30 August 2013

Kirtle in progress - skirts attached

Here's the state of progress on the kirtle. There are four flared skirt panels (instead of rectangular with gores). I think you could make an argument for either cutting layout, but it's ultimately a practical decision to minimize seams on a handsewn garment. The two back panels have more flare than the front panels, and there's a small reverse box pleat at center back to take up some extra width in the skirt panels and match the bodice back width. The fabrics drapes very nicely (swish swish :) ). Next up are eyelets and finishing the front opening.

14 August 2013

Transitional gown images from the British library

Progress continues on the kirtle, but there's not much to show. I've cut the skirts, and I'm working my way through those long seams.

Instead, here's some link-spam from the British Library. Unfortunately, the BL's viewer, while very good, appears to be a bit 'sticky', in that these direct links may try to load the manuscript you just viewed instead of the one that's actually specified. If you have trouble, head to the manuscript index page (also linked), load the viewer from there, and then select the folio as needed. In all cases, I've selected a few images of particular interest, and there are generally several other pages that feature the style.

The Breviary of Queen Isabella of Castile - begun in the Netherlands in the 1480s, portions later
f.3v, shows back of gown
f.417r, St. Martha, c. 1500 - square neck kirtle

Hours of Joanna I of Castile - produced in Flanders 1486-1506
f.5r, lady in gown and working woman in kirtle
f.6r, alternative gown with a skinny V-neck
f.26r, miniature of Joanna of Castile. She's got wider sleeves than I'd normally categorize as being this style (probably later, and/or a regional difference), and her headwear is in the French hood style.
f.288r, additional miniature of Joanna of Castile

'London Rothschild Hours' or the 'Hours of Joanna I of Castile - southern Netherlands, c. 1500
f.2v, lady in gown and working woman in kirtle
f.7r, working women, including V-back kirtle

Filippus Albericus, Tabula Cebetis, De mortis effectibus and other poems - France, Central (Paris); 1507
f.6v, allegorical depictions (and not the virtuous ones)

02 August 2013

Kirtle bodice drafting and adjustments

For the kirtle bodice, I pulled the basic shape of the pieces from my existing 15th c. cote pattern. I cut them directly onto the linen canvas I'm using for interlining, and basted that together as a muslin. After tightening up the fit in a couple places (the cote pattern is cut a little generously), I sketched in the basic neckline shape (square in front, V in back), leaving it a little high to be cut down and finalized on the actual garment. Once I was happy with it, I pulled out the basting and transferred the design to be kept as a pattern for later.

With that done, I cut copies of the pieces out of the outer fabric and started assembly (handsewing with black silk thread). The only difference between the interlining and the outer fabric is that the interlining has a wider extension at center front, to be turned back with a double fold to support eyelets, while the outer fabric will have only a single fold. I've also chosen to put all selvedge edges at the waist seam, which should give a very sturdy edge for attaching the skirts.

The picture here is after I've sewn side, back and shoulder seams, and has the adjusted neckline drawn in on the front. The angle on the corners is significantly sharper than what I initially sketched. And although it looks like there's a rise at center front, in practice that is stretched down around my bust, and appears flat and level. (Presumably, ladies with smaller busts would need a less severe adjustment, if any.) The back neckline also needs to be cut down to a slightly sharper V (about an inch lower than here, which is already lower than the initial design).