I'm quite pleased with this pair of bodies - they're cable-tie boned (doubled up in each channel, for a total of about 85 ties), the channels are hand stitched, and the overall look came out quite well. It's blue linen, and got its first workout at Jamestown's 2007 MTA. The cable ties stood up well all day, though doubling them was definitely needed - they don't provide enough support otherwise.
The ties were an interesting alternative to reed, and cheaper than Rigilene. I wanted to give them a workout before recommending them to my students.
This is the pattern I use for my bodies classes, and I hope to market the pattern (with skirt tabs) at some point.
Aaaaaand, here are the bodies with sleeves! I pointed the sleeves on with pretty, pretty bows, because I'm obnoxious that way. The lacings are linen tape with sewn tips, since the whole metal aglet thing is not on the cards right now.
I also added lacing points at the waist, and all my petticoats fit much better now. Who'd have thunk?
How to decorate a Dutch Cloak with $8 worth of linen thread.
I had some peach-coloured linen thread, and a very plain Dutch cloak, so I braided the thread, used some of it to wrap wooden buttons, and voilá! a much nicer piece of clothing super-cheap. I think this only took me a couple of weeks or so, even with braiding the linen, making the buttons, and hand-applying the trim. I made the Dutch cloak years ago, but finished the trim in time to do a display for Atlantia's Arts and Sciences event in March of 2007.
I highly recommend making braided trim - whether you lace-braid it like I do, or use finger-loop braiding, your biggest investment is time, not money. Check out my articleA Dozen Doublets for the Design Deficient for more ideas about trim layout.
This is me at Jamestown in April of 2008. I'm smiling because I really dig my hat.
This is my brown square doublet and madder pink petticoat ensemble. The doublet is low in the front, high in the back, and made of linen, with black wool tape trim. The little looped shoulder and skirt tabs are one of my favourite styles, though they are slightly more time-consuming to make and apply.
I'm wearing a pair of bodies underneath, and a couple of petticoats under the pink petticoat. Working clothes are relatively informal (though one should always wear sleeves over one's shift), so the cuffs of the linen shift are turned up to protect the doublet sleeves from accidental dirt. I had removed my apron at this point, but an apron would be worn with this ensemble.
The petticoat is also linen, in a very fine weight, and in an appropriate pink (don't let anyone ever tell you they didn't wear bright colours back then).
I finished this jacket in June 2008, and it is another version of the beautiful embroidered jackets on display at Museums. Thanks to a great painting in the Rijksmuseum, we have clear evidence that women wore unembroidered versions of these jackets as everyday wear. And why not? It is a singularly flattering garment, both to people of the period, and to modern eyes. It is not too hard to make and is very comfortable to wear, so is actually ideal for a beginning costumer who wants to make late period clothing.
One thing, though - make yours unique through fabric, colour, and trim choices. This one is green linen lined in a lighter green linen, and decorated with hand-braided linen cord. I used a trim design that is closer to doublet trim layouts because I wanted an unusual look that had not been done so far. I used the high necked pattern from Patterns of Fashion, but I tend to pin back the "lapels" of the jacket for a lower-cut look. This method of pinning back the lapels can be seen in an early 17th century portrait of Lady Powis.
The jacket is entirely hand-sewn, and the hook and eye closures are covered with thread - which not only conceals the modern steel, it helps to keep the hooks from popping open.
Here is the jacket with its matching hand-sewn petticoat. The petticoat and jacket together took roughly a month and a half to complete. The petticoat is Dupioni changeable silk, of a colour very similar to that of the woman's petticoat in the painting Woman Playing the Virginal, byJan Miense Molenaer (1630-1640).
An example of what you can do with cheap trim. I did not make this outfit; it (and a second outfit) was made for me in return for an embroidered coif. I added the trim - 30 yards of it, hand sewn - just before Pennsic 2008. The trim is very basic polyester satin ribbon. It eases into curves with relative simplicity (allowing for curved back and under arm seams), and can be doubled or tripled for greater impact. This layout is based on one in my article A Dozen Doublets for the Design Deficient.
I think this picture was taken by Rosalind DelaMere - or maybe by Jen Thies - I'm sure someone will tell me. Picture taken at Pennsic, 2008.
Ignore the camera in my hand; this is the only good picture I have of the new hand-sewn petticoat I made to go with the Maidstone Jacket. It's changeable silk Dupioni, with a metallic trim that echoes the design sensibilities of the late 16th century.
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.