Lady Greensleeves's Velvet Undergown

The tailoring misadventures of a histerical costumer

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And... I've decided

After browsing some potraiture online, and looking hard at gorgeous colors at Fair this weekend, I've decided that the color for the Easy Gown is going to be...

Chocolate brown! Velvet doublet bodice be damned. Definitely linen.

It just goes too well with every other color I like--my flaming orange chemise, a deep teal, black, cream, green....

I was also inspired by this portrait by Botticelli, both in color and in silhouette (although someone should have taught that lass about posture. Good heavens!). Of course, other than the box-pleated skirt, it's rather hard to see what's going on in that dress, so I turn to this Book of Hours drawing of farm workers. Now, I've had this picture up as my desktop wallpaper for a couple of months now, and have gotten a pretty good look at it. I feel like assuming that both gowns are of the same construction. The pink lass--does that look like lacing up the back of her gown? At any rate, I like the deep-v back neckline. It will solve some bodice problems I typically have (gaping necklines), and I've wanted to try the cut for a while now.

Since we're looking at gowns that lace up the front, I am both enchanted and perplexed by gowns like the one in this portrait by Carpaccio. How is that staying shut? Does she or does she not have a corset on under there (I know, I know, age old Italian debate)?

So, anyway. The Brown Easy Gown (the Brown Easy?) will be some combination of all these influences, largely dictated by my sewing skills and ambition. Semi-accurate, we'll say.

And while we're at it, let's think trim. I love the little sparkle of gold on the Book of Hours women (as impractical as that seems). I wonder if I could achieve that with guards of very thin gold ribbon? Gold looks nice with brown, yes?

And another thing...

As I was looking for that Botticelli in brown, I ran across several (lots, actually) Botticelli Madonnas wearing blue, sleeved robes with lining. Several of them are so similar as to suggest the same real-life garment modelled in each portrait. Here, here, and here.

Why is this important, you ask? Or even interesting? Well, because I have been waffling in my plans for my Ren-Friendly Rainwear project. It was to be a blue robe, lined in purple satin... but I've become discontent with the idea of a robe. Now that I see a similar garment in period artwork, I am beginning to reconsider my discontent. Mmmmmm.


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