A couple of fashionable ladies or so

Among the things being worked on at the moment are two outfits for noble ladies.

One is a mid Tudor noble lady, loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, countess of Arundel, mixed with the Tudor Child‘s pattern for Princess Elizabeth’s gown.

Each layer has been made by a different person in the Costume Group. The outfit is made up of a padded petticoat, a kirtle and fore-sleeves, and a gown.

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The padded petticoat

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The kirtle

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After doing about 40 eyelet holes, on various outfits I didn’t fancy doing more, especially in velvet, so resorted to brass rings, which should be easier for children to thread up. There will be a placard over the top of the lacing.

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To finish it off we decided to add a partlet as well. Just waiting for the fore sleeves before getting a final photo.

The other is a late Tudor noble lady’s gown with hanging sleeve, complete with French farthingale and stays underneath. The next step is to make a suitable ruff and supporter.

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The foundation garments.

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With the petticoat over the top.

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The gown on top.

Also just completed, a mid-late gentlewoman’s gown and kirtle in red and black.

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Late Elizabethan dress

During the summer there were several slightly disappointed girls because they were too small to fit the blue farthingale dress which (usually) fits 10 year olds. To rectify this work has begun on a late Elizabethan dress with farthingale and pair of bodies which should hopefully fit someone aged 6-8 years old. A later Elizabethan design was chosen to add variety and show how fashion changed during Elizabeth I’s reign. However it hasn’t been straight forward (is it ever?!) because it was necessary to adapt patterns for an adult and a 2 year old from the Tudor Tailor books which took a bit of thought and working out. Hopefully it will work ok! (The bodies and the farthingale can be seen in a previous post.)

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The gown started with a mock up made from old sheets. The bodice seems to be ok, working from the bodies underneath and copying the patterns in Tudor Tailor, but the skirt started to cause a bit of grief! It took ages to work out how much was needed in width to get it looking right and not too tight around the farthingale. After that it took time again to work out the length, with and without a flounce, for the gown and petticoat. Got there in the end!

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For the petticoat extra width was added, compared to the purple attempt above, and a much better result was achieved when the instructions were followed properly and the waist was cartridge pleated and not knife pleated to the waistband. The petticoat, although not an authentic Tudor material being made from an old bed vallance, is a really good colour contrast with the top skirt and will be much easier to wash than the skirt.

The skirt is longer than the petticoat so it can be taken up a bit into a flounce at the top, and will end up shorter than the petticoat so it doesn’t drag on the floor. (The photo below on the right shows the flounce just tucked in place, it will be eventually held in place with a few stitches.) The opening is at the back compared to the petticoat’s side openings so it shouldn’t be possible to see all the way through to the farthingale or smock.

Time to start on the top half of the outfit.

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