söndag 11 juni 2017

I might need to make a new dress for this shift

As many may know, I am a huge fan of the art of Nüremberg artist Albrecht Dürer. One of my absolute favourite pieces is his portrait of the Young fürlegerin with her hair in braids. I have looked at this so many times and I still find new details in it. Now I want to look specifically on her shift, or hemd as it is called in German.
It is a lovely hemd, with an embroidered smocked front and black lining along the neckline. But as one looks at many different portraits and paintings from the same time and region, I noticed something about that neckline. The back seems to be drawn down towards the front so that the back neckline also covers the entire shoulder. I will try and illustrate what I mean with some more pictures.

Wolf Traut, Portrait of a woman, Nüremberg 1510

Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of a woman

Detail of a painting, showing the Young woman in green in a similar hemd
The back seems to be a rounded line, not indicating a seam or anything other than over the front shoulder where it meets the front.

I found this a bit intriguing so I had to experiment a bit with a simple version af a hemd, where the back is wider than the front, thus curving down over the shoulder and forming that seamless line down the front.

So my version is a plain shift in two pieces, two sidegores and sleeves and in order to clearly illustrate the slanted backpiece/shoulder, I put in a small lining of the neckline in black silk. Here it is:
The shoulder part hanging down in the front

The hemd when done

Construction with sidegore sewn directly to the sleeve

Worn with my blue Hausbook dress over it

And clearly I have nothing to wear on top of it, since all my dresses are fairly high in the neck and doesn´t show anything of the shoulders.