Saturday, April 22, 2017

Brown Fitted Gown (v3.0) "1559 Doesburch Portrait"

Here is the second of my Mix n' Match posts featuring the re-styling of my brown fitted gown.
While I've incorporated several reoccurring elements and accessories from similar images, it's primarily an homage to the 1559 Doesburch family portrait.

I really love how this one turned out!
While I liked the colour palette of my original gown ensemble, I find I'm really enjoying my attempts at reproducing period images and much prefer the final results (and I think this might be my most successful version to date).

Working form the inside out, the outfit consists of a linen, low necked smock...

(Which is looking very wrinkly at the moment...)

...over which are worn my new wool petticoat bodies.

This is followed by a small bum roll...

...and then a black linen petticoat. The petticoat is 180" around and cartridge pleated to a waistband, leaving the front section unpleated. The small, tightly packed pleats additional volume to the hips and the really nice curve when worn under the gown...which you can really see in the finished photos at the bottom of the post.  However (as will all my petticoats) I intend to swap it out for a slightly narrower wool one later.

Then comes a pair of red wool half sleeves, lined in cream linen and bound with black wool tape.

I'm also wearing my small 1.5" ruff which is pinned to a linen partlet (all of which are worn over the petticoat bodies).

I also made a small pair of wrist ruffles, which I had intended to set into ruffs...but it just seemed like more trouble than it was worth for such small sets.
(Read: I am lazy)

Finally, on goes the gown and a black wool partlet lined in black linen.
This was made to replace my original wool partlet which met with a sad end some time ago.  Initially I had wanted to make the partlet out of velvet (as many would be), but thought it might look oddly high status given the fact that all the trim for the gown is wool tape.
So instead I found a happy compromise with a beautiful wool cashmere, which looked very spiffy without being too fancy.  This is actually placed on the gown first (I could never get it on over those sleeves otherwise), which is then slipped on and the partlet pinned at the front.

The headwear (which doesn't quite match the portrait since it's missing those crazy, spiked barbels) consists of a simple coif, worn over ear irons and topped with a rectangular linen veil.

The veil measures 20"x28" of which the first six inches or so are starched, folded to create the desired shape and pinned into place.

And then the only thing left to do is to add some jewelry!  
As in the portrait I opt for a gold chain girdle (with gold filigree pendent) and a pair of rings. Mine are set with red stones to match the sleeves. They aren't prefect period analogs, but they'll work in a pinch.

Finally, a linen cutwork handkerchief edged in lace.  
This doesn't appear in the Doesburch portrait, but it often features in images of similar gowns from the period and it was too pretty not to add!
Mine is a 19th century piece to which I've added reproduction 16th century lace from The Tudor Tailor.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some more pictures soon...but for now I'm dead chuffed with the final look!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Brown Fitted Gown: Mix 'n Match

It's been a bit of a quiet year on the blog.
But I promise more has been going on behind the scenes.
(Well, slightly more...)

Since finishing the brown fitted gown last summer I've been assembling various accessories (sleeves, petticoats, jewelry etc) in the hopes of eventually doing an epic 16th century "Mix 'n Match" photoshoot!
After all, I'd been planning on making a fitted gown for so many years...and now that I finally had one I wanted to show how functional and versatile it could be as a piece of clothing, and how many different looks could be achieved by just swapping out a few key accessories.
However, like all things (when it comes to me and sewing) it hasn't quite gone according to plan...

It's taken longer than I'd anticipated to put everything together.  And even though I've had quite a lot of the accessories finished for a while now (5 pairs of sleeves and counting!) there always seems to be something missing to complete the look.
Add to that the fact that getting dressed in just one outfit can take up the better part of an afternoon and the prospect of photographing everything in a single day quickly becomes impractical.
So instead of doing one grand post I think I'll have to roll out the different looks as opportunities present themselves.

And there's already been an unofficial kickoff of sorts to the Mix 'n Match series: the Lucas de Heere outfit I wore for last year's Nottingham Faire!

Granted, it wasn't 100% finished at the time...which is why the official kickoff is happening right now with the updated and complete version!

I know, it's pretty similar and therefore perhaps a bit of an anticlimax...but there are some notable differences.

While the huik and apron are the same, the linen petticoat has been swapped out for my new wool petticoat bodies (which have the same black trim pattern at the hem as the orignial de Heere image).
This has the added benefit of supporting the bust and smoothing out the bodice, as well as improving the overall silhouette.
I've also made a new pair of half sleeves that are a little closer to the inspiration image.

I tried to mimic the horizontal pattern in the original with narrow rows of slashing.  The wool/cotton sateen is also more in keeping with the de Heere pallet, being closer to cream than white. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! I will definitely be playing with more slashing techniques in the future...

So now this look is now officially done!
(or at least until I decide to tackle a more period correct construction method for the huik)


And that's it!
Hopefully I'll have more looks to show in the near future.