The Dress Diary for my Anthonis Mor gown

Genreally I have decided to not move my dress diaries. I will make an exception for this one though, sinc eit has much useful information on how to make this kind of Flemish gown. And the caps - always the caps!
It is not edited, but written as it happened.

2003-07-01 At four-thirty in the morning.
I've been thinking that maybe I should start a costuming diary. Thereby actually documenting all the research I do, which compromises I make etc. As much for my own sake as for anybody elses.

First I thought about making a diary for my 18th century sack dress and then about making one for my next 12th century outfit. The problem was to find pictures to start with. All the images I had used for the 18th c dress are in books and I would have to travel across town to a friend with a scanner if I were to present my sources. It might still be done, but not now! It's the same problem with the 12th c project. Lack of images I mean, but here I really need to take photos of my pleated chainse with me in it (I look awful, a good reason to document it). Well I've been thinking about making a dress from some dark maroon thin wool twill that I have. The problem was just what to make. On the other side, I've been dying to make this dress for years. As has probably everybody else.

But when (if)I make this dress I really want it to be perfect. If I make it, I want to make it out of black silk satin. Unfortunately my economy isn't going to allow that kind of indulgence for quite a while. When I thought about what I really liked with this dress I could divide it into three things:

a) The simplicity of the black dress with black velvet guards.
b) the combination of the black dress with the black, buttoned partlet with it's high neck.
c) The really cool headdress.

I'm a sucker for strange headwear and this one has intrigued me for a while. After looking in Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd and surfing the internet I came up with a simpler variety of this dress, that I think would be perfect in dark wool. It is Cornelius de Zeeuw's painting of Pierre de Moucheron and his family.

 All the ladies wear a variation of the dress above, with elbow lenght sleeves. You also get a better look at how the headwear is made. Well, it so happens that two weeks ago I bought quite a lot of machine made bobbin lace (a type of lace where a machine reproduces the movement of the bobbin lace maker). 60 metres to be exact. For 4 kr, which is about 50 cents, per meter! This clearly must be a sign that I should start with the headgear first.

This diary will not go forward fast, because it is now 4 weeks left to Visby Medieval week in Gotland (an island off the east coast of Sweden) and I must make my husband two pairs of hose, fix some things with my pavillion and make two chests (with the help of my husband) before that. But every once in a week I might be able to work on it.
First I'm going to do some more research and also bleach some of the lace which has turned yellow.

2003-07-04 I have been studying the white caps more closely and made a separate page on them edited: it is included here). Just the caps. The veiling will have to wait until later.

The white Flemish caps 
Since what really makes or breaks my Flemish 16th c costume is the headwear I decided to make a special page with documentation on the different types seen in paintings of middle class or upper class people from the second part of the 16th century. Although the "hats", for lack of a better word I will call them hats, are basically the same, you can actually make a distinction between two types, based on the shape of the coif worn under the veil.

 The first type is made of two parts, one part that fits the head closely and a probably circular piece of fabric attached to it.

Anthonis Mor: Portrait of a Lady,1555-1560 The under cap, or coif seems to be made mostly of lace. The front piece is probably wired to keep it's shape and you can't see any visible gathers on the back part. It also seems to be mor "puffy" in top than on the sides and back.

Frans Pourbus the Elder, 1545-1581: Portrait of a woman Here you see the gathers more clearly. The entire cap seems to be made of a sheer material or lace.

Frans Pourbus the Elder, 1545-1581: Portrait of a lady I argued with myself whether this was the same type of cap or if it should go with the straighter, one piece type below, but after looking at it real closely I think I can see a rounded part far back on the head.

 Cournelius de Zeeuw (attributed): Pierre de Moucheron and his wife, Isabeau de Berbier with their children in Antwerp, 1563 If you look at the young girls who are the only women not wearing black, you can see that they are wearing the same type of coif or caul as the older women, but made of red and gold instead of white. There doesn't seem to be much gathering, so I guess that the diameter of the circle is pretty small.

