I finally finished off my wool kirtle, which started out as the Lady with a Unicorn dress. It slowly evolved into something a bit different thanks to some mishaps with the pattern layout I was using and some over enthusiastic scissors. I am wearing it over my Tudor shift as I have yet to make a proper full chemise for it, the necklace is a small garnet and shall work as a place holder until I have time to make something else.
This is the pattern layout I had planned to use, it is from a later period but makes good use of fabric. Somewhere along the way I messed up on some math and the skirt was nowhere near full enough for me. So I went to add a panel but I can’t cut a straight line. (It’s a sickness I swear.)
So I ended up with a layout that looked more like the second drawing.
With a larger skirt then I planned, I wasn’t able to knife pleat it down to size, so despite the lack of paintings depicting it, I gathered the skirt to the bodice.
The bodice is a layer of wool, then a layer of broadcloth that has a layer of heavy twill with a layer of buckram quilted down to it, and a layer of cotton broadcloth lining. This was to further my experiments of not using boning. The buckram is prone to buckling and wrinkles at times but smooths out once the dress is fully laced in. In retrospect adding layer of wool felt would also help, something I plan to keep in mind for the next one I make.
The eyelets are made by hand, and after finishing them I finally got myself a proper awl. They are set to spiral lace up both sides. I lost some weight while making it, so I lace it differently to take it in.
The sleeves are a hand dyed cotton velvet cut from from an old project and lined with gold satin, they are not as full as the sleeves in the painting but that also means they do not get in my way. The the bows are strips of thin stiff silk that I cut on the bias. Originally I made 6 tubes of velvet to tie the sleeves with but they ended up being too thick and chunky.