torsdag 24 december 2015

Happy Holidays!

It already has it's own page in the blog - but it's the most yule-like costume photo that I have:

Aside from celebrating yule I have knitted some more on my second silk stocking based on the ones owned by Eleonora di Toledo. I have now started decreasing for the ankle, so I begin to see that there is an end to all this. Eventually.

I have also embroidered a pair of velvet slippers. They are wearable now, if you don't mind very slippery wool soles, but I plan to give them a cork sole with a slight wedge heel too. Maybe it will get done over the holidays, though I doubt it - too much other work to do.

torsdag 19 november 2015

A 15th century Italian gown

I haven't done 15th century Italian since the early '90s, if you don't count my wedding dress, which was a sort of pre-Raphaelite version of an Italian renaissance gown

But my trip to Florence in Septmeber, for a conference with the Early Modern Dress Network really made me enthusiastic about the period and the style again. Especially since there were presentations both about a partly preserved gown from the period, which used to belong to Osanna Andreasi, also known as St. Osanna of Mantua, and about Ghirlandaio.

Adding the wonders of Santa Maria Novella I decided to have a go at it. I am also workign on using my stash of fabric, so I decided to use rayon damask cutains that I bought many years ago. I see it both as a wearable test for a later version in silk and as something nice and comfortable that I don't have to be excessively careful with at outdoors events.

In any case it will mostly be partly covered by an overgown when worn. But I haven't made that one yet.

Like this

Next time I will make the sleeves much wider at the top, but I was short of fabric. Osanna's sleeves were rather wide and soemwhat puffy at the top. You do see narrow sleeves too in art, so it's not wrong, not just what I would have preferred.

I will also use more fabric to get a wider skirt. The skirt is mostly gored, with a few pleats at the back and sides, like Osanna's gown. You can see the opening of the skirt in the front, because I forgot to add a hook and eye before posing for photos, but it really is period ;) Though possibly only when someone is putting his hand inside your skirt :)

Francesco della Cossa: The triumph of Venus (detail)

Since it's mostly the bodice and sleeves that were preserved of Osanna's gown it was the bodice that I used prinmarily for this gown.  My gown has a higher neckline than what you in most people's reproductions, but which is what you mostly see in art. Osanna's was even higher, but maybe that's party of the saintly stuff :) Or not really, there's lots of very high necked gowns in the Italian renaissance, but since it is very hard to make a pattern fro a high necked gown when you have the kind of boobs I have I settled for a middle ground. And I'm really happy with it. It has narrow strips of plastic whalebone a the opening to keep the edges from puckering and I love how they curve smoothly over the bust.
The v-neck in the back is from the preserved gown.

Here's a detail, where you can also see the pretty necklace that a woman called Cecilia Fredriksson, who lives on Gotland, made.

torsdag 12 november 2015

17th century knitted waistcoats

As you may have seen I have been working on a smallish project with the museum in Gothenburg, where I live. One of the things that I studied was knitted waistcoats from the 17th century. The word waistcoats is here used in the period way, which means that they had sleeves too, unlike modern waistcoats. Background research was done mainly through literature on the subject, such as the works of Maj Ringgard, Martha Hoffman, and Gunnel Hazelius-Berg. But I also went through 17th century probate inventories from Gothenburg to find knitted waistcoats, which I also did, thereby providing a background for the silk knitted waistcoat that they have in their collections.

This work was concerned with damask knitted waistcoats of the type found almost exclusively in the Nordic countries (there's one that belonged to king Charles I too).

Brocade knitted waistcoats, what we today would refer to as stranded multicolour or fair isle knitting are on the other hand found all over Europe.

Since they appear to have been worn mainly as undershirt or informal wear there are few images of them from the period, Maj Ringgard suggests in her article “Silk Knitted Waistcoats - a 17th-century fashion item” that this portrait, from Nyborg church in  Denmark may show knit silk waitcoats at the neckline or cuffs.

Here's an example of what I think is a brocade knitted waistcoat worn by a Dutch girl, painted by Adriaen van der Linde. The painter died in 1609, so it's either a late 16th or early 17th century portrait.

There are quite a lot knit waistcoats for children preserved and it seems reasonable to use this both more comfortable and cheaper alternative to silk brocade for children.