Conclusion: I think this is a two part cap with a flat, quite stiff, front part which is probably wired. It is usually decorated with lace. The other part is a gathered circle of fabric. It's probably attached unevenly, so that the most of the gathers are on top of the cap. The circle can not be very big and the gathers must be really small, since they are hard to see in most paintings. To keep it rounded there might be a roll of some material, like wool or wool felt attached under it, but the fact that the cap is often made of lace or some other sheer material suggests otherwise. Instead, the cap probably got it's shape with the help of starch.

 The other type of undercap can be seen in these paintings. It seems to be based on the same pattern as the elizabethan coif. It is however stiffened, and probably lengthened a little. In swedish folk costume you can see one example of what appears to be the same hat. It's called "stopamössa" and is used with a folk costume with a lot of influence from the fashion in the 1600s (most of them are more influenced by fashion from the end of the 18th c and first half of the 19th).

Frans Pourbus the Elder, 1545-1581: Woman with white hood Note the straighter shape of the cap. There also appear to be some blackwork along the edge.

Catherina van Hermessen: Self portrait, 1548 The same combination of a straight cap and veil as above. These caps seem to be set further back than the type above.

Ambrosius Benson, ca 1495-1550: Portrait de jeune femme à la bague In this earlier image you can see a very similar headwear, although the veil isn't wired. It's shape and body caused by the fabric being stiff, either on it's own or with the help of starching.

All these portraits are made by flemish painters and I think it's safe to say that this was a fashion that was typical for Flanders, or at least the Low Countries in the second half of the 16th century in Flanders. The white headwear combined with the almost uniformmaly black dresses gives a sober impression and in a way points forward to the dutch fashions of the 17th century

2003-07-04  continued
Due to the aforementioned Visby medieval week I haven't got the time to start making a cap yet, but at least I've got a pretty good idea of how to make it. Instead I finished a handsewn linen shirt (basic rectangle and gore cut) for my husband to wear with his 14th c clothes and a linen coif to wear with the same. Not that I think he will wear it very often ;)

I also tried a new way of making woollen hose for myself, which didn't turn out well. I think I'll just stick with the pattern I usually use, tried out for years. My friend Kristian also made a new hose pattern for my husband. I'm truly greatful for this, because the patterns I've made for him never seemed to get the foot part to look nice.
So all I have to do now, before Visby, is to make myself another fillet, two wimples, pink hose for Rickard, black hose for him too, a pair of hose for me and two wooden chests and a table. Plus fixing some minor things with my pavillion. Phew. All this in four weeks and I have to work two of these. There are deadlines for abstracts to two conferences in the end of August and I will be away (medieval week and honeymoon trip) for most of August so I really have to make them now (next week). But that's not really about costuming (my ranting I mean, the abstracts are.)

I decided that now was the time to make an effigy corset. I have a standard corset after Drea Leed's instructions but I made the one without tabs and now I want one with tabs. I have been wanting an effigy corset for at least a year, but always put it off as too complicated. However, after making a 18th century corset after a pattern in Norah Waugh's "Corsets and Crinolines" I feel confident enough to try. The 18th century corset is marvellous and I like the way it shapes my body and makes it look like I actually have a waist :) Since the effigy corset also has tabs and a more shaped cut I hope it will have a similar effect. So, an effigy corset it will be!

I also thought it was smart to make a new corset before I made any new clothes since I'm not sure the shape will be the same. Probably close enough, but still. I just sent my husband downtown on his bike (just hope it doesn't start raining again) to buy lots of cable ties. Initially I had planned to make this corset all by hand, but it really seems like a waste of time and effort to handsew a corset if you bone it with cable ties. I also want to see if I can get a good pattern before I make a corset with handsewn boning channels.

Well, this means putting the cap aside for a while, not that I've actually started on it, but I've thought about it. On the bright side: I've made everything on my list except the minor things on the pavillion and the woodwork. I also made some bath towels of herringbone natural linen and marked the with a gothic (actually textura) letter A, for Aleydis and B, for Budde (yes that's a documented medieval name, don't ask).

 I finally managed to get a photo of the fabric I'm going to use. The colour is, at least on my screen, pretty close to the actual colour.

 I've also tried to take photos of the lace I'm going to use for the cap. But either the camera isn't good enough, which it really isn't, or I can't get it to work. Probably a bit of both.

