Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Dress-Ups Box: Part The Third

4 blog posts in one day? Chatter. Box.

So I showed you things from the Dress-Ups Box in Part The Second and Part The First. Time for Part the Third.

First up a silk suit I made in a purple-y brown mushroom coloured silk. This baby has meters and meters of hand applied gold cord and gold metallic braid. I based the design on a russet coloured suit worn by Robert Dudley in 1565.

Mushroom Coloured Silk Suit

When I found out that I was going to be elevated to a peerage in the Society For Creative Anachronism, as a member of the Order of the Laurel (just nod politely if this sounds like gobbledy gook), I decided it needed a special outfit. In shorthand, in the SCA it's the equivalent of getting a Knighthood, but for service and excellent in the arts & sciences instead of the art of the biff and bash. Mine was for costuming, and it basically recognises excellence, research and sharing of your skills (I taught quite a few costuming classes), but also 'peerage qualities'. (ie: not too much of a prat.)

Shoulder Detail: Mushroom Coloured Silk Suit.

Because I was working to a deadline, I sensibly decided to hand sew the individual little scale shaped tabs at the shoulders, neck and waist, and sew on the meters and meters of couched cord and braid by hand. A period I think of as the Marathon of Madness.

Back Detail: Mushroom Coloured Silk Suit

This looked fab on the day, and when I stepped up for the King & Queen to perform the ceremony there were gasps and cheers. Alrighty then, that's called Making An Entrance.

Robert Dudley, 1565.

Handsome Robert Dudley, the original inspiration. He's a bit of alright, don't you think? No wonder Liz thought he was sex on a stick.


Next up is a 16th c Spanish travelling cloak I made from thick fulled wool (ie: like felt, but actually woven). This is an authentic reproduction of a travelling cloak pattern in a facsimile reprint edition of Juan de Alcega's tailor's pattern book from 1589.

16th C Spanish Travelling Cloak

I cut it to the exact pattern, and after checking his measurement guides I didn't even have to scale it down. 16th c Spanish were hobbits I think. The decoration is based on the same sorts of cloaks shown in engravings from the period. Lots of braid, and lots of tassels. Tassels! A definate selling point, don't you think?

16th C Spanish Travelling Cloak

The design is really clever. When the collar is undone and the hood flipped back, the collar sits nicely like a regular wide collar.

16th C Spanish Travelling Cloak

When you do up the collar though, and flip up the hood, it completely protects the face from the elements and leaves just a slit for the eyes. Some versions of these cloaks were made in thick felt, like the underlay that goes under carpet, and so the conical hood stood upright and helped the rain and snow slide off the thick felt. Plus it made you look kind of funny. Love that!

So there you go. Believe it or not there are some more bits to come, but we're on the home stretch now.


Mel said...

I'm quite impressed. Did you also soak the wool fabric in your own urine and waulk it? Do tell. :-)

The Other Andrew said...

Not intentionally.

The Other Andrew said...

Wait, quite impressed? Tough room.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I'm lots impressed, as I always am, I do love your work.

also, the cloak is sex on a stick. if I didn't have such an aversion to cloaks (as opposed to a coat w sleeves) I would beg borrow and/or steal the pattern!

John C said...

Those are amazing, you should be making money from this.

On a style note, I deplore the lack of epaulettes even if they'd be an anachronism.

Lara said...

Wow. And I thought knitting was a time consuming hobby...

Celeste said...

Wow! The suit is amazing but I looooove cloaks and capes - made myself a burgundy velvet one many, many years ago.

tall and handsome said...

I'm looking forward to playing with the hobbit in the gorgeous cloak ;-D
And not many can claim to be seeing someone as sexy as a Lord Dudley look-alike.

jason said...

in awe!

Paul said...

Stunning! Amazing work and research. The cloak is just too beautiful!

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words!

Cecilia said...

You are too cool! Love love love the cloak! I wish we lived somewhere where one can wear cloaks on an everyday basis.

The Other Andrew said...

It's the Swish Factor that makes them so cool.

Ultra Dave said...

Wow! amazing detail. and patient too.

The Karpet Shark said...

I'm wanting to make one for winter. I just moved to Virginia. This design is badass. Would you mind offering patterns? Ideas? Insight? Info? I'm a total amateur but I really want to wear one for winter.

Morgan said...

Hello! I know this post is a little old, but my boyfriend and I were looking up 16th century cloak ideas and found this! I have seen Alcega's patterns before in various sources, but after a bit of googling, I couldn't find the cloak pattern. Specificly, we were interested in how to make that clever hood pattern. Is it all one piece? Are the hood and collar seperate (but sewn together of course) pieces? We would love to hear back from you.

Julia Sabalat said...

I love this pattern, but its really hard to tell, which of the Patterns from the Alcega it is? Can you tell me the which one it is?