19 February 2009 @ 08:45 pm
Pondering  
Friends who have made 16th-century hanging gowns, I have questions.

I have these five yards or so of burgundy cotton velveteen, and I think it wants to be a hanging gown/loose gown. It will be a loose gown. I need an Elizabethan overcoat, and I think this will be a good, easy project. A get well project, if you will.

Has anyone used any of the patterns out of Patterns of Fashion? Looking at those, it looks like all the loose gowns are just widths of fabric pleated to an internal yoke, with armscyes and necks cut as required. The Sir Francis Verney gown just has ribbons as stay tapes, right? I'm thinking about basing it on one of the young girls' gowns, as the length on those are right for me, if not the bust. The Sir Francis Verney gown is 60-inches long at the back, and as I am 62-inches tall and narrow-shouldered, that's not going to work. Besides, I loveloveLOVE the round sleeves on the girl's gown on page 122 -- the one of cut velvet.

What I'm wondering is if there's any precedence for a separate shoulder yoke -- external, like a man's shirt -- with the body/skirts of the gown gathered/cartridge pleated to it. I seem to remember someone doing that in a dress diary, but hell if I can find it now.

So, internet-friends, have any resources or advice? Is it really as simple as cutting the right length or fabric and then pleating it to a yoke? What did you use for lining? Do I need a lining? Attached at the hem or free?

Y HELO THAR, help vampirism!

If this doesn't work out, I'm going to make a fitted English gown with a full skirt.
 
 
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[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
I know of one extant illustration of a ropa with a visible back yoke outside of Hunnisett's examples in Elizabeth R and her costuming book, and that is discussed here:

http://ciorstansdress.livejournal.com/8443.html

(Yes, I have a dress diary, and yes, I hardly ever use it-- my bad)

Otherwise, there seem to be two types of ropas in Arnold that are differentiated by sleeve/front opening. The ropas meant to close up from hem to the neck have a standard collar and sleeve tabs that are worked as one element. This means that the sleeve head is essentially a one-piece epaulet rather than a bunch of tabs folded over and let stick out on their own. The sleeves are either stitched into the armseye or tied securely in as a unit.

The ropas with no front and no front collar treatment are all tabbed on the shoulder. Most of them don't have tabs that go all the way around the armseye epaulet-wise like the other style.

The sole ropa that doesn't fall into these guidelines is the ropa in the matched set on pages 110 - 112. Now that I've had time to study all the portraits in Moda a Firenze and a couple of others elsewhere, it looks remarkably like the general style of clothing favored by Joanna of Austria as Duchess of Florence. So that leads me to believe that those two garments are heavily Habsburg-influenced... after all, there is at least one cousin of Joanna across Europe (I'm thinking of Catherine of Austria-Queen of Portugal, here http://ladysarafina.home.att.net/cathofaus.JPG)

The problem with wearing the Austrian ropa is the hilarious hairstyle. Leia Organa much?
[identity profile] tattycat.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
Okay, seriously. Come clean. You have a 20billion gigabyte external backup brain, right? Right?
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
I AM OLD.

Erm. I have a photographic memory, almost eidetic, and I can draw photo-real iffn I want.

So, simply put, I just remember where I saw the shit somewheres.
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
Ciorstan, really. Tatty and I have discussed this, and we're pretty sure you're an android. With massive costume history knowledge!
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
Hrmph. If that were so, I wouldn't have to jump all over my living room in front of the damned Wii trying to get my missing waistline back.

Someone could just mail the part to me.
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Uf da, fraulein! If that were the case, then I wish I were an android. Stupid Christmas belly.
[identity profile] newgarb.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

It's funny, because it's true:)
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 21st, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
YOU ARE SO NOT HELPING.

And what is this talk amongst yourselves about moi, Sarah? I'm sort of trying to spin the damage control on the Freak of Nature image here...

;P

And hmphf.
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 21st, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
It goes:

"Gosh! Ciorstan's smart! Where does she keep it all?"
"I know! She's got so much knowledge. She must have an extra brain."
"Do you think she's a robot?"
"Probably. But I would like to be Ciorstan when I grow up."

:D
[identity profile] newgarb.livejournal.com on February 21st, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Helping is not really my "thing":P

Hey, was that a flounce or a ruffle:)

ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:46 am (UTC)
Oh! I actually have the Vecellio drawing-thing saved on my computer. I knew I wasn't hallucinating the yoke.

Aren't the gowns that don't close all the way down the front all post-1600? Wait, never mind! I looked, and they're all post-1600. There goes that fledgling theory.

The problem with wearing the Austrian ropa is the hilarious hairstyle. Leia Organa much?

Pfft, I love it! I think it's faaaaabulous. Coming soon to a [livejournal.com profile] costume_snark post near you!
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
SCARY HABSBURG HAIR
You're braver than I. So, I take it back, Austrian and Spanish both.

