I had to tidy my current costume stash and workroom. My workroom luckily was just some sweeping, I thought I left it in a more turned over state. So hooray!

But I have had to sort my entire stash to be able to find things. But I do now have everything in order of Want To Do 🙂 So I’m also making sure I actually do stuff now 🙂

So Netflix and Craft today. More pearls on my little hat and also to make up little hat.

my pink cleves gown and some inspiration behind it

From Facebook: Emily Gibbs‎ to Canterbury Faire 2018, 29 January at 19:58 · Kaikoura Suburban, New Zealand

I am so inordinately happy with this! It has everything I love about the Cranach Saxon style with the weirdness of everything in the Nordrein (North Rhine.)

But it is weird. I’ll break down all the weirdness as I go but of note is the tone on tone. I deviated a little from the original, or rather combined two (three) figures in one. So the pink ground of two and the crimson velvet borders of another.

But tone on tone is very definitely part of this region, especially in the red/pink tones. And especially as velvet on a flat fabric.

Bildnis einer Frau 
Datierung:um 1555/1560Sachbegriff:Gemälde
Sammlung:Köln, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Sammlungskontext: Stiftung Dr. Hubert Dormagen / Kerp, Inventar-Nr. WRM 3300, Zugang: 1980.12.31, Dauer: ab 1980.12.31

KostĂĽme der Männer und Frauen in Augsburg und NĂĽrnberg, Deutschland, Europa, Orient und Afrika – BSB Cod.icon. 341
Publishing place: Augsburg
Year published: 4. Viertel 16. Jh.
Pages: 384
BSB Call Nr.: Cod.icon. 341
Project ID: BSB-Hss Cod.icon. 341
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00011752-7

Thuringen, I am not sure, Cologne (see what I mean by variations of spelling!)

So this is just one manuscript, and the Cologne image might be shot gold and red, but it is from the period. this is a hand drawn costume book, so little concern about it being coloured in at a later date. This work is full of pink as a main fabric. Full. But I am specifically looking for the tone on tone elements.

The Triumph of Maximillian is another illustrated book full of pink. But here again I have limited to tone on tone in red/crimson.


Title Triunfo del Emperador Maximiliano I, Rey de HungrĂ­a, Dalmacia y Croacia, Archiduque de Austria :… de quien están descritas y colocadas en esta colecciĂłn las acciones gloriosas de S.M. Imperial, durante su vida…
Date entre 1501 y 1700?

Edition S.XVI-XVII Type Manuscrito

Subject Maximiliano I, Emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico

Page 96 and 97 and 97 again.

(these are huge zoomable images)




(Royalty Guide and Wikicommons respectively)

Sophia von Mecklenberg, married the Duke of Brauchweig, part of estphalia and so also has the mix of influences.I did not know of this image until today, however I am familiar with the two pieces of stonework depicting her in a very similar dress- I had it set aside as research for the sleeves, this confirms that the sleeves are weird, hooray! She was buried in Cell an

But the colours are nearly identical to my frock 🙂 So that is exciting. I was working with a limited range of fabric.

I knwe of her through the following images from Bildindex (handy hint, grabmal is a great search term for looking for images


Grabplatte der Herzogin Sophia von Mecklenburg
nach 1541 Grabplatte, Grabskulptur,  Sandstein

Standort: Celle, Kirche, Evangelisch-lutherische Stadtkirche Sankt Marien, Chor

Gedächtnis: Sophia (Mecklenburg, Herzogin) Herzogin Sophia von Mecklenburg war die Gemahlin Ernst des Bekenners

Also a full 3d view


Epitaph des Herzogs Ernst des Bekenners und seiner Frau Sophia, Herzogin von Mecklenburg
Cornelis Floris (2) (Werkstatt) 1576 Epitaph, Grabskulptur Alabaster

Standort: Celle, Kirche, Evangelisch-lutherische Stadtkirche Sankt Marien, Chor (Nordwand)

Gedächtnis: Ernst (Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Herzog) Gedächtnis: Sophia (Mecklenburg, Herzogin)

So side track aside there are many more examples of red based tone on tone garments of the wider region.

Both by Noclas Neufchatel.

Brady hart Gallery and wikicommons and liveinternet respectively.

These are of course from Nuremberg and so are quite a distance, but we see the range of tones for tone on tone (also the red dyed braids!!!)


1516 Circle of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) Portrait of Dorothea Meyer, wife of Jakob Meyer zum Hasen (Basel)

From Barbara Wells Sarudy’s post about winter clothing

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden GmbH 2017 

Christoph Amberger
(Um 1505 NĂĽrnberg – 1561/62 Augsburg) attr.;
Portrait der Maria Hieronymus Sulzer

This is much more suble, and leaning towards the crimson on yellow seen at about the same rate.


transcribing and translating

So it looks like I have been pretty bang on the money when hunting out documents. Today was spent scanning and transcribing the introduction to a book full of snippets from inventories and while I had hoped to find more, getting confirmation that a) I spotted a garment not discussed elsewhere (several pages in this source though) and that b) rock is a bleeding useless term in the 16thC. In the documents I’m looking through it’s really not obvious if it is a skirt or dress. And in context it’s still not terribly easy.

