Saturday, May 9, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly: Practicality



The Challenge: May – Practicality: Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone, even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in. Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period.

Fabric: Linen, cotton duck and linen blend for the linings

Pattern: My own!

Year: Mid 16th Century

Notions: Thread - I already had the apron and the chemise as well

How historically accurate is it? It's pretty visually accurate. It is machine sewn but the thread is so close to the color of the linen, you have to be a foot away to see it along the hem. The rest of the stitches are hidden. The front is hand sewn as are the eyelets. The colors are correct for the time period. Linen was a well known material used by the lower classes for everyday work.

Hours to complete: 5. It would have been two or three if I hadn't made it too big originally.

First worn: May 9th, Virginia Renaissance Faire

Total cost: The lining was a remnant that I had already used in another project. The duck cloth is stash. I have no idea how much I paid for the not-red, not-orange linen that the dress is made out of. I *think* it was a sale fabric but I really don't recall.

I was loosely basing it off of this dress:
I didn't have time to make a partlet before I wore it so I wore a high necked chemise instead.  My apron is also more Italian in style.  I didn't use rings for the lacing - I made eyelets.

For this challenge, I knew I wanted to make something good for Pennsic.  I wanted a lightweight linen dress but, this time, I didn't want to make yet another early 16th C Venetian.  Instead, I wanted something later so I wouldn't feel out of place at the Virginia Renaissance Festival...and I didn't.  Actually, it was a lot of fun because the cast would come up and talk to me about my "new dress" in character.   The dress is simple but it is also great for running around in.  I didn't feel like I had to "protect the dress" - I could sit on the grass if I wanted to.  Given how warm it got at the faire, I'm really happy I wore this.  The official temperature recording is 83F, however, my car read 94F when I got back to it.  I know the sun can cause the truck's thermometer to go a bit off, but I think it was more like the high 80's in the sun at the Renaissance festival.  Perfect weather to try the new linen dress out in!


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