As I write this, New Zealand is deep in the grip of winter, and my life is about layers of merino knits, warm scarves, fur-lined gloves, and heavy coats. It’s good weather to be inside with the heater running, curled under a blanket, handsewing. By the time challenge #20 comes along in October, the weather in New Zealand will be warming up, and those of you above the equator will be cooling down, looking towards your own winter.
The midpoint of the seasons seems a good point for a challenge focused on outerwear: the layers that get added on to your basic outfit to protect you, and it, from inclement weather. The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #20: Outerwear (due October 7th) is all about capes, camails and crespins, scarves, sweaters and spencers, burnouses, balmacaans and bosom friends, muffs, mantles and mittens, pardessuses, pelisses and pelerines. In other words, anything you put over everything else.
To get you thinking about it, here are a few of my favourite outerwear inspiration images:
Isn’t this hood fantastic? Isn’t it darling? Can’t you imagine how warm and snuggly it would be over a cloak. I wonder what colour it was originally.
It’s mostly the fabric that makes me drool, but even in plain velvet the shape of Eleanor’s cloak would fabulous. It’s stunning with her frock, but I can also imagine it over a modern evening dress. And I want it!
You know what makes 17th century men’s fashion fabulous? Capes. 17th century capes are amazing (because without them, 17th century men’s fashion is just one big giggle-fest). The heavy metallic trim on this cape is just delicious. Can you imagine how it would move when worn by some swashbuckling hero?
This fashion plate is my favourite thing ever (at least for this week). It’s so ridiculous it has come out the other side to wonderful. The black and white colour scheme! The ermine trim, with little ermine tails dangling off the bow, the muff, the fur-patterned fabric. Oooooh…I love it!
Speaking of fabulously ridiculous…
The sawtooth edges! The pompoms!
And finally, the child’s burnous which everyone loved so much when I posted it. It’s not hard to see why!