The pattern for this dress is the Henrician Gown from the book The Tudor Tailor. This was my second attempt at scaling up a pattern to fit me. Luckily, I am close in size to the patterns in the book, so a whole lot of adjustment wasn’t neccessary. This project did give me a whole lot of confidence however and made me brave to try scaling up other patterns.
I constructed this dress in December 2007.
This the the chemise for the dress. Nothing fancy, just a plain, square-necked, linen chemise.
This is the farthingale that goes underneath the dress. I used some terrible polyester lining that I had laying around, polyethylene tubing, and bright purple grosgrain ribbon for the casings.
The Kirtle is boned, so I don't need a corset. Historically, the fancy brocade fabric lines the top edge, bottom back, and front of the skirt to save fabric. Ironically, the gold silk satin is much nicer and more costly than the brocade I used.
Here, you can see the way the brocade lines the part of the dress that you won't see when the overdress is on. It turned out much better than I thought it might.
Here is the red overdress complete with French hood and girdle.
The sleeves are lined with a really nice fake fur I got at a warehouse sale. The red dress is laced in the front and then the front placket covers the lacing and pins on one side. I really like the look of it, because there is no visible opening anywhere. Sadly the weight of this dress is so much on my shoulders, that I can’t wear it for more than about an hour, but it is REALLY fun to dance in.
Here is the lacing the the placket that hides it.
Here is the back bustled up into the girdle. I really like it worn this way and it gets the train off the floor and keeps it from being stepped on.
Here is a picture (I think it might be a Holbein sketch, but I can’t remember) of a similar dress bustled through the girdle. This picture was also the inspiration for my girdle.
Crazy sleeve action!
Here is the French hood. It is going to be a long time before I work up the inner strength to make another. It is a silly amount of construction on so small an item.