We had much fun trying out the Gnagy measurement method to draft doublet bodices at the beginning of the year, and it produced some gorgeous looking gowns, however, mine did not provide me with the support I’d like so I said I would do it again, adding in some compression in the measurements.
Today was that day, and I decided on 2 inches of compression at the bust level and 1.5 inches at waist. I’m currently making it up into a stiffened upperbodies, which will be sort of a test for a full gown. Hopefully, I can build a chocolate brown silk dress on top of this.
…now finished for the 1575 gown.
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.
So, it’s been clear that everything is all muddy again.
I’m not sure anymore which layers I should be wearing with new insight into supportive kirtles to be accurate to about 1560s 70s:
- A smock next to my skin, plain white to be washed frequently.
- Over that, a shirt? Or a corset?
- Over a corset a shirt?
- Over the shirt, a kirtle. Sleeves or no? Supportive, with boning or no?
- Over the kirtle a partlet?
- Over the kirtle a gown.
- Accessorier: Hats, socks, shoes, gloves, ruffs and bling.
So for those 7 layers I’m certain about 3 if you count the accessories. There’s more ponderings and research to be done.
The one thing I know I need is a new red kirtle made in silk. But the question is how I should construct it.
Just goes to show you, the more you know, the less you’re certain.
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.
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.
So this month is going pretty nicely for me, today I’ve taken delivery of my birthday present from last year. My in-laws left it up to my lord to make the purchase and I’d just posted about a particular pair of shoes, so he put in a pre-order. They were scheduled for delivery in March, as they were a completely new type of shoe, American Duchess’ Signature Collection shoe: The Stratford, Designed by Francis Classe. The shoes are manufactured in China, but they only started production when they had enough pre-orders to warrant it, and I’m so glad I got in early because they are beautiful!
The next event I’m going to will be Drachenwald Spring Crown Tourney in Polderslot, and I will have an all new outfit! I put in an ‘order’ with my mother (who knits) for a pair of woolen stockings knitted after the silk stockings that Eleonora di Toledo was buried in. She had some yarn left over when they were finished, so she made me a pair of fingerless gloves as well, which I showed off here earlier. This order was put in like two years ago, and finally they are done!
The shoes, the socks and the gloves will be completed with the new gown, which is close to finished. I have to attach the last bit of the skirt, level the hem, and then cut, sew and attach sleeves, and add miles of satin tape trim. I’ll be black and red and all decked out in shiny new things! I am totally spoiled.