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Sposa Dantiscana: update

I have a secret checklist – things I feel like I need to know I can do at certain levels of mastery of my craft.

One of these is “make an intermediately complex piece of garb between one event and the next.” Themed garb for made specially for a given event is definitely A Thing in the Outlands; but until fairly recently, I’ve been so busy building newbie kit and doing stuff in other fields that the timeframe from “X is the next piece of garb on the to-do list” to ready-to-wear has been about six months. A year ago, when I contemplated (around the first of November) making a dress for Caerthan 12th Night, the prospect was overwhelmingly daunting, and I ended up deciding against trying. But I’ve made a lot of progress on time and project management since then.

I decided on December 2 to make this ensemble, bought the bulk of the fabric on December 8, and started sewing on December 14. Last night, I tried it on for the first time. There are a couple of bobbles, of course. I don’t like the profile of the dress over the (also new) Elizabethan corset, and think one of my Victorian corsets will match the profile in the woodcut better, so I’ll be wearing that instead. And the sleeves are just a titch short, so I’ll be removing the interfaced cuff and putting an added cuff on. But other than that, it fits perfectly and looks amazing. I’m hoping to get some really good pictures at 12th Night.

My plan is to wear the ensemble as-is – just fabric construction – for this event, and then to spend a couple of evenings, before each future event I wear it at, adding sparkle to it. Goldwork embroidery on the velvet edging of the doublet bodice, then next time maybe adding piping to the panes of the sleeves, or edging out the bands on the skirt. Eventually it will be very heavily worked over indeed, but it can be worn in the meantime and look perfectly fine.

previously: Sposa Dantiscana.


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Sposa Dantiscana

I’ve been wanting to expand my garb outside Iron Age tribal, while staying in persona, for a while. The two projects I’m most excited about, but have found most daunting, are 16th century Commonwealth and 14th-15th century Lipkowie Tatar (which will be my fighting garb when (if? when?) I eventually get my heavy kit together.

I’ve been poking about the research on both in fits and bursts for a couple of years, but I’ve been having a hard time finding anything with a distinctive “look” – something that’s obviously not Western European or German. Recently, I came across this crazy awesome 1590 woodcut of a Polish matron, and I knew that it was THE DRESS. I happened to be in Denver the following weekend, and they happened to have apple-green silk on sale for $8/yard, and it happened to mate well with a bronze-and-green damask I already had, and I was off and running.

I have a Big Sewing Weekend planned for the weekend coming up: personal banners, some garb promised for a friend, but mainly THIS DRESS. Process photos to come!


image source: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
MFA for Educators online educational collection
Sposa Dantiscana,” plate from Gli Habiti Antichi et Moderni di Diversi Parti del Mondo

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Filed under balticstudies, costuming