Over on my other blog, Growing Up Medieval, I wrote a post about kids' personas. Owen is only just now coming into the age where he'll want to make his own decisions about what he'd like to wear, but my other three children are still too young to know the difference between a Viking outfit and an Elizabethan one, which means I still have final say. Lee's barrel chest and skinny legs are very well suited to Viking, and Archer's stockier build screams 13th century. Kara's personality, on the other hand, made it a little harder to pinpoint a persona to start her with. At first, I thought she'd like the physical flexibility of the Viking apron dress, but her personality is just a little more "girly" than that. She's a full-blow dress kind of girl. She's also a firecracker. That kind of rules later period (16th century) styles out, since they would be too restrictive for her.
My instinct was to start putting her in 15th century styles, like my own, but it still didn't seem right. She's got a quirkiness that 15th century Flemish just doesn't do justice (which is pretty funny, considering 15th century Flemish is pretty quirky already.) But the later Medieval period seems to be the best option. Then I got thinking about late 15th century German styles, and the light bulb turned on.
Kara is definitely a 1490's Housebook dress kinda girl.
"Housebook dress" and "Durer dress" are often used alternatively to describe gowns of extreme-late 15th century German middle class women, but neither of these names really identify a particular dress. The most popular style, however, appears to be one with a panel of pleats in both the center front and center back.
|Left and Center are by Durer, Right is by Master of the Housebook|
I've got a matching linen that I can use as a lining, but I'm not sure that's necessary. I will need to make a smock for her, though.
I'd also like to attempt the "grande assiette" sleeve, but only make them 3/4 length. This may not work too well on a little girl's torso, but it will at least give me a challenge.
Kara's not a hat girl, though she does let me at least put them on her, so I'd like to make her a wulsthaube-type headdress, even if she won't wear it for very long. Just because I'm into that kind of frivolous hat making.
Now that I've figured all this out, I've just got to wait for her to wake up from her nap so I can get her measurements!