First, the polonaise is still coming along, I have gotten to the tedious slow part of sewing in the boning to the bodice and then I will finish the back with a couple bows, once that is completed I will post pictures. I took my time on the project and enjoyed it greatly I had no event in mind to wear it to so it has been my "go-to" project. I will most likely wear it to the Old Sacramento Easter Bonnet Promenade this upcoming April. Of course that means I need a truly fantastic hat to go with it. So, we'll see.
So onto a new project.
I have had a 16th century doublet gown in mind for well almost 10 years now. Ever since my mom bought me several yards of dark green velvet that was on sale at a fabric store in Reno. The design has been there in my mind and then changed a bit once I got my hands on Moda a Firenze 1540-1580. This book is full of lovely portraits and lodes of inspiration for the lover of renaissance fashion. Here are a couple of examples of 16th century doublets that I am using for inspiration.
The riding habit from Shakespeare in Love. Though not a historical outfit, I do really like the doublet in general. I plan to have my skirt be a yellow tapestry fabric that took me forever to find. So this image Gives an idea of having the doublet different from the skirt.
Portrait of a Noblewoman
Lavinia Fontanai, 1580
I enjoy the gold embroidery on this one. I do not plan to have my front in the open style however this portrait is one that I find myself coming back to over and over again.
So, why the new gown? Does a costumer need a reason. Sometimes we do, especially when we lack time to do all the things that we would love to do. I have a dear friend who is getting married in April. Since I mainly spend my time at Faire playing Irish I have not been able to justify putting together another nobles outfit. This wedding is going to be themed and garb is appreciated so Bingo I now have an excuse/reason to spend time on a new gown that will not get a lot of wearing but one that I would like to have anyway.
I have decided to start with a new set of stays/corset. I have decided to use a commercial pattern and review it as I sew it. I started this past weekend and will upload the pictures and first part of the pattern review on my next post which I promise will not take months for me to do. The pattern is the Simplicity 2621 and I am going to do my best to not alter it too much. If I find that the pattern does not give me the desired shape and fit that I would like then I am prepared to make the effigy stays as well.
It occurred to me that many of the people that I talk to don't have the first idea how to make a pattern or find a pattern for historical garb. So I figure if I use a commercial pattern that anyone can find and buy, maybe I can provide a few tips so it wont be so intimidating to get the foundations for your 16th century garb more accurate.