Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Navy & Green Gown

... I think I'm going to become known for only wearing Green, Navy, and Gold. I simply must do something about that soon.

So, as my previous post indicated, I've been sewing like mad. The first thing on my list was to do a new bodice, because the last green one I made never did fit right. That was my first 'Bethan after all, so I've learned a LOT. Noelle helped me with fitting this one, so it should be even better than the Navy one, which makes me giddy.

The bodice pictured is when it was under construction. It is lined in white trigger and has trim couched on in a traditional pattern, as seen in the Photo of an Unknown woman here. A similar pattern is on Queen Elizabeth I's Pelican Gown.

The gold trim with navy velvet intertwined is German, and I've been saving it for years for just the right project. It asked kindly to be used, and I was happy to oblige.

The trim makes the fabric appear to be more wavy than it is in acuality. I hope.

The sleeves were made from the navy brocade, and beaded with amber colored glass 4mm beads. They are flatlined in trigger and fully lined in gold silk dupioni.
I'm extremely pleased with these beads, which are made by a company called Halcraft, in a line they call "Regal Beading Guild." I bought them at Hancock Fabrics and love they way these glow when light hits them.

The completed bodice is lined in black canvas linen which is flatlined with canvas trigger. The whole thing is hand-bound in commercial 7/8" quilting bias tape. The tabs around the waist and shoulders (not pictured) are lined in silk dupioni. There is also about 8 pieces of spring steel boning throughout, including the two in the back to balance the lacing eyelets. Speaking of which, the lacing eyelets were punched by hand using an awl, and bound with upholstery thread. All in all, this bodice turned out to be extremely heavy and stiff. I'm intrigued to see how it will wear.

The smock is an open loose weave light weight linen, with trim attached to the collar and cuffs which looks like couched cord. I did a TON of hand-sewing on this outfit, and am more than pleased with myself that I actually finished the inside seams of this smock, all by hand. I still need to finish the seams around the armscye, but it is wearable, so that will happen after this weekend's event.

There are neck and underarm gussets, and gores along both sides of the smock. It will be worn open (not fastened at the neck) as I can't stand tight things on my neck, save small necklaces. My neck is actually very short... almost nonexistant, to this tall collar with the ruffle would probably just look silly if worn closed.

The forepart is the same brocade as the sleeves, beaded in the amber glass, and currently flatlined with trigger. I sewed on a stripe of silk and couched the german trim fromt the bodice across the seams, a few inches from the bottom hem. This will soon be lined in navy broadcloth and attached to a petticoat to be worn under the green velvet skirt, which falls open in the front to view all the pretty sparklies.

The entire outfit will be worn with a corset and farthingale I previously made, and no bumroll. The skirt was sewn several years ago, before I'd made a proper bumroll, so the hem will be off if I wear it. I'm not too worried - my natural figure provides a bit of that look anyway.

I have navy blue silk Indian shoes that I bought at a bellydance festival with goldwork and spangles that would match smashingly, if I wear either nylons or no stockings. I'm loath to do either from the cold and dealing with nylons under a 'Bethan. I'd also hate to get that nasty no-sock foot smell on these pretty little shoes. For the day I'll probably wear my long socks and black ballet flats, and might consider changing for court. Maybe.