1630 Satin Gown in Bolsover

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Can you do posh 1630  for a photoshoot  in Bolsover Castle? For next week? A friend asked… well,  I have quite a lot of kit, but my 1630 and 40 is middle upper class – but since I could get a few days free for making a new gown, and indeed I already had all the fabrics to make a stock 1630 frock, the answer was yes… The shoot was for English Heritage magazine, advertising masque event happening in Bolsover in July.

Since I had just a few days to play around with the frock, I decided to go for the styles I was familiar with – but also  use  techniques and information from a recently bought book –  Seventeenth Century Women’s  Dress Patterns ( fantastic book,  and volume 2 is just as good as volume 1, invaluable resource). I decided to base my bodice on the  slashed Ivory satin bodice ( p.70) but to go for tabs instead for peplum – in the styles of  a few of Maria Henrietta’s outfits. ( the inspiration board here)

Bodice, though based on a relatively uncomplicated pattern was tricky due to the amount of layers…

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Bodice foundation in linen and linen canvas. there are 2- 3 layers in places, and they are boned with reed

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bodice put together, boned and lower edge bound

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the inside showing the layers

Once the foundation was ready, the bodice was covered with satin. It was time to  prepare the tabs, wings and lacing strips…

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tabs – silk satin, decorated with silver metallic lace

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lacing strips, 2 layers of linen, v=covered with silk, handworked eyelets

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preparing the wings – they are boned with reed too

Tabs attached

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time to place the wings on….

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It was time for the sleeves next – the sleeves were made separately in silk satin, lined with white slilk, with the head partially cartidge pleated. they were sewn into the armholes using a string silk thread.

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The skirts were very simple –  shaped panels were cut, sewn,  decorated and lined – the skirt was then cartridge pleated to the waistband

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pleating

the last corrections and the stomacher could be made, and lace attached

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On the day the dress was worn over a chemise, 2 petticoats ( a silk and a wool one – it was a bit nippy!) and a bumroll. The bodice was very comfortable, keeping all the things in and I was able to stay in it for about 6 hours including some stately dancing:-)

Very pleased with it – This particular gown has already been sold on to another dancing lady, but I do need one of my own – and I have an eye on a nice Olive satin – gold lace already purchased….

The results on the day:

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and the spread in the English Heritage members magazine….

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Fabrics:

Silks – James Hare

metallic lace – Barnett and Lawson

reed for boning- Vena Cava Design

lace – Tudor Tailor

dodgy wig – Ebay…

clothes  the frock and the gentleman’s outfit – Prior Attire, naturally  ( and though the dress is now gone, we still have a bumrolls  available from my online shop 🙂

photography – Pitcheresque Imagery ( minus the photos as a couple – the local tog offered to snap them for us!)

Cost – fabrics  – about £300, not counting the linen; lace – about £60,  labour – £300.