I used to be a costumer. In fact, that’s why and how I learned to sew. Sometimes I see period events posted by Dreamstress or Wearing History Lauren’s blogs and turn absolutely green. Duchess Lauren’s Revolutionary gown series sent me over the edge. I can’t stand it anymore! I need to costume! I need an event! I started searching and it turns out Brisbane has a flourishing SCA barony- St. Florian de la Riviere.
And- dear me– they’re holding a Tudor Feast in honor of Anne of Cleaves, Henry VIII’s *ahem* overlooked wife, come mid-August. Apparently Henry thought the court painter, Holbein, was too generous about her looks and couldn’t stand to consummate the marriage. Or so says the gossip. At any rate, she will be feted here and soon. In my excitement, I wrote to my husband at work with the message “I’d cut off my right arm to go to this, can we please? Please please please??” and no link. He rather feared I wanted to go somewhere in Scotland; when he discovered it was local he readily agreed.
Squeee! I haven’t done any serious costuming for nearly 10 years, I’m out of practice with my research so I’m using Simplicity patterns and not going for a careful copy of a gown in a portrait. The steward of the event informs me that while they are not complete sticklers for accuracy, if I wear crush panne velvet they will giggle behind my back. I think I already like them. A large shelf on my bookcase groans with books on this era, from Phillipa Gregory novels to more serious works. My first era-love was Elizabethan, but this is a close second.
I’m not striving for 100% accuracy. I thought to make the doublet with sleeves, without the skirt, and with buttons. I already scouted the fabric, but won’t buy before I run it by the person who will wear it. My lovely, sweet husband not only agreed to wear Tudor garb, but will go to the dance lessons beforehand. I can’t wait to see him all dressed up, he’s never done an event. He already has a rad beard.
I rather like the red/ecru/gold color schemes repeated in so many Tudor portraits, though I’m fond of blue. In the next few day the right colors and fabrics will come together in my mind, I have no doubt.
I think this will be a great starting place, though I’m thinking I may be lazy and inaccurate and build a corset into the bodice rather than make one.
I do want hoops and a bumroll, however. There’s no faking hoops, the finished gown would look diminished without them, and it will be lovely for dancing. I haven’t made hoops in ages! I like that the model has “Tudor” red hair.
It’s a large undertaking for 6 weeks, but I already started on my husband’s clothes, I sew fast, and I’m not lovingly constructing a piece of art. Not this time, not yet.
Where do I find hoop boning (or something that will work for hoop boning) in the Antipodes? Any words of wisdom for joining a re-enactment society? I don’t want to embarrass myself. How do you ladies wear your French hoods? What keeps them in place? Did Tudor ladies wear something very pretty beneath their hoops, in case they flashed a little in the dance? Does anyone else love this period?
Thank you, ladies of the costume blogs, for your inspiration! I haven’t been this pleased about something in a long time.
(I’m working through my pile of work clothes UFOs; more on that when my photographer has time….)