After finishing three 18th century projects this year, I feel a bit tired of that century. I want to focus on my forties wardrobe and I want to finally get a 17th century outfit. Two, actually, J need one too. I have a dark purple taffeta that I plan to make into a bodice and skirt, based on the one at V&A I posted about here. I’m going to simplify it a bit and forego the slashing and pinked edges, making it look more like this one.
|Anne Sophia, née Herbert Countess of Carnarvon by Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1633-35|
I like the plain collar and there is a pattern for a similar one in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4. The gown is terribly low-cut, though. Judging by the curve of her breast the nipples must be over the edge of the dress, though they are hidden by the linen band. For my 21st century sensibility that feels a bit risky, not to mention that my bosom needs a bit more support. So I will raise the neckline accordingly.
Pearls stringed like this can be seen on several portraits, which are pretty but seems a bit fragile. Here you can see that the pearls are just decorative; there is a pink ribbon that does the real job of holding the bodice together. I think it is worn over a white stomacher, though I guess it could be just the chemise. A stomacher seems much more likely, if one look at the fashion for the time, though. In either case, I will make a stomacher, either white or in the same fabric as the gown. I’m keeping the bows, but haven’t decided on the colour yet, even if white is pretty.
The cuffs are ruffled, but plain. One of the reason this painting appeals to me is just the absence of lace. Finding the right lace would add to the cost of the gown, but that’s not really the reason- I just like the plainer elegance of the collar and cuffs on this gown.
The first step, though, is to create a pattern. I could enlarge the pattern in HH, but that would demand heave alterations. Instead I will use my 18th century stays patterns as a base and then re-draft it with the 17th century pattern as a guide.
The first step in J’s costume is the skirt. In Patterns of Fashion 4 there is a pattern for a skirt worn by Admiral Claes Hansson Bielkenstierna when he was wounded in 1659. It appeals to me for several reasons. It’s Swedish and of the right time period, but it is also a plain and practical skirt, even if it was worn by a nobleman. The picture Livrustkammaren provide is very bad, as you can see, but if you check Arnold you can see that even if it is plain, it has a funny little spider web detail at the bottom of the front slit.
|Livrustkammaren 21454 (5793:1)|