Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tudor Gown

Well, I suppose I should explain the yards and yards of ruffles. They're being sewn onto a farthingale/hoop-skirt to allow me to cheat a bit and kind of make it a petticoat without the need for another layer. We'll see how it goes.

The farthingale is going under a costume I've got on the go (although I haven't actually cut the dress fabrics yet -- I'm waiting on finishing the farthingale). I'm going to make the Tudor dress that Simplicity drafted:

And oddly, I ended up going with similar colours even though my original hope was to do a sapphire or a dark green gown. I'm not going with velveteen, though. My main fabric is a taffeta that shines burgundy or nearly black depending on what angle you see it at:

It has embroidered vines all over it which should give it some interest. I should probably state at this point though that I'm not going for historical accuracy (as should be obvious at this point). I want the dress to be lovely and balanced, but I'm not going to avoid awesome fabrics because they weren't period.

My contrast fabric for the underskirt is a golden brocade type fabric. The two of them together is quite wonderful:

I chose it because of the pattern on it. It matches a brooch that I'm going to be putting in the center of the neckline:

I wasn't deliberately trying for anything like that, but when I realized what I was looking at my decision was made. I'm going to be incorporating pearls around the neckline as well, and potentially some embroidery work in golden thread (not gold thread, because that would be silly, but something like the colour and sheen of the underskirt material).

I intend to alter the back closure to an invisible zipper rather than lacing. Yes, I realize there will be a few people reading this that just sputtered in indignation, but hear me out. I was originally delighted by a lace-up dress. The authenticity and uniqueness of it was wonderful in my mind. That was before I drafted and made up the corset that goes under it all (which I will dedicate another post to). The corset has no front opening, just the lacing at the back. It is the most annoying thing in the world to get in and out of. I would still love to have a lace-up dress, but I'll have to put that off until I have a lady-in-waiting to dress me.

Anyway, my original plan with the dress was to make up some different undersleeves -- something with masses of deep lace spilling out. But I realized that it would unbalance the dress a bit and I'll have to leave those for another style of dress - perhaps one that has lacing at the center front, I don't know. My point is, I had been planning to use the underskirt fabric on the sleeve turn-backs. Now that I've decided to use the proper undersleeves, I'll be using the fabric on them. Which means I've got to make a decision on the colour of the turnbacks.

The vast majority of the pictures and dresses I've come across on the internet follow that rule: the underskirt matches the undersleeves, and the turnbacks are a contrasting colour. My problem is, I don't really want greenish sleeves like the pattern envelope (and a fair amount of examples I found). And I don't really want a different colour either. Blue would be too blue, I hate orange in anything, yellow is too close to gold. So my choice at this point is between a burgundy very similar to the fabric itself, and a black. I can find examples of both out there, but far more of the black.

This is an example of the black sleeve turnbacks:

As is this, although it's on a doll, not a person. I think, though, that the colours are truer to my fabrics in this example:

One more for good measure:

And then here's an example of the matching turnbacks (based on an actual painting from the period, so there is that):

And one more:

Now, I'll admit that the dresses with the matching turnbacks do seem to lack a richness that the ones with the black have. It's just...would it be too black? I suspect I'll have to leave the sleeves be until I'm nearly done and kind of grab some black fabric and pin it up to see what I think of it on my dress.
The other thing is, most of those turnbacks seem to be fur. I'm thinking I'd substitute velvet. I'm not really wanting massive fur sleeves. Would this be odd-looking? I really don't want to work with (fake) fur.

No comments:

Post a Comment