dress I made when being bored *lol* And under pressure.
Does that go together? Pressure and being bored? Okay, I
was under pressure because I needed to finish an underdress
for a friend within a week, as we were going to a medieval
fair together the following weekend. But then I was bored
also because my last exam in uni got cancelled all of a
sudden and shifted one week later, so I ended up with a
few extra days - during which I *could* have learned for
my exam, but my head was already so stuffed; or I *could*
have started on my friend's underdress, but then again
my parents had come back from a flea market some
days before with this gorgeous golden brocade that hey had
bought for 3 Euro (which is *plop*, peanuts), and as I walked
past it I thought....oh. You could need a new dress yourself.
Well technically I didn't, because my closet's bursting
full already, but....
dress is the result of a lot of but's, really...
started on it rather experimentally...experimentically?...as
by laying out my pattern on the fabric to see if it was
enough at all. It was enough, so I cut it, just to see...whatever.
As the pattern is not really a complicated thing (one front
panel and one back, there you go) I decided to make it more
complicated (lol) by adding a train in the back and a gore
in the front. Also, I changed the sleeves a little to make
these little sleeves that were so popular by the end of
the 15th century.
original pattern was the one I also used for my Frankish
pattern for over- and underdress are pretty much the same;
I used the one for the underdress because of the length
and the sleeves. It has long, tight sleeves. But with nearly
all early medieval designs, the sleeves are cut a bit differently
from what we do nowadays - today, you make the basic dress
and then set in the sleeve into the armhole. Well with this
pattern - which is historically correct - you cut the dress,
both back and front with (short) sleeves already
(basically what we know as a raglan sleeve today) and just
close the side seams up to the sleeve edge. You end up having
a dress made of two panels, with short sleeves and two side
seams - one seam being on the upper, visible side of the
Then, if you want a long or wide sleeved dress, you just
attach that to the short one, leaving you with a seam at
about elbow level.
with that was, all medieval clothes were cut *WIDE*. So
with this pattern, you don't really have a shaped sleeve
especially underneath your arms...it just hangs there.
So for my 1475 dress, I had to change the sleeves drastically,
reducing them about 2/3 in width underneath the arms.
It was the beginning of the Renaissance, which was already
in full bloom in Italy and other countries by that time
(like Spain) and preferred more tight-fitting, body-conscious
clothing. However Germany was a bit reluctant in adopting
the new styles, so by the end of the 15th century, we have
both modern Renaissance and more old-fashioned medieval
styles coexisting, sometimes blending into a strange mix
after I had everything cut, I sliced the front panel open
from the hem to about waist level and inserted a V-shaped....ehm,
insert. I ended up having enough leftover fabric to make
a belt out of it - and I still have enough...not as much
for another dress, I'm sorry, but maybe for a corset or
something one day.
However, what was most work on this was the fur. It's real
fur for a change (I can see the tomatoes comingLET
ME EXPLAIN!!!). It was once an old jacket that I rescued
from being thrown away by my grandma. It had been sitting
in my cupboard since, waiting to be turned into something.
And it was an ugly jacket, I can tell you. It looks much
better on my dress
Besides, what I think: I would never buy a brand
new, expensive fur coat or something like that. But: If
you throw color bags at someone who wears such a fur coat,
you might not only end up having to pay for it, but the
poor animal(s) also died *completely* in vain. It's ruined,
just like that...gets thrown away and that was that. That's
what makes me sad. 'Cause I mean...of course it's
not right to kill animals just for 'vanity items' like that,
and I would never buy stuff like that, but *if* someone
buys it...well you shouldn't destroy it, either, but think
What I want to say: I believe there's no harm in re-using
old fur items, like, buying old fur coats or jackets on
markets and re-use them, even if you're normally against
wearing fur .
And besides, I mean, fur has kept us humans warm throughout
the centuries, and not only that. It was completely natural
to wear it, for example through the Middle Ages,
and, well....if you're doing proper reenactment, you can't
always avoid it. You can in 99% of the cases as there's
really good faux fur out there, but well...it's not
historically correct, if you're taking it serious. Actually
I believe that more animals were killed for clothing purposes
in the past than nowadays (which doesn't mean it's okay!)...if
you just imagine that about 300 ermines were necessary to
make a king's coat...
this old jacket was cut up into pieces and sewn onto the
dress BY HAND (hooray!). I had a fur dealer look at it at
the market we went to, and he said it was probably hamster
(the wild version, not what you're having
in your cage! Save the tomatoes for someone else!!!).
dress is cut so you can just pull it over your head; all
the fitting is done with the belt afterwards. The undersleeves
are really just that: undersleeves, with very unauthentic
elastic on one side so you can put them on like gloves and
they'll stay up. Not exactly historically correct (although
they sometimes actually *did* it that way, minus the elastic
of course but with drawstrings). As long as no one sees
it though... And the dress is really very heavy by itself,
it gets rather hot in there, so I was quite glad about the
extra air circulation *g* The underlseeves are made out
of a linen/silk mix.
there exist pretty good pictures, descriptions and source
material from the time around 1475, this dress is historically
accurate save for the trim...well...save for the *sequins*
on the trim. And the elastic on the undersleeves *smirk*
now...take a look at some pictures ;-)
that's me, finally, at the medieval fair in Kaltenberg.
The braids are not my own *g*
But the overall look is historically accurate, that's what
a princess back in abt. 1475 looked like.
want to add something to the neckline still, maybe some
embroidery or trim or an outward facing in a different fabric
or color....maybe when I'm bored again one day ;-)