Saturday, 20 June 2015

Next steps

V. 1 of the dress isn't finished yet, but a lot more goes into the outfit than just the dress. Apart from figuring out how to style my hair I have a whole range of accessories I also need to make.

Florentine painter Portrait of a Lady Technique: tempera on panel Measurements: 69 x 46 cm Date or Period: c. 1500 Item used to belong to the following collections:    family von Ingenheim  I suspect this painting is earlier than the estimate, based on dated Florentine portraits in this style of clothing. Current whereabouts of painting unknown.


The biggest thing I still need to make is a pair of sleeves. The fabric looks like velvet to me so I've acquired a couple of yards of silk/rayon velvet. While the upper sleeve is clearly a solid tube (you can see the inside of one arm and the outside of the other), the lower sleeve is open like a gauntlet. This is rather convenient, since it appears to be in the same proportion on the model's arm as my archery bracer.

The tube of the upper sleeve appears to have a slight, angled sleeve cap rather than the rounded shape that would let it rest flush against the torso, and the bottom edge appears likewise angled (albeit more sharply). The angles could be an illusion caused by the puff of camicia protruding from underneath, but certainly at the bottom edge the camicia is clearly draping down and away from the upper sleeve.

What I am particularly uncertain of is whether I ought to line the sleeves. I'm inclined to think yes, simply to protect the edges of the velvet.


The narrow sash appears to be made of the same fabric as the sleeves. I'll cut the velvet the full length of the piece, which is 2m plus about 6 inches. (The seller cut it very generously!)


Our subject is wearing a sheer partlet that somehow fastens under the arms and miraculously stays put over the bosom. Tyger Friend theorizes that part of the weird stuff going on with the lacing is actually a brooch that holds the partlet in place. No idea how it fastens under the arms, nor what the shape of the back is. I have half a yard of gorgeous silk muslin that will be perfect for this once I figure out what the heck I need to do.


Another mystery. Boss Laurel and I have been debating this cap. I reckon lace; she reckons embroidery. It's moot for this round of sewing anyway, as I haven't time to make either before August and will just be making a plain cap. Of course I haven't a clue how I'll do that either.


I've decided that instead of trying to source a round pendant, I'm going to go with a red stone set in gold with pearl drops. This pendant style shows up in several paintings from late-fifteenth-century Florence.

Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni - Domenico Ghirlandaio | Museo Thyssen

I've found a brooch on Etsy that looks just right, and will be buying some pearls and wire on my next trip up to the sewing shop.


Eventually the plan is to make round tabletwoven silk cord for all the lacing, but in the meantime I'm probably going to use bought round cord. If there's time before August I'll make my own. If not, meh. I'll get there eventually.

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