Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lilac 1500's Venetian Dress

Using the pattern I created here, I cut out my bodice and skirt for a simple, working class early 16th century dress.  

Fabric:  Linen/Rayon blend at Joanns.  I loved the color.  The lining is 100% linen.  The interlining is some purple striped duck cloth I got at Ikea.

Directions:  First, I cut out all the bodice pieces - one front and one back out of the lining, interlining, and fashion fabric.   I then took the rest of the fabric, folded it in half, and ripped it down the middle.  (For most simple weaves, you can make a small cut where you'd like to start a straight cut and just tear the fabric in half from there.  Makes for some nice, super straight lines.)  I realized the fabric is longer than the 45" I'm used to and also ripped off the excess - about 9".  The linen strips I have left will probably make some nice hem facing on later historical gowns.  

The two skirt pieces, I machine sewed the hem and rolled the edges, sewing those down as well.  I then sewed the two rectangles together, leaving about a 7" gap at the top.

For the bodice, I sewed the shoulders together first.  I then put the interlining on the table, followed by the lining facing up, and then the fashion fabric facing down.  I pinned at the corners and seams, machine sewing from the waistline, around the armsyce, and back down the back.  I then turned it and hand sewed the neckline.  

I pleated the skirt to the bodice.  The front has double pleats at the sides and the back had double pleats at the back.  This was to get most of the fabric towards the back and sides, away from the front of the skirt.  Once those were pleated, I machine sewed the skirt to the bodice and hand sewed the lining closed.  I then punched seven eyelets on each side, sewing those.

I also hand sewed down the neck trim which you can't see clearly in these photos.  Sorry!   It's a nice wool trim in purple and blue.  

Things you'd do differently:  The neckline should be lower - that I can easily fix.  Also, I need to make the bodice a bit more fitted at the underbust - another easy fix.  However, as the photos show, it fits and it's honestly pretty comfortable.  I think I'll be quite happy with it at Pennsic.  


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