I should now also declare how much I hate tumblr - where people post images of knit silk waistcoats withut and link to where they're from. So these will have to unattributed for now. The top one is probably one of the Norwegian ones though.

Links to more knitted 17th century silk waistcoats online
Red embroidered damask knitted waistcoat at the Gothenburg City Museum, Sweden
Charles Is damask knitted waistcoat
Red damask knitted waistcoat in Norway
Green damask knitted waistcoat with all over embroidery, Norway
Light blue silk waistcoat with gold embroidery, Norway
Another light blue damask knitted waistcoat with embroidery, Norway
Green silk waistcoat with gold embroidery at the neck, Norway.
Brocade knitted waistcoat at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Another brocade knitted waistcoat at the MFA, Boston USA
Brocade knitted waistcoat at the V&A, Great Britain
Red and gold waistcoat at the V&A, Great Britain
Gold and silver brocaded waistcoat at the V&A
Green brocade knitted silk waistcoat in Cleveland USA
Red damask knitted child's waistcoat, Belgium
Green and gold brocade knitted waistcoat, Belgium
Child's sleeveless brocade knitted waistcoat, Belgium
Red, gold and silver brocade knitted waistcoat, Canada
Sleeveless brocade knitted waistcoat at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA
Green short sleeved (altered) waistcoat, also at the Met
Brocade knitted waistcoat at Nordiska Museet, Sweden
Yellow and gold brocade knitted waistcoat, Glasgow, Great Britain
Florentine brocade knitted waistcoat
Brocade knitted sleeveless waistcoat from Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy
Green and gold brocaded waistcoat at an auction site
Red and gold brocaded waistcoat, Nationa Trust, UK
Brocaded knit waistcoat at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum
A brocade knitted waistcoat at Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Paris, France
Red damask knitted waistcoat at Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo Norway
Another damask knitted waistcoat at Norsk Folkemuseum
Short sleeved brocade knitted waiscoat at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Köln, Germany
Blue and silver brocade knitted waistcoat at Germanisches Nationalmuseum
The same in colour.
Yellow and silver brocade knitted waistcoat at the MFA, Boston, USA

Hazelius-Berg, Gunnel, “Stickad tröja” in Fataburen: Nordiska museets och Skansens årsbok. 1941, Nordiska museet, Stockholm, 1941
Hoffman, Martha, ”Of knitted 'nighthirts' and detachable sleeves in Norway in the seventeenth century' i Geijer, Agnes, Estham, Inger & Nockert, Margareta (red.), in Opera textilia variorum temporum: to honour Agnes Geijer on her ninetieth birthday 26th October 1988, Statens historiska museum, Stockholm, 1988
North, Susan & Tiramani, Jenny (red.), Seventeenth-century women's dress patterns. Book 1, V & A Publishing, London, 2011
North, Susan & Tiramani, Jenny (red.), Seventeenth-century women's dress patterns. Book 2, V & A Publishing, London, 2012
Orsi Landini, Roberta. & Niccoli, Bruna., Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza, Pagliai Polistampa, Firenze, 2005
Ringgard, Maj, “Silk Knitted Waistcoats - a 17th-century fashion item” in Mathiassen, Tove Engelhardt, Nosch, Marie-louise, Ringgaard, Maj, Toftegaard, Kirsten & Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel (red.), Fashionable encounters: perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the early modern Nordic world, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2014
Ringgaard, Maj, "To par strixstrømper oc en nattrøie naccarat". Tekst : filtede og strikkede tekstiler fra omkring 1700 fundet i Københavnske byudgravninger - og sammenhænge mellem tekstilers farve og bevaring : ph.d.-afhandling, 1. oplag, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, [Kbh.], 2010
Turnau, Irena, History of knitting before mass production, Akcent, Warszawa, 1991

söndag 1 november 2015

Painting instead of sewing

According to my firiend and neighbour Anna crafting comes in flares, like my arthritis ;)
And currently I have an illumination/painting flare. So no  sewing, just a little knitting on my Eleonora di Toledo stockings. And lots of painting.

So I thought that I would share my recent work. They are award scrolls for people in the Society for Creative Anachronism , the group in which I play.

Award of Arms based on a French 14th century original, though slightly re-designed and with some additions from the recipients life.

