onsdag 27 juli 2016

A new, red Codex Manesse gown

I used to have another red gown based on the Codex Manesse, but I lent it to someone and neither of us can find it and so I decided that I needed to make a new one. It's a wardrobe staple really.

More info on the gown and more photos here.

Women's garment combinations in the Codex Manesse

A cool thing with the Codex Manesse/Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift is that there are so many variations of the same basic garments and combinations. For women the options found in the manuscript are:

1. tunic/gown on it's own with a belt

2. Tunic/gown it's own without a belt

3. Tunic/gown with a sleeveless surcoat

4. Tunic/gown with a 3/4 long sleeve,  straight from the elbow.

5. Tunic/gown with a gardecorps


It may not seem that varied, but with all the possible colour combinations, and all the possible linings in constrasting colours or fur there are endless possibilities.

Adding the large variety of headwear and the possibility of a cloak and maybe a pair of white gloves and you may never need any other inspiration for outfits from the High Middle Ages.

And, for men there are even more garments and options, with split tunics and surcoats, tunics with hoods, or with v-necks or stand-up collars.

fredag 22 juli 2016

My favourite patterned clothes from the 14th century

So, you have probably noticed that the one style/time period that I shy away from is the 14th century, say after 1330. It has not always been so - I did a lot of fitted gothic dresses in the late 1990s. Then it was a fairly unusual style in Sweden. However, soon it became fashionable, to the extent that many people today equate "medieval" and "the period ca 1360-1410". And I've never been good at following fashions within the re-enactment community - when something becomes that fashionable I jsut want to make something else. It also rubs me the wrong way that the reason that many people like the late 14th century fashions is because it conforms to what is considered a sexually attractive body today. I want my historical fashion to be beautiful on its own terms, and a bit odd, if that's what it is :)

Of course it may also be that I'm now a bit too fat to pull off that style, but I didn't wear it 25 kilos ago either, so I don't think its that. After all, I make 12th century which is just as tight.

Anyway, just because I don't wear it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the art of the period, and the gowns worn in it. So, here are some of my favourite patterned gothic fitted dresses and tunics:

Catalonia, second half of the 14th century

Tapestry from Padua ca 1400. 

From the very nice blog "A Commonplace Book"

From an Italian manuscript of the Quest for the Holy Grail and Tristan of Lyonesse, 1380-85.

"Roman d'Alexandre", 1338-1344. One of the loveliest manuscripts there are. It's at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Here.

More checks, this time italian, mid-14th century.

Guillaume de Digulleville, "Le Pèlerinage de la Vie humaine". At Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris.

These two are from La Quête du Saint Graal et la Mort d'Arthus, de Gautier Map. 1380-90s. From BNF, here.

Martyrdom of Saint Agnes. "Missale ad usum fratrum minorum", c.1385-1390, Latin 757, f. 298r, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

The resurrection, 1361-62, Museum of Zaragoza, Spain.

 Image taken from this blog.

St. Catherine of Alexandria. Italian 1360s.

The Smithfield Decretals ca 1330s-40s. Can be found digitised on the British Library's web site.

Italian Manuscript of "Guiron le Courtois". 1380s. All three images from Manuscript Miniatures.

c.1385 St. Stephen Altarpiece Church of Santa Maria de Gualter (Noguera) Musuem of Catalan Art, Barcelona

St. Urusla and her virgin companions. Italian manuscript 1380s-90s

I got it from Mistress Mathildes site "By my measure"

The death and coronation of St. Clare. German 1360-70. Link to a photo by Lady Petronilla on Flickr.

tisdag 19 juli 2016

Two printed wool gowns from the late 13th-early 14th century

I have now written a rather long documentation on mine and my husband's printed wool gowns from c.1300.
Where you get to know all the things that aren't period correct about them, but also quite a lot about fabric printing in medieval Europe. You find it here.


söndag 17 juli 2016

Shaping woven trim around a neckline

Since I am very fond of the clothes shown in the Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift the problem of applying broad, generally gold coloured, trim has been a part of my costuming life for a long time now.

The problem is of course that necklines in this period are round and woven trim is straight and not very flexible. You can of course cut out a shaped piece of fabric, but if it's patterned it may look a little off when the pattern doesn't follow the line of the neck opening.

Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about, but how to apply straight, woven trim. In this case a four centimetres wide "gold" trim that I bought at Passamaneria Valmar in Florence this spring.

First, if you have a thin main fabric, like the tropical weight wool twill I'm using for this gown you probably want to reinforce the place where the trim will be placed. This will stop the stiff trim from distorting the fabric. I use scraps of fairly thick fulled wool for this. The photo is taken after I sewed the trim to the gown, but you get the idea.

I do the same when I make buttonholes on thin wool: apply strips of felted wool to provide stability.

 Then cut off a piece of trim. Make sure that you have enough by measuring where the lower edge of your trim will be. And add some extra for safety.  Then you stitch a line of gathering stitches  on one edge of the ribbon. Pull the thread and shape the trim along the neckline.

When it has the right shape, iron it, with plenty of steam, and it might me a good idea to have a piece of cloth between the trim and the iron too. At least you won't get plastic on your iron if it melts. I pinned the lower edge of the trim first and then ironed the trim to the same shape as the neck opening, moving some of the gathers as needed.

Of course even the tiniest gathers will be visible when inspected closely, but with a good steamy ironing they are not easy to see from a couple of feets distance.

On this piece of trim I didn't place a fold at the shoulders, which you of course can do to. Then you get less gathers, but I thought that it shaped up so nicely even without a fold so I went for just gathering this time.

torsdag 14 juli 2016

My husband's mi-parti tunic

When I printed my wool fabric I didn't use it all for my own printed gown ( I've written about the printing here). I printed enough fabric to be on the safe side and when I was finished I noticed that with some pieceing there was enough left to make my husband a mi-parti tunic. Also c. 1300 style, so we will match. I've shown it before, on a hanger, but today I got him to pose in it.

The tunic is slit in the front and back and can of couse be worn both with and without a belt.

I used the red fabric I bought at Furulunds in Borås for the other half and I am currently making myself a cotte from the same fabric - so I can match his outfit in two different ways :)

One sleeve on my cotte:

Rickard is also wearing his new hose made from thin wool. I use a pattern based on the London finds, you can see how it looks laid out flat on this page. It's noo perfect, but easy to make by cutting after an old pair of hose ;) I made them at Double Wars. I like making things like hose at events, because they're not that fun to make so it's nice with company, and they also don't take up much space.