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A womens gown from Mog bog

This is a very poorly preserved womens garment found my an irish farmer in 1931. We marked the preserved parts grey in the picture, and the rest of it is mostlty our construction.

According to the irish law, the gown became the property of the finder, and he could be paid for it. Thus, he saved his correspondence with the irish historians. The farmer dated the costume to the medieval times, but the historians argued that a similar type existed in Ireland at least up to the 17th century. The dress really has never been exactly dated. Similar garments with big armpits appeared no sooner that the 1st half of the 14th cenrury.

Though the armpits were quite wide, the sleeves were made tight around the arms. The dress had a high waist line, which was positioned right under the breasts, and we hypothesize that the dress was closely fitted to the body on the breast down to that waist-line. If that hypothesis is true, then the 7 preserved buttonholes on the front whould be sufficient to button up the costume, contrary to some suggestions that the dress had more buttons than that. The quality of workmanship and of the material suggests that this was not an every-day garment. On the other hand, it probably was not the best gown of a noble lady either.


Click for bigger pattern image


Based on: Dress in Ireland; Mairead Dundlevy; London; 1989; B.T.Batsford Ltd.

Patterns of extant garments - Undergowns, part 2
Copyright Martina a Martin Hřibovi 2006