Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back from the Dead!

It turns out that the sub-title of this blog is proving to be much more apt than I would have liked.

My plans are very ill-conceived indeed....

In the last 10 months I have started and quasi-abandoned a high-necked shift, two skirts, an Elizabethan waistcoat, a black kirtle (with silk forepart and matching sleeves), wool over-partlet and boned petticoat bodies.

BUT! As of this evening I have actually completed one item!

That's right! Another red petticoat.  "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

I know. But there is method to my madness. Sort of.
I'm still committed to an outfit based on a late Elizabethan/Jacobean waistcoat.  So I started looking for reference images, but the more I looked the more I started leaning towards the later styles...especially once I found the University of Toronto's digital collection of Wenceslaus Hollar prints.
There are a dozen images I'd love to take a crack at, but the one that most closely resembled the track I was already on was this one of an English countrywoman:

It's much later (1640s), but not too dissimilar to styles around the turn of the century (especially if the accessories are modified).  Regardless, I'm not too concerned with a little anachronism at fairs when you consider the number of Jack Sparrows running around.

Anyway, looking at this image it's clear that I needed to amp my already pear-shaped silhouette into overdrive and this would greatly effect the cut of the jacket/waistcoat.  Hence the creation of what I have since dubbed the "look at my ass!" petticoat.

I mean...look that ass! The heavy cartridge pleats also push the waist up considerably and even without pleating the front I was surprised that --even on my tiny dress form-- it still evoked the "I'm ever so slightly pregnant" look of the early Jacobean era. I guess...