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Offline RahBur

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Garb style
« on: September 02, 2015, 01:28:26 PM »
I've done it! I've had a wonderful time at my first two Renaissance Faire's (NorthWest Arkansas and Scarb) and am going to KC next month. I have an *interest* in HA vs Fantasy, but I'm certainly not a stickler for HA. That being said, I'm curious what style this garb set might fall under (peasant vs merchant)? I've wondered if a square-necked chemise might look/fit better? Those always look flattering on women I see wearing them.

Overall (casual try-on of the skirt I made)


Chemise detail (why are my arms folded! ><)

Corset detail (just for fun, cause I love it!) *note: that is NOT a chemise I'm wearing under the corset in this photo

lacing and SO-NOT-HA grommets :)


Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 01:48:06 PM »
Since the bodice is out of a patterned velvet based on the photos, it would be counted as upper class.  However, since that style didn't exist (grommets weren't invented until the 1820's; the term corset didn't come into use until the 1780's and wasn't common until the 1830's; the shoulder straps are always tied at the back, not the front in the Renaissance; there is some controversy as to whether bodices existed at all in the lower classes; and the bias tape around the edges is a modern thing - in period, leather would have been used on linen stays that were meant strictly as underwear) I wouldn't worry too much about the class thing. 

For a chemise, a square neck smock might work better, but, given the style, I'd honestly go with a high neck smock.  You do not have to keep the neck closed - there are plenty of portraits showing ladies with the neck open.  There is one of a young girl I can think of, were the girl has the high neck smock stuffed beneath the straps of her dress so that the smock will stay open.  The nice thing about the high neck smocks is they are fabulous in the fall and spring - when it's warm during the middle of the day but cool in the evening.  You can just tie the neck closed in the evening.  Also, they are fun to embroider.   

Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 02:16:01 PM »
Thanks Isabella, I appreciate the feedback! I didn't think about the pattern on the corset and what that might signify. It's not velvet, but it IS pretty :) Caught my eye at my first Ren Faire! I just didn't want to pair a fairly 'nice' looking corset with an accessory that was garishly meant for a different style dress, if that makes sense.

As I'm getting more into Ren garb, I'm increasingly interested in creating a more HA outfit, so I find all the information about HA styles and such fascinating!

Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 03:38:35 PM »
From what I've seen, Isabella is one of the most knowledgeable on the HA scene on here. It is obvious she does her homework in history!

Glad you enjoyed Scarby! We consider that home, despite being central Arkansans. We haven't been to NWA faire, or the Texarkana faire, because we've always had conflicts. KCRF is very nice. We hope to return there before long.

Our standard "tour" is Sherwood Forest, Scarborough, and Oklahoma, opening weekends for all, hoping for best cool weather. We've frequently added a fourth rover site, this year, it will be Bristol, with a possibility of adding NYRF and/or PaRF.
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Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 07:55:24 AM »
If you are looking at more H/A Merchant Class garb, simpler is better. No fancy trims or embellishments like pearls. 

Solid colors for fabrics in Wools and Linens. Merchant Class women could afford nicer Chemises and shifts with some Blackwork embroidery. Figure 8 ruffs without lace. Bumrolls were worn, not the A shaped Farthingales. They wore up to 2 petticoats to give that fullness to their skirts. Women wore Coifs or Snoods all the time under a nice hat. I am not sure to be exact if Merchant Class women wore a feather or two in their hats. They may have if they could afford it.

But nor does it hurt to research the Class in which you desire to recreate. Rules regarding who could wear what was strict during the Tudor/Elizabethan eras. For the quality of clothing and accessories said a lot about one's station in life.
"As with Art as in Life, nothing succeeds like excess.".....Oscar Wilde

Offline LadyFae

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 09:53:36 AM »
Grab a needle and black thread and cover those grommets! :D It will help them blend in and save your cording. I believe that someone had a thread somewhere around here about covering grommets or sewing eyelets on the bodices so that you can see the technique. I find it VERY easy to do! :)
Amanda  =D

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Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 02:35:09 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions!
LadyFae - I will do just that! The grommets are a bit of an eyesore  ::)

Offline NicoleBridget

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2015, 06:11:05 PM »
That IS a pretty bodice and you look beautiful in your whole ensemble!  I love a square neck chemise, I think it flatters everyone, but I also like the suggestion of a high necked smock too, they're very versatile.  Maybe consider adding both to your wardrobe and change them out for different looks?  The high necked smock might skew your class slightly higher due to all the extra fabric and billowy sleeves.  More middle/middle class. 

