1502 Swabian Silk Damask Gown

For my third entry into the Atlantian Persona Challenge, created by Her Majesty Adelhait, I have chosen to submit this gown I made in July 2022, that is heavily inspired one from the Kaisheimer Altarpiece. It is from 1502, painted by Hans Holbein the Elder, and the gown is featured on what is likely one of the donors or patrons who supported Holbein when this was being painted. 

I see several layers in this outfit. There is a red/orange damask or cloth of gold kirtle, which can be seen at the back skirt and along the sleeve cuffs, plus some of it shows above the hemd at the neckline. Then a decorative hemd is over the kirtle, with either smocking or embroidery across the top of the bust. The gown is probably a silk damask and is trimmed in matching velvet. The necklines of the gown and hemd are trimmed in pearls.

For my gown I chose a reproduction silk damask from Sartor in a slightly more aqua shade. I had it already, along with the coordinating velvet trim. I tried to find the right color in a silk velvet without success, and I had the cotton velvet in my stash, so I chose to use it. 

 The bodice was cut from my basic bodice block pattern, and I just cut out the front for a deep neckline. It is lined in white linen and interlined in linen canvas. There is no boning or buckram. It closes with 3 hooks and eyes and has a bit of decorative lacing above the hooks like in the painting. 

The skirt pattern comes from the Queens Servants book which is the perfect size for 54” wide fabric. It consists of two fronts, one back, and four “wheel pieces” to add circumference to the hem. My skirt is fully lined in white silk taffeta to give it body. Only the back is gathered, similar to the extant gown of Mary of Burgundy. 

Everything I make is finished the same way: machine sewn inside seams, and hand stitched on the outside or anywhere it will be visible. Sometimes I will hand sew more if it’s going to be a pain to finagle it on the machine. 


  1. Just stunning, and that color absolutely glows! I'm exactly the same when it comes to construction...the machining saves my hands on the really long inside seams, but like you said, there's times when it just will not work quite right and you realize there's no substitution for handwork.

  2. I love everything about this personalized wedding hanger. It is even more beautiful in person. I can’t wait to see my dress hanging from it on my wedding day in a few weeks.

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