Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mistress Melford Muses

Hehe. Alliteration. <3

OK. So. I've been fabric whoring and thinking about Anne's gown. I've finally come up with a design I like for both the gown and the doublet.

My biggest problem was the sleeves. Most gowns of the time have giant rolls on the shoulders, and that would end up being lumpy and strange under a doublet. I WAS considering going the German route, since their basic style was completely sleeve-volume-less:

1561, Neufchatel, "A Young Lady"

1560s, Wiegel, "A Lady of Nürnberg"

There are two problems with this- first, I don't fee like I could pull that style off, especially without stays and that trim, it just looks awkward. Of course, watch me next year- "So! German!" HAHA.
The second problem is that I'm not even going to be unrealistic enough to try and fit a German style dress into Anne Melford's wardrobe. Just... no. "Well see a German sailor washed up on shore while she was walking, and she fell in love with him so they carried on an illicit affair while she nursed him back to health and then when he left, he came back and BROUGHT HER A DRESS FROM NÜRNBURG. O_o" Yeah, no. Not going that route. XP

While the skirt especially is definitely more of a flared medieval look, which I love, just... no. Ren Faire is for Farthingales and stays. I can have gored skirts as Sorcha pretty much whenever I want. XP

So anyways! I went a-hunting for some more alternatives. Eventually I settled on leg-o-mutton sleeves like the ones in the Georgette de Montenay (1567) and Pink Lyon (1565) paintings-

I'm going to trim the bodice like the 1569 "flower shift" gown. Tempted as I am to MAKE a flowery shift and partlet, I have neither the time nor patience for it at the moment. That's definitely a project for when I have nothing else to do but embroider the hell out of a shift and partlet. XP
But I feel like one day, I definitely will have to. Maybe next year for Faire... I don't think I'd do it in red, but maybe. Anne's gown this year is green and brown with a steel blue doublet and burgundy trim, so there really isn't any other colour left, and I do look rather well in red. I don't know, we shall see. I just think it's so fun! Kind of like when vintage things have cherries on them. This is the Elizabethan version of 'the cherry'. XP More besides, fun embroidered sleeves means no oversleeves which means "Yay! I can be cooler in the 1000ºF furnace that is Faire!" XP

Young Lady (Maybe Helena Snakenborg), 1569

So. On to Mistress Melford's Gown!

(Note: Sketches of all this are to come in Part the Next!)

The Gown:
This entire dress at the end is turning out to be a reflection of what is decidedly a lady of the country, or at least the outdoors. (You know, the kind of 'hard core quaint' 18th century French noblewomen thought they were being when they went to visit their giant-ass manor-cottages in the country? Marie Antoinette has a great depiction of this. ^_^)
I think I see a name forming for Mistress Melford's new gown- The Hunter Gown. You shall see why!

I wanted a green gown, but not the blue-green of Lady Manners' (or whomever she is now, haha!), but more of a yellowy grey-green, though not quite a sage. I found this lovely cotton velvet at Renaissance Fabrics for $12/yd. -

There is still some debate about trim. While the best trim on Elizabethan things seems to be very textured and three dimensional, the trim on Mistress Maybe's gown seems to be just a flat, inkle-woven trim. Of course, it could be trim with gold embroidery, which wouldn't surprise me in the least, but it would still be flat, or at least not as textured as some others. At the very least, if it IS flat, it doesn't look ill being so. Since I'm using cotton velvet, the pile wouldn't be as much of an issue as it would were I using silk or rayon velvet. I did find this darling, and I LOVE it- at 7/8" wide, it should be a fairly good size for bodice trimming. I feel like I'd want to do some gold beading on it, which is fine- it has perfectly marked places to do so in the centre of each 'flower' and at each side of them.
The forepart of the skirt I'm still split on. I want it to be the 'noblest' part of the gown, with beading etc. on it. While beading the flowers on brocade is always a good option (and I did find some I liked), I'm also kind of thinking of decorated brown silk- I'm a fan of the trim going in one vertical line down the centre with a bunch of diagonal stripes converging into it and meeting in the middle "pointing" downwards. Like, uh.... \I/, but continually down. XP
But anyways- brocade!

Fie, I really aught to just post this on LJ. It's so much easier to get pictures to go where you want them to... XP

The Doublet:
For the doublet, I really want horizontal trim coming into the center of the bodice like so (photo courtesy of Melanie Schuessler)-

I don't know if I'd like to do picadils or simply a peplum. Maybe I could do a peplum on the gown and picadils on the doublet... we shall see.

I should like it in steel grey/blue, like this. I'm worried about the wool, though. I'm not an expert in Elizabethan, so I'll have to see what their wool quality was like, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as fine as say, Victorian wool. Being used to the Middle Ages, I'm used to wool that LOOKS like wool. So when I see suitings and the like, I freak out and have to really touch them before I can be convinced that they aren't polyester heh! I have yet to find a wool that colour in a nice coating that I like, but ah well. This says it's worsted, and I just hope it's the nice lightweight but still textured worsted wool as opposed to the wierd suiting worsted wool. I would also like it because I only need a yard or so, and it's $10.75/yd. XP I think I'll order a swatch. Can anyone tell what the fabric quality might be like?

Aaaand trim du doublet (burgundy on top). Since it's narrower, I'd have a few more stripes than converge on Ms. Schuessler's.-

So that's that... I shall do a sketch and see what becomes of it. The sketch will be posted some time in the near future...

I wouldn't bother with this until after July only I feel that somehow it's my *duty* to make a new gown.
First of all, I should have a gown for Faire. I should have an Elizabethan gown of some sort. One never knows when one might need an Elizabethan gown. XD
I should make one before Faire is over. I'm broke and I haven't any stays of my own, and I've only five weeks left. Deep down I know I could get it done if I really wanted to, but then I remember my giant AGS list. I suppose I could work on them in tandem... it's just that I am so very broke-! I do need a new dress if I am to go with William. It's not that Lady Manners' gown isn't lovely, it's just that... well... if such company is going to grace me, then there is absolutely no chance in hell that I am going to pass up an opportunity to ah... wear an open partlet and still be considered a lady. XP
See, being me, I don't get to use Hallowe'en as 'Dress-like-a-woman-of-ill-repute" Day. That's what Faire is for, only it's better, because I get to be super classy and noble all whilst proving that at least in stays, I do indeed have a bosom. XP
I have come to a conclusion. If I can find the money to make this, I shall. Keeping in mind that I have also to buy fabric for ALL of my AGS things.... fie. I really do want this gown. I also really want more money, but what can ya do.

Second, I feel all... involved since I joined Friends of Faire. It's really not a big deal, and you get so much more than you pay for, and even though there are only 1000 people allowed in a year and what have you, I just feel... like I'm actually a part of something? I don't know. I'm not, not really- I'm not on court and I don't actually work there. But somehow I feel like I aught to contribute something. Some sense of communal duty, if you will.

...It's probably the pin. XD

1 comment:

  1. my only thought is that you most likely wouldn't be wearing a "gown" under a doublet; it would be a kirtle. the kirtle wouldn't have any shoulder decoration. in fact, it would be sleeveless and maybe have sleeves that tie on.