All posts tagged: 16th century

Adventures in Elizabethan ruff-making

I made an Elizabethan ruff! And it turned out really well (not perfect, but really well). And I am extremely pleased with myself. And it’s really, really close to perfectly historically accurate! Making a ruff turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be simply because there is so much rubbish information about ruffs on the internet. (Granted, there is rubbish information in books too – Tudor Tailor doesn’t do a good job of making it clear when they are using a historically accurate method and when they use a theatre one, for example, and even Saint Janet got things wrong on occasion.  So I like to read EVERYTHING and then collate all the evidence in the hopes of arriving at something at least reasonably plausible.) So I had to weed out all the advice about 1) cutting yourself a really long strip entirely on the selvedge (this immediately read wrong to me because it’s hugely wasteful of fabric, and fabric wastage is rarely historically accurate.  Plus the grain will be wrong and the ruff …

Elizabethan Progress

The Elizabethan ensemble is moving ahead nicely, though everything is taking longer than I think it will (ergh.  New periods.  So much research to do.  So many mistakes to make, and then unmake, or decide you just can’t fix) I have made the most important step though.  I have an inspiration image! Isn’t it glorious and fabulous?  And doesn’t it look very like all the stuff I’ve already made? I love the sleeves.  I think they are the best Elizabethan sleeves I’ve ever seen.  And the diagonal bodice decoration is just delicious. So, with a real inspiration point, I have decorated the bodice with yet more has-to-be-hand-sewn-on lace: And installed grommets in my lining. I’m rather gutted about the grommets.  I’d already sewn eyelets to the lining months ago, and when I pulled it out of the UFO pile I assumed I’d made a stupid non-period mistake, and took them out and did the grommets.  Then I went back to Arnold, and realised that all of the 16th century gowns Arnold has patterned fasten with hooks …

Rate the Dress: Anna of Austria by Anthonis Mor

Last week I showed you a rather plain 1890s dress with enormous puffed sleeves.  Thanks to some rather fabulous fabric and some very clever stripe-work, the dress was very popular. Right up until my Mum showed up and pointed out that it looks like an elephant.  Thanks Mum! Still, 1890s sexy librarian or elephant, it came in at a VERY impressive 9.2 out of 10. Since I’m on a 1570s kick, this week’s Rate the Dress is on-theme.   Rather than staying with English Elizabethan styles, we’re travelling to continental Europe to discuss the fashion choices of the 21 year old Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain: In typical late 16th century Spanish style, Anna’s clothes are quite severe, with large expanses of expensive black fabric.  Equally typically, the black is livened with copious amounts of precious metals and stones: her bonnet is circled with gold braid and jewelled ornaments, there are more jewelled pins in her hair, she wears an elaborate gold necklace with an enormous double-headed bird pendant, each head holding a ruby in …