On the corset side I have boned all parts and added lining and top fabric on two of them. The two layers which hold the boning is thin striped cotton in white and blue (it can be seen on my pocket hoops on the 18th century underwear page in the gallery) and it's lined with herringbone natural linen. The top fabric is grey silk taffeta. It's from the catholic church's bazaar and I got 4 metres for ca 7$. It had been used as a table cloth and have been machine washed, but it's okay for linings and underwear and such. I lined my wedding dress with it so there's almost nothing left now. I'm binding the edges with grey suede and it's a real pain to sew. I got blisters on my thumb from pushing the needle so I'm taking a break from the corset right now.

I have a lot of other sewing to do, but since Göteborg is suffering from a heatwave, I can't do anything right now. I hate when it's warm!

 Later: Here are some bad pictures of the lace. Hopefully you get some idea of how they look. The left lace is wider in reality, ca 3 cm , while the right lace is 1,8 cm and not quite as yellowish as in the picture. Still, I have to find a bleaching method that works on the lace. My first try didn't make any difference. I'm going to try with "bleaching salt", that is, percarbonate.

And pictures of the only finished corset part.

The reason that I have three tabs and not one on the front part, as Queen Elizabeth's effigy had is that she (it) had a waist of 21 inches and I have a 36 inches waist (a little less corseted, but still). The reason that the silk taffeta is a little loose is that it has no elasticity and when the corset is stretched around my body it will need that extra to be able to expand as much as the cotton and linen will do. I've tried pulling the edges in opposite direction and then it looks perfectly flat.

There has been a very long break in the progress of this dress and this dress diary. And it's going to be longer. As the readers of my LiveJournal are aware of, I'm pregnant and expect to have a baby by the end of April. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I lost interest in completing the effigy corset and the dress. I will definitely be wrong shaped to wear it for at least five more months and it will take even longer for my body to decide how it's going to look after pregnancy and breastfeeding. I also plan to try to loose some weight after I've stopped breastfeeding, because it's really not healthy to weigh as much as I do. Since both the corset and the dress are very fitted I can't work on this outfit until maybe next spring. Instead I've started a new dress diary, of the loose kirtle from Patterns of Fashion. While taking a long break from this diary I just wanted to show a good picture of the effigy corset, when it's worn by the effigy.

A 16th century flemish dress, page two 

 I'm opening up this diary again, since I've started on the white cap. I started about a week ago, so this will be partly retrospective. After studying the various pictures of flemish white caps I started by making the lacy under cap. I used Dreas Leed's instructions for making a caul. First I made a circa 30 cm wide circle of linen. Then I attached a strip of lace to it, gathering it slightly so that it would conform to the shape of a circle.

You can see how it looked after ironing here. I gathered the lace a little too much, but it wasn't real problem since it would be gathered in "the other end" too. This cap looks a lot like what Drea calls a "muffin cap" in the aforementioned instructions.
Instead of sewing it directly to the lace "brim" or whatever you should call it I decided to first sew it to a thin folded linen strip, like you do with a simple caul. The main reason for this was that I couldn't figure out how to do the gathering in the back of the neck otherwise and since the front piece of the cap is made entirely of lace in my case I think it was a good idea to stabilize it with a linen strip anyway. Then I sewed two pieces of 3 cm wide lace and a thinner lace together and attached them to the caul.

I actually think it looks quite a lot like the cap on the painting. To be totally honest I suspect that the cap isn't made of lace sewn together but in some kind of cutwork/drawnwork, which would make it possible to make the whole round part of the cap out of lace. But I don't know how to do that so "normal" lace it is. The cap is slightly starched but there is no wiring.

Wonder and amazement: It's been a while, but finally I have another update on this project: The corset is getting near completion! I hadn't touched it for over a year. First I got really tired of sewing the leather binding to the corset and then I got pregnant which made a corset rather useless. But for Visby medieval week I needed a sewing project that was easy to bring and I just couldn't get myself to draw more of the pattern on my embroidered smock. So I packed the corset and some leather needles, which I had just bought and boy, did they make a difference! Just because you can push an ordinary needle through soft leather doesn't mean it's easy, but with a proper needle it was. So I bound the edges of the back piece and attached the second front piece.

