Dress U!

I just found out about a really exciting new way to feed my addiction to pretty clothes and give me an excuse to wear my dresses to something other then an SCA event, it’s call Dress U they have a fancy dinner party and stuff, it looks awesome and I really hope I can check it out one of these days.


Katharine Parre

Here we see Katharine wearing a later period then I usually deal with but it is lovely, I’m a big fan of the red and gold and a HUGE fan of flat caps I think I look a bit stupid in a gable headdress or even a french hood so I stretch the rules a bit and wear a flat cap because, well, I can.

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t actually know that much about Henry VIII’s sixth wife (for years I had a bad habit of confusing her with Catherine Howard) but according to some sources, today, November 11th is her birthday (Wikipedia says it was in August but it doesn’t say what day) so I’ve decided to mark the occasion with a post in her honor. Since any and all information that I could share with you would be me coughing up the facts from elsewhere, I’ve just given you some links to those basic facts and I’m going to talk about her clothes because that’s what I do. Sadly there are only two known images of Katharine Parre and one of those was speculated to be Lady Jane Grey but everyone seems to except that it’s Katharine now so I’ll post and make some comments on it.

As the last of Henry’s wives Katharine’s reign saw the end of the low square neckline with large, turn backed, fur-lined sleeves. The photo we have of her in such a dress shows a more dramatic cinching of the waist then some of the earlier images of this style portray. Notice that the sleeves seem to be almost falling off the shoulders? I believe that they must have been prevented from actually falling off by a back line that cuts strait across, looking at the way the trim curves over her shoulder I find myself more sure of this theory.

I wonder if the over gown is a silk velvet or simply a brocade? I suspect the color the artist originally painted must have faded with time but it can be assumed that it’s a silver/gold white color. The under gown and forsleeves  are obviously a red and gold brocade, while the turnbacks are ermine or a rabbit fur “faux ermine”, since she was a queen I would not be surprised if they were real for this portrait. Notice how her hair poofs a bit at the temples? You don’t see this as much in earlier images of the Tudor fashions except for in an early image of Queen Elizabeth which is even more dramatic and hints at later fashions to come, I’ll talk about that more in my post about Elizabeth. My favorite thing depicted in this image are her paternosters, which seems to have little skulls on them. Hooray for the morbidity of early fashion!

16th Century Garb for My Brother

My brother liked this look the best, a doublet and “little skirty thing” seem to be preferred over “poofy pants”. I personally can’t get over the fact that this is exactly how my brothers beard (minus the curled mustache) looked before he shaved it off. All he needs now is a little white dog

This was the one that convinced him that fur may be a good idea, I’ll probably put this sleeve style on the doublet. I’m pretty sure this image could convince any heterosexual male that 16th century garb is fucking bad ass and that they should wear it. Ladies out there who have been trying to sway the man in your life, you are welcome.

I really wish this guys garb was easier to see, I absolutely love this silhouette and (what I can see of) the slashes on his ensemble. Besides that he looks like he is holding his place in a book and kinda looks like he’d do stuff to me…. ehem, moving on.

This dudes posturing irritates me but he has good clothes that show the skirted doublet and fur over-gown in combination. Now I can refer back to the image to look at the details of his garments, show you guys what I’m scheming to make and I’ll try to ignore that he’s resting his elbow on two pink silk pillows

I’m keeping this one because it’s the first image we came across that my brother liked and even though he prefer’s the others for his fancy stuff, I still really enjoy the simplicity of this ensemble so I’m posting it here to share with you.

I’ve done it you guys, I’ve convinced my brother to let me make him some 16th century garb to wear to SCA events! He even bought some velvet, I am so excited! I’ve never made 16th century garb for a guy before, hell even doing research on it is new to me, usually I just kinda skim over them.  I found all of these images on Wikipedia and I’ve ordered them on here according to our preferences.

Artists of the Low Countries: Part 1. Sophie-Stitches Blog

I love the artists from the low countries, for some reason they were the only ones who saw fit to make a habit of painting common people! It is because of these artist that I started making reversible sleeves out of fabric remnants, thus allowing myself to vary the looks I could have for a dress, as well as making use of those yard and half yards that are always lying around.

I just found this awesome blog that shows some of that amazing artwork and this girls reconstructions of it. I highly recommend that you check out the rest of her blog as well.

Stayed tuned to hear about my current reconstructions and the plans I have for more, all based off of this artwork.

Silk Velvet and Brocade

Now I live in a land far, far away, up in the North where the cold winds blow and there are animals that grow trees out of their heads, animals that grow great long needles out of their back and still others that can tear a man apart. Needless to say this land is not very hospitable to those of gentler pursuits and as such it can be incredibly hard to find the materials that cater to their preferred lifestyle.

In other words, it can be damn hard to find fabric around here and going to New York or the mythical “Caid” (aka California) is very expensive so I do a lot of online (mostly window) shopping and I thought I might share my two favorite sources*.

Silk Velvet: If you’re looking for silk velvet, the %100 is hard to find and “cost kidneys”, the closest you’re going to get within a reasonable price range is going to be a silk rayon blend with (hopefully) about 25/75 percentages, this is my favorite sight for it, they also have cotton velvet if you want something a little more affordable and natural.

Silk Brocade: Again hard to find, this is the site I do most of my shopping on because it’s the one I can actually manage to dream about affording one day.

Hope you like these and find them useful, happy hunting!

This site is new to me, I just found it today and thought I would share


*These sources were introduced to me by my very lovely friend Lady Katheryn Fontayne, hopefully I will be able to link you guys to her one day. I have no idea if she’s got herself a website or anything but she is the master of all things 14th century.