A blnak, that is: one withut a designated recipient yet - I am waiting to fill up the roundle inside the "D" until I know who it is for. Based on a 15th century original, though I replaced the stork in the original with a fighting snail. Because I like snails.

The Order of the Golden Ribbon, for service. Erich who got it is fond of cooking and of drinking (and making beverages), so I replaced the writing cleric in the Italian 14th century original with Erich cooking with a glass of wine in his hand.

The Order of Light, award for Arts&Sciences for our local and very lovely Gudrun. Based on a 14th century Spanish original. The images are of her knitting, shich she does a lot, and of her standing in a beautiful encampment which she has organized.

My husband's Award of Arms, calligraphed and designed by my friend Kristina and painted and gilded by me.

An early scroll, based on a 16th century Flemish original. Before I learned gilding. it now has both has very uneven calligraphy by me and the recipients arms in the shield.

Another early one, the border is 13th century. Not my calligraphy.

Based on a 12th century original of Boëthius De consolatione Philosophiae. Calligraphy by Kristina

måndag 26 oktober 2015

An SCA event

So, a week ago, me, hubby and Maja went to a local SCA event. I wore some of my new 16th century clothes, and Maja wore her gardecorps.

Handsome hubby, ca 11th century Saxon. Modern shoes though, we don't wear our period shoes outside when it's wet, so to not make the site unnecessarily dirty indoors.

Aaliz de Cordes and Kristina

Posing in Drei Schnittbücher skirt and my new wams and hat.

Ragnhil de Kaxtone and Alfhild de Foxley

Hubby (also knwon as Budde från Mössebodhum) 
and a very nice man, whose name I keep forgetting.

Alfhild's new 16th century English gown

Budde and Majken from Mössebodhum

Me and Majken, her hair matches the lining of the gardecorps.

tisdag 13 oktober 2015

Yet another German/Scandinavian style outfit from the second half of the 16th century

I finished another wams/doublet nad a new, matching, hat on Saturday and today my husband took photos of me wearing it together with my Drei Schnittbücher gown. As mentioned before My computer time is limited by arthritic pain, so the documentation page will have to wait.

måndag 12 oktober 2015

Another example of 16th century separate sleeveless bodice and skirt

Going through som of the newer the images on yesterday I found another example of a lower class woman's costume with a sleeveless bodice (livstycke in Swedish) worn with a separate skirt. It's from interior decoration paintings showing the different seasons and dated to c. 1585

You find the rest of the images, which include a lovely winter scene and the Goddess Diana presiding over Spring, here.

Since I am especially interested in Scandianvian and Swedish manners of dress this one made me happy.

måndag 5 oktober 2015

A gown from Drei Schnittbücher

So, I haven't been writing much lately, due to my arthritis. It hurts too much in my rib cage and in my hop joints to sit in front of the computer, so I'm on sick leave. This means that apart from exercising, to force my rib cage to widen, I spend wuit e alot of time in front of Netflix, hand sewing.

This is the latest result - a gown based on the variations of a gown cut with the bodice in one with the skirt found in Master Tailor's manuscripts published in Drei Schnittbücher.

I was a little short on fabric, so I didn't make any sleevfes, but since sleeveless gowns are seen in German images from the period and I've also found them in Danish probates from the 16th century.

Anyway, I was short on fabric, I only had 2,5 metres, so I made the parts that should be pleated a bit on the small side. It would have worked better if I didn't have such a large tummy.

It's obvious from the side view that it would have been just perfect if I had a flatter tummy, and not over a foot difference between waist and hips.

But, on the other hand - the back skirt looks fantastic!

Besides I plan to wear an apron with it. But it's good to know these things before making my next one.

fredag 25 september 2015

Finished skirt and better images of me in the wams

So, since I hand sewed a woolen skirt this week I now have a finished outfit based on two patterns from the Enns manuscript in Drei Schnittbücher. I've been fond of the style found in Central and Northern Europe in the second part of the 16th century forever, so this really is the book for me.

Instead of giving the skirt its own page I remade the wams page to include the whole oufit. New pictures and new info on costruction and inspiration.

tisdag 22 september 2015

The bodice is finished, and a new 16th century skirt

Last week I finished the bodice. I am not totally happy with it since I think that it's too short in front and mid back. In the sides it reaches the natural waist perfectly.

