The dress was finished by 12th Night. Below is a list of fabric and construction:
- Gown of navy blue dupioni. The original olive silk turned out the be so slippery and hard to work with that I ditched it and started over with blue dupioni. The preferred silk would have been smooth finished and not slubby. Woven patterns were even more highly prized. However, the color and drape are right. I deliberately chose the wrong side which had less sheen.
- White linen shift. I finally broke down and made a long-sleeved version. It fit very well underneath the gown and I hardly knew it was there. I ran out of fabric (I didn’t order enough) so the skirt is narrower than I would like it. I’m going to order more linen for more shifts and will reserve some to add wider gores onto the shift.
- The fabric for the jeweled belt is pretty but probably a bit too wide. I didn’t want to lose the beautiful pattern though so cut it that way. I did not have time to apply trim or applique to the sleeves or hem but I still intend to. I’ll do it out of the same brocade.
- The veil was O.K. I really do prefer headwraps. On the other hand, my new set of braids came out well and I FINALLY figured out how to securely attach them. (Hint: sew them to the headband that sits underneath the veil and secures it.
- Construction: Rectangular construction with sides, front, and back gores. I had really only ever done set-in sleeves and was pleasantly surprised at how well the rectangular + gusset sleeve helped the bodice to fit. I don’t have any problem with cutting a curve into the sides of this early 12th century gown and may still do that, but find that I don’t really need to with the belt. If I were doing the laced-side ruching I would.
All in all this was a successful project. It was not particularly difficult and only time-consuming with the beading. I also did some sleeve experimentation that took longer than it normally would. My next set of sleeves for a court gown will be longer, and I will dress up this set with extra trip/applique. They are lined in a nice dull gold that I liked.
One of the things I want to do is add more beading and embroidery to my clothing. Not pearl-encrusted like the German gowns, which did good imitations of oyster fields. But decorated nonetheless, as I believe an upper class woman’s would have been.