Back in November I did a bunch of work on my Red Velvet Elizabethan ensemble – and a bit of blogging about it. I assumed I’d written all the relevant blog posts, because I’d thought about writing them so much, but I went looking for the final project status wrap-up for the year, and realised I never wrote it!
When I last blogged about it, I had an inspiration image:
And the ensemble had a finished bodice, and an assembled skirt, which just needed to be put together.
I have since done that:
From the back, it looks spectacular:
Look at those pretty pleats! (very timely):
From the front? Not so much:
Granted, it looks a lot better on a person than on that dressform, which is too big for it, so the bodice won’t laced closed. But even on a person, the lacing doesn’t sit totally smooth, there is a bit of wrinkling in the bodice, and the front pleats aren’t deep enough to sit nicely.
Re-doing the skirt pleating is easy enough, but the bodice is a bit more of a concern. I’m trying to decide if I need to completely re-do it with a more solid foundation and front hooks rather than lacing, as per Janet Arnold. Alas, no help from the Tudor Tailor – why does it do early Tudor & Jacobean but not a single classic Elizabethan gown?!? Gah!
If the bodice front is frustrating…well…not shown are my attempts at sleeve rolls. The diagonal striping on the sleeve rolls of my inspiration image did my head in compared to all the patterns in Arnold & the Tudor Tailor, and my sleeve rolls are…well…they might be something, but they aren’t sleeve rolls.
What I really need to do is have a good try on of the dress, but it’s gotten to hot for that. So what I’ve done instead is to shove it away in a box for now. I won’t need it again until next Nov, I’ve got other projects to focus on, and sometimes you just need to put something that doesn’t work aside until you can think about it again. I’ll pull it out in time to figure it out, get it right, and submit it for the Historical Sew Monthly Red challenge (how timely! 😉 )
And, of course, if any of you reading have extensive experience in Elizabethan and wish to give advice, it would be much appreciated!