Jenny La Fleur
fashionably late - Jenny La Fleur — LiveJournal
adventures in costuming
fashionably late
First off thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my pink Eleanor hat! *feels warm fuzzies* You are all so sweet!

Now that my hat is done, I should be working on my 1804 stays so I can make a dress to match right? Wrong - CADD has struck again! I am currently waiting for the scanned and blown up pattern for my newest project to finish printing... a 16th century pink Venetian!

I won't go into the twisted and convoluted path that lead me to need a pink Venetian gown this year, as it's a long and mostly boring journey. Let's just say the need for a new Ren Faire outfit, the desire to use up bulky stash fabric, a romp through the Realm of Venus Showcase and fond memories of the infamous pink Venetian craze at CosCol07 sealed my fate. Besides there is nothing like joining a fad 2 years late! :P

Since I am shamelessly following in the wake of a tidal wave of Costumer greats (seriously, I'm like the only one who hasn’t already made one!), I've given up trying be amazingly original, be overly inspired and otherwise copy details and ideas with my frock. I figure it's wasteful not to learn from other's experiences, right? :>

I'm using the ridiculously pink wool/rayon that I bought in NYC last year. I have some burgundy velveteen in the stash that would work for a hem guard and cutwork sleeves as well, although I'd rather go with a more light-hearted color palette if I can. I'm not allowed to buy fabric for this project (stash only!) so I might try removing the color. Or I may give up the idea of cutwork sleeves and hem guard all together, we'll see.

The pattern I'm working on first is for the stays or "bodies" I'll be wearing underneath. *sigh* I still can't get away from underwear, can I? I've decided to make effigy stays, based on the pattern in Tudor Tailor. While not Italian and dated slightly later than my dress, I think they will work well. Bess mentioned in her Showcase write up that she used it as her gown's pattern base, something I'm planning on doing too so it seems logical to use them for the actual stays as well.

Okay the pattern is printed... off to have toile fun.

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17 comments | comment?
unclrashid From: unclrashid Date: August 6th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC) (link)
I'd think the effigy stays would work pretty well for that. The way the strap can be worn just at the shoulder should help.

I just finished the third one I've made by converting a GFD pattern to the stays pattern with about 5 minutes work, and then 10 more minutes work to make the bodice pattern. I've never had fittings that involved less actual fitting (they fit so well it was just a matter of deciding where to put the neckline).
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! What is a GFD pattern? I don't think I've heard that abbreviation before.
unclrashid From: unclrashid Date: August 8th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC) (link)
GFD = gothic fitted dress which is another way of saying "women's bust supporting cotehardie". Basically because if you research it enough, it looks like the word "cotehardie" probably meant the man's outfit, not the corresponding women's dress of the same period. Colloquially, they are also sometimes called "boobalicious" dresses because of the way the elevate and shape the bosom.

There are (at this point) two basic styles of GFD. One with a straight front seam (devised by Robin Netherton) and one with a "S" curved front seam (devised by Tasha Kelly aka Mistress Marcele in the SCA). I don't think one is more correct than the other, just from different decades. But the curved version is so similar in appearence to the shape of extant German bodices of the 16th century that it got me thinking about whether they were related or not. But in any case, they elevate the bosom to the same place a pair of stays will put it, thereby saving much time in fitting if you already have the GFD pattern.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 8th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! That was my guess but I wasen't sure. :> I did some research in the GFD when I made my Rohan dress, really interesting! It makes logical sense that they would make a good base for early stays...
From: murthandjoy Date: August 7th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC) (link)
Oh wow, thats going to be awesome.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! :>
operafantomet From: operafantomet Date: August 7th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC) (link)
My five cents on the subject: If you're going for a style as close to the portrait/painting as possible, you hardly need a corset. The bodice is so short at the sides (almost twice as short as most people make it), so if you support the bodice layers right and get the right angle in the front opening, there really is no need for a full-blown corset underneath. If anything, the corset will make your skirt more flat, as it will not have a natural "support" in the bending of the body.

Similar dresses from contemporary paintings:

But if you're going for a bodice which is longer at the sides (like this: ) and has a more cone-shaped bodice, a corset might come in handy, and the Effigy ones will give you the perfect shape.

Luuuuvin' the choice of pink! And it's hisorically accurate (or at least plausible), I mean - lookie!

Can't wait to follow your progress!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks for your thoughts and all the fun linkage! I guess I'm going for a style kind of in the middle. I don't want to go too long and rigid (not fun Ren Faire wear) but I also don't want to go too short waisted (not flattering on me). I know I could probably get away with just boning the bodice but I decided that personally I would feel more comfortable with a proper foundation garment. Besides, it gives me a chance to experiment with reed and a pair of stays appropriate for future projects that I have on The List (TM).

Thanks to my friends Hips & Tummy I don't really have a problem with flat skirts, especially with a tabbed style of stay like this. Sometimes a natural bum roll really comes in handy! :>
green_martha From: green_martha Date: August 7th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC) (link)
I vote for using the burgundy velveteen as is, I find it sooooo pretty next to the pink fabric it's to die for ! And The contrast would really make your dress pop,methinks.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) (link)
It is kinda growing on me I have to say. Thanks for your vote! :>
myladyswardrobe From: myladyswardrobe Date: August 7th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC) (link)
Effigy is a good stays to wear beneath these gowns. I am not totally convinced that simply lacing over a stomacher will work - or not for someone my size and shape! This isn't GFD style fitting!

Also, use the Effigy stays to draft the bodice for the Venetian itself. Thats what I did and it worked perfectly. I just tweaked the neckline etc a bit and I removed the tabs and moved the side back seam to the side. Its one of my most comfy gowns.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks for your advice! Yes I really like the idea of using the stays to draft the bodice - thanks for mentioning it on Bella's site!

I feel the same way about just lacing over a stomacher... it might work just fine but honestly I'd feel more comfortable with a proper foundation garment. It's a comfort zone thing. :>
suededsilk From: suededsilk Date: August 7th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC) (link)
Pink Venetian. *drool* Those are gorgeous dresses.

I still can't get away from underwear, can I?

Which is the main reason I've refrained from most historical costuming to date. :) I love looking at the pretties, but having to make new underwear for every era? Oh dear.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 7th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC) (link)
*sigh* Yes it's the price one must pay. Luckily I'm pretty good at stay-making thanks to years of practice...
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: August 8th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC) (link)
There's nothing wrong with going into a trend 2 years late. You never know, you may bring it back!

I think this dress is going to look fabulous! And I'm *almost* surprised with all the pink things you are making lately/planning. ;)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 9th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! Yes I'm beginning to notice a theme myself. Sad thing is it's not on purpose, just making what sounds the most fun! Apparently pink costuming makes me happy - Happy Pink!
muddled_musings From: muddled_musings Date: August 10th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC) (link)
You know I'm all in favor of pink gowns--and I think this one is smashing! :)
17 comments | comment?