I have not had much luck with making anything for the last few years. Multiple health matters that ultimately lead to a deep undermining of my confidence. So I have started to work on a very fun project that doesn’t have much in the way of high stakes and it seems to be working.

I’m making a fluffy frock. This is my own term for a style of frock that appears in mostly Northern Renaissance art, in both portraits and historical or allegorical figures. There doesn’t seem to be a positive or negative connotation, and they are depicted with a texture similar to images that are mostly likely pleated linen items such as sleeves or aprons.

At this point I only have enough sheer fabric for the skirt and fitted but puffed sleeves and just enough to cover the bodice. But hopefully soon I will be able to justify 4m of fabric for the sleeves.

These figures are Judith and Salome respectively (the foreground figure in the painting could be Salome but the figure with the winged headdress seems to be directing the other two figures.) And both are by Niklaus Manual. Only the painting seems to use a fluffy frock.

It appears I have not created a gallery for fluffy frocks. So…

I’ve stuck with the very clearly pleated examples as they are treated to a degree that makes it clear they are made from a fabric that is somewhat light and creases even in a pleat, possibly pleated using stitches and then pressed, then the stitches removed. This is not all I have in my files but the most clear.

Further to these are the images depicting very full sleeves that are finely or coarsely pleated, again in portraits and representative art.

There are images that depict either sleeves or full loose single layer garments in a delicate peachy pink (usually) but not pleated, so there are a few more leads to track down in that regard.

So far I’m using some medium weight linen to support the body and am using a cotton voile because it’s what I have and it handles like my sheer linen anyway. I do know that the different linens I have been lucky to have and to handle suggest that I could possibly simply starch this at a later date if I want to try for some nice crisp pleats.

I will try to match fabric if I can for the full sleeves as one of these portraits is of Sibylla, sister of Anne of Cleves. And I’d love to make that at some date.

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