Friday, June 2, 2023

Blue Kirtle "Mix & Match 2: Medieval (ish) Madness"


Welcome to the second of my "Mix & Match" posts for my Blue Kirtle. 

The insanity continues!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'd taken some additional photos of my new kirtle but these quickly devolved into playing Medieval I thought they'd be better off in their own post.

It started innocently enough with this image:

The woman is wearing a blue gown, lined in black on top of a light blue petticoat or kirtle.

The foundation layer is a very good (if not exact) colour match to my kirtle, so this is a look I could easily replicate in the future...but in the meantime I thought it might be fun to do to a nod this this outfit with the accessories I had at hand.

The look of a full length gown could be (vaguely) approximated by the addition of matching blue over-sleeves and the black lining with a gathered up, black apron.

That just left the headwear.
I already had a linen yard square to use as a veil  so I just needed a red hat.
I assume it would have been felted, knit cap with a turned up brim. I didn't have time to make or purchase one, so thought I'd experimenting with a felt cloche blank from Amazon.

But how to block it? 

Now...I have seen the hat in the inspiration image specially called a late bycocket hat in some online articles. 

To my eye I could see how it could be interpreted either way, so thought it would be fun to try for a traditional bycocket shape.

Given that I've never really blocked a hat from scratch before and know literally nothing about this style, the result isn't terrible as you would think!

Having finished the hat I'm not totally convinced that this is what the image shows...but I do think it looks pretty snazzy!

On to the photos!

Overall the result isn't bad. 
I's totally and completely WRONG in every detail, but it has the overall vibe of the inspiration image.

Sort of.
Kind of...

Maybe not.


Now that I had a new hat to play with, I decide to just throw a bunch of accessories together and see what happens.
I know nothing about clothing pre-1500, so I don't even know how wrong I am in what follows. I suspect it's a lot.

The first look is a bit match-y, with red sleeves and and natural/undyed linen.

And again, with green sleeves!

And the same again...but this time with a jug!
(I love props...)

This green variant is probably my favourite. 
I love the colour combination. It has all the brightness and fun that I associate with Medieval imagery, so purely as a costume I think it works rather well.

I can definitely see myself wearing this to a Renaissance Faire at some point.

Next up are some dark blue sleeves.

In general I really like the combination of the dark blue sleeves with the lighter kirtle, but I don't think I quite landed the accessories.

(As an aside, I do really like the veil look overall. I have a very square face/jaw/head that I've often felt self conscious about and I find the veil really softens the harsher angles of my face.  I can see why it would have been a popular style!)

Now at this point  I just start playing with colour and shapes.
I lose the yellow purse and bring back the red sleeve and stark white apron.
The pallet is now only blue, red and white.

The veil is also left untucked so I get to play the angular folds off the point of the hat.
The result (I think) is interesting visually, but again I make no claims on its historical accuracy...

And finally, the same look without the hat.

And that's it! 
Again, I LOVE this kirtle. It's super fun and endlessly versatile. 

I still have a bunch more sleeves and accessories that I'd love to try but those will have to wait for another day.

(For more on this blue kirtle see the original Dress Diary and my previous Mix & Match)


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Blue Kirtle "Mix & Match"


Welcome to the photo dump for my new blue kirtle (the construction of which was recently documented in my latest Dress Diary).

Based on early 16th century illustrations, the kirtle laces up the front and features short sleeves, a 'V' back, and a shaped skirt (constructed with piecing).

It was originally inspired by a page from Catherine de Medici's Book of Hours.

Although less popular later in the century, blue seemed to be a fairly ubiquitous colour in the first decades of the 16th century (and earlier).
Inspired by period images, it was clear that it could be infinitely adapted by swapping out a few accessories.

So first things, first: I whip up some new sleeves!

A LOT of sleeves...
(so many that I won't be able to get to all the different combination in this post)

All the sleeves are 3/4 length and are simple tubes which taper to the wrist.
They are lined with various colours of linen (basically whatever I had in my stash)

Let the Mix & Match begin!!!

The first look is just the basic kirtle with the addition of a white, un-gathered apron.

The result is a sort of low-rent, early 16th c. Belle...

Adding on....
A lot of the images of female field workers show blue kirtles and red sleeves, so that seemed a fun place to start.

This look incudes a large vintage sunhat.

And a leather belt and purse from Karl Robinson - Leatherworker.

The next iteration is basically the same, but with the white apron swapped out for a beige one...and a broom!

The broom is a one that I picked up at the Renaissance Faire some years ago. It's aggressively rustic in appearance and I love it!

Next up...more props!
This time, a basket and some fake bread and veg that I picked up at a craft store.

Right. These red sleeves are great, but it's getting a bit boring...

Let's do it all again, but with green!

Next big hat is swapped out for a smaller, conical one and the skirt bustled up for work.
(I think this look is just okay...I really needed a partlet or shoulder linen to get closer to the period images.)

Okay, field workers are fun, but it's time to dress things up a bit...

Let's start with one of the staples of early Tudor fashion: a black, pointy partlet.

Details of two Brueghel paintings

The partlet is made of black wool and lined in black linen.
(The pattern is self drafted.)

 A small pewter hook from The Tudor Tailor is stitched to the point.

This is combined with  my black apron.

And a large, white, felted hat from Sally Pointer.

And finally, a pair of white wool sleeves.

I like this look a lot.
I feel like you most often see this style of hat worn with a large, linen shoulder square (as in several Holbein paintings and sketches). 
I did make a linen yard square specifically for that purpose....and then forgot to get any photos of it.

Oh, well...

Lastly, one of the inspiration images that kicked off the blue kirtle project to begin with: A Witches' Coven! 
(I mean, who doesn't love a good hexing?)

The Witches' Cove, Follower of Jan Mandijn

The ensemble uses most of the pieces from the outfit above, but with the white sleeves swapped for light yellow ones.

And of course every self-respecting Witch needs a broom!

And that's it! Blue kirtle Mix & Match is (sort of) complete!
Really, I could have tried even more iterations and combinations but ran out of time.

However, I did take a couple of more costume-y variations....but this post was already getting crazy long, so look for that in a separate upload later this week.

(NOTE: That post can now be found HERE)