Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Period Little Black Dress

Due to play related nerves, I didn't get a whole lot of crafting done at Raglan. What I wasn't expecting was the heat wave we got, so if I didn't get the newly re-cut linen dress sewn up, having only my linen linen wool gown to wear, something was going to give.

I'd had the fine black linen dress made up previously and had worn it for Medieval Dead last year, but I wasn't entirely happy with how it had turned out, so I put off the finishing of it. But then in June of this year I met the Honourable Lady Christine Bess Duvant, who introduced me to the pattern she had developed for making the magical gravity-defying shoulder style dress of the Italian reaissance. We completed the mock up at the Dun in Mara garb workshop weekend, and having gotten the new pattern cut just before the event, there was so much frantic sewing that some of my friends commented on the fact that they didn't really see any other pictures of me from Raglan.

But thanks to the generosity and permission of Lord Rashid al-Jallab, I have a few pictures which he took at the Friday evening court session that show off the dress well. So yes, the sleeves still need to be completed, and I need to add trim, which I'm hoping to get done before an upcoming demo (and most definitely has to be done before Coronet in November), but it's swiftly become my new favourite dress.

The original pattern, as Lady Christine focuses mainly on the late 15th and early 16th centuries, had quite a high waistline, so I dropped the waistline to my natural waist to reflect the style of the later half of the 16th century. The skirt is just a single layer of linen, gathered at the waist, with a strip of wool fabric in the hem to maintain the body. The bodice is interlined with wool and lined with purple linen. The bodice was side laced, and after this court I added a few more lacing holes in the side split of the skirt, as due to my hourglass figure, this was lying open more than I would have liked. But it looks sexy and it feels oh so comfortable (and sexy). I just don't enjoy the feel of mundane clothing half as much after wearing this dress. I can't really justify any more dresses in my wardrobe at the moment; most events just don't require that many costume changes, but damn I want more of these.

And one final picture in which I'm handed my Lindquistringes, because I just love it so.

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