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Questions about wearing gowns & corsetry

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  • erica
    I m new to this group (RL has been crazy and I ve only been able to lurk lately). Until now I haven t had much of a chance to introduce myself to the group--so
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 30, 2005
      I'm new to this group (RL has been crazy and I've only been able to
      lurk lately). Until now I haven't had much of a chance to introduce
      myself to the group--so here I am! (and A lot fo questions too!!!)

      My sca-dian persona is that of Felice of York, a young (ish) widow
      living in the mid/late 1500's who has merchant ties and is a magpie
      when it comes to fashion. Seeing as her uncle frequently travels
      abroad sends her clothing, fabric and other goodies it has and
      continues to have an impact on her fashion sense.

      Now, about me (Erica) I'm a sca-dian, rejoining after a 10 year
      hiatus. I'm only a half decent seamstress...My first stint in the SCA
      all I did was fence and hang out since I couldn't sew a straight (or
      crooked) line at the time. Since then I have learned a bit more about
      sewing (self-taught) but still have a looooong way to go before I can
      do anything complicated!

      At the moment, as my "first dress" in my new persona/incarnation, I
      decided I wanted to make a Venetian courtesan's gown. Partly because
      they look very lovely, and 2ndly because (I hope! Won't know until I
      actual don one!) it will flatter my rather chunky figure (^_^)…

      Which of course brings me to the major questions I have...

      1) With the open "V" front gowns, do you wear a corset or pair
      of stays under it to keep boobage and belly from squishing through
      the laces?

      2) Assuming there is a corset, is it reasonable to assume it's
      something like the tudor or Elizabethan style (but shorter in the
      back?)

      3) Are the gown's skirts always attached to the bodice? Or are
      they ever done as 2 separate pieces?

      4) About the gown's skirts (if they are attached to the bodice):
      how do you (any seamstresses on here!) make them open wide enough to
      either fit over/past shoulders/hips/breasts/ depending on how you put
      the dress on? (and for those on the group--which way do you
      personally put on your gowns?)

      5) I've read that spiral lacing is the way to go for gowns in
      this period that lace up the back (with the closed fronts). Most of
      the ones I have seen photos of done in this method have lacing on
      both sides of the back just past the under arms… can Anyone explain
      to me how that would allow it to open up wide/large enough to
      accommodate the bulk of either my shoulders or hips or waist (again I
      guess it depends on how you'd put it on?)

      Okay, well I'm sorry to have asked so many questions, but really, I'd
      appreciate any ideas, comments and things of the sort!

      Felice
      http://corsetkitten.com/renaissance/
    • otsisto
      First, let me introduce you to a wonderful site created by a lovely woman on Venice costumes. Just in case you haven t seen it yet.
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 30, 2005
        First, let me introduce you to a wonderful site created by a lovely woman on
        Venice costumes. Just in case you haven't seen it yet.
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/

        Comments after the question.

        -----Original Message-----
        Which of course brings me to the major questions I have...

        1) With the open "V" front gowns, do you wear a corset or pair
        of stays under it to keep boobage and belly from squishing through
        the laces?

        *That is under debate. I believe Belle says there is a corset and I say the
        support is in the bodice of the "V" dress.
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/corset.htm
        When you say "V" dress I am thinking of this style
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/ven4.jpg
        or are you talking about this style
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/VENETIANLADYDurer1495.jpg
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/CarpaccioBetrothed.jpg
        In which case, no corset. The under dress's bodice gives the support. In the
        last example the red is an over dress that has a "V" opening and is belted
        under the bust. The black is the underdress.

        2) Assuming there is a corset, is it reasonable to assume it's
        something like the tudor or Elizabethan style (but shorter in the
        back?)

        * I am not sure what you are asking. Why would the corset be shorter in the
        back?

        3) Are the gown's skirts always attached to the bodice? Or are
        they ever done as 2 separate pieces?

        *I'll let Bella answer this. I've always thought it was one piece but
        recently I was told that there was exceptions. I don't know how you can get
        that look with a separate bodice and skirt. Now there is this
        http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/LicinioWWBook.jpg
        she has an underskirt.

        4) About the gown's skirts (if they are attached to the bodice):
        how do you (any seamstresses on here!) make them open wide enough to
        either fit over/past shoulders/hips/breasts/ depending on how you put
        the dress on? (and for those on the group--which way do you
        personally put on your gowns?)

        * I may not be describing this well. There is a seam that runs down the
        front of the skirt. You leave the seam open from the waist to about whatever
        length you need to get it over whatever body part and sew the rest to the
        hem. Then hem the opening and add hooks and eyes for closures. Others may be
        able to give you a better description or technique.

        5) I've read that spiral lacing is the way to go for gowns in
        this period that lace up the back (with the closed fronts). Most of
        the ones I have seen photos of done in this method have lacing on
        both sides of the back just past the under arms… can Anyone explain
        to me how that would allow it to open up wide/large enough to
        accommodate the bulk of either my shoulders or hips or waist (again I
        guess it depends on how you'd put it on?)

        *See previous answer. Seam of the skirt meet at the seams of the bodice.
        Lyse

        Okay, well I'm sorry to have asked so many questions, but really, I'd
        appreciate any ideas, comments and things of the sort!

        Felice
        http://corsetkitten.com/renaissance/
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