This outfit is based on the information gathering I did for the Antwerp Women’s Dress post. My dress is a little on the later end with it’s conical stiff bodice shape, so I’d put the date around 1575.
This post is really low on dress-diary content, as I can’t seem to find my process photos. Instead, it will be a ‘Hey, look at this thing I made!’ post. Cool? Cool.
From the top down:
- Hat: I bought this years ago, I love it, it is starting to fall apart, please tell me where I can buy another if you have seen this hat for sale.
- Coif: simple Elizabethan style coif, probably one of the ones I made for this post.
- Partlet: It is made from fine linen, with a wee ruffled edge at the neck. Not as fancy at this partlet, but the pattern is the same.
- Sleeves: Totally swiped these sleeves from my Blue/Grey dress.
- Shift: very simple linen shift to wear under everything. It’s very similar to this drawing.
- Red Dress: this is new! It is wool, and lined in more wool. Super wooly! The pattern can be seen on the Antwerp Overview.
- Blue Placket: This is just a big piece of blue linen that I folded into quarters, and pinned to the front of my shift. The four layers gives it a nice weight.
- Apron: The apron is made of a light almost white wool, including the ties. It’s about 35×35 inches.
You can’t see the shoes, but they are simple, almost like pointy Mary-Janes, and I bought them at Pennsic a few years ago.
I wore this to an event for painters to draw from live models. It was super neat! Check out Tilbury Camp’s site for more info on that.
A number of my awesome friends went too, and as you can see, we had a bit of a theme going :D
I love that it was common for ladies in Antwerp to roll up their sleeves. Very nice for warm days!
With a bit of twisting, I can pin the back and front of my partlet edges down all by myself, but it is a million times easier if a friend does it for you. Sleeves also get pinned to the top of the bodice straps. If you have never done this, you might think, “Oh goodness, that is a lot of pins! Do you get pricked often?!” It does happen now and then, but weaving the pin in and out several times helps, and ending the tip in the bodice means it isn’t sticking out where someone might get poked.
When I finished sewing, I tried out various garments underneath the red dress for chest support. The purpose of this foundation testing was to help me decide what level of support matches what I am seeing in the paintings. I could just look in a mirror, but I have found that taking pictures means I get a permanent 3-side record (and I get to share it with you guys)!
The top row has no support. Just a shift and placket over my chest, and I am not really a fan of the look.
In the middle row, I am wearing a pink bodice under the dress, it has no boning, and gives a rounded support. This is about what you would get if you were to wear a supportive kirtle under your over gown.
The bottom row has an Elizabethan style pair of stays as the support. There are a number of images that look like they have something boned beneath the lacing, although they are on the later end of this genre painting period, and other evidence for them is a bit dodgy.
As far as I can see, all three work depending on which paintings I compare it too, although I think I will leave the no-support option to the smaller busted ladies from now on as I don’t find it flatters my bust. The other two levels of support work nicely, and I think may give some credence to the idea of a whole separate dress under the overgown, especially in cooler weather.
I personally favor the look of the stays under the dress (bottom row). Again, there is not really any solid evidence for it, but damn if it isn’t pretty as a picture.