I didn't sew much in Visby, camping and taking care of three kids was quite enough, but at least I got started. Then came the unpacking, but yesterday I found the time to start sewing again. I sewed the linings together and started on the lacing holes. The lacing holes on one side was already done so there was only fourteen of them.
Yesterday evening I tried holding the corset together to see if there was any chance it would fit me. Since it is a front-lacing corset fit is much more difficult because I have to be able to close it all the way. The result was not encouraging, I was convinced there was no way it was going to fit me. And what did I expect anyway? It was not only my first corset based on the effigy corset, but the drafting was made one pregnancy ago. So I spent some time in bed thinking of ways to make it possible to use. The best way being to loose weight, but I wasn't too optimistic about that. But anyway, today I made the rest of the lacing holes, thinking that I could always open the corset in the back and lace it there too, like Drea Leed did with her effigy corset. But to my great astonishment it actually fit me.

It isn't laced properly closed on the picture, mainly because I managed to lace it wrong in the middle section, but it is possible to shut all the way and I think it looks really good. So now I'm going to bind some edges! I need more leather to do that, but since it's saturday I will have to wait until monday to get some more. I have enough for the upper edge however.

I finished binding the corset with leather today, pictures will be coming later. I have also played around some with the headdress. First I thought I should only starch the veil and pin it in place, and idea I got from Karinne Taylor's website (edit: unfortunately down now), but there was no way I could get that rounded shape of the veil without wiring the edge. Since it is impossible to get hold of millinery wire in Sweden I had to use ordinary stainless steel wire. Then I didn't know how to attach it to the veil in a good way.
What I did was to place the wire in the middle of a strip of white adhesive tape, fold it over the wire and sew through the tape. Unfortunately the tape was very "brittle" and the the thread cut through it if I wasn't careful. A softer, more elastic tape, like surgical tape would have been a better solution, but by then I had already started sewing the wire to the veil and I didn't want to wait another day until I could get surgical tape. First I sewed through the tape ca 1 cm from the edge of the unhemmed veil, then I folded the linen over the tape and wire and hemmed it the normal way and finally I sewed through it all very close to the wire. We'll see how long it lasts. (edit: It still works, ten years later)Then I tried different ways of draping and pinning the veil.

It is now pinned to the lace brim of the cap and then pinned again to the cap to keep ca 1,5 cm deep folds in place. The edges are then pulled backwards and held together with a few stitches. It differs from the "normal" white headcloth of the netherlands at the time, in that it is folded so that the edges of the "side-part" of the veil is placed on top of the hanging part instead of the other way around. (Compare with most examples on my page with flemish caps). I think I will have to work a little more on the shape, but it seems like I'm on the right track anyway.

In the painting you can't see any pins, but I assume they are there since it is unlikely that this type of headwear was sewn together. It would make washing, ironing and starching much more difficult and the general look of this type of headwear suggests that they were made of a cap with a veil draped over it.

 2004-09-15 I have pictures of the finished corset: Photos by my 10-year-old daughter Valeria.

It doesn't lace properly closed in these pictures. It is possible, but not comfortable to do that, but I don't see this as a problem since I plan to loose some weight. I plan to bone the dress lightly at the front edges so it shouldn't be a problem that there is a 2 cm gap in the front of the corset, it won't be uneven there anyway.

I have also started making a pattern for the black partlet. In a good reproduction of the painting you can see that the dress probably is made from black silk taffeta while the partlet hasn't got the same sheen and probably is made of velvet. It has a very high collar and is buttoned.

My pattern for my white partlets (one of them can be seen here) is too narrow over the bust area, both because my body has changed but also because the new corset makes the bust measurement wider. They also have the collar in one with the partlet and I don't think that's such a good idea when the collar is so high. Well, I'm making a pattern from an old sheet right now and I'll see how that turns out. When Maja allows me to sew again.

The pattern isn't finished yet, first I made it too big and then too small. Further adjustments will probably happen tonight. Anyway, I have decided to line the partlet with plain white linen. Even though most over partlets seem to have some kind of embroidery on the inside, there are also examples of a plain white lining.
I might use a linen towel in diamond twill to line the collar to make it more interesting. I'm not doing any blackwork for the inside of the partlet however.

