The Charles II Project... ah yes.
I was going to say no, I really was. Problem is that I'd already given serious consideration to making a 17th century gown as part of my 2009 to-do list. I'd even gone so far as starting to research, combing the stash for fabrics and making some jewelry
. Then I decided to put the project aside for another year for, I don't know, some stupid practical reason.
Then the Great Charles II Project (charlesii
) was lobbied at Costume College08. Suddenly the vision of 20+ of my favorite costumers all running around in 17th century dresses and me sitting alone in a corner was un-bearable. I was in. Practicality is way over rated when there are pretties to be had!
I decided to pick a courtier rather than a mistress to portray, since the possibility of me making the "official" events is in the 10% range. I chose Frances Jennings, Lady Hamilton, Future Countess of Tyrconnel. She was the older sister of Sarah Jennings, future Duchess of Marlborough (a figure in history I love reading about). Frances was known at court for her fair hair (perhaps some blond highlights are in order!), her beauty (her nickname was "La Belle Jennings") and virtue (rare at court), and was Maid of Honour to the Duchess of York. She had rather a sad ending in life, widowed three times and died a pauper but the dress I want to make (1665-1675) would have been from her "happy days".
So I begin...
Spent some time yesterday scanning in patterns and pics from Cut of Women's Clothes and Hunnisett. I need to enlarge them and print them out so I can get started on the toiling. After staring at my books before I went to bed every night this week I feel like I'm finially getting a grasp on how these frocks went together. That combined with all the examining of and peppering koshka_the_cat
with questions about her court dress at CoCo (her dress being a fossilized version of the 17th century court gown) light is dawning on this project. Yay!
I read a cool book on Einstein last year, talking about how he developed his theories with his "thought experiments". It was cool because I realized that I do something similar. I need to make a costume first in my head before I can do anything. First I design it in my head, then I have to pick it part and figure out how it goes together in my head THEN I start the mock-up process. It's especially true for a new style, new era of gown. Sometimes The "thought design/construction" is enough and I never do get around to making the costume. I've gotten it out of my system.
Wow, rabbit-trail... okay... anyway...
I'm thinking of going with something like these for the design. The fabric will be the rest of the bolt of orange faille I used for the Fire costume
. I haven't decided if I want to spilt open the skirt front or not or what exactly is going on with my sleeves. I'm getting there though...
Tags: thoughts, z:pending:17th:charlesii