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The First Mid 16th Century Flemish Peasant and Its Remake

I created the patterns for this costume from the instructions at The Elizabethan Costuming Page. It is made of Country Classics cotton broadcloth from Joann Fabrics.

     

It is now too large for me. I like the color scheme, though. Someday, I plan to remake it in linen with the same colors. Here are some pictures of the kirtle and overgown on Lady Margaret. This outfit has been stuffed in the closet for quite a while so it is pretty rumpled and I was too lazy to iron it...

   
Kirtle front
Kirtle side
Kirtle back
 
Kirtle bodice Front
Kirtle bodice Back
Overgown front
Overgown side
Overgown back
 
Overgown bodice front
 
Overgown bodice back

June 12, 2005

Last week, I finally found the right colors of linen for the remake. AND, I got around to ordering them before they were sold out. The gold linen and rust linen came from Denver Fabrics. The navy blue linen I already had. I had bought it several years ago on sale at Joanns.

   

The actual fabric is quite close to the original colors.

August 14, 2005

This dress diary entry relates to the remake of the Flemish peasant outfit because some of the things I tried here will be used in the remake of the Flemish peasant outfit. Here is the outfit I started with:

     
The outfit on Me
The outfit on Lady Margaret

I call this outfit my "Guinea Pig Outfit" because most of my experiments have used this outfit for testing various things. The fabric was originally a natural color lightweight cotton canvas. The color is the result of a botched dyeing experiment. (The color was supposed to turn out hunter green.)

The pattern for the skirt was one of my very first attempts at faire wear. It is Simplicity 9256. I originally made the bodice of Simplicity 9256, as well, and I even knew enough to eliminate the evil darts in the pattern. This bodice has long ago been chucked in the trashcan. It was never worn in public.

At some point, I had the idea of wearing the skirt with Farthingale No. 1, but it was too short in its original form. So, I took out the hem. This gave me two extra inches in length. Then, I guarded the hem with some wide navy and olive green bias tape which covered the former fold line of the hem.

The bodice in the above pictures is from The Mantua-Maker pattern No.1500-5. There is nothing wrong with this pattern and I will use it again. The problems listed below with the bodice are due to the fact that I was still learing how to fit bodices correctly. I was also stupid and did not read the directions thoroughly enough and missed the fact that the seam allowances on the neckline, armcye and bottom of the bodice are only .25 of an inch (instead of the usual .625) until it was too late.

The problems with the above outfit:

 

1. The bodice is too short.

2. The shoulder straps are too short (which is related to the bodice being too short.)

3.The upper back is too narrow.

 

Front

 

     
Side
Back

First of all, I needed a petticoat to keep the skirts away from my legs.

 

Here I have taken Farthingale No. 1, removed the polytubing and replaced it with rope in the bottom three hoop casings. The bottom hoop casing has two chunks of rope in the casing.

At 11:00 pm Friday, August 12, 2005, I decided to sew a row of basting stitches down the middle of the bottom hoop casing to separate the two chunks of rope.

I used the last of my dyeing experiment failure fabric to make the new bodice. This time, I used Simplicity 8881 in a size 16 for the bodice pattern. I combined the front center and front side pattern pieces, while eliminating the boob bumps. I added .625 inches to length of the front straps. I had heard that the bodice tends to run short in the torso, so I added .75 inches to the length of the torso.

The bodice is flatlined with two layers of 7.1 oz bleached linen from Fabrics-store.com. Boning in the front of the bodice is hemp cord sandwiched between the two layers of linen flatlining. I followed the directions from this article: Everything you ever wanted to know about boning with hemp cord, but were afraid to ask! which can be found at Jen Thompson's A Festive Attyre. Boning in the back of the bodice is two pieces of .25 inch plastic walebone from Grannd Companies & Grannd Garb.

 

Here is the flatlining for the front of the bodice just before assembly.

To trim the bodice, I used some more of the wide navy bias tape that I had used to guard the hem of the skirt.. I sewed along the edge of the bias with the applique stitch on my sewing machine. I did the same along the guard of the skirt.

 

Here is a closeup of the hem of the skirt showing the applique stitch at the top edge of the wide navy bias tape hem guard. Also, notice the piping effect created by the wide olive green bias tape hem guard..

I piped the bodice with more of the olive green bias tape and used rattail as filler cord.

