CoBloWriMo – August 11 – Favourite Fabric

Assorted tables of fabric at the Helsinki EuroKangas

Assorted tables of fabric at the Helsinki EuroKangas

A few days ago I was chatting with a friend online about fabrics… I mentioned some wool gauze I picked up in Iceland a few years ago, and how I just wanted to pet it. There’s also been times when I’ve bought meters and meters of silk, and just piled it around my on the couch like a little fort of luxury.

I don’t feel the same way about cotton.. or linen… and certainly not polyester. (Don’t even get me started about rayon…)
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Celebration – teal Giornea (overdress)

Complete "celebration" Italian outfit including the teal figured velvet overdress

Complete “celebration” Italian outfit including the teal figured velvet overdress

For Caterina’s elevation I wanted to make a Giornea – and overdress for the Italian Renaissance costume not unlike my previous Giornea. However, this time I wanted to try a different style, with an open front rather than open sides. I thought that this would be flattering, and would nicely show off the under dress (Gamurra).

I started by making a “muslin” or test garment/ mock up. I used a red and gold scroll home decorating fabric, which I’ll blog about soon. (Click the 1480s Florence tag to see all of my Italian garments.)

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Celebration – Gamurra (sort of…)

Completed bodice and skirt in green silk for the Italian "celebration" outfit

Completed bodice and skirt in green silk for the Italian “celebration” outfit

For Caterina’s elevation, I originally was going to do a later-period Italian Renaissance gown, but the fabrics offered just didn’t seem to lend themselves nicely to the period and my figure. I felt that the figured velvet would just be too bulky for all of the gathering and fullness in the later period fashions, and so I ended up opting to go back to the earlier Renaissance period that I’ve explored before and found flattering.

Concept sketch for the matcha-green silk dress and the teal figured velvet over dress

Concept sketch for the matcha-green silk dress and the teal figured velvet over dress

With this…. I’ve started using the 1480s tag as well for these posts, and switched from 16th Century to 15th Century. I’ll still use the Caterina’s Elevation tag however if you want to follow this specific project.

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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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