 I'm such an idiot! So here I go, actually starting on the black partlet for the flemish dress. I zig-zag all the velvet pieces and start attaching the collar. The collar is made the same way as most doublets in PoF, that is; the back of the collar is in one piece with the back piece of the doublet, or in this case partlet and the front pieces are separate. So instead of sewing the partlet together first, the collar then and finally sewing it all together I sew the front collar to the front pieces and then sew the shoulder and side seams. I pin the collar to the partlet and realize that the collar piece is too long. Odd, I think and cut off ca 1,5 cm, zig-zag (both collar pieces of course) and start again. Sew and look at my work. Then I realize that I have attached the collar piece to where the shoulder seam should be, which of course is shorter.

So now I have to cut two new collar pieces. I think I will make them a little different than those I destroyed so I will have to make new lining too. The front pieces and collar will be lined with two layers of white linen, a plain linen interlining and a sheerer linen with various woven patterns forming stripes as the actual lining. The back will only be lined with one layer of plain linen.

 The partlet is finished. It has a lower collar than the original but when I noticed that I had already cut the collar pieces twice and the back of the collar is, as mentioned, cut in one with the back piece and it would waste too much velvet to cut a whole new back piece.

It has 8 hand sewn buttonholes, noneof them looking very good. How can it be that I make so nice lacing holes and ugly buttonholes? I have much more practice on lacing holes, but still, I have at least made 50 hand sewn buttonholes, shouldn't I be better at this? Anyway, they are made with black linen thread, which I waxed before sewing, otherwise the thread frays easily. The buttons are cheap but nice metal buttons. A close-up of them and the patterned linen lining can be seen here.

 In the ideal world I should have pictures of the partlet from the backside, and a better picture from the front, but since I took these pictures myself while my husband was at work, this is what you get :)

But now, when the partlet is finished, I have no real excuse not to start on the actual dress. OK, I could start on the high-necked smock I intend to wear with this dress, but that would be taking procrastination too far, since I really don't need that smock to wear the dress, I can do as I did on the picture; wear a plain smock with square neck opening and a linen partlet.
It's just that I'm not too keen on making the sleeves. Making a new bodice pattern is OK, I will make a toile and my friend Anna can pin it on me and fit it better and the skirt is no sweat, but those high sleeves. Sigh. But I think I have an idea at least: They look very similar to the sleeves of the black loose gown from Patterns of Fashion and since I'm going to make that gown too I'd better learn how to make them.

2005-05-16 There has been a change of plan!
This project really has taken much longer time than I thought it would. Even if we don't count the break caused by preganancy and the arrival of darling Maja I have been procrastinating seriously on this project. But, once again I make a new start. Since last time there has been some changes though.

1. I am now too thin to use my effigy corset. Which means that I have a lovely effigy corset with no visible machine stitching on neither in- nor outside, covered in grey silk, bound in suede and never used. *sigh*. But I can't find it in me to hope to gain weight again. So I made another corset. This corset is made exactly as the one worn by Pfalzgräfin Dorothea Sabina von Neuburg.

It has two layers of linen and one of silk, it is entirely hand sewn in silk thread and the lacing holes have metal rings on both sides, covered in buttonhole silk. The only thing that isn't like the original is that the straps are tied to the front, because they turned out to be too short, the edges are bound in rayon grosgrain ribbon and not real silk and the boning is artificial whalebone. But I made it too small, the gap in the back is too wide, almost 10 centimetres.
Hopefully I will continue getting smaller, but for now I don't feel comfortable in it. So, what was there to do?

Another thing I didn't like with the pink corset is that it is back laced and since I still nurse Maja I need easy access to my breasts. So I decided to make a lightly boned kirtle to wear under the dress. I used an old corset pattern with some adaptions (making it smaller)and came up with the pattern below:

  You can also see where I put boning. I used cable ties, because I had lots at home. If it havn't been said before; I have large breasts, but this kirtle keeps it all where it should be.

The bodice is made from two layers linen and one layer thin wool twill while the skirt is made from two layers of thin wool. I have been contemplating putting an extra layer of felted wool inside the pleats, but I don't think I will, because this style doesn't seem to "puff out" a lot at the hips. I might add a strip of felted wool at the hem later if I discover that it needs it to stand out more from the body. But since I don't have any felted wool at home right now and I'm trying to make do with the materials I already have.

