I am aware that the medieval period is long and there may have been differences amongst countries. I don't know how much I must specify my question. So, if necessary to choose a time and place, please focus on England, 1300-1400AD.

I read on Wikipedia for this period:

The basic garments for women consisted of the smock, hose, kirtle, gown, surcoat, girdle, cape, hood, and bonnet.[4]

Unfortunately, I have only found medieval examples for the kirtles, but they seem fairly complex. I am aware, that the examples from paintings might represent the most elaborate garments: Medieval woman's kirtle

Still, I wonder, how much of the attire women were able to fashion by themselves, given the cloth.

When I was little we lived in the Greek mountains and most women had sewing skills, but I think for something like the kirtle above they generally went to the seamstress.


It turns out the kirtle image is from 1626, so even that is not medieval, but Renaissance clothing (many thanks to the commentator Mr Denis de Bernardy). I will try to find a more accurate one. Until then, I think, it may serve as an estimate for the level of sophistication.

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    Insofar as I'm aware all clothing was produced "at home" at the time. When it wasn't for your own household, it would be to supplement your household's income. So, presumably, you'd have someone make cloths for you if and only if making it was way about your skill level - and you could afford it, naturally. The woman in the Gentileschi painting you posted isn't wearing Middle Ages clothing, too, but Renaissance. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 5 '17 at 10:57
  • @DenisdeBernardy So, something like this would have been nigh on trivial for our medieval grandmothers? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1300–1400_in_European_fashion#/media/File%3A37-svaghi_cacciaTaccuino_Sanitatis_Casanatense_4182_cacciatore..jpg – Ludi Jul 5 '17 at 11:15
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    I'm not sure how much of a "middle class" existed in the Medieval period. It's a group / concept that developed largely from the early modern period. – sempaiscuba Jul 5 '17 at 11:21
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    @Ludi I think the division for most of the Medieval period was "Nobility" and "Peasant" (with various sub-divisions in each category). A "middle class" began to develop with the emergence of a mercantile class at the end of the Medieval period, and is one of the defining characteristics of the early modern period. – sempaiscuba Jul 5 '17 at 11:59
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    The mediaeval ballad Töres döttrar i Wänge en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%B6res_d%C3%B6ttrar_i_W%C3%A4nge mentions clothes being offered for sale. – liftarn Jul 5 '17 at 12:17

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