100% wool, but I have used linen for summer use, when we are displaying outside all day as otherwise I feel heat stroke might be a problem ! I've recently found some very very fine wool (6oz)which would work well for summer, but would obviously not have the cooling properties linen has. Colours, getting undyed wool in not white shade is almost impossible except in a heavy weight tweed weight type, which would be far too hot in almost every situation ! I tend to go for subdued colours which are achievable with veg dyes, yellows, browns, flat reds, pinks, lilac etc. I avoid very dark colours eg navy & black, and modern colours such a very bright turquoise, jade. I tend to avoid most blues as many blues I've seen have a synthetic blue look to them. The top of the tube dress tablet woven band, is pretty essential when wearing heavy brooches or the cloth tends to rip, i.e. brooch is fastened to band NOT dress fabric.

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