Exhibit 1 for the prosecution: Mary of Spain, who married the Holy Roman Emperor. Note the inbred Habsburg slack jaw and look of stupidity on page 33 of Moda a Firenze (can't find it online, alas):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Giuseppe_Arcimboldi_003.jpg

and
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Maria_of_Spain_1557.jpg

She was the mother of two remarkably pretty girls (SIXTEEN CHILDREN!), Anne of Austria (who married Philip of Spain) and Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France.

Joanna herself, seems to have the consistent expression of OMG, don't laugh at my hair. She, however, was unhappily married to that brute, Cosimo II.

http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=3896
can't find a color version. It is in Moda a Firenze, and the gold embroidery on her ropa and kirtle matches the gold of her hair.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Giuseppe_Arcimboldi_005.jpg

This is Joanna's sister, Katherine, who became the Queen of Poland and Duchess of Lithuania:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/KatarzynaHabs.jpg

and another sister, Barbara, who became the Duchess of Ferrara.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Francesco_Terzio_005.jpg

And as a side note, this is interesting:

http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1540.htm



Edited 2009-02-20 09:57 am (UTC)
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 22nd, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
Re: SCARY HABSBURG HAIR
Yowza! I love that picture of Barbara, Duchess of Ferrara.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Francesco_Terzio_005.jpg

And that is the same color as my velvet. I wonder if I could find some gold silk satin to do guards? It wouldn't be the same as the embroidery, but I do not have the patience or skills for that much embroidery. Applique, maybe? Branching vines? Hmmm. Speculative noises.

And as a side note, this is interesting:

http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1540.htm


That is super interesting! Especially the bits about all the female acting sheriffs in Denmark. If you scroll down to Ermegaard Andersdatter Bille, it looks like she's wearing a morion with her hair down and/or a veil. Interesting!
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 21st, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
And I just found another picture of a yoked ropa: page 110 of Moda a Firenze. It's Dono Doni's "Birth of the Virgin," and one of the attendants in the back is wearing one. The yoke is very short on the back shoulders, what we'd think of as shirt length rather than the longer one shown in Vecellio and Hunnisett.

I cannot find the painting online.
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 22nd, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
I kind of wish I had a copy of Moda a Firenze, but on the other hand, that's one damned expensive book. And at this point, if I had a hundred dollars to spend frivolously, I'd rather spend it on work clothes and fabric. And naturally, by "work clothes and fabric" I mean "yarn".

What do the shoulder/sleeves in the one in Moda a Firenze look like? What's the hem length?
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
Also, yes, I have a 25 year old apple-green watered taffeta ropa with a back yoke, and the cutting plan was taken from Winters & Savoy (::chokes up a hairball::). There wasn't a better source for the 16th century back then other than Norris, which could not be had for love or money anywhere.

http://ciorstan.livejournal.com/263116.html

It is not lined, and I think it would be a better garment if it were. And even though I've only worn it, like, six times since I made it, it would have a longer wearing-life if I'd lined it.

*sigh*

At any rate, the ones I have in various stages of incompletion are all done with the pleat-it-first-and-cut-out-a-shirt-back method, which I think is the more common and non-Italian way to do it. Moreover, I'm suspicious that the one Italian ropa with the back yoke is SHORT.

Edited 2009-02-20 06:29 am (UTC)
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
Moreover, I'm suspicious that the one Italian ropa with the back yoke is SHORT.

Which part? The yoke being short or the skirt being short? I'm kind of curious about the fact that the gathers don't look to be very full. It looks fairly narrow for an outer garment.
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 20th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
The hemline.

One of the bigger shocks of examining a lot of portraits/illustrations is that they consistently show less yardage used than we would expect. This isn't just because of different loom widths-- it's because it's the truth.

IIRC, various clothing inventories, which list the yardage of goods used to make up the stuff worn at court:

http://www.nachtanz.org/SReed/fabuse.html

Our 20th/21st century taste is for fuller garments.
ext_46111[identity profile] msmcknittington.livejournal.com on February 22nd, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
Our 20th/21st century taste is for fuller garments.

Do you think that's Hollywood's influence? Or Victorian excess?

I do think it's a little nuts when people make Elizabethan gowns, and they somehow come out weighing in excess of 15 pounds. It shouldn't hurt to wear historical clothing.
[identity profile] ciorstan.livejournal.com on February 22nd, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
Do you think that's Hollywood's influence? Or Victorian excess?

Yes.

I have a very heavy purple velveteen ropa, and it is uncomfortable to get my shoulders in and out of the armseyes. I think that some of it might be that silk, as a staple, holds together better than cotton, so the same thread used as pile in a silk velvet vs. a cotton velveteen will weigh less. Cotton is a very short-stapled fiber, so it has to be twisted very firmly; this makes it dense.

But don't ask me how much less, because to date I've never laid hands on a silk velvet that actually HAS silk pile.