October 23, 2007

A few notes on my ensemble

The guards on the sleeves and skirt hem were typical of Florentine dress in the 1500's and (in my case) handily covered some machine stitched hems. I'm not sure if the placement of the guards on the upper portion of my sleeve would be correct or not, but when I found out that I'd cut the sleeves too short I figured I had to have something to cover up the new seam. The sleeves tie onto the dress at the top shoulder with the ribbons. They simply pass through small loops made with lacing cord that I tacked onto the inside of the sleeves and shoulders.

The skirt is simply gathered with the back of the skirt being slightly fuller than the front. The skirt itself is simply a rectangular piece of linen 120" long, cut along the selvage, gathered, and sewn up the front. The bodice is interlined with a hemp corded lining. You can see what that looks like below.


The bodice is spiral laced, and for the rings I just used the loop part from a package of ring and bar type fasteners that I got at Michael's. I still feel like I need to resew the front part since the sides don't remain parallel when laced tightly enough for support. The bodice pattern itself is a modification of a commercial pattern (McCall's I think). I took out all the extra shaping seams (over the bust and in the back) and just used the center back, side, and front to provide the shaping. I also readjusted the shoulder's outwards slightly and fiddled with the neckline front and back.

The chemise is made according to Jennifer Thompson's pattern, and would be very nice actually if I hadn't inadvertently cut the back piece too short thereby messing up the neckline. As is, it's actually rather small, and I'll likely make a new one at some point if I'm going to be wearing it very much.

I'm wearing a snood I found a while back at a vintage clothing store. I actually came up with a good way to keep it on my head. First I put on a skinny elastic heandband. Then I clipped some barrettes over the hair band on either side of the center of my head ie ( -b--|--b-). On top of all that I slipped a modern,invisible hair net -making sure that I looped the front over the edges of the clips. Then I just put my snood on over that, again catching the front edge under the barrettes. It stayed put very well. Apparently the Florentine women wore a band around the forehead to keep their's in place, but I didn't have time to contrive one before we went. This worked very well though.

Other than that I'm wearing a necklace I got from my grandmother and some black chinese mary janes with grey knee socks.

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