Monthly Archives: November 2012

It Followed Me Home

Spinning Wheel

The latest addition to my crafting family

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I Made a Button!

I made a thread wrapped button to go on my court garb.

It took me an hour.  Only 37 more to go.


Thread wrapped button

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Court Garb Planning: The Layers

I’m deep into planning for my Elizabethan court garb (circa 1560-1570) – my goal is to have this done for Hare 2013.

For those that are interested in what this entails, here is a list of the items that I will be making:

1. Plain Linen Shift

This is the basic undergarment that would have been worn next to the skin and washed regularly.   There are several styles of shift that are appropriate but this time I am going for a low-necked shift, much like the one  below.

Blackwork Smock, c. 1575-1585
V&A Museum

This is a rectangularly-constructed garment with a large square neck opening. The sleeves are gathered into cuffs. I will not be including the ruffle, as I plan to attach ruffs to the cuff.  This garment will not show in the final outfit, so I’m not adding any decoration.

2. Petticoat

I’m not too sure what to say about these.  We know they had them but the evidence is scarce and there are no extant petticoats from this period.  It’s generally assumed to be a skirt pleated into a waistband.

3. Partlet

The partlet mimics the top of a high-necked shirt, but could be a separate garment.  This makes sense if it is decorated (and they could be VERY decorated), as it would need to be washed less often than a full smock. As far as portraits go, it can be very hard to tell if someone is wearing a partlet or a high-necked smock unless you can see both layers, such as below.

Portrait of Bianca Cappello (1548 – 1587)

Portrait of Bianca Cappello (1548 – 1587)

4. Ruffs

Ruffs were ruffled collars and wristbands heavily starched into ‘figure-eight’ pleats.  See the pictures above and below for examples.

5. Farthingale

These days it is often called a ‘hoop skirt’.  In this era the Spanish style is most common.  It is a conical stiffened petticoat that give the skirts of their time their particular shape.

The "Hampden" portrait

The “Hampden” portrait , 1563

6. Petticoat Bodies

Bodies (more commonly called a corset today) would either be on its own, or have an attached skirt (making it a ‘petticoat bodies’).  I’ve always found the latter to be more comfortable, so that’s what I’ve chosen to wear.  The garment looks a lot like the dresses in the top right of the picture below.

Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände auff Erden

From Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände auff Erden, 1568

7. Sleeves

These are sleeves.  In this time period they are generally close-fitting, often slashed.  They are separate garments that tie on to the dress, rather than a modern sown in sleeve.

8. Forepart

The forepart refers to the front portion of a petticoat or kirtle.   These are also often a separate piece that could be attached to the petticoat instead.

9. Stomacher

A decorative panel that could be pinned over the front of the bodice to hide the lacing.

10. Gown

This is the main garment.   There were many varied styles.  I will be making a gown with a high-necked doublet with an attached skirt, much like the dress below.

Portrait of Eleanor Benlowes

Portrait of Eleanor Benlowes, 1565

If I have enough fabric I would like to have hanging oversleeves, such as these:

Gown worn by Dorothea Sabina von Neuburg, 1598.

11.  French Hood

The french hood in this period is a curved hat worn back on the head, like in the portrait of Eleanor Benlowes above.

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Orange Fitted Gown

Now that I have two layers of linen I’m worried the full pleated back will be too much.  If it is I can always remove the excess, so I’m going to keep going.

Once I finish pleating the skirt on, I need to add the sleeves and close up the lining.  Then I need to add the front panels and fasten them.  I’ll be using hook and eye tape rather than individual hooks and eyes for extra security.

This is a complete experiment, so I’m hoping it will work out okay.

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Quilt Block Tea Towels Finished

Finally hemmed!


Quilt block tea towels

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Weaving Again

The loom is warped and I made a start on my scarf.

Fancy Twill

Fancy twill scarf – this is the reverse

The tencel is lovely!

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16th Century Market Basket Pattern

So now that I’ve decided what my basket should look like, I needed to find an appropriate pattern that was ‘close enough’ to that.  Being a beginner, I definitely need to work from a pattern.
And here’s what I’ve found:

Basket Pattern

Oval Basket with Handle from Wicker Basketry by Flo Hoppe.

It’s not an exact fit, but it has the basic shape and wrapped handle.  If I leave out the decorative stripe and the fancier weaving patterns on the side, I think it will be pretty darn close.

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Lampas Design #3 (Polychrome)

For the final pattern I like this one in red and dark green on white.  I think it look s lot like this textile (bottom left of photo) at the V&A.


From La Vera Perfezione del Disegno


Here’s a really quick cut and paste job to show how that last image would look tiled.

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Lampas Design #2 (Duochrome)

I ordered a bunch of red and white tencel  I thought I would do my samples in Ealdormerean colours.

For my duochrome (two color) lampas weave, I like this pattern.  I was thinking red on white, much like this velvet.


From La Vera Perfettione del Disegno, compiled by Kathryn Newall

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Lampas Design #1 (Monochrome)

John Becker (Pattern and Loom) states that the key in choosing a lampas design is to choose a pattern that has no large areas of plain background.  I had thought about designing my own, but my artistic talents really don’t lie in that direction.

Since I’m sure I’m not the only one with that challenge that ever existed, I did what someone from history might also have done – I copied them from a book.  I have selected several designs from various 16th century modelbuchs that I liked the look of.

I need to pick three, one I will do monochrome (single color), one duochrome (two color) and one polychrome (three colours)

First up is monochrome so i can learn the weave before adding the complexity of additional colours.

Here are some ideas:


From La Vera Perfettione del Disegno, compiled by Kathryn Newall


From Il Burato


From Gli Universali Dei Belli Recami, compiled by Kathryn Newall

Hm… how to choose?

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