This is my first attempt at a ‘historically accurate’ costume. Some college friends and I were going to a Renaissance Fair (sorry, I refuse to spell it with an ‘e’) and I figured it was more fun to go in costume.
Being me, I did a ton of research on the internet and decided on a 16th century Flemish working-woman’s outfit. I liked them because they looked easy to wear, they didn’t show a lot of bosom, and best yet, Drea Leeds had done a lot of research on them, and Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre had added to it, so it was easy to recreate one.
I used unbleached cotton muslin and dyed it. The two shades of pink that I dyed turned out much more vivid than I expected. I went with “peasants would have used the cheapest fabric and the cheapest fabric for me is cotton” (aka, going with the context and applying it to my own situation style of historicism), rather than using wool. One day I’ll make this in wool, but as a poor university student, on a very hot summers day in California, I don’t regret the inaccuracy.
The outfit consists of a boned underdress (a kirtle maybe? this is not at all my century of expertise and all the research I did has long since been lost), an overdress which is open over the underdress and laces up with spiral lacing. I turned the skirt up and pinned it to reveal the underskirt. There is a shirt worn under the kirtle, and a partlet over the whole thing.