Here are closeups of the finished bodice on Lady Margaret:

   
Front
Side
Back

The completed outfit on Lady Margaret:

   
Front
Side
Back

The completed outfit on me:

     

The above pictures were taken after wearing the outfit all day the the MN Renaissance Festival. Notice how there is a wrinkle at the waist of the bodice. First lesson learned: a corded bodice MUST stop at the waist or slightly above the waist. To fix this bodice, I will need to add some sort of busk and busk pocket to the inside of the bodice. Second lesson learned: the only way to completely elimate gaping between the bodice and skirt, when there is no bodice skirting or tabs, is to tack the skirt to the bodice. In this outfit, although there is no gapping between the bodice and the skirt at the sides, after the first time I sit down, a gap is created at the back. So, I will be tacking the skirt to the bodice. Third lesson learned: the girls will not stay put if the bodice is too big. I guess I still have not got the hang of sizing a bodice correctly. To fix this bodice, I will have to create a little padded shelf inside the bodice for the girls. An alternative fix is to add another row of grommets on the right side of the back lacing edge, so that I can lace it tighter.

Other items to note for the next corded bodice I make:

  1. Eliminate more bulk at the seams and the edges.
  2. Leave a larger seam allowance around the corded area.

August 28, 2005

More messing with the "Guinea Pig Outfit."

I took in the side seams of the bodice to make it tighter (which meant I had to take the bodice mostly apart and cut back the cording to make a larger seam allowance around the corded area), removed the point in front, and tacked the skirt to the bodice. This fixed all the problems noted above. There is still some slippage of the girls but only after wearing for several hours, so I attribute this to some stretch in the fabric and it is easily fixed by tightening the lacing a bit.

I bought the olive green suede hat I saw the first weekend at MN Ren Faire. The color is so-so with this outfit (matches the piping on the bodice and the hem of the skirt) but looks totally awesome with the olive green linen in my stash. (Yes, I am still a geek - I took fabric samples with me to the Faire.)

Pictures of me in the outfit:

   
The Remake - Take 2
The Remake - Take 2
The Remake - Take 2
With the navy Stuart arsaid, new hat and fan
With the navy Stuart arsaid, new hat and fan
With the navy Stuart arsaid, new hat and fan

 

   
The Remake - Take 2
The Remake - Take 2
The Remake - Take 2
With the navy Stuart arsaid, new hat and fan
With new hat and fan
With new hat and fan

 

     
The Remake - Take 2
The Remake - Take 2
With new hat and fan
Closeup with new hat!

September 4, 2005

Some more about the "Guinea Pig Outfit."

My cork top was not sufficiently tight on my leather mug and some of my strawberry smoothie spilled on my skirt. Rather than removing the skirt from the bodice and washing just the skirt, I chucked the whole thing in the wash. I think this was a mistake. The cording has shrunk which makes the fashion fabric on the front of bodice have a wrinkled appearance. The cording does seem to have "fluffed out" a bit and is securely locked into position within the channels. I have not tried the bodice on again but it may prove to be unfixable and, therefore, unwearable. Oh well, it WAS just a Guinea Pig Outfit and I have that olive green linen in my stash...

Turning Farthingale No.1 into a corded petticoat did not work out very well. There was too much fullness in the hem of the farthingale and it would not behave. I pulled out the rope and replaced it in the bottom hoop channel with a piece of white bone about 102 inches long and overlapped by about 12 inches to make a circumference of 90 inches. This was much better.

July 3, 2007

Remember this fabric?

It is mentioned at the top of this page. I had 10 yds of it. Note the past tense. I first thought I might use some of it to make a cotehardie (see Getting Medieval.) Well, it turns out that it is a near perfect color match to some golden tan damask that I have been saving for a forepart and sleeves to go with the hunter green velveteen gown (see The First Elizabethan and Its Remake.) AND, it also matches the background color of some Oriental-rug-looking chenille that I have been saving for a doublet, sleeves, and forepart which is also to go with the hunter green velveteen. Hmmm... two underskirts to mount those foreparts on and sleeve linings. The First Elizabethan won out.

So, since I bogarted the linen for underskirts for the hunter green velveteen gown, I ordered more linen to replace it. Here is the new linen for the Flemish gown.


8 yds - 60 inches wide

The above swatch picture, which came from the website where I purchased the fabric, Fabrics-store.com, does not do the fabric justice. Trust me, it looks better with the rust and navy linen than the original gold linen.

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