Sunday, November 27, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century Part 3 continued

Today we come to the end of our look at the things that distinguish an early 15th Century (French/English) outfit from the periods of fashion surrounding it. Last time, we looked at upper class headdress and identified the general zones in which late 14th Century, and mid-15th Century hats occupied, and how the upper class styles between them sat in a transitional space between them. This week, we end by looking at the headdress of the lower classes: open hood and veiling.

Composition de la sainte Écriture, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 425, circa 1400-1410, fol.115r.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century Part 3

So now we've come to the third part of my mini-series on what distinguishes early 15th Century women's clothing from the styles before and after it. I've been looking primarily at French clothing, as that's my area of study, but there is room for some of what we've looked at to apply beyond France's borders. In Part 1, we discovered that the later Gothic 15th Century silhouette is generally curvier. In Part 2, we determined that either no lacing, or at least inconspicuous dress lacing will provide a more accurate look than visible lacing. Today we'll take a look at headdress.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century: Part 2

Notice something missing? (Source)
Last post, we started looking at what makes early 15th century clothing different and distinguishable from the clothing styles before and after it. In Part 1, I talked about the basic difference in silhouette. The early 15h century ideal shape was generally curvier. In this post, part 2, I want to talk about another distinguishing feature that makes early 15th century women's fashion distinguishable. Actually, it's the lack of a feature we're going to be talking about.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Makes an Outfit Early 15th Century: Part 1

The Book of the Queen (BL MS Harley 4431) fol. 290
You might recall at the beginning of the year, I laid out the basics of women's clothing as depicted in French manuscripts from the first portion of the 15th century. Through that quick outline, it was easy to see the styles of dress appropriate to different classes of women, and also to see how layering was used during the period to create more depth and style. The thing that exercise didn't identify, however, was where those styles might differ from the period of fashion directly ahead of them, as well as those directly behind. What makes those styles distinguished (and distinguishable) from other fashions in the Middle Ages?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hand-Finishing a Garment


I, like many modern medieval sewers, often use my sewing machine to sew the pieces of my dresses together. These are referred to as the "construction" seams, and are, for the most part, considered "non-visible" since the thread used for these seams is not seen. While it's possible to sew and entire dress by machine (construction and finishing), this doesn't provide the hand-made quality that gives the garment a medieval character. So once the garment is assembled into its raw form, whether by machine or by hand, I will do most of the rest of the work, the finishing, by hand.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

German Brick Stitch Embroidery


Particular to Germany in the 14th & 15th centuries, the pair of counted-stitch embroidery techniques we call brick stitch are found on many extant purses, and were used as a graphic technique within wall hangings. In nearly every extant case, brightly dyed silks were used on linen ground fabrics. When we recreate these techniques, evenweave cloth is used. Using set lengths, stitches are worked strictly in one direction (most often vertically), so that lines and shapes are created to form repeating patterns.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Post in Which I Talk A Lot

One of my selfie outtakes from Pennsic.
Since I haven't been able to work on any of my own projects in the past few weeks, I've been doing more thinking about the lessons I learned from this past Pennsic. Last week, I mentioned that my new chemise needed some revisions. As I continued to think about that, and about what projects I wanted to take on next, I came to the realization that I had learned so much more from Pennsic then I had previously realized.