ursula: (bear)
Last weekend, [personal profile] glasseye and I went to Black Oak Lodge in Caid. (Hurray, spring break!) I wanted to wear my fifteenth-century outfit, but I didn't have enough space in my checked luggage for a hat, so I had to improvise with items that pack down small. I brought my red silk netted hair net, and a ruffled veil. I plaited my hair into two braids, and coiled them into two buns on the top of my head. My hair is waist-length and curly, but not super-thick, so the buns weren't huge. When I put the silk net over them, the buns didn't form obvious horns, but I did attain a flat profile for the top of my head, which shows up in a lot of fifteenth-century art. I pinned the veil at the center, and then pinned it back behind the buns to accentuate them. I liked the effect; I ended up with a heart-shaped frame to my face, and it showed off the net, which was a lot of work to make.

Has anyone else experimented with low-tech horned hairstyles of this sort? What's your favorite image of a fifteenth-century woman with a veil that looks flat on top, or small horns?
ursula: (bear)
One fifteenth-century style involves a dress that is quite closely fitted through the bust and flares into a wide skirt. It often shows up on lower-class women, but not always.

In the September, February, and June images from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, the peasant woman in blue in the lower left is wearing a dress of this sort. (Note that the men in the lower left of the February image aren't wearing any underwear, so peering closely at the fit of the woman's dress may not be a work-safe activity.) In the August image, there's an upper-class woman wearing a black dress with a similar cut, over an underdress with red sleeves.

I don't think this dress is front-laced-- there's a pretty obvious contrast between the two women's dresses in the June image, for one thing-- but for some reason I'm not finding much discussion of patterns for kirtles without lacing or for fitted fifteenth-century overgowns. Fifteenth-century experts, can you help? Have you made a dress of this type?
ursula: (bear)
I'm making a stack of lightweight linen undertunics for Pennsic, courtesy of the Elizabethan Smock Generator. The smock generator suggests that you use a facing for the neck hole, but I have a vague sense that this isn't a very medieval solution, due to the waste of fabric; I'm tempted to substitute a strip of linen. Will this be more trouble than it's worth? How do you deal with neck holes?
ursula: (bear)
Since we've moved to a warmer clime, I have been wearing my red fifteenth-century dress without the black overgown more often. I have a hat to match the gown, but it isn't suitable for hot weather, so I have been looking at the veils worn by women of smaller means in France and Belgium in the fifteenth century.

The June image from Les Très Riches Heures shows two women, one wearing a rectangular-ish veil tied at the nape of the neck and hanging to her waist, with some hair hanging loose down her back. The other woman has a more rounded-looking veil. It looks like the woman on the right in this painting by Rogier van der Weyden has one cloth tied tightly around her head, and then another veil pinned to it. Another painting shows a woman who may have attached her frilled veil to her braids.

Does anyone have a favorite method for anchoring a fifteenth-century style veil, or a good source for veil pins? If you have made veils for this period, what size and shape were they?
ursula: (bear)
I'm done substituting as a linear algebra instructor for the summer, and all I have left to worry about is the wedding & dissertation research and maybe the department's fall picnic, so of course I'm doing my level best to come up with unrelated projects.

I've been doing a little bit of research into c. 1320 clothing for [livejournal.com profile] glasseye. For some reason, the early fourteenth century is very unpopular in costuming circles. It looks to me as if the characteristic garment is a fairly baggy tunic, somewhere between knee-length and ankle-length (working men prefer the shorter version), with sleeves that are loose at the upper arm and become very tight toward the wrist.

The second Saint Eligius image clearly shows buttons from wrist to elbow. Anyone have suggestions for cutting a sleeve like this? I'm assuming it's more or less a rectangular construction trapezoid? What about places to buy buttons?
ursula: (bear)
[livejournal.com profile] ornerie wrote:

I wanna see photos of the dress!!! :D

In fact, there were several layers of dress.

dresses )
ursula: (Default)

pink dress, green sleeves
Originally uploaded by ursulageorges.
Here are the sleeves I made (and [livejournal.com profile] pandorasbox' lovely kirtle) at the Feast of Saint Bunstable.


Jan. 15th, 2007 02:16 pm
ursula: (Default)
I'm trying to make sleeves like the ones worn by the woman in the lower left-hand corner or the girl with an apron in the back of this painting:


How do people think they would have been fastened on the upper arm & wrist? Buttons? Lace? Pins? A couple of stitches?
ursula: (bear)
From a fourteenth-century chronicle of England (quoted in Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince, emphasis added):

In this time Englishmen so much haunted and cleaved to the wodnes and folly of strangers that they change their clothing every year, especially since the coming of the Hainaulters years ago. Sometimes their clothes are long and wide, at others they are short, tight, dagged and cut about all round. The sleeves of their surcoats and their hoods have tapets, long and wide which hang down too far. They look, to tell the truth, more like tormentors and devils in their clothing than normal men. And the women surpass the men in their clothing which is so tight that they hang fox-tails under their dresses at the back to hide their arses, a kind of behaviour which may well have provoked many of the evils and misfortunes that have beset the kingdom of England.

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