A dress in a day

When we came back from Tatton a few weeks ago we had one day here before going off to the Lake District and as Ellie had bought some material for a new style of peasant dress we thought we would try and get it made in a day.

Our original aim was to make one for me that day as well and we did get the dress cut out, which is a major achievement considering I have had the fabric for about 12 years 🙂 but I have cut it too big so it will need serious alteration. I have found a way to put gores in so they align perfectly though!

Ellie’s dress was a different style as it does not have any fastenings at the front which means it needs to be tight enough to fit but wide enough to be able to pull on over the head. It also has short sleeves.

We looked at a few of our manuscript books for information and there are some great manuscript illustrations available via Google including this one from the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of a book about this in a National Trust bookshop recently and it is a gorgeous collection of pictures from the early to mid 1400s. This picture is from June showing people working in the fields.

Peasant dress 1

We started by making a pattern from Ellie’s existing dress bodice and then used a sleeve pattern to draft a new sleeve which could be cut in one piece unlike most modern sleeves that are two pieces. We then made a toile of the top and fitted it before cutting out of the new fabric.

It fits Ellie really well, even if she did have to sew the front seam a few times as female shapes need adjusting for, a perfectly straight seam on the garment turned wobbly when it was put on! The colours are gorgeous together.

Here she is in the finished garment at Tewkesbury looking very lovely in our campsite before going to the market.

Ellie's new dress 9

Ellie's new dress 10

Ellie's new dress 11

Kerry was really brave and decided to wear her 15th century lady’s dress despite it being really hot and was very excited to be part of the Queen’s party walking onto the battlefield and sitting with her during the battle.

Here she is going along the crowdline with our friend Bev and below is a shot of the guys just before battle. The ladies all looked stunning and I am so pleased that she got to be part of that section of the event after all her hard work with this beautiful dress.

Tewks 2018 2

Tewks 2018 3

Tewks 2018 1

Pics from a very kind person who put loads on Facebook for us whose name I have completely forgotten to write down! Thank you it is fantastic to have these shots.

It was Symon’s, on the left , first Tewkesbury battle and he did brilliantly in the heat as it was about 27 degrees at this point which means it is so much higher once you are in full armour. The last time Shane, our other knight , came to Tewkesbury it was 35 degrees so we think he must be responsible for the very hot weather. After that event we bought a gazebo for the group as we spent most of the time that weekend trying to all fit into the tiny bit of shade under Shane’s awning!

I also took some more pictures for my research, including the Queen’s tent which looks amazing, this is the Prince’s surcoat which he wears in battle.I am always amazed by the level of detail that people put into their roles, the tent and the throne are amazing.

We also dressed up for the beer tent and I got to wear both my top hats. I do love my top hats, especially this one,  and got lots of compliments on them. I am taking them to the festival that I am going to with my sister in a couple of weeks.

Tewks - Alison in hat

Plans for the weekend are making some pouches and bags out of the quilt blocks I have been stockpiling over the last few weeks and carrying on with my latest stitching from Jenny which is going well.

I have just discovered Project Runway is on Netflix so have been watching that and really enjoying seeing how all the clothes are designed. There are some very talented people there.

Hope that you have a good weekend ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

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2 thoughts on “A dress in a day

  1. Yes she was so pleased with it. Ironically I was thinking of all my friends today as I have not been able to make the show this weekend and it has been raining heavily a lot of the day here, just hope they are not getting wet!It never seems to be a happy medium.

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