Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something blue...

So, sometime late last year, I started work on a TON of new Elizabethan gowns. You see, I had auditioned, and been accepted, to the cast of Four Winds Renaissance Faire! So, I got to work on a bunch of new gowns.

Unfortunately, schoolwork being what it is, and the Faire being a good 4 hours away, it soon became clear that I wouldn't be able to attend, after all. :(

Still, a shiny new gown is a shiny new gown! So, work on my new court gowns continues. This is my current favourite. If you recognize the fabric, that's because it used to be the Blue Robe a la Francaise! I realized that the old gown was rather badly sewn, and didn't feel too bad about pulling it apart and re-purposing the fabric.

The big inspiration was this gown on the Italian Showcase, from way back in 2007. I fell in love with it the moment I first saw it. But, since I mainly wear English style gowns, I wanted to modify it to the English style, to be worn over a farthingale and pair of bodies, with a stomacher.

I used a bodice pattern that I had already drafted off of the instructions on the Renaissance Tailor's website. I modified it so that it would include a stomacher. I then cut out the bodice outer fabric and started beading. I know, I know, bead first, then cut out is proper, but I've always done it this way, so I'm use to it.

There are allot of pearls on this thing! So far, I've used over 5,000 pearls, and I'm not even finished yet!

And this bodice is no simple thing. There are tabs everywhere. The trim I found to go with the fabric had these perfect little centres that just begged to have pearls in them, so I added more pearls. There are blue cat's eyes and red glass beads accenting the pearls. There's allot going on.

So far, I have the bodice assembled and one sleeve assembled. I bought Joann's out of all their trim, so I've been waiting for them to restock. But, now that they've finally restocked, I have a full load of commissions that has to come first. C'est la vie! I don't expect to have this gown finished for the opening of Scarborough, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks, but I will have it ready for Middlefaire in the fall! Plenty of time before then. :)

I'm planning on doing a lattice smocked gold stomacher, with, you guessed it, more pearls! There's also a gold forepart in the works, which you can kinda see in the last picture above. There are going to be allot of crystals on that. You break up the pearls.


  1. Wow, that beading is fantastic! You do amazing work. I just found your blog and I'm really loving it!

  2. Thank you! I always think I'm going overboard with beading, but I can't help it...I'm addicted.
    I'm glad you like the blog! I absolutely love your blog, your clothes are fantastic! :D (And I can't wait for the shoes. You already have a loyal footwear customer in me!)