So the next step is to go into each garment category and pull out all the region specific terms. Guh. And to continue to brute force variations of spelling in search engines.

today is a quiet day

I have managed to empty my suitcases, so they can now be removed from my room. Or. Or I could use the sparkle monster to store my Elsa properly with wig, cap, and foam head.

I think I can set aside make up just for her, even though I pretty much use the exact same stuff for myself. Not sure what the other suitcase can contain. But I have another green suitcase type bag which also needs to be useful or stored in a dry area.


But today is to tidy the trims and jewelry bits that got very mixed in with my small sewing items that I really do need to sort. Find what I can keep and what could be passed on.


There is very little out there in the way of suitable rings and brooches. It’s quite frustrating. I’m going to look through my Spanish portraits collection to see if there is much overlap for specific items to see if I can at least reuse different elements.


Today I need to press my entire skirt. So I am looking at taking it all to my work room. I think the table is too slippery and the ironing board too flimsy, and the floor to grippy.

I had to have a full day of rest. It involved lots of heat (electric blanket on full) and turning to really heat every single part of my ribs.

Also pain relief. But it was needed.

Now for a second coffee.


saxon maybe

I was going through my folder of illustrations and I am not sure if this is an illustraition or wall painting. It certainly has the qualities of translucency seen in illustrations.

But I would dearly love to see a group do this. I have a love of the black check border- some more examples in etchings that I know of as well as the girl with triangular decorations on her cuffs. But really. I just think this looks like a group from the old h-cost/lj days.

I’ve been sharing to IG today some of my older photos. You can sort of edit images in Chrome if you “inspect” choose one oft he mobile devices, refresh, and upload. Editing button is on the right and allows you to zoom centrally or full width and you can move the image, or full height. I have “inspect” set to Nexus 6 right now.


Anyway. So I realised how long it has been since I started down this Westfalen route. I moved into 1560s Koeln due to the ability to basically copy straight from the de Bruyn book. Since then I have enough courage to create my own garment without copying directly from an era where I’m mainly working with allegorical paintings and text. So that is really cool. But yeah, the de Bruyn book is literally able to be copied line for line for the Dutch-German areas. I mean it’s so accurate as to be something I’d point people to and say trust your gut because this artist knows what he is looking at.


But also while sharing I’ve decided to say Fork It. I love pink. And I love blue. I’m going to let myself wear both. So my current frock of frockness is raspberry on baby pink and I have accessories to match. So a book has been recovered and my pin book now has a cover. Woot! But next I need to decide on how to handle carrying my items around. So I think I’ll grab some more of the velveteen and add another border to my dress and use the excess for a hat and for a scrip bag.


A single layer of black wool twill (super fine, not a gabardine and not quite a satin) for my heuke.

This is the kind I need to make. I think the weird shape is pleated. Think of a paper plane and I think that is pretty close to what is going on.

This is what only Koeln used. So annoying as it’s perfect for shade and rain protection. Also it just is super out there.

Duerer’s drawing shows a half circle with a half circle cut out, but that is an actual dutch style. I think the half circle cut out is gathered to the duckbill shape seen further west. So time to dig a bit deeper for what was going on in the Duchy of Cleves because I believe de Bruyn on this point. Heuken were very much shaped by regional preference.


Also this portrait was what really got my inspiration for my first Nordrein gown in 2004, but this is also tone on tone, and, and, red velvet is everywhere in inventories. I men every where. Mainly for sleeves and bust decoration. This tone on tone thing though? I love. So that’s why I was okay when the store had no black velveteen and only raspberry.


My pink Cleves gown is hemmed! It’s full enough I can do the overlap even if my source art doesn’t show it. But I’ll have a lot more to say on that later.

The front is flared and the sides but the back is fairly straight. This makes the centre back spring a lot more from the body with the hem not folding as deeply as it could. But also ugh! How did I wind up with a 2″ wide piece missing!

Mr Carlo really loves this fabric. Like loooves.

Initially i was sewing on my knees until I found I could weave my needle through the fabric and not pick up the carpet. So that made it much easier to sew the curves without stretching the fabric.



I am looking at getting my Schnittbuch up this year, as well as a whole lot of research, and thus loads of documents for others to sift through. There is a lot, not a whole lot of costume info, but lots about life in the region.



Ginger fluff loves skinks. Luckily he is interested in the twitching tails so we’ve been able to rescue the actual skink. They are pretty canny. They play dead in my hand but as soon as I get them near foliage they can hide in, VROOM!

cleves progress

I’m taking a short break now from hand sewing. I have cohesive bandage to lay down as I think I’ll need it.

Anyway. I forgot how annoying and fiddly it is to hand sew  a piled fabric to a fabric that is springy but without a pile. Thread just stretches and the turn under moves. Like moves moves. I am not sure I can adequately measure so I have to eye it.