I love what you've done with your chemise too, the ties on your arms, it adds a nice bit of texture, I don't see that done very often.  I love it!  If I had to guess your class based on the faire pic I would say you were middle/lower class merchant of some sort, but the bodice throws me.  I feel like you filched the fancy fabric for that bodice from some noblewoman's seamstress's stash, and you're wearing it proudly on special festival days in town.  You don't wear that bodice to work every day, it's just too pretty.

The very first bodice I ever bought for myself was from from Chivalry Sports, it was green twill with only 2 pieces of boning and LOTS of shiny, gaping grommets.  Even with my limited knowledge of the time, I knew I hated the look of those things!  But even having NO sewing skills at that time I was still successful in using a needle and some embroidery floss to cover those suckers up.  It took some time but it really transformed my whole look, and I lost my paranoia which sounded like this, "OMG, are they staring at my grommets?!"  Prob not, but you know...

Anyway, I'm glad you're here and having fun! 

Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 10:17:36 AM »
It sounds like I should up my game a bit with this fancy corset of mine :) I'm wondering what might work better with it to create more of a middle class merchant or a more casual upper class? I'm going to look into covering the grommets. I'm a novice at sewing, but I've looked at some videos and blogs on sewing eyelets, and it doesn't seem that daunting of a task. I wish I was confident enough to sew my own chemise = /

I was looking into the high neck smock, trying to find good examples of that. I bet Isabella might have some good historical pictures :) But is this an example ?




*I hope it's not poor etiquette to use this ladies picture as an example!*

This being said, my lovely metal grommets and all, I think I've been bitten by the HA bug Oo Thanks to all of you lovely people and your knowledge and influence :) I've been looking through pages and pages of images, and am fascinated how styles were influenced and changed.

Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2015, 12:45:57 PM »
The middle photo and the last one are good examples of a high neck smock.  I suspect the first one might be a partlet which is like a dickey that is supposed to cover you. 

Here is my high neck smock :http://isabelladangelo.blogspot.com/2013/08/historical-fortnightly-challenge-16.html  that I made in two weeks by hand - embroidery and all.  It's not a difficult project - just time consuming if you are doing it by hand.  If you can cut out rectangles and squares, this is really a fun project to try.  On the machine, it takes maybe an hour w/o the embroidery.   


Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 10:04:29 AM »
Another question for you ren-veteran's.

I have this beautiful overdress. Not at all HA, I know, but it's linen, made well and has this gorgeous trim.

The trouble I've run across with this dress is that the bodice (which is not very supportive) hit's just below my bust, so it's more of an Italian style fit I believe. I don't mind this fit so much, but I had hoped to wear a skirt with the overdress, so my chemise doesn't show (it's a bit thin. I HAVE worn this overdress with just the chemise, and worn leggings under my chemise, but a skirt looks nicer). However, with a skirt, there is a gap of about 3-4 inches between the waistband and the bodice, where my chemise is exposed, which really bothers me, as I feel it's distracting from the look.

So. This is what I'm thinking. I have some fabric left over from my husbands kilt that is as long as the overdress and about 18-20 inches wide (I haven't measured). If I pin this, or otherwise secure this panel beneath the overdress, where the plaid rests under the bodice lacings, and let the fabric hang where the skirt is split, I'm hoping it will create the illusion I've got a plaid skirt on under the overdress. The plaid would cover up the chemise, and the overdress closes enough that it hides the edges of the plaid panel. I don't have enough plaid left to make a true skirt, alas.

Can I get away with this?  ;D I've seen other threads where someone has overcome this issue by wearing a bodice and skirt under the overdress. I do have a corset I could wear (it's red, the one actually in the beginning of this thread) but the nice thing about this overdress... its breezy and light. I'm afraid to add too much bulk to this dress. But maybe some of you might have other ideas! I'd love to hear them. Otherwise, will my panel do the trick?

Offline arbcoind

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 06:16:55 PM »
I think that would look fine.  Not sure if it's H/A however.  My overdresses have a longer bodice and I wear a skirt over my chemise unless it's too hot, then I just go with the chemise.  Why not pin the fabric to your overdress and walk around, sit down, bend over to see how it moves and if it will be comfortable to wear.

