Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eyelets and The Plan

I've made a little progress on the hand bound eyelets.  I haven't done any for a really long time and they are not nearly as hard as I remember them being!

I used an awl to poke the hole and then I placed a jump ring on the inside.  I did a rough whip stitch to hold the ring in place and keep the hole open and then I whip stitched all around to fill in the gaps.  The holes are definitely only the small side, but it's easier to lace up with a large, blunt needle anyway. I think the other secret is to use linen canvas instead of cotton canvas - it's so much easier to poke the holes through linen!

I am planning on finishing this corset in the next week or so and the I can get started on the gown!  The inspiration is a  few gowns from 1581 and a pile of red velvet.

Elizabeth I by George Gower
I'm really drawn to the arched neckline, the shoulder tabs, and the slashed satin sleeves. These gowns have variations on the neckline and shoulder treatments of the 1570s, but the fuller sleeves of the 1580s.  It's sort of the last hurrah of the low neck gowns before the doublet bodice completely takes over for the rest of the decade.  

I already have the red velvet, salvaged from an old project, and a set of ruffs.  I'll probably go for the more simple sleeve of the Devereux Sisters, but I want to use silk satin, so I'll have to save my pennies for that!  I haven't decided yet if I'll have an open or closed skirt.  I do like the look of the closed skirt, but I'm not sure I have enough of the velvet to make the skirt quite as full as I'd like.  If the skirt is open, it will have more fullness at the sides and back of the hem.  Plus I already have the perfect skirt to wear underneath it.   

I also have a Cunning Plan for the partlet that involves silk and the sort of veiling used for birdcage bridal veils.  Hopefully it will come out looking something like this:

Elizabeth I Unknown Artist