Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yup, Definitely Overly Ambitious

(I really don't know why I insist on doing this to myself.) I shall attempt to make an appropriate corset, complete with wooden busk and everything. After reading the directions, I have come to the conclusion that it seems relatively easy. . . and cheap. However, I am pretty sure I shall regret taking on this task once I actually begin it. I think there shall be much cursing to come.

Oh well, if one wants a beautiful Tudor gown, one must have the appropriate underclothing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Heart ebay!

Thank you ebay! I swear, you can find anything you could ever want on ebay. (Except a proper French hood.) I was dreading having to make my own "B" Boleyn necklace out of some sort of crafting clay while begging my friend to teach me how to make the necklace out of pearls. I knew if I did that it would turn out sloppy, in my opinion, and not quite right. But never fear, ebay is here! And for less than it would have cost for me to make it too. So I shall purchase the infamous necklace and take pictures once it gets here. :)

Decisions, Decisions. . .

I should note here that I generally go through about a month long period of indecision when it comes to choosing fabrics and trims, going back and forth until finally I've settled on the original idea. Mostly.

The question I posed to myself a while ago was, "Do I want emerald green velvet or purple and gold brocade?" The initial plan was to go with the green and gold brocade I already owned for the forepart and sleeves, using the velvet for the gown. For a while I fancied that regal purple was going to suit me just fine. No, no. I have finally settled on a version of the original. . . of course.

After more indecision, I finally settled on some beautiful trim to place around the neckline of my bodice. It's called "Persian Rug" and is green, gold, and brown. It's hard to see all the beautiful detail online but I am sure it will look stunning against the emerald green velvet and jeweled bilaments. I am purchasing this by the yard from www.calontirtrim.com.

Emerald Green velvet. So pretty in person, especially in the sunlight. Thank you Velvet Moon! www.velvetbags.com

Now, I hit the jackpot with this one. For my forepart and undersleeves I will use this fabulous jade green and gold patterned tapestry from www.iluvfabrix.com. Normally this fabric retails over $100/yard. Thank goodness for sales! Have I mentioned that I am in love with this fabric?

I'll be honest. I haven't really decided what to do about the turned up sleeves yet. I have several options here. I like the idea of playing around with different textures, the velvet, the tapestry, and yet a different one for the sleeves. So I was thinking that faux fur in a brown tone to add another texture and depth to the gown would be a good idea. Another option would be more velvet. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I like to create designs that are relatively close to historical accuracy, at least in appearance of the overall design of the garment. Here are a few paintings and costumes that I will base my own off of.

Portrait of Queen Ann Boleyn. Notice her signature "B" necklace.

Catharine Howard, Ann Boleyn's cousin and Henry VIII's 5th wife. I like the trim around her neckline.

Katharine Parr, yet another wife of Henry the VIII. This shows me how long to make the sleeves and a good view of the dress front.

Princess Elizabeth from the film Crossed Swords. I just love this gown! I can't say anything about the accuracy but it's pretty.

Beautiful Tudor gown I came across while researching online.

And so it begins. . .

I decided to create this dress diary in the hopes of helping non-professional/non-experienced sewers understand that they can create beautiful costumes too, even if it is done in an unconventional way. I am someone who has never had proper sewing or pattern drafting instruction. However, I've always wanted those fabulous gowns from ages past. So I fudge it.

After much research and day dreaming, I finally settled on what to be for Halloween and today I start the saga of actually having to make what I'm imagining in my head. Somehow I am going to make Ann Boleyn, King Henry VIII second wife, come to life.