måndag 18 maj 2015

Buttons and frills

I bought a lovely lightweight wool fabric some years ago, one in a mustardy yellow and one in dark cherry red, both with a certain dress in mind. The yellow dress is now done and it was frequently used during the past week at Double Wars.

The model is based primarily on the dress shown in this little drawing by Martin Schongauer, depicting a young girl fanning a fire with a bird´s wing:

The dress looks fairly simple in cut, not fitted in the bodice but simply gathered by the belt in the waist and the lovely detail with a side-buttoned neck-opening. On the skirt a large frill shows, most likely a way of preserving some of the length to be used for a new bottom hem as the old one gets worn. These kind of frills can be seen on simpler kirtles during the 15th Century. 
Master of the Housebook, Children of Aristotle, detail

Master of the Housebook, Princess Kleodeline
I have not found many depictions showing a woman´s kirtle with a closure to one side but here is one that looks pinned.
Israel van Meckenem, Couple seated on a bed
I chose to cut my dress in four panels, and had to make a good mock-up before I found a satisfactory solution for the fastening. I was also a bit concerned over the frill, since the panels are more A-line than straight, but it worked better than I had hoped. For buttons I used some pewter buttons in the shape of acorns that I got as a gift for my fourtieth birthday. Yes, I love acorns. The dress is not lined other than along the neckline and top front to strengthen the buttoned part, and here I used an even finer wool in green. This dress will get used a lot, since it is easy to pull over a kirtle and use as a thin extra layer or as a simple dress to wear with ease when not feeling like getting into something tight and fitted.

The hat deserves a chapter of its own, I will see when I might get to that. 

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