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
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.
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.
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)
Ruffs were ruffled collars and wristbands heavily starched into ‘figure-eight’ pleats. See the pictures above and below for examples.
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 , 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.
From Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände auff Erden, 1568
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.
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.
A decorative panel that could be pinned over the front of the bodice to hide the lacing.
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, 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.