Dress Diary Write-up

…now finished for the 1575 gown.

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Black wool 1575 gown – Second finish

The first finish was the premiere outing at Spring Crown of my black wool gown in the style of the mid 1570s. The second finish I achieved tonight, when I finished the last trim application. I have two rows of trim doing down the front of the bodice and down the skirt done to hide the line of stitching that anchors the lacing strips, one line around the hem, and two rows around the sleeve openings. The trim, which is black satin tape, around the hem is 10mm wide, while the trim on the bodice is 4 mm. I also decided to reinforce and pick out the neckline with a single row of the 4mm trim.

For the sleeves, I have one round of the wide trim outermost, plus one round of the narrow trim. If I had had enough of the wide trim I would have gone twice around the skirt, but it seems I bought ten metres of the narrow and only 5 of the wide.

Since the gown is black wool and the trim is black satin, the effect is mostly one of texture and shade difference – which is what you often see in period portraiture. It’s all very tone on tone, and will give the gown a very subtle finish.

So now, when I bring the gown to Double Wars, I can celebrate the second finish with a bottle of bubbly if I should so choose.

The 1575 Gown – first finish

A couple of photos of the gown. I wore it outside with the partlet made for me by Countess Cecilia Jaeger, the half-gloves knitted for me by my mother, suite of ruffs and black velvet veil and billiments. Unfortunately you can’t see the fabulous shoes that I’m also wearing. It’s also clear from the photo that not ironing the front seam was a mistake on my part, which will be fixed for the second finish when I will adjust the length of the sleeves, and also add trim.

1575 Dress - first finish from the front 1575 gown First finish from the back

Spring Crown and new dress

I went to Polderslot, the shire in The Netherlands, to attend Drachenwald Spring Crown Tourney and see Margaret de Mey be elevated as a Pelican. I brought only one outfit, my new black wool dress, which worked very well for all occasions. It is, however, much bigger than it needs to be. On the other hand, I was entirely unhindered and very comfortable all weekend. This will be my new slacking gown!

On Friday I wore just my Laurel coif, a shirt, and the dress, plus Eleonora stockings and the shoes. On Saturday during the day I wore my plain white linen coif and forehead cloth, plus French Hood veil with billiments, plus my suite of ruffs, the dress, the Eleonora stockings and the shoes and half-gloves. It worked beautifully, and the gloves were perfect to keep my hands warm and still let me use the camera unhindered. The stockings were a little warm, the shoes very comfortable and pretty. The veil I had help to get it pinned up to not pull everything back off my head. It anchored very well into the braids at the top of the head. The suite of ruffs, however, were much too weakly starched and wilted during the course of the day. They ended up looking more Dutch than English. Although considering where we were, I suppose that can be explained as following the local custom :)

I did get a fashion shot taken, which I will post when I have emptied out the camera.

Sewing Circle Saturday

So yesterday was second official sewing circle of the year, or maybe it was the third. Anyway, last time myself and Helwig drafted up new bodice patterns following the measurement technique posted by Matthew Gnagy to the Elizabethan Costume group on facebook.

We drafted the pattern, and made toiles. Yesterday we took the toiles and patterns and cut out new dresses for me in black wool, for her in burgundy silk. I intend to make it again, properly, in silk, once I’ve tried out this pattern in an every-day gown out of wool.

This is all in line with our project to make English gowns in 1575. My main inspiration is this portrait of Countess Kildare, and Helwig is working to this green and this red gown. We also got Isabetta to start this project along with us, and she’ll be working to this red gown, because she has an orange silk brocade which will be perfect as the middle layer.