Overdresses were usually made from woollen material.
Overdresses had long sleeves, usually closer fitting at the wrist but looser on the upper arm. It may be an inch or so shorter in length at the sleeves and hemline to show off the underdress. It may have a round or square neckline with a small front split as an option, slightly wider than the underdress.
Basic dresses are simply a tunic design extended to the ankle How to make a tunic.
Overdresses should be skirted with gussets.
- English dresses should be made from the same material throughout, i.e. any side gores should use the same fabric.
- Viking dresses should be slightly shorter than English equivalents from the same period.
- From the later eleventh century, overdresses for higher status ladies may have wide ended "tippet" sleeves. The sleeves should widen from the elbow to the cuff, so that the cuff opening is no deeper than the length of the forearm is long. Experimenting with pins and calico is recommended, to find an arrangement that works for the individual and is not too impractical.
The cuffs, neck and hems may be edged in a contrasting colour which may be the base for embroidery. Overdresses for higher status must be decorated with embroidery around the wrists, cuffs, neck and hem; this embroidery may be on an edging in a contrasting colour.
Overdresses must have an appropriate, authentic fastening at the neck.