 The skirt is gored since the extant 16th century patterns all seam to have skirt panels with gores. The lining and top fabric were sewn together at the bottom and then hung upside down for a week to stretch. The lining has stretched some more than the outer fabric so tonight I'm going to cut off the excess fabric and finish it with zig-zag before I start pleating the skirt. it is only 3,5 metres at the bottom and smaller at the waist, so I think there won't be so many pleats. Most of them will be at the back, as seen on Holbein's famous sketch of an unknown english lady.
 Anyway, I have to start sewing now, instead of writing. I now have a deadline for this project, the 10th of June, when I'm going to wear it to an event with 16th century Flanders as it's theme.

Oh, the other big change? I decided to make it in black after all. Firstly because I found some other use for my aubergine/dark maroon wool and secondly beacuse I have lots of thin black wool that will look really nice.

 I finished the kirtle tonight. I will make pin-on sleeves later, but it is perfectly wearable as it is.

 The neckline got a little lower and wider in the front than I had intended, but that may even prove useful for wearing under some dresses. Because the back is rather high the straps stays in place even though the frontopening is so wide. I've tried wearing it a little open, like the V-shaped openings on venetian dresses and that looks really good too.

 2005-05-19 Today I cut the skirt and the lining from two different pieces of very thin black wool. The top fabric has a very faint navy tint to it and the lining is a greyer black. I have zig-zagged all pieces and sewn the top fabric together. Now it's pretty late though so I won't finish the lining tonight. I have also cut the sleeves from red dupioni. This is how they look (or at least one of them):

 They are a much deeper and darker red, but the flash changes the colour. I'm quite convinced that the sleeves on the portrait are made of velvet, but I couldn't find velvet with the shine and lustre you see in the picture, so I settled for silk. Tomorrow we have an excursion with my job the whole day and since there will be quite a lot of travelling by bus I plan to sew the sleeves then. They will be lined with white linen.

 2005-05-22 I had some trouble with the sleeves, due to sewing and talking at the same time and being tired and not really paying attention to what I was doing. So I ended up with two right sleeves. I had already done some unpicking, so I wasn't ready to do that again. Since the sleeves were a little long I instead just cut off the upper part of the sleeves and shaped them into one right sleeve and one left sleeve. Now they are little bit too short, but since I'm going to have other sleeves over them it won't show. Of course this lmits the use I can have of them to dresses with short sleeves, but I can live with that.
I sewed on light grey ribbon to tie them to the kirtle with. I had originally planned just to pin them, but they're too short for that now. I haven't decided whether I should make lacing holes on the shoulder straps of the kirtle or put metal eyes on the inside to tie the sleeves to. Probably the latter since it's not so visible. I will need rather large eyes, but they're easy to make so I don't have to buy them.

 I have also made the bodice for the black dress, yesterday I sewed on 24 pairs of hooks and eyes. it was not fun. This morning I put in the kirtle and tried it on and discovered that the front stood out from me instead of following the curve of the bust and that it was too high. The bodice was a little bit too long too. Other than that it fit well. So I cut off 1,5 centimtres at the bottom and finsihed the edges. Then I cut off some fabric in the top of the front opening, ca 2 centimetres and also curved it in more. I also cut off the boning that was along the front edges so it stopped 5 centimetres below the upper edge. I should have known, after making my red doublet that you have to cut the boning before you reach the curve of the bust, but that was several years ago and I had forgotten.

But now it looks good. I have also begun thinking of the sleeves. I have looked at the sleeves of the loose gown from Patterns of Fashion and I also looked at what Drea Leed wrote about the sleeves on her gown. Then I studied the portrait some more and got another idea of how those sleeves were done. It really looks like there a shoulder roll under the sleeve, giving it support. That would also be reasonably easy to do and there is contemporary evidence for it. So I think I will make a linen under sleeve to which a shoulder roll is attached and probably some boning too, like in the german gown and Dreas gown. Then there will probably be another layer of linen and then the black wool. But now I will get company so that will have to wait until some other day.

