Sunday, 3 January 2016

Wardrobe Mistressing

At the end of last year, I started my work as Mistress of the Wardrobe. While their Royal Highnesses already have garb for their coronation, the younger members of their household required something new for the big occasion.

Completing four sets of 15th century styled garb in one weekend is no mean feat, even if the garb for the littlest lords was of a simpler cut. The garb was mostly completed then, machine sewn and with every hem I could French seamed for durability,  but I brought home the garb for the elder children to complete some hand finishing on them both, so they'll be ready for Twelfth Night next weekend. With my supervisor in place, I was ready to begin:

H wanted a simpler style of houppelande, but wanted it to be fully length. He chose the red outer of a medium weight woven brocade (his younger brothers will be sporting the blue), with contrast given by the upturned cuffs and collar. There are just three pleats across the back to lend fullness, and these are reinforced by a band of fabric across the waist that is secured across the pleats and at the front of the garment. The garment was cut in a pretty straight forward rectangular pieces, with the addition of gores at the sides to add extra volume to the hem.

M's houppelande was a little more elaborate, being cut in the voluminous feminine style and using a light weight fabric. This dress was started with a simple bodice which finished at the waist. The bodice and skirt and both lined with the turquoise blue linen seen at the cuffs and collar, while the skirt is unlined. The skirt, which has no train as requested, as attached as a tube of fabric which was pleated into place around the skirt. The bodice is closed with hooks and eyes and will be further held in place with a belt using the reverse of the main fabric (but which refused to even consider staying in place for the pictures).

The belt was made by sewing the fabric onto a 2-3mm semi-stiff leather. I used an iron to press the fabric as close to the leather as I could to make sure it wouldn't shift during wear, then whip-stitched the fabric in place. The belt is held closed by means of hooks and bars, so these can be changed out at a later date if M decides she wants to upgrade to a typical houppelande belt clasp.

And now all that remains is to deliver them next weekend!

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