I also think I’m doing it wrong. It’s absolutely right going by portraits but every single extant example has a narrow braid/twists of thread to hide what is likely a raw edge. Because yes, velbet has always been a PITA to work with. My best work involved making card templates and pressing and steaming my velveteen over it and still unpicking every single hem at least once.

I cut my guards to shape. 8cm wide from one selvage for the fronts and then I laid the fabric over my right sikirt front and pinned at regualr intervals 8cm for each guard. SO far so simple. But the velveteen has a nap. Which means turning and turning the remaining fabric to make sure the pile goes up- so the velveteen looks the most rich.

Then I lined up left over to the back centre which means piecing at the sides. This is based mainly on what Alcega has to say- actually all the Spanish tailors. All piecing is at the sides. Like everything. Or under arm, but basically sides are a mess, underarms next, CF and CB pretty much untouched. The Austrian tailors also show piecing in places we may not automatically think of.

I suspect it has everything to do with expectations. We expect no piecing- we limit most pattern pieces by the width of fabric. this is mostly okay when you can top and tail perfectly shaped pieces. But historically really special fabrics were narrow. So it was expected that they would not be wide enough so vertical seams at regualr intervals were expected. And ad they tend to be near the side seam it is a handy place to add any piecing as ther eis already an expectation of seams there.

So Centre Front and Centre back being, usually, cut with the selvages are expected to be continuous.

There are obviously exceptions. But this is the rule.

Anyway, so after matching fabric I was even able to follow the curve to cut my neckline guarding. And then was able to make strips for arm guarding.

I only hand sew while sitting cross legged. SO I do have to stop every so often to stretch. But knees make for a very handy “frame” to stitch. Also you can adjust tension by just moving, and also it only take a pin at each seam being worked on.

I’m not 100% convinced on the source being accurate. but I basically have two two portraits to go by otherwise, and they do confirm wide bands. And later examples show at least one wide band about the width of one of thee, and lots of religious paintings where it’s basically zero guarding. I think this is an acceptable variation in terms of colour, texture, and width of guarding. I like the tone on tone, the original is black on pink but it looks so Saxon. I love Saxon, and Cleves did have Saxon influence (Sybilla married the Duke and kept up correspondence with her brother so yes, very definitely an influence.)

So there is heaps to go and I have to pace myself or risk not being able to go to the event at all. I can work on hems while there as I have my linen kirtle and silk frock. So you know. I am set to just pack. But I want this dress and hat. And then I can upload my resources.

So i think I should do some stretches and call it an evening.


Also I have to get to the city some time soon. I know I have a reference for Jocabaa wearing frocks that outshone brides and also got numbers of how many cows brocade cost…

so pink and crimson works

Yesterday was a bad luck day. It started with a health wobble (very old one, and it was definitely a whole lot better than it used to be) Mr Carlo going missing, rain, pale mamma duck lost one more duckling, I couldn’t find the glass jars I know one of the cheapie stores in Westfield or outer shops has, then my rheumy appointment was cancelled as I was already out there and finally Spotlight did not have any black velveteen which is what I wanted my pink Cleves gown trimmed in.

But they had a very dark maroon-crimson which actually I really do dig as a tone on tone type of deal. The colour and texture is definitely found in inventories- mainly as sleeves- and also in some illustrations. So I really only am unsure if that specific combo is okay. But the Duchy of Kleves, Julich, und Berg was much brighter and more in the Saxon mold than Cologne which was a free city and thus did not have any aristocracy and so portraits tend to show much more sober colour schemes. But I have seen a sort of lilac, lots of warm and cool red, and even a yellow gown on figures representing real people. Religious figures then to have much more

It also ended in Mr Carlo rushed to the vets as he was dealing with septicemia. He is a tiny kitty, about half the weight of any other cat I have met. So he is more delicate than he thinks and injuries are a lot harder on him.


Today we were hit harder by the storm and pale mamma lost all her babies in the wind. But she has just brought them around again a few hours later. Mr Carlo is a lot happier, he is liking pats and even tummy scritches. So today is much better.

I even finally scanned my passport photos and finished my online application so that is great.

Also Mr Ginger Fluff is sheltering on my bed from the storm. He is finally starting to properly rest.


So I feel okay about sitting and sewing today.  It’s been a slow morning for the above reasons but it’s still productive.

more clevische kleidung

Today I got my lining put together and pinned into the pink Cleves skirt, reshaped my hulle and steamed it into a nice curve (yep, millinery, so much steam and pressing and more steam and the stink of ammonia, and lanolin, and and more steam.) I have set it aside so I can make another pressing shape as my wulsts are really squishy.

And I did manage to tidy some of my inventory files. It’s still heavy on accessories other than hats and garments other than gowns. Which are you know, the most important part.

But I may also have a lead on looking for secondary texts. Gewand is used a fair amount so I’ve been brute force searching.

Meanwhile I do need to actually put those files in their proper places and transcribe them.


Of course the very best files are photos of documents but they are not of a resolution that I can read them. Which is annoying.


But, that is a lot of ironing of line lining and wool hat so… i’ll get that put away and get the files in place.