That gorgeous gold brocade just begged to become an Eleanora di Toledo 16thC Florentine gown.
I started with the double layer of canvas interlining. One layer with seam allowances and one without.
Eyelets can be a little nerve racking, one misplaced hole and your done for. So remember ...
'Alwaies measure manie, before you cut anie.'John Florio, Second Frutes 1591.
Getting the sottana to fit nicely on my adjustable dress form for photo's was a bit of a challenge.
My current project is inspired by Pflazagrafin Dorothea Maria Von Sulzbach's gown c1639 as seen in 'Patterns of Fashion The cut and construction of clothes for men and women c1560-1620' by Janet Arnold (PoF). The gown is housed at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.
I dug through my fabric stash for the right fabric for this project and found some grey wool (possibly wool blend) suiting that has been waiting to be used for years now, as well as a grey stripe fine shirting fabric (a linen or cotton blend) that has never decided what it wanted to be.
The bodice went together so smoothly, the skirt on the other hand is fighting me every step of the way.
The fabric shifts and stretches and generally refuses to behave. I wrangled with it and it was almost together, the front panels and gores were stitched, the lining stitched to the front opening, the back panels were stitched and all that needed to be done was join the front and back panels and then add the lining for the back. This is when it became apparent that it just wasn't going to work. It would have to be flat-lined.
I've been in a bit of a creativity slump. This happens every now and then and always passes. I find the best thing to do is change projects, something new that is inspiring and gives you that costuming thrill, something that gets the creative juices flowing and makes you impatient to get started. Suddenly you've lost hours in researching the heck out of it, delving into the depths of your stash hunting that 'thing' you bought a decade ago that you knew would be just perfect for something one day and you'd almost forgot you even had. The kind of project that is the last thing you think about before falling asleep and the first thing you think about when you wake up. You've just got to make it!
I wish the Met Museum provided dimensions for this bustle, but they haven't so I made some guesstimates.
The creases and folds make it hard to gauge estimates but I gave it a go.
You may have noticed two missing dimensions in my previous post, waist and length. I did some guess work on ruffle lengths, referenced some other bustle pads and used my own waist as a bit of a guesstimate, but a bit more bustle research showed up this image of the 1886 Tampico bustle on Pinterest,
The stash yielded some counter-change polyester in a blueish shade and some purple which I used for bias binding. I played with a few different ruffle methods until I found one I was happy with.
I'm quite pleased with the final results from the flannelette version of the Tampico style bustle.
So what is a caul anyway?
If you googled 'caul' you might have found something about babies being born with a membrane on their head, which is considered to be good luck, however historically a caul is a head covering worn by women usually in the form of a hair net and that is what I will be discussing here.
I promised to share some of my incomplete projects with you to help me determine if they should be WIPs or UFO's.
Today's Incomplete Projects
A few of my iterations of the Pfalzgrafin Dorothea Sabine von Neuberg pair of bodies, c1598.
Each version is a mock-up for testing different things such as order of work, size, materials, pattern corrections etc.
An experiment in boning materials
I need to get back to sorting out those UFO's. This corset was an experiment I started on last year. I wanted a design to work with Eleanora's gown, the 'Pisa' gown and other 16thC garments.
Remember how I said I was going to crochet some hairnets to find the right design for Eleanor's caul? Well I have been crocheting snoods, varying the sizes, getting distracted by extant boudoir caps, making beanies because it's cold, had a few 'that's not right' moments and I've learnt a lot.
Pouches were highly decorated affairs richly purfylled in polychrome and metallic threads, braids, beads of glass, pearl, metal and coral and all manner of fancy work.
Tassels were a common feature depending from the seams, corners, drawstrings and handles. Drawstring pouches were closed with a double drawstring threaded through eyelets or a channel stitched into the fabric.
I make a lot of my own paper patterns. I prefer not to fold patterns if I can.
For large skirts and dresses, pattern drafts, pattern nests and anything really large
I roll up it and store it upright.
Earlier this year I started work on patterns for the Sture lads from Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620.
Moda a Firenze 1540-1580 Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza is one of my most prized books and an absolute must have reference book for 16thC Florentine costume.
I thought I would share with you some of my favourite historical costume reference books that aren't by Ms Arnold. These 5 books I have read and re-read and will read again.
I really LOVE my books.
Personally I prefer my reference books in print and novels in e-book form because that way I can have way more then I ever could otherwise.