Friday, October 17, 2008

A Fresh Start

Well, I am now a mother. Owen Alfred Hurst was born on Tuesday, August 19th at 7:07pm after about 31 hours of induced labor.

I lost my baby weight pretty rapidly. About 3 weeks postpartum, I weighed 5 pounds less that I did when I first got pregnant! My body shape has changed, though. My breasts are slightly smaller, and in general, I'm more "boxy" in the torso- which actually works to make my butt look smaller.

So now it's time for new garb. I've been dreaming about the teal wool I bought at Spring Crown- anxious to have it made into a dress. I was going to do a front laced kirtle like this one, but last weekend I attended a lecture series by Robin Netherton that changed my mind....about a lot of things.

In my research on 15th century clothing, I had already come to the conclusion that the underdress was meant to be supportive (as I've spoken about in previous posts). However, I did not realize that the wide front opening of a front-laced dress should not really be worn by married women, or women over a certain age. The Gothic Fitted Dress, as Robin Netherton calls it, is also not, in any way, related to the Greenland gowns. This is an important point because the few examples I have from websources (such as Matilda's, linked to above) rely on the Greenland examples as the basis of their extant documentation. This is, simply, because the Greenland gowns are the only thing remotely related to the fitted dress that we have extant examples of today. Just because we have them, however, doesn't mean they prove a thing about the cut and construction of the GFD. (This is Netherton's theory, btw- I can't claim this idea.)

After the lecture, though, I did have a much better grasp of 15th century clothing, and have started to compile my research on the typical wardrobe of a 15th century woman. This is an extensive work- everything from underwear to headdresses will be discussed. I'd like to teach it as a class at some point, so having actual examples is key.

So, my lovely teal wool is being made into a gothic fitted dress (with no wide front opening). I only have 4 yards, so we're hoping that we can get long sleeves out of it. My mom and I will be working on the fit next weekend so that I have it to wear at Christmas Tourney this winter. I can't wait!

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