Katherine of Aragon gown 2014

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Since I was to be back in Peterborough this June, representing this much beloved queen, I needed a new frock.  I have been their Katherine for the last 3 years or so ( more of that here), and my kit needed an upgrade. the upgrade had been planned from the  last year or so anyway ( and fund were being assigned from the project over that year too) – but alas our garage fire changed the plans a bit. 18 metres of black silk velvet I had secured from the gown was damaged in the fire – bits were still usable but not good enough for the gown – but ok for a kirtle 🙂

Below  find a short pictorial story of piecing the outfit together, as well as links to the providers – and since I am always asked how much the outfit would cost –  I specified the cost of individual items as well – the raw materials and labour-)

 

1. Smock- in linen, hand stitched.  Each piece was hemmed first , then the pieces were assembled using silk yarn and openwork seams shown in Patterns Of Fashion 4.

linen – 1.5m, Material cost – £30, labour – £100

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pieces of the smock hemmed and prepared for assembly

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Kirtle  ( I already had a good silk petticoat, so could skip that step 🙂

fabrics – silk velvet ( 6m – around  £120), silk satin – left over; buckram – 1m ( £10);silk taffeta for lining – 6m – £150 ( I used 2 different colours – making use of odds and pieces i had available),calico for intelining – 5m, £20 pearls and braid for decoration – £40; reed – £5

labour cost – £200

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kirtle bodice insides – ready for boning with reed

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bodice bones, covering the outside with silk satin

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bodice covered , decorative bands of velvet attached, eyelets worked with silk thread

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pearls attached, metallic braid next…

 

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the skirts are interlined with calico, lined and bound with velvet…

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kirtle worn – here at the end of a long, sweaty day – pray excuse my hair escaping the headgear…

 

Gown:

fabrics – royal purple metallic damask , 10m – I was lucky to get it second hand, at £50 per metre – normally the price is about double, if not treble that ( Watts&co)

lining – silk taffeta  8m ( James Hare, @ £25 a metre) – I used 2 remnant lots, peacock blue and gold

purple silk taffeta for forebodice and binding – 1m – £25

calico for interlining – 6m – £25

rabbit pelt for the cuffs – £150

labour – £350

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bodice pieces cut of, paired with interlining – yellow silk for lining

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adjusting the fit…

 

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the shell ready – eyelets worked, all ready for setting in the sleeves

 

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preparing the fur – cutting it outside to avoid the mess inside! 🙂

 

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sleeve ready…

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sleeve showing off the turn back

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innards – all ready for attaching the skirts.

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binding the skirts with silk taffeta

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skirts pleated – in front knife pleats, at the back 8 large cartridge pleats. here ready to be attached to the bodice

 

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the cartridge pleats are stuffed with long ‘sausages’ made out of the velvet remnants – here stitched at the top, read to be secured in place. they fill in the cartridge pleats nicely, giving a nice shape – and make sitting on harder surfaces pleasant – like carrying your own cushion with you!

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all ready, the forbodies lace under the placard ( pinned on)

3.  forseleeves

fabric –  gold metallic brocade ( 1m), silk taffeta lining – 1m, calico interlining,  decoration – estimated – £60

labour – £80

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half way there….

 

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ready!

 

girdle –  brocade fabric, tassels from Gina Barret. material cost – £130, labour – £20

 

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Partlet – linen, with blackwork worked by Embroidery Emporium – £150

 

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cuffs – also blackwork by EE – £150

bonnet – made on the paste I have used before, with a silk velvet veil, and a variety of frontlets – I have made 2 frontlets for this gown, the gold brocade ( and left it unpinned, in the earlier style)l and one in 2 brocades, purple and gold, and pinned the lappets to the side of the bonnet – an early  rendition of the gable hood.

material cost – £60,

labour – £100

 

shoes – by Pilgrim Shoes, slashed, with silk pulling outs – £70

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hose/stockings – I had 2 pairs, one by Quartemasterie, one by Sally Pointer – approx £20

Jewellery;

a lovely Piece by Gemmeus  £300,

other pearl necklaces and rings – £80

 

and the end product….

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Peterborough Heritage

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chilling out with my lady in waiting ( wearing a my previous Katherine outfit)

 

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and with the hubby ( well, Thomas More)…

 

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and the royal hubby – Ian from Black Knight Historical

 

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and a funky one – look, am hovering! 🙂

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the final costing…

 

smock  – 130; kirtle – £550; gown £1200; sleeves – £160; girdle – £160; cuffs and partlet – £300; shoes – £70; bonnet – £160; bling – £380, hose – £20; brass pins for pinning things – £30

 

total – £3230…  ouch…

Admittedly,  I don’t charge myself labour – but  obviously if I am working on my own stuff, i am not working on commissions that bring the revenue – so still counts as it creates a dent in my budget – making this outfit took about 10 days.   The materials were collected and saved for  over the last year – I am not a particularly wealthy person, so there is no way I would be able to afford such a frock all at once… I doubt I would be able to afford it now, if it weren’t a part of my job….

Needless to say, I do not plan another Tudor frock for myself in the next few years….. or a decade maybe…

 

photography of the finished product – Pitcheresque Imagery and John D.Grant.  More photos of the even itself soon!