12th Century: Fit for a King and Queen
Last September at Emprise of the Black Lion (that’s the event I made the cute horse and lion buckles for!) I was asked by the crown prince of An Tir to consider making his and his princess’s coronation gowns. I have helped with coronation outfits before, but only in bits and pieces, never in charge of the whole shebang! So this was an awesome experience, it was very fun and interesting going through all the garb creation steps with a ‘client’ for the first time.
They quickly decided that they wanted 12th century Sicilian-Norman outfits consisting of an over and under garment for each of them, and a veil for her Highness. I drew up a game plan, and after a bit of back and forth for color changes and such, we had the outfit plan:
They had the red picked out quite quickly, a beautiful 12th century reproduction fabric from Sartor in the Czech Republic. That particular fabric is not currently on their website, so here’s a link to the historical section.
We both did some shopping around, online and in person, searching for the perfect white-gold silk to complement the red. I would send them pictures like above, until they found the perfect fabric at a friend’s yard sale, but it was not quite enough for both outfits. We ended up settling on the yardsale fabric for his white accents, and the India metallic silk above for her outfit.
Before we cut into the fancy expensive fabric, we made a couple mock ups first. Since they lived far away and were not able to schedule a fitting in person, we had to by remote fitting: they gave me measurements, I mailed them a mock up, and they sent me pictures of how the mock up turned out. The fancy fabric funds were limited, so I drew out a cutting layout, to make sure I could get the most bang for my buck (theirs actually). This allowed me to figure out the absolute minimum fabric required.
They sent me back pictures of the first mock ups.
With problem areas noted, but not much time left, we had Mary create a second mockup (who lives much closer to them!)
Everything was mailed back to me, and using information from both mockups, I got to work on the real thing!
My wonderful and beautiful friends helped out as the deadline got closer. Many people were involved in every garment: I would go over to their house because they had a big table and they would help me cut, or they’d come to my house and we’d figure out the best layout for the red silk, or I’d hand off a piece that needed some hand stitching before the next step. I didn’t make these outfits, my friends did :D
We sewed up nearly everything on the outfits except the side seams on Dalla’s dress since they might need adjustment, and the hems for the same reason. Luckily, we managed to squeeze a fitting in a week before the big event.
A couple of things needed to be fixed (woops, his shirt sleeves are too long!) but everything was pretty good on the whole. Time to finish up those side seams and start embellishing!
Lots of very wee little pearls were placed on his and her collars and sleeve trims. She also got a thin line of gold beads accenting the edge of her collar line, pictured below.
The gold and pearls were fairly subtle additions to the already luxurious fabric, but they added nicely to the overall look of the finished garments.
When the big day came, everything fit well and looked lovely!
Thus begins the reign of Their Royal Majesties of An Tir, King Savaric and Queen Dalla! :D