Three years ago, I wanted to make a new outfit for our church's annual Reformation Day Faire. I wanted something that fit into the 1500s, but didn't have any more specific requirements for myself than that. I came across Jen Thompson's great write-up about her mid-century Flemish working-class outfit and was enthralled. I needed one!! I was making costumes for the security guys at the Faire that year too, and there happened to be enough wool left to use for my gown, although the skirt lining required extensive piecing! :-) I relied on Jen's information (which I'm having a hard time finding now!) and Drea Leed's research almost exclusively. One of the aspects I loved about this project was being able to understand all of the layers involved, so that when I look at Aertsen and Beuckelaer's paintings now, they make so much more sense! It's always so neat to see how each era has it's own quirks and to try to discover the secret to getting the garments to look like the paintings.
The gown (brown and tan) is made of wool, and the kirtle (green), smock, partlet, and caul are made of linen. The smock is the first layer and can be seen at the sleeves and peeking out of the neckline. Next is the fitted kirtle, which is sleeveless and laces down the back. After that comes the gown which laces down the front with hidden eyes and twill tape. Finally, the bodice is topped with the partlet which fastens with hooks and eyes at the center front, but also has ties under the arms. Additionally, I made detachable sleeves which attach by eyelets and lacing, but since the weather has never been cold enough the past 3 years, they haven't had an outing yet. ;-)
The front half of the skirt is a half-circle, whereas the back is a pleated rectangle. The entire skirt is lined in wool and then the front flipped up to expose the lining and the kirtle's skirt. The front skirt is held in place by a length of twill tape tied securely around my waist.
Pleated frill on the partlet
My hair is twisted around the head and then braided and taped. The caul is just big enough to fit over the taping securely, but I like to use a few judicious pins for ease of mind. ;-)
·Pictures by Kathryn·