Still, the profile is right. I have, however, adjusted the pattern and will make another one, which is longer in front and mid back, with the side seems a little more forward and the straps a little bit further out. I haven't decide which fabric to use yet, so while thinking of that I decided to start on the skirt pattern from Drei Schnittbücher . The Enns master Tailor book which I got the pattern for my doublet from also has a pattern for a skirt to be worn with it.

I just have to decide on the fabric. This is what I want to make: a striped skirt, rather narrow. It's a watercolour by Lucas de Heere from 1575, showing women from Saxony.

But we'll see waht I kind find in my fabric stash, maybe it will be a solid skirt with trim along the hem, as the pattern shows instead.

torsdag 17 september 2015

One down, one to go

So, today I finished the first of my Eleonora di Toledo stockings. So now we have to wait and see if I get afflicted by the SSS - Second Sock Syndrome.

Three rather similar photos:

Any knitting will have ot wait until after the weekend though, since I'm going to Florence for a conference on Early Modern costume tomorrow and I travel with caryy-on luggage only, which makes it impossible to bring metal knittign needles. And no, the don't make  size 1,5mm/000 needles in bamboo or wood.

BUT, since the conference is in Florence, I hope to get to see the originals!

måndag 14 september 2015

Images of people in 17th century Sweden

Lorenzo Magalotti was an Italian philosopher, diplomat, author and poet who in 1674 was sent on a mission to Sweden by Cosimo III, Great Duke of Florence. His impressions of Sweden, Notizie di Svezia, which is kept as a manuscript in Florence was translated to Swedish and printed in 1912.

He did not only write, but also made drawings from his travels (Sweden wasn't the only one) and the "book" on Sweden has 21 such. This one, from Wikimedia Commons, show a sauna with bath attendants.

And all these images can be seen on Uppsala University Library's web site, here.

onsdag 9 september 2015

A 16th century bodice

Generally I adhere to the belief that most women's clothes were sewn together at the waist in the 16th century - not a separate bodice and skirt - all preserved garments indicate that this was the case.  However, there are also enough sources from the German or German-influenced parts of Europe that show or suggest that sometimes women wore outfits with a separate bodice and skirt.

One is the painting of washing women in the Harley manuscript of the alchemical text Splendor Solis, dated to 1582, and made in Germany. Here you see a woman in a black bodice with a blue skirt.

British Library

The Austrian tailor's books recently published in Drei Schnittbücher. Three Austrian Master Tailor Books from the 16th Century, by Marion McNealy and Katherine Barich (available here) reinforces this by giving patterns for skirts as well as whole gowns. With these skirts a wams, like the one I recently made, was worn, but the image above suggests that sometimes also a sleeveless bodice could be worn with a separate skirt. 

Going through some Danish 16th century probate inventories I did find sleeveless kirtles and kirtles with half sleeves, but unfortunately no bodiuces. On the other hand: it was a small sample.

Outside the German areas there is also at least one English image showing lower class women in a separate bodice and skirt, from the painting Fete at Berdmondsey, by Joris Hoefnagel, painted ca 1569 (link to wikimedia).

There must be more of them, but this is enough for me to decide that I can make a separate bodice to wear with a separate skirt. I will probably mostly wear it as a support layer when I'm wearing a wams/doublet too.

 I didn't want to make a corset, I have those, though none that currently fits me - working on that - what I wanted a bodice that would give a good, German type, curvy silhouette, while still being supportive and shaping. Since the bodice of my folk costume by far is the best example that I have of that I decided to use a modifed version of that pattern. 

The folk costume's bodice is from c. 1800 and has a very narrow back piece, which is typical of the period. Since the side seams had started to migrate backwards in the 16th century, but not that far I made the back pieces slightly bigger, an the front pieces smaller. I also added som in the front, because I am fatter now than when I made that bodice, even if I can still wear it, and I made it just slightly longer.

My late 16th century Swedish peasant outfit was also based on the folk costume pattern. And I do love it. I should add, that this pattern does not give a very wide neckline, as seen in most period artwork, but since I have too narrow shoulders for my bust width (and rib cage and waist) it works well for me.