Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wife's New Clothes - 16th Century Woman's Clothing

Well I'm not even done with my projects for this weekends event and my mind is constantly wandering on what's next. I find the planning and design phase the most fun portion of any project. Probably why I design and start 4 times more projects than i finish. When any project is more than 70% done I need to start planning whats next. So, here's what's next.

I've been wanting to make a set if period clothing for my wife for a ling time, although she doesn't care for playing dress up neatly as much as I do. We are planning on attending an even in January called 12th night. I explained it to my children by referring to the movie Enchanted. There is a ball at the end of the movie. Lots of fancy clothes and dancing. My wife has agreed to accompany me on what should be a fun weekend getaway.

So my wife needs clothes. Something period appropriate for mid/late 16th century and yet comfortable enough for someone not fond of playing dress up. She attends one SCA event a year and occasionally will dress up for a trip to the local renaissance faire. After reviewing books and online resources and many discussions with Erika Yungkurth Hepler and much day dreaming... I've come up with a plan.

I started with a photo of my wife. I sketched a tracing of her modern clothing and then did three alternative ways to where her future period outfit. I did some color layering so that she could visualize and agree to the design. Mostly I did it because I like to play with artsy-fartsy drawing toys.

Here's the design of what I hope her outfit will look like for the January event.
 — with The Wife.

I started with a photo of my wife...

I then imported the image into a drawing app on my phone.  I then traced her image and used the shape to trace and draw a set of images of some options for clothing.


The progression of the layers and some options for colors.  We have 2 kids. Their favorite colors are blue and green. I think my wife looks best in red. So I made one outfit with red a red jacket and this layout can be worn when kids are coming to an event with us.


The last mockup probably won't ever be made.  I wanted to draw it up anyway to see what options might look like and honestly I was having fun playing with the drawing app. I still like the red jacket version best.


 I believe this will be the shirt to be worn with the new outfit which will begin after Thanksgiving.

In lieu of a "real" chemise, my wife will wear this under the kirtle. Made from handkerchief weight linen. Lace trim taken from recycled tablecloth.


Never having made anything like this I wanted to make a mockup to see what the wife thought before I went too far.  This kirtle prototype made from a curtain.


Pinned up for fitting. To get a feel for the look under tension I stitched the lacing in. I didn't lace it up properly and it looks like the back is a bit low. That was fixed when I added lacing holes.


Lacing holes inserted and reinforced. Laced up with some inkle woven tape. Not sure I like it but will wait to decide after fitting. Cartridge pleating has begun... and I'm not a fan. 😕


Achievement unlocked... cartridge pleat. Pinned and sewn. First time for me.


Jacket fitting. Sleeves will be set today. Nearing completion.


Brass hooks and eyes made from solid brass wire from Menards. Shaped and then hammered slightly to harden. Will use 7 sets for the front of the jacket.

Well, I think it's done. Final fitting. Not to happy with the fit though. Been a long day of sewing. Will reconsider in a few days.


It didn't dawn on me until later that I never took a photo of the coif I made for my wife.  Here is an image somebody else took of us at the event that shows the coif.