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:

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

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.

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

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.

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com 12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

They sent me back pictures of the first mock ups.

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com 12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

With problem areas noted, but not much time left, we had Mary create a second mockup (who lives much closer to them!)

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

Everything was mailed back to me, and using information from both mockups, I got to work on the real thing!

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.comMy 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.

 

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com 12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

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!

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

 

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.

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

 

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!

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

The beautiful belt seen here was made by Mary Larose. Like me, she was working right up to the final hours before it was time to wear!

 

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

The pretty silk veil was made by Jenny with silk and gold wrapped threads donated by Nicolin.

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

 

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

I really like how her gold beaded edge came out, its a nice detail!

12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com 12th Century Outfits Fit for a King and Queen at MorganDonner.com

Thus begins the reign of Their Royal Majesties of An Tir, King Savaric and Queen Dalla! :D

 

 

 

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4 comments on “12th Century: Fit for a King and Queen
  1. Anya Codori says:

    Congratulations on your first blog post of the new year, and what a gorgeous one it is! You and your friends have done stunning work here.

  2. Violet Tailyeour says:

    Gorgeous!!

  3. These are spectacular! You do such inspiring work.
    I’m making an Italian gown like Campi’s Fruitseller, and your blog has been such a resource and a help for a beginner like me. Thank you!

  4. Eulalia says:

    You write some of the best dress diaries and tutorials out there. I love being able to see your process, and I feel like I can hear you telling me about all these incredible details while I read. Keep it up, I love your blog :)

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