Elizabeth Woodville portrait dress (part 3)

Dress with the cuffs, collar, and a little matching pouch

Dress with the cuffs, collar, hat, and a little matching pouch

In an earlier post I showed off the simple black dress I made for (Kadie/Sicillia). The dress is fine as-is, but in order to make it more like the portrait she wished to emulate, I needed the cuffs and collar as well… Continue reading

Elizabeth Woodville portrait dress (part 2)

Me wearing the finished dress. I'm a bit bustier than the person it's intended for, and I'm not wearing a shift under the dress

Me wearing the finished dress. I’m a bit bustier than the person it’s intended for, and I’m not wearing a shift under the dress

In an earlier post I showed off the initial ‘muslin’ or mock-up dress I made for a friend-of-a-friend. (Kadie/Sicillia) I made the mock up in a synthetic fabric which looks and feels a lot like smooth wool suiting, but once the muslin fit well, it was time to make the dress up in the final fabric – a black wool suiting with red brocade.

Direct link from Pinterest. Click for original, or the original source here.

As a reminder, above is the portrait we’re referencing for this costume… a portrait of Elizabeth Woodville.

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Dress in the style of Elizabeth Woodville portrait

The dress I’ll show today was made for someone else – a woman in the SCA living in Edmonton who I actually only met once before offering to sew a dress for her! She’s a friend of a friend, and for a special occasion needed/wanted a dress – and had been wanting a dress in the style of the Elizabeth Woodville portrait. (below)

Direct link from Pinterest. Click for original, or the original source here.

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Henin in the style of the Woodville portrait

For Caterina’s elevation, I’m helping a friend of hers to make a new outfit. This is based off the dress of Elizabeth Woodville, and the outfit includes a hat (which coordinates with the collar and cuffs from the dress, but is not the same fabric according to the portrait…)

Direct link from Art.uk

From the portrait, the hat appears to be a henin with a butterfly veil. I don’t know if the recipient would do the veil, so I’m focusing just on the henin. It seems to have a very shaped band at the face, and only a VERY slight taper to the crown, so that’s what I’m going to try to make.

Using the portrait as reference to develop the henin pattern

Using the portrait as reference to develop the henin pattern

I used the portrait when drafting the pattern for the henin. The hat sits further back on the head, so I measured her head at the hairline rather than the crown, made a band to that measurement, and then at centre-front added the front dip. I’ll be wiring this, and hopefully can slightly curve it to her head, which should help keep the hat on. I made it fairly narrow, but perhaps slightly thicker than the portrait (?) so that I can fit a tiny comb or loops for bobby pins in there to help keep it on her head.

Next I sketched in the curve upwards, and then slashed ever 2″ over the centre front and towards the back, and overlapped the pieces by 1/8 of an inch for a VERY small taper.

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Shrunken head

… a self-portrait on shrink plastic

self-portrait in pencil crayon on shrink plastic before shrinking

self-portrait in pencil crayon on shrink plastic before shrinking

When starting to work with shrink plastic I read that if I wanted to use coloured pencil, that it would be a good idea to lightly sand the surface before starting. I had NO idea what I wanted to draw, so while looking around my craft room my gaze landed on a self-portrait I had recently painted, and I decided to give that a whirl – mostly to try out the technique more than anything else.

I sanded down the plastic, and then sketched out the portrait pretty loosely (having thought that the colours would intensify, but also thinking that details would be lost) with two shades of blue, white, and a tiny bit of pink pencil crayon.

I ended up using a full sheet of plastic, since I couldn’t really figure out where to cut it… again – this was just to try out the technique.

When the end result came out of the oven, I figured I’d also test out bending the plastic around a form… and bent it around a can sitting on the counter – so it sort of is a portrait that stands by itself!

Some of the other projects I've worked on recently

The portrait after baking along with other projects I worked on at the same time.

While the colours intensified a great deal (I actually am a bit disappointed how much the pink came through) I thought that the detail of the shading marks would blend together – and they didn’t… I don’t really love how I can see every pencil line.. though it’s definitely a different kind of self-portrait!