more curating and singing

There are days my voice is Glinda clear, I mean bubbly and floaty and I can do trills and decorations. And then there are days like today. I think it is the RA. Inflammation seems to fit the bill.

I can at least sing early music. It just does not sound like me. It sounds somewhat appropriate if you think of reed instruments, but it’s not what I trained to get.

But, there are days where my voice is what I trained it to be. So I guess I have two voices due to RA. I have to think of it like that because I can’t predict exactly what day will be what voice and it’s not ideal for singing for an audience. I miss theatre so much. So much.

I did also spend a long time putting all my info for each and every portrait I have. And I still have a few hundred unattached files.

I also cut my Maria of Cleves gown lining, it’s been de-coloured and I will need to put it through a bluing wash after it’s washed properly.

curating is difficult

I started to work my way through all my pictorial references for my site and have wound up extremely confused as I now have folders within folders again.

However I have a super dandy catalogue from an early Bruyn exhibition that has extreme amounts of information so I may wind up working my way through that alongside my files.

Several images are totally new, most are small but the paper quality is high for the age. I think it’s photogravure? So no dots that a colour book might have.

The catalogue seems to be in chronological order so I should even be able to pull out some sort of date.

I had starting grouping images by accessories but that got messy.

However I now have a couple more hats that are most likely as close to Anna’s hat as I can get.

article progress!

I got a really nice flow of writing today while having my yearly infusions so I am about ready to start typing it up and adding inline notes (WP doesn’t like footnotes apparently so it’s just easier) and also images.

I have held off this for so long because once you start asking “but why? where is the connection?” you then start the long journey of learning a new language (maybe two because of course Latin), learning about society and material culture, and what was prized and what was was fairly mundane.

And it is very hard to then answer that first question except by then really prodding at each and every resource and asking “what if we are wrong? what would that look like in all these connections.

So finally I have my article framed really quite well. I normally like to talk about structure first but this is an era and place where nothing I am describing can be found as an extant item. Nothing. So I have had to look at art and read documents that nearly exclusively detail what’s on the surface and using that to extrapolate the structure. And the various crafts ands trades people involved.

I can also look at other extant items and point to other art and say “see how that looks? That’s not what this looks like.” And that is at least helpful.


Hoping to get my Stitches notes partly written tomorrow. Bright pink note book and all.

The pattern book is proving difficult so I need to also get notes to keep on track there too

not quite year review

This has been a tough year. Really tough. Not nice at all in many regards. But also it’s been a year of extreme learning and learning is not a steady even path. It’s not even always moving forward. It often means going a long way back to figure out why things are not as expected.

It’s one thing though to experience that in a field of study but entirely different when it is about the very fundamentals of your life. 

I can’t say I have answers. But the initial shock has worn off. I think I can say now it was shock. It felt like the carpet was pulled from under my feet and I had nothing to stand on. 

The shock has passed but I can’t say the effects have passed. That is the next stage I think.

cleves progress

I have my next fancy frock well underway thanks to being able to use my patterning theory and research. Today is a day of rest though. Adrenaline is kind of magic but it is best thought of as a redistributor of energy not additional.

But I am definitely going to be adding my shirt patterns to my patterning book and that needs to be done asap.

sort of on track

I’m a bit behind my schedule for both my research and my pattern book. I have a wee set back because I think my harddrive is failing and while I do have everything backed up I’m not keen on reinstalling my OS. So I’m trying to work around that. Also I’m making so many back ups but also adding to my research so it’s still a bit messy.

But I did manage to take the brocade off my most recent hat and put a new cover on. I may want to do a little bit of adjusting of the edges. There are a very few images that suggest the hat is a very thin shell indeed and the way i tidied the edges made them a bit bulky. But that said it is a different shape and that style does curve back in, so I think I may be okay. 

I think I know how to tackle the new galleries I need to do for the Nordrheinwestfalen pages. It seems that if I caption an image in a galelry on a page that remains and is used whenever that image is added to another page. So if I can caption the images first i can use them on multiple pages.

And I do now how to frame the hat research. It has taken so long to trust my own instincts, but what that meant was that I wound up posing a challenge to my hypothesis on multiple fronts and that I think led me to being more secure.

I still am not entirely sure about some specifics. But that can be a later project.

Meanwhile. I need yet another nap. So very tired and sore and very overheated. Hello humidity.

my new frock

I had a bit of a concern when I realised I was thinking of the late Gothic styles when in fact my main reference is in fact from about 1536 which is very much closer to to my two newer frocks.

I am also going to make a winter weight tabbart (gown with hanging sleeves) out of heavy blue wool (a blanket) to round out the styles.

From “Land im Mittelpunkt der Mächte: die Herzogtümer Jülich, Kleve, Berg” Städtisches Museum Haus Koekkoek, Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf
Boss-Verlag, 1984

I am just not 100% sure of the pattern for the sleeves. I mean I know how I want to make them but I’m trying to work out if it’s a likely pattern. 

These are the only examples I can find of this short bishop style sleeve, but interestingly cut sleeves do pop up. There is a kind of narrow hanging sleeve that looks like a sleeve type seen in Flemish tapestries but much shorter.

1575 Kalkar. Fig 1 page 35b, Civitates orbis terrarum, Braun and Hogenberg. Utrecht University obj=000978066
1575 Kalkar. Fig 1 page 35b, Civitates orbis terrarum, Braun and Hogenberg. Utrecht University obj=000978066

These also seem to appear in children’s clothing as well. Children’s clothing also show short puffed sleeves earlier than adult.

quiet and tired

Not much activity as there is not a lot of activity going on. I’m trying to also declutter. 

Everything takes energy though so I’m also trying to do little bits of fun things. So I managed to clip and wire the last of my filigree bits so I can make a new.. well I simply don’t know what it’s called but the decorative strip at the front of my hats.

I do want to get my stickelsche research webbified too. But it’s very daunting to suggest that someone so very far removed from the region could possibly have a lot to say. But I am now confident that I have tracked down all the sources originally used and have a few additional pieces due to extra materials published after. I have a few more pieces of the puzzle, but I think I can at least offer a very big stepping stone for future research. I’d love to do it myself but you know, literally an ocean and a continent between me and the archives whatever direction I travel in.

so now what

After spending so much time with my files the last thing I want to do is spend more time in my files.

But I’m also not really up for making anything as I keep avoiding working with heavy fabrics and the Nordrhein fashion is nearly all heavy winter gear.

I do have small hand sewing projects though.

And I could use the summer as an excuse to make a fluffy dress.

So what do I mean? I mean the kind of dress that may have a normally fitted bodice but the sleeves and skirt are simply gathered not made with much structure at all.

This is not the same effect as is seen in the very finely pleated but very structured skirts seen from Westfalen through Saxony and south.

This is my favourite. Hanging sleeves made of gathers? I mean this is gloriously unpractical and yet really would be quite comfortable. I had initially dismissed this as a copy or of a stylised portrait. But it is clearly meant to be Sibylla of Cleves.

So much going on here but this is a perfect example of the softness of the gathers. They crumple. I get a very similar effect with my wool crepe dresses I made years ago. But these could be silk or linen.

And this one I think is by the same previous artist from the same region.

Isabella of Denmark.

This is part of a set of illustrations of women by Holbein. I think this is an example of the same kind of dress.

So now I am reconsidering this gown worn by Anna Meyer. The main difference here is the fit of the sleeves. They are classic two part fitted sleeves not a series of bands. In the full portrait her skirt has fairly deep pleat creases, like the illustration directly above.

Though really I should make a fitted chemise and finish the short chemises as well. I do need them desperately.