4 Gore Apron Dress - An Alternate Method of Construction
by Katla járnkona

This form is based upon The Viking Apron-Dress: A New Reconstruction by Ellisif Flakkari (Monica Cellio).
Its purpose is to help you 'do the math' for this method.

When making an apron dress with the other method of layout, you may find that you cannot get or find fabric wide enough to meet your needs. Or, you have fabric at hand that just doesn't fit the rectangle that you've calculated. Or, you may just want something that is wider at the hem than twice your bust size (I feel like such a girl when I twirl and my hem is long!)

Use the larger measurement: your bust/chest size or your waist.

Start with your body's basic measurements, then add extra fabric for the actual pattern (to allow for breathing, movement and such).

Note: If you are, like me, a plus size, you may want more fabric to slip around your hips. You can get more width around the hips by increasing the length of the gore so that it starts above the waist.

To do this, shorten the length from the armpit to the waist.

Measurement for: Actual size: Pattern:
Length from armpit to waist:
Desired length:
Gore Width:
Your preferred seam allowance:
Your preferred hem width:

     Apron Dress - body dimensions
Apron Dress: Gore pattern piece layout
(Chest / 4) + (2 * S.A.) A =
Length + hem + S.A. = B =
(Armpit to waist) + S.A. AW =
Length + hem - AW + 2 GoreL =
Gore Width + 2*S.A.: C =
Gore Width/2 + 1.5*S.A.: C2 =
FYI: Estimated length of hem:
4*Gore Width + Chest  
Gore Fabric Width:
(2 * C2) + C + (5 * S.A.) =
(2 * C) + (6 * S.A.) =
The above two numbers should be the same!
Gore Fabric Length:
Fabric for body:   (cut 4: A by B)
(2*A) by (2*B) by
(4*A) by B by
FYI, ( 2 * S.A. )
Remember, this is not rocket science!
It will not be critical if you round the numbers
to a convenient fraction.
Mark your length of fabric for your gores:
C2, 2*S.A., C, 2*S.A., C2 (on one edge)
1.5*S.A., C, 2*S.A., C, 1.5*S.A (on the other edge)
¼ .25
½ .5
¾ .75

On one edge of your gore fabric, mark:
C2 2*S.A. C 2*S.A. C2
On the opposite edge, mark as follows:
1.5*S.A. C 2*S.A. C 1.5*S.A

First, sew the two half gore peices together. At this point, I choose to sew an extra piece of fabric to the top, down several inches. Then, I can trim it to match the portion of the triangle where the seams come together, then cut off that triangle. When I assemble all the pattern pieces, I have at most three seams coming together at a once, rather than four seams.

Before you assemble your pattern pieces, round off the bottom of both the gores so that your measurement from waist to hem is equal on both the seams and the center of each piece. You'll have an easier time getting a uniform hem length.

Then, Assemble your pattern peices:

Apron Dress: construction

For finishing techniques (straps, closure), read Ellisif Flakkari's article, The Viking Apron-Dress: A New Reconstruction (by Monica Cellio).

And, of course, you'll want to wear your Apron dress over an authentic rectangular construction for a Norse Undertunic.

Return to the 3-panel rectangular construction method.


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