Well, I’m stumped on sleeves, so I’m trying to feel better by doing research. (About sleeves.)
But first– the good news! I found a dress that is fashionable in brocade with fur trim or lining, front-opening, has big sleeves that will fit over my brass aglets, is not closely fitted in the waist, there’s a pattern for it (or something very close) in The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, and also I like how it looks. How’s that for a win?
Here it is:
Source: Louvre. The museum only gives the date as “Early sixteenth century” and the place as “Netherlands,” but… I’ll take it.
What makes this dress different from every other big-V-neck “Burgundian gown” with fur trim and big fur-lined sleeves? Many of those open from the neck past the belt, but until I found this one, all my examples seemed to have openings that stopped well before knee level, with the fur edges getting thinner and disappearing where the opening stops. In this portrait, the fur edges get wider as they descend from the belt, making it believable that the dress is open all the way down the front. Continue reading “1490s sleeve frustration”
Back to 1490s again. Time to examine first principles of my goals and actually decide what I’m doing.
- I want to make an overdress of some sort.
- I like the idea and look of fur-lined sleeves.
- I don’t really want to make a fitted bodice or a pleated skirt.
- I want it to show off my gamurra.
- I’d like it to be easy to put on, with a full front opening if possible.
- Ideally, I want to be able to fight in it, should I choose to, so it should have good arm and shoulder mobility and not get caught on stuff too easily.
- I don’t want to completely overheat if I wear it indoors; doing the fur as trim or as a partial lining may help with that as long as the shortcut doesn’t show on the outside.
- If it’s going to be fur-lined (or just trimmed), it should probably not have open sides like a giornea. That seems wrong.
- I want it to be based on a garment shown in a document from the right time period. If that garment is gold brocade with brown/tan and black leopard fur and worn over red, so much the better, because that’s how mine’s going to be and it’s good to back that up with documentation.
With all that said, I’m pretty sure I can’t have all of those things. Here are my candidates for dresses from period pictures.
Continue reading “1490s overdress”
I wrote a bunch of this in January, then, apparently, forgot all about it. This is not the 1490s fashion draft post I thought I had waiting! Anyway, some sleeve talk.
This project consumed a lot more of my time and attention than I expected, although some of that actually went to starting a new job. (Also, the dress was not the only project I was doing for the same deadline! I’ll post some of the writing I did as part of the same project at some point too.)
But, for now, here are a collection of portraits whose sleeves I studied to determine the proper way of closing detached, open sleeves in and around the 1490s in Italy, plus some side commentary about necklaces. Note that this is not a representative sample of common styles, or of the full range of sleeve options, just a selection of portraits that could teach me what I needed to know. Except the weird back of shoulder shape. I didn’t figure that one out.
Continue reading “1490s Sleeves”