The Agnes Breu dress 1505

Research and inspiration

This dress is based on a portrait of Agnes Breu by Jörg Breu, dated 1505.

Construction and materials

I've interpreted the dress to be a red wool dress, with the edges trimmed with black guards. The bodice it very tightly fitted and the front opening is curved. It has a centre back seam and I chose to centre the side seams half way between the proper side centre and the centre back.


The bodice is closed with hooks and eyes up the front. It is lined with linen canvas. Two layers of linen was used in the front to lend the rather thin wool fabric a better stability. The skirt is cut as a 3/4 circle and box pleated to the bodice with an opening in the centre front.

The bodice is completely hand stitched, back stitches were used, the seam allowances are turned down and whipstiched to the lining. The skirt was also attached to the bodice by back stitches. However, due to serious shortage of time the side seams of the skirt was sewn by machine, as was the black guard along the edge. The dress was then hemmed simply by folding the guard over so it lay double,and then small running stitches was used to secure it. A better hemming will probably be needed in time.


To start with the dress was worn with a simple wulst haube. A knitted and felted wool hat is in the making... A simple linen hemd was used.

It is worn with a black wool belt with yellow metal mounts.

A honey combed smocked apron made from unbleached and quite thick linen was used for kitchen work.

Myra ©2006