14 C. Side-laced Cotehardie


The Pattern

The cotehardie is a 14th century gown worn over a chemise.  It can be loose or fitted, ankle or floor length.  Fitted cotehardies can have a full skirt by adding triangular gores to widen the hem without adding bulk to the waist.

This is the first piece of garb I made.  My cotehardie (right) is a side-laced long-sleeved floor length velvet gown with collar and wrists trimmed in black fur.  I wear it alone, or with a Sideless Surcote.

The pattern for this dress is made of a slightly altered tunic pattern, sleeves, and triangular gores.

The basic tunic pattern and instructions by Dress Diary of a Novice Medieval Seamstress were very helpful in determining the basic pattern of the dress.  However, I made several changes:

Sleeves - To create the sleeves I simply draped fabric over my arm and pinned to fit.  To allow my arms to move freely at the shoulders, I added small gores (elongated diamonds) at the arm-pits.

But this pattern, also from Dress Diary of a Novice Medieval Seamstress, should work well too.

Gores - For gores, I used 4 triangles with rounded bottoms.  These were inserted in the front, back, and sides.  To ensure that the silhouette of the gown remains slender while creating a full skirt, I inserted the front and back gores slightly below the pelvis.  The two side gores were inserted slightly below the natural waist.





  1. In order to allow for side-lacing, the bodice was cut several inches wider.

  2. The front piece and the back piece are each made of one piece.  This way, the only seams are at the sides, covered by the side lacing and gores.

  3. The collar was widened.  This looked strange at first, but works great with fur.

Tunic Pattern

Sleeve Pattern