RH501 — Saxon (Cranach) Gown

(3 customer reviews)


16th century German Lady’s Dress sewing pattern



Get the best Cranach gown pattern available!

Buy our full-size paper patterns with complete instructions and historical notes for Woman’s Saxon Gown, commonly referred to as “The Cranach Gown”, a German noblewoman’s gown popular in the 16th century. High-neck and low-neck variations included. Fits busts 30½”-48″ and waists 23″-41″. All Sizes in one envelope. Embellishment suggestions included.

Suggested Fabrics:
silk velvet, drapery velvet, cotton velveteen, silk brocade, heavy wool or other natural fibre with good drape
linen or canvas for interlining
light linen or silk for lining

Yardage Requirements:
Gown: 10 yds 45″ or 6 yds 60″ wide w/ nap
9 yds 45″ or 5 yds 60″ wide w/o nap
Interlining(bodice & sleeves only): 4½ yds 45″ or 1½ yds 60″ w/o nap
Lining (bodice only): 3 yds 45″ or 1 yd 60″ wide w/o nap

thread, cord for front closure and elbow void lacing, closed rings, brocade trim, beading (optional)

Let us help you! At Reconstructing History, we want to see you wearing the best garments you are capable of making. Email us st and we will answer any questions you might have.

Additional information

Weight 280 g
Type of Product

Paper Pattern, Downloadable

3 reviews for RH501 — Saxon (Cranach) Gown

  1. Elizabeta

    I absolutely love this pattern. As long as you make a mockup beforehand and make sure it works well for your body I’ve never seen a bad gown come out of using this. I know three Ansteorran Queens that have used it and we all looked FABULOUS!

  2. reedx046 (verified owner)

    I struggled a bit with 2 things: I could not make sense of the sleeve panning instructions relative to getting the tube shape of the pane to stay *and* get your shift to show through the slashes. I made three mockups. I understood the roll pleating instructions for the skirt but had a hard time getting the waist closure point to have a nice looking roll. Somehow may waist measurements kept landing such that it closed on the outside of the roll. I did made a full muslin fitting version first and my gown with the fancy fabric benefited from doing so. I’d like to send a photo of the finished gown. 🙂

    • Kass McGann

      The thing with historical pleating and paning methods is that sometimes you just have to do them and redo them and redo them. They don’t all work in all fabrics, so you just have to become familiar with them and use the one that will. For example, roll pleating will work with thinner fabrics, but it only really looks the part with thick coat-weight wool or heavy drapery velvet. I’m sure you did a splendid job with it and thank you for posting a review. – Kass

      Do please send us a photo of the finished gown. You can send it to

  3. mcris075

    Overall, this pattern was a lot of fun to make! If you have some dress-making experience, the instructions are relatively easy to follow. (I followed the directions for modern construction.) I made the high-collar version with a gathered skirt and sleeves with cuffs, panes, and elbow voids. I used burgundy velvet, gold brocade, and a linen-broadcloth blend. A few notes that might be helpful:
    -The bodice (including trim but not the sleeves) took about 5 hours to complete. I then completed the sleeves, skirt, and guards in one day.
    -The instructions don’t tell you how much cord is needed for the front. I used approximately 90 inches. That length allowed for easy lace-up.
    -In my copy of the pattern, I think there was an error. On page 11, in step 8 under the instructions for the “Simple Gathered” skirt, it says: “Proceed to ‘Attaching the Skirt to the Waistband’ beginning on page 14.” Instead of “Waistband”, it should say “Bodice”.
    -The sizing was very accurate! I cut between sizes 12 and 14 following the sizing chart, and the bodice fits perfectly, with very few adjustments needed. It is, however, a good idea to allow for a little bit of extra bulk or stiffness created by the lining or interfacing.
    -A mock-up of the bodice is a must! It doesn’t take that long, and it really helps you get a perfect fit. I found I didn’t need to make a mock-up of the skirt or sleeves.
    -The sleeves can be tricky. I included panes, cuffs, and voids on mine, and I had trouble sewing through the thickness created by the panes. Also, the instructions for elbow voids were somewhat vague. They didn’t really explain the lacing in great detail.
    -As a shortcut, and due to the fact that I was short on linen, I sewed a piece of linen to the bottom edge of the brocade bustband and lined the panes with linen. That way, I didn’t need to make a linen shift.

    This was a great project, and the final product was so beautiful! I got so many compliments, and I really did feel like a noblewoman!

    • Kass McGann

      Melissa is featured in our gallery wearing her amazing Cranach gown. She gives a lot of good advice in this comment.

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