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    « 1502 Spanish gonete | Main | 16th c. Spanish Working class »

    16th century English middle class

    This is a velvet doublet and silk skirt combination I originally made for Atlantian Twelfth Night; instead, it debuted at Tir-y-don’s Baronial Investiture in March 2007.

    The Doublet

    The doublet is cut using Master Jose de Madrid’s system of thirds, a method of drafting Spanish-style doublets with not maths required. I did as I usually do, and drafted the pattern from my measurements onto muslin. A large portion of time was spent tweaking the fit, altering the curve of the back, and raising the waistline (I always cut the waist too low).

    Once a good fit was achieved, I cut the layers of the doublet: one layer of black 100% linen lining, one layer of cotton canvas interlining, and one layer of black velvet fashion fabric. I also cut lightweight shirt flannel to pad the chest, upper back/shoulder, and the collar. This provides a bit more structure to the finished garment, and helps achieve the characteristic swept-back collar of the doublet.

    With waxed linen thread and a fairly heavy needle, I pad stitched the flannel to the interlining fabric. The stitches do not need to be perfect; the point is to attach the flannel to the interlining in such a way that it does not shift around later. You do want to make sure that the knots, if you use any, are buried in the nap of the flannel or else you will be able to feel them through the lining fabric.

    After finishing the pad stitched, I pinned together and handstitched the body interlining and lining fabric together (step one of flatlining). At this point, I tried the whole piece on to recheck the fit; I ended up taking in the lower back curve another .25 of an inch as a result.

    Here, I had to take a break and attach the rows of braid to the velvet pieces. I used waxed black silk thread in a very fine gauge so the stitches do not show on casual inspection. I arranged the strips of braid-and-velvet trim in diagonal rows slanting up from the center front to the side/shoulder seams, and placed them approximately 1 inch apart. The raw ends were treated with FrayChek until the final binding could be added.

    Turned the interlining/lining piece so that the interlining was sandwiched between the lining and the exterior, and whipstitched the open edges (front, collar, bottom). I then attached the sleeve lining (no interlining) at the cuffs, turned, and whipstitched the raw edges inside along the armscye.

    To cover the raw edges and create a finished look, I bound all the edging with black bias fabric. However, I skipped the bottom edge; instead of binding, I cut and attached a three piece skirt of black velvet lined with black linen and bound with bias strips.  Once the construction of those pieces was complete, I whipstitched the skirt pieces to the raw lower body edge with black silk thread.

    To finish, I attached 18 pairs of black hook and eyes (store purchased) to  close the front.

    The Petticoat

    The other half of the garment is a simple rectangular skirt cartridge pleated into a waistband. The skirt and guard is made of a low-slub silk dupioni; the skirt is olive green, and the guard is mandarin orange. I made the waistband to my waist measurement plus two inches for hemming and fastening, then evenly cartridge pleated the skirt fabric to the waistband. It is fastened with two skirt hook and eye sets.

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