All posts tagged: 1500s

Rate the Dress: 16th century splendour

Thank goodness for Rate the Dress!  It means that I have a definite excuse to focus entirely on historical fashions at least once a week! We were having such a good run on Rate the Dress: so many 8+ ratings in a row!  And then I posted the pink, pigeon breasted, ruffle-dy, smock-dy, totally over-the-top 1900s frock-dy last week.  Pop!  There went the high ratings bubble!  It wasn’t too terrible: there were a lot of 6s, and just enough 8s and 9s to bring it up to a nice, round 7 out of 10. For this week’s Rate the Dress, we’re looking at a period I’m not such an expert on, and going back to the mid 16th century, to a ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Peter de Kempeneer (Pedro Campaña).  Though de Kempeneer was Flemish, he mainly worked in Spain or Italy, and this portrait probably depicts a wealthy Italian noblewoman from Ferrara The sitters gown makes striking use of gold striping to emphasise the cut of the gown, and the fashionable features.  The stripes …

The ‘Amazon Queen’ pair of bodies

Despite being a self-confessed magpie, I’ve gone for something quite subtle for the ‘All that Glitters’ HSF challenge: a pair of bodies (Elizabethan stays/corset) in gilt linen. The linen is the same fabric that I used for my 1770s silver linen stays, because I have a LOT of that linen, and couldn’t find a single other piece of fabric in stash that said ‘make me into a pair of bodies’.  Sometimes you just have to listen to the fabric.  So now I own two historical corsets in gilt linen. Gilt linen is a slightly dubious fabric choice for a 16th c. pair of bodies, but I’ve made these as a very nice working toile (I’ve even, gasp.shock.horror, used metal grommets for the back lacing), so I’m OK with a bit of inaccuracy.  And they do look rather smashing in it! When I tried the mostly-completed pair of bodies on I realised that 1) I actually really love them (I had extreme doubts about Elizabethan fashion in the first place, and the un-boned bust sections of these stays …

A very fancy farthingale

One of my goals this year was to costume in a period I haven’t worked in before. I wanted to do 14th century, but so far I have not found the right fabric for anything but the shift. With the year winding up, I decided to think about other periods, and remembered Miranda’s farthingale from the Innovations challenge back in January. I have done 16th c, but only Flemish working class, and that was over a decade ago. Formal English or French Elizabethan is a whole new ballgame! But I own Arnold’s 16thc pattern book, and Elizabethan is a period with LOTS of resources, so I though I’d give it a try. The place to start, of course, is undergarments, and a rummage in my stash revealed that I had exactly the right fabric for a farthingale: a spectacular acetate (or one of the other manufactured natural fibres) jacquard in dark jade green.  Not a natural fibre, but exactly the right amount of fabric for a farthingale, and I’m willing to be a little inaccurate …