Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Hiatus is Over...


It's time to get down to work; it's April and I am no closer to having anything to wear for Halloween.  It was a lovely morning, it was time to get up and spend some serious time with my pattern book.

Once you've measured yourself, Margo's first instructions, in the Tudor Lady's Wardrobe Handbook, are to sort the various pattern sheets and cut the pattern pieces out; then use them as templates for the final pattern pieces.  It's good advice, the original patterns are lovely, but huge, gossamer thin and utterly unwieldy!  It's also horrible to cut.  Cutting out all the pieces took 3hrs but are now all labelled up in their little plastic envelopes; sitting there looking at me, waiting...  Another hour and I'd also worked out my "to make" list.  Extremely good on certain details, the handbook requires a little detective work when choosing the various parts of the outfit and selecting the elements that work together.

Based primarily on Holbein's Unknown English Lady c.1535, the list is as follows:

Smock
Kirtle
Gown with Square Sleeve and train (Gown A)
Small Foresleeve (A)
Tudor Coif
French Hood
Sash

The French Hood is my one deviation from the picture, but I prefer the smaller French Hood and it is equally in keeping with the 1530s-1540s, as the Holbein portrait of The Lady Parker from 1540 shows.

Finally, I drew up a shopping list of the fabric needed... then made myself a strong cup of tea and was grateful that I was sat down!  

Some of the fabric lengths are guesses as a) my measurements run from a size 2 to a size 10 and b) the patterns are made for someone 4-5 inches shorter.  They are going to require a fair amount of adjusting and lengthening; where in doubt I have gone for more rather than less; I can always find a use for the leftovers.

The (Long and Slightly Scary) Fabric List:

Smock:  3 yds - I've bought white cotton lawn
Kirtle main fabric: 6 yds 
Kirtle lining: 1.5 yds
Kirtle interlining: 1.5 yds
Kirtle forepart: 1.5 yds - possibly my love orange find...
Kirtle piping: 1.5 yds
Kirtle contrast trim and piping: 2 yds
Foresleeves main fabric: 1/2 yd
Foresleeves flatlining: 1/2 yd
Foresleeves lining: 1/2 yd
Gown main lining: 9-12 yds (depending on the fabric width)
Sleeve lining: 2.5 yds
Gown bodice flatlining: 1-1.5 yds
Coif: 1yd
French Hood paste: 1/2 yd
French Hood veil: 1 yd
French Hood lining: 1 yd

And this doesn't include any of the notions (lacings, boning etc.) or the decoration.  There was nothing for it but to go shopping; I am now the happy owner of 6 yds of black cotton sheeting for my Kirtle and a dark orange Jacquard, my second contrast fabric.  Pictures later.  With any luck I'll be a busy, sewing, bee tomorrow. 



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