Added Feb 12, 2011
Pattern I Used: Simplicity 9891
This dress was inspired by 1400’s – 1600’s paintings. I made this to enter in the Simplicity Halloween Costume Contest 2008. I started it only a week before the deadline, but DID finish it in time to submit it. It did not place, but I did win a sewing book and a certificate for the design.
I totally reworked this dress—the original pattern was a ladies ‘Lord of the Rings’ pattern. It had only 3/4 sleeves and a simple neckline and straight skirt. First, I made a grey & white underdress with long, gathered sleeves; and the to the neckline I added a white strip which can be cinched tight against the neck with a 1/16" cord.
To the overdress, I added a split neckline that is laced closed with a very thin dk brown cord; a split skirt (so you can see the underdress underneath); Renaissance-esque sleeves with little sewn-in white puffs and an open section so the underdress sleeves could billow out. I used red grommets in the back to match the shade of the dress, instead of using a gross zipper; and I also added embroidery on the bodice & sleeves.
Just for the record, I did a HUGE amount of hand-dyeing for this project. The main dress fabric was originally a taupe linen, and I used two bottles of liquid RIT dye in “Scarlet” to achieve the medium-dusty-red look. Also, the underdress started out as a periwinkle blue and because it looked really really UN-medieval, I over-dyed it with “Pearl Grey” RIT dye.
The main dress is linen. I have no idea what kind of fabric the oversleeves are (probably a poly-cotton blend?), but I found this triangle-ish woven dusty blue stuff on a huge bolt in Joann Fabric’s clearance fabric section and loved it. The sleeves are also embellished with silver metallic trim. The underdress is made of broadcloth and muslin.
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