I have been getting very little sleep lately, as well as having other things to do in the evenings so work on the dress has been a little slower. On Thursday (it is now Saturday) night I made the rolls for the sleevehead though.You can see them here:

 The upper roll is just sewn together and stuffed and the lower is also shaped to fit the shoulder curve. They are made from almond-shaped peieces of fabric, 23 cm long and 8 centimetres wide in this case. After they are stuffed and theopening sewn shut you bend it to the curve you want and sew a few stitches were the fabric creases to make it hold that shape.

Then I attached it to an under sleeve from black linen. I put them a little outside the shoulder beacuse I wanted them to hold out the sleeves to make my shoulders look wider, not to stand straight up.

 I had a lot of troble finding everything I need for this project and had to walk around for hours to different shops, none of which had real wool cloth. Finally, when I had given up and decided that I would have to use velvet ribbon as guards instead I mentioned my fruitless searching to the woman at the haberdashery and it turned out they had wool cloth, because it is sometimes used to give shape to collars in very high end tailoring. It was very expensive of course, c. 80 $/metre, but it was still cheaper than buying all that velvet ribbon. And much more period, since it was nylon velvet that never would have looked really right.

 I also looked around for brass rings for the girdle, but had no luck at all. Then when I told Anna about it at choir on wednesday it turned out her boyfriend had brass rings left over from a mail shirt project. So it all turned out well. Now I just need to sew.
I have been sewing a little 16th century loose gown for Maja instead, from red fulled wool, lined with grey linen, but now it is finished except the hooks and eyes and the metal "lace" or ribbon along the front opening and hem, so I can work on my sleeves.

 I have been working on the sleeves this last week. The current construction is linen undersleeves with small rolls attached to them and then puff sleeves from two layers of linen and one layer of wool. Here you can see how the pattern for the sleeves look, and the finished sleeve.

I gathered everything except the 8 centimetres closest to the seam with two rows of gathering stitches. The gathers look like tiny cartridge pleats. Because of the thickness of material I sewed the sleeves on by hand from the right side. Then I sewed three strips of wool cloth along the sleeve (and there was much fiddling until I found the positions I liked and then to get them alike on both sleeves). Finally I made two strips of cloth to go around the bottom of the sleeves and cut scallops before whipstitching them together over the edges.

This project is getting close to completion, after two years. Now I only need to attach the skirt and sew the guards along the front and sides. I also need to take in the partlet and put those lacing rings on the shoulder straps of the green kirtle. But it is likely that it will be finished on Friday when I'm going to wear it.

2005-06-12 The dress got finished, or at least almost finished for the event.

I still need to decide wether I should make another row of wool guards. If so, they will probably only be on the bodice, because the pleating of the skirt would make it hard to continue them down along the skirt. my husband needs to finish the girdle and I think I need to make a new partlet.
The old one doesn't really fit after I lost weight. I took it in at the sides, but that made it a little wonky at the neck. I also think it should be made from wool cloth so the guards and partlet match like they do on the portrait (but that dress is made from taffeta and velvet).

 I like the whole dress a lot, but what I like most is the headwear. It is fairly simple but looks complicated in a period way. A special bonus is that if you are careful not to put any pins through your hair whil epinning the veil to the cap you can take the whole thing off and put it on without repinning it or even looking in a mirror. As long as the edges of the lace cap are at the same level on your face you know that it sits right. This is very practical if you need to lay down and nurse like I do. Or lay down for any other reason, since lying down in that headwear isn't a good idea.

 This diary isn't totally finished, since the girdle isn't done so there will be a few more updates before I go ahead and make a page for this dress in Costume gallery.

2006-04-18 I wasn't very happy with the shape of the sleeves. I used the dress at the local SCA group Gotvik's annual event st. Egon (photos here) and also at Visby medieval week ( the two last pictures). But the sleeves were bugging me. I had heard about the new book, The Tudor Tailor, so I decided to wait until I got it before doing anything with the sleeves. Well, now the book has arrived and the sleeves are changed and I must say that they look much better now. For now you have to take my word for it, because I haven't had the time to pose for the camera yet. My sweet friend Björn also bought me the pomander on this photo as a christmas present, so now I have everything I need. He really is too kind to me.

Back to the finished gown.

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