Gina

Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 07:25:37 PM »
The dress isn't the least bit H/A.  There are many issues with it and it's too bad you didn't come here first because that looks like cotton broadcloth to me with Wally world trim - I would have told you to back away slowly and don't look it in the eyelets.  ;-)   However, since you bought it...there isn't much you can do.  Since it's not H/A, you can use a skirt you already have, pin it to the underbust, and add a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt to give you full coverage.  However, it really would be most beneficial to just look at some paintings or well re-created styles of the renaissance and use those as guides in the future. 

In the 16th C, the open front style was called Flemish and looked like this:


The Italian style differed between the regions.  The most common ones people recreate are the Venetian and the Florentine of the late 15th/early 16th c:





Later on, by about the 1540's, the various Italian regions lengthened their bodice length. 


Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 10:19:03 PM »
Oh, I know it's not HA. Not trying to be :)  Just wanting some garb troubleshooting advice from anyone who might have dealt with this same issue. Isabella, I know the picture of that overdress is terrible, but its very lovely in person. It's a deep blue linen, and the trim is gorgeous! I got quite a few compliments on it at Scarb (from other celtic inspired faire goers) so it's much nicer in person, eyelets and all :) 



My only issue is how to wear a skirt with this dress, since the bodice hits underbust. But I will try pinning my skirt, and the plaid panel as well and see which works and looks best. If not, I'll wear leggings under my chemise again - how scandalous!  :)

I find that I really, really like the Flemish style, the more I look at images. That may be something I shoot for later down the road, as I am learning to sew currently.

Thanks, as always !

Offline Butch

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 10:20:29 PM »
Sure! Try it out and see how it looks to you! I'd probably go for a solid color (vice a tartan) to contrast or complement the overdress; but we use what's available! Try it out at home and see what you think, then wear it in the lanes if you like! Why not? Have you been to the KCRF yet?

Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2015, 10:25:31 PM »
Butch  - we're headed to KCRF this weekend :) Looking forward to it!

Offline Butch

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2015, 04:54:28 AM »
Shoot, sorry I'll miss you; I'll be out of town this weekend. We ARE planning a small gathering NEXT Saturday, the 17th. You are welcome to join us if you can make it!

Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2015, 08:21:37 AM »
Butch - I'm trying to convince the husband we need to go back to KCRF for closing weekend. Take the kids this time for some faire trick or treating :) Wish me luck! If I can swing it, it would be a blast to meet  up with those of you who are there!

Offline Butch

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2015, 10:15:22 AM »
Shoot me a private message on the board (up above) and I'll send you my cel phone number.  If you can make the preflight on the 17th (prob around 0900 in the parking lot) call me and I can tell you where we're parked!  I hope to see you!

Offline Rani Zemirah

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2015, 12:39:21 AM »
It sounds like what you're describing is sort of like a "forepart", which is a piece of fabric that is attached to an underskirt to give it a bit of flair (or to hide something you'd rather not show.. ;) ).  You find them mostly on upper-middles/Nobles, as far as I'm aware, but since you're not worrying about H/A with this dress, and you're going for a Celtic theme, I think matching your husband's tartan in your dress sounds like a fun idea, and as long as you have the fabric pinned to the front of your underskirt (or even your chemise if you don't want to add the bulk of another skirt {although it might give it some extra"swing"})it should stay in place just fine, and I doubt anyone would have anything but compliments to offer!  :)  It's probably a good idea to pin it to whatever you wear under the dress, though, instead of to the dress, itself... at least as far as the skirt is concerned... and that way it will look more like it's a separate skirt, and won't flap around if the wind catches the skirt of your overdress.  :)


Here's a lovely example of something similar from Wolfstone...

« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 12:58:24 AM by Rani Zemirah »
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Offline RahBur

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2015, 09:13:28 AM »
Thanks Rani! A forepart sounds more or less the idea I was going for, now that you've mentioned it. I will try pinning it to my chemise. Thanks for the suggestion!

Offline Rani Zemirah

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Re: Garb style
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2015, 06:13:45 PM »
Happy to help clarify.  :)  It sounds like you were already pretty much there, already, though.  Please post a pic of you in your ensemble, here, so we can see how it works out for you! 
Rani - Fire Goddess

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