German split-brim hat – Historical Sew Monthly February 2017

German Renaissance style costume hat

My German Renaissance Split-Brim hat with grey ostrich feathers worn with my black velveteen Gollar and my Cranach gown costume.

In mid-January the SCA barony I live in celebrated the step-up of a new Baron and Baroness, who have German personas. To recognize their elevation in a symbolic kind of way, several of us planned to add German elements to our existing costumes. As I wasn’t entirely sure if I could pull together a new German gown in time for the coronet, I decided to start with accessories. First the Gollar I already posted about, and next a new hat.

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Cranach Gown – the skirt

My living room was the only flat surface large enough to cut out the skirt for my Cranach gown.

My living room was the only flat surface large enough to cut out the skirt for my Cranach gown.

The next vital item for my Cranach Gown costume was the skirt – kind of hard to have a gown without a skirt – right? I DID consider momentarily taking a heavy wool-like winter full skirt that I have in my mundane wardrobe to substitute in if I absolutely had to.. though I knew it wouldn’t really hang correctly or be long enough. Still… it was in the back of my mind with two evenings left to complete this costume.

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Cranach Gown – the second bodice

Some of the steps to make the Cranach Gown costume bodice. 1) Stitching down the lining facing, 2) pinning the Brustfleck/Stomacher in place, and 3) double-checking the measurements.

Some of the steps to make the Cranach Gown costume bodice. 1) Stitching down the lining facing, 2) pinning the Brustfleck/Stomacher in place, and 3) double-checking the measurements.

So, with less than a week to go, I had to re-start the bodice for my Cranach Gown.
This made a few factors really important to me:

  1. I needed to have fast construction methods – very little hand-sewing except where it was absolutely necessary.
  2. I was going to have to skip some of the extra steps. I anticipated not having the (rather lengthy) hem done, and I didn’t think I’d have time for the guards on the skirt. I also wasn’t sure if I’d be able to have sleeves for this event and considered either going with no sleeves (just using the chemise sleeves) or re-using the sleeves from either my red and gold or green Italian gowns.
  3. I was willing to sacrifice some of the historically-informed choices in favour of “fast” – especially with items that could be upgraded later. For instance, if I did make sleeves, I was willing to just lace them on through the fabric rather than instilling eyelets, and I was willing to have them go unlined.
    I also needed to consider that between all my activities during the day, I’d need to get dressed reasonably quickly.

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Cranach Gown – the second toile

Cutting out the second toile for the Cranach Gown costume bodice - I marked the seam allowances directly on the fabric.

Cutting out the second toile for the Cranach Gown costume bodice – I marked the seam allowances directly on the fabric.

If you read my previous post about the bodice for my Cranach gown, (version 1) you’ll know that on Sunday the 14th I knew that the bodice as I had it was not going to work for the event on the following Saturday. I had two choices – try to make the bodice as-is work, or start again from scratch. Given the amount of work needed to undo what I had done and re-do parts of it, and the fact that I did have enough material (or so I thought.. LOL) I thought it would be better to start again.

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Cranach Gown – the first bodice

The Cranach Gown costume bodice on my dressform while I tried to work out some of the problems... unsuccessfully.

The Cranach Gown costume bodice on my dressform while I tried to work out some of the problems… unsuccessfully.

In my previous post I showed the first toile for my Cranach gown’s bodice. In this post I’ll share the Cranach Bodice Failure – the bodice that didn’t really work.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I started off by auditioning different fabric combinations in early January. Ideally I would have liked to have used red velveteen with gold brocade – but since I didn’t have a job when I started this project, I wanted to only use fabric I already had in my stash – and I didn’t have enough red velveteen by far.

I opted to use black wool that I bought at Fabricland that I already had in my stash. I had three different gold brocade/damasks, and liked the green/gold one best – as did most of the people who responded to my posts.

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