Monday, August 18, 2014

HSF#15: The Great Outdoors

This Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge was all about outdoorsy activities-hiking, swimming, and playing all varieties of lady like sports. All things I don't care for. So this one was quite a challenge just to think of something to do for the challenge!

Since my idea of a good outdoor event is being warm and bored, I thought I'd make some outer wear. I've wanted to make a fitted English gown for quite some time and I had already stashed some wool for the project so I got to work.

This was my first time using a pattern drafted from the Tudor Tailor. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. The fitting was a bit different because I don't usually sew for over a corseted figure so I couldn't use my standby alterations. In the end, I'm quite happy with the fit.

The Challenge: The Great Outdoors
Fabric: 3.5 yds wool ($7), 2 yds black linen ($16), 1 yd orange linen ($5), 2/3 yd black silk cotton (free-left overs), 3/4 yd cotton velvet ($6)
Pattern: Fitted English Gown from the Tudor Tailor
Year: mid to late 1500s
Notions: hooks and eyes ($2)
How historically accurate is it? I feel like I did really well on the fabric with the linen and wool. The velvet wouldn't have been cotton in period and there shouldn't be any cotton in my silk but it was a leftover piece from another project that I thought would look smashing on the inside of the collar. I followed the construction suggested by the Tudor Tailor but I did machine sew most of it. Their construction method wouldn't work with the hand sewing method I'm familiar with so I decided to play it safe and machine sew the first one.
Hours to complete: heaps and heaps
First worn: Just for pictures but I will be wearing it to the Ohio Renaissance Festival which is technically outside....
Total cost: $36 (woot woot! I got some amazing deals on fabric for this project!)

 This is the first time I've ever come close to wearing the period appropriate number of layers. It's definitely a lot! I could still use another petticoat and maybe a hat but other than that, I'm looking good.

We did have to take these photos early in the morning when it was chilly, but even inside it wasn't as hot as I expected it to be with all of those layers and wool. All the same, I'm hoping for a chilly faire season so I can wear this a lot!

Also making their costuming debut are my American Duchess Stratfords. So pretty! :D It's amazing how much of a difference proper footwear makes to any look whether historical or vintage.

My favorite part of this outfit is probably the decorated pocket slits. Since I did black velvet on navy blue wool, they don't show up to well in the photo but you can see them in the Lucas de Heere sketch c. 1570 on the lady on the left.

I got to wear a lot of previous challenge items with this outfit- bodied petticoat (#12 shape and support),  apron (#13 under $10), and the sleeves (#18 from 2013 remake, reuse and refashion).

Silly photo time! :D


  1. Warm and bored! That's my idea of a perfect outdoor activity, too! I am constantly amazed at your fantastic costuming skills! Wow!

  2. Lovve the colors, trim and pretty shoes!!

  3. Oooh! That's so pretty! I am making a spencer jacket for the HSF, but I haven't finished yet :(
    I love the shoes and your whole outfit!!! :-)

  4. This is wonderful! I love the whole look, and the color combination is stunning. Well done!!

  5. You look great! Very very authentic indeed :-)

  6. Your costuming skills always have me doing a double take, dear gal. Amazing, absolutely beautiful work here!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  7. Looks great Stephanie. Love it as always .