Danielle's Gold Court Gown

Reference Images

Here are the images of this costume that I found online. Some of them came fromThe Realm, Drew-Barrymore.org, Rivendell Designs, http://www.moviecostumes.com/, and Lecourtisane's Ever After site.

Costume Analysis

The dress appears to be made out of a greenish-gold shiny jacquard fabric with small leaves in it. It is next to impossible to find anything exactly like it. I've looked all over. The gauntlets, tied at the shoulder, and then tied around the wrist are a mossy-olive green silk velvet. The underskirt is an off-white fabric that has less shine to it than the gold outer dress. The sleeves are a semi-sheer fabric, maybe a crushed, slightly metallic organza, and across the chest, an off-white, crinkly material.

Patterns and Construction

When I made this early on, I combined two patterns, both by McCalls. I used McCall 2645 for the skirts and and McCall 2806 for the bodice. These are not step by step instructions below - so read over all these hints before beginning. If these patterns are out of print, you might try looking on ebay. Simplicity has a few other similar patterns out that might work. Check here.

McCall 2645

The skirts were the easy part. I love the fullness of this particular skirt - it has a nice train that isn't too long. You will make two of them. One of them, the overskirt uses pieces 15, 16, and 18 - I believe. You do not want the front panel of the skirt since this skirt opens in the front. The second skirt, the underskirt, is, obviously closed in front, so you will also use piece 17, in the skirt also. Sew the pieces together, gather the waist using two rows of loose stitches to pull it into gathers until it is the right size around. You can adjust this when you pin it to the bodice.

The neat part about the overskirt is the pleats that are in the back. You can see them here. The front of the dress is not pleated or even gathered much at all.
McCall 2806

This pattern makes two different dresses - the pattern pieces are actually very useful for a number of different costumes. The red dress you see is actually a separate overdress. It needs to be modifed in three simple ways.

First, the bodice of the Ever After dress has much narrower shoulder straps than this pattern, however. I suggest studying the neckline of the dress in the movie to see what I mean. This pattern has very thick shoulder straps. I altered the pattern so they would be narrower. The reason I didn't just use another pattern is that some of them have too much of an "off-the-shoulder" look which I didn't like - like Simplicity 8735, view A. But looking at it again, it could very well work with some modifications.
Second, you will need to pin the bodice front so that it overlaps in the front, rather than having it clasp in the middle as the pattern in written to do. This is hard to explain, but easy to get once you see pictures of it. Examine the picture to the left, or watch the movie. Just pin the bodice so it laps right over left - then pin it to the skirt. After the skirt is sewn on, you will want a piece of the crinkly satinish material long enough to fill in that V-neck opening. I sewed two loose lines of stitches across the top to gather it a bit before sewing it on. Also - there are NO darts in the front of Danielle's dress - so I didn't put the darts in. This works well because it gives you the little extra fabric you may need for the crossover front.

Read Dawn's page on drafting darts out of a pattern and save yourself a lot of grief fitting the dress.

The third thing is the back of the overdress. Because the pattern has the overdress clasping in the front, you will need to cut the back piece into two. You will want to buy grommets and a grommet tool. These aren't very expensive and are a snap to use. I suggest cutting the back piece up the middle once you have it pinned to the lining, before it is sewn. This way, you can sew up each side and the neckline for nice neat seams. Once you have sewn, try it on to make sure the back meets in the right place. I had to take my bodice pieces in a bit.

So once you have sewn the bodice together, and sewn on the skirt, the back should still be open. That when you use the grommet thing to punch holes along the back and squeeze the grommets into the holes. It's very easy, but somewhat scary punching holes in the fabric you worked so hard on! You should be able to slip the dress over your head with the laces tied in the back - I was able to. I sewed on a panel of material over where the dress laces up since there is no chemise worn underneath - it is all one piece.

Next - sleeves! I used the sleeve pattern from the blue dress you can see in the pattern. I used a tied at the wrist though, instead of elastic as you can see Danielle's dress ties at the wrist. I sewed these onto the bodice such that it looked like they were part of a chemise underneath. This way you can still attach gauntlets to the edge of the bodice.

I also carefully studied the gauntlets Danielle wears and made my own pattern for them. The lower gauntlets are very distinctive in that they tie at the wrist and are not uniform in shape. I put grommets (3) in the upper gauntlets and tied them to little rings that I sewed onto the underside of the bodice shoulders. There are no grommets in the actual bodice. The upper and lower grommets are not attached to each other at the elbow at all. The lower gauntlets, again, tie at the wrist.
The gauntlets are lined - sewn inside out, across top and bottom, insided out, then sewn together into a tube. I would probably add boning or strong interfacing to them so they will keep their shape.

I used small gold braid trim around the neckline and around the top and bottom of each gauntlet. I used thicker gold and white braid trim around the waist. You can see the trim in the image at the very top of the page. It is also above the two gauntlet images.


Other pattern suggestions: Here is one alternative to commercial patterns that may work for Ever After/Italian Renaissance style gowns: http://www.mediaevalmisc.com/pp41-43.htm.

The Snood

You can get very nice snoods that look very similar to this one from Lady MacSnood. She has a "Cinderella" pattern that is very close. She has several different views of it here:

The first link has two different versions. One with a tighter, closed center and the other one (Cinderella II) is more open. She can do it in any combination of beads or thread types.

Metallic Fancy Beaded
Fancy Beaded

So if you want one, just order through her site, or email her!

Here is another source for snoods. I bought one of these myself.
SNOOD headpiece to wear with your renaissance medieval costumes. HEADPIECE is called a SNOOD all handsewn from a sutle GOLD glimmer cord trim.Is NOT crocheted yarn. Has 57 faux pearls sewn throughout on each cross section. Makes a wonderful netting to dress up your hair. Can be held in place with bobbie pins. (*EXAMPLE of snood also can be seen woren in a portrait of Eleanora di Toledo 1545,pic not included).

These snoods are made in other colors of silver, white, or black.So if you do not see a color listed at this time that you need,let me know and I will try my best to accommodate the color you need. Pricing currently at $24.00 + shp (priority shipping 3.85) Ins opt. Can email me at thytira2@yahoo.com or look for me on ebay, member name of thytira2

Here is another snood/caul possibility!


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