Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sottana thoughts over lunch.

Everything I'm reading has a note similar to this one from katerina.purplefiles.net/garb/diaries/:

According to both La Moda a Firenze and Patterns of fashion, the hem of Eleanora d'Toledo's burial gown had stiffening at the hem to help hold it out. This was a band of felt, covered by a satin strip. This is confirmed by the red velvet extant dress from Pisa, discussed in La Mode a Firenze.
Patterns of fashion states that the 'matching' satin bias strip was 8.8 - 10.1 cm wide. This covered the band of wool felt. Approximately 25-28mm above the edging, is a 13mm wide pintuck. This can be seen on Eleanora's burial sottana. This may also help to stiffen the hem.

The problem with reading all these dress diaries is, I have no way of asking questions or positing opinions. Like the pintuck mentioned. You know what it looks like to me? It reminds me very much of the hoop channels on a farthingale. And there really doesn't seem to be any reason for it that anyone else can come up with, except this vague "oh, it probably helped stiffen the hem" idea. I'm thinking, sure it did: by having some sort of hoop thing in it! Maybe not like willow or anything super-stiff, but like hemp or something, to foof it out. (Yes, "foof" is a real word.)

But, Wenny, I can hear you saying, there's no evidence of a hoop or anything in the extant garments found.

Yes, well -- that's because all the extant garments found were on dead people. Dead people lying on their backs. Where a stiff hoop-hem would make their skirt fly up into the air and show their burial knickers to the general populace. Naturally they'd leave it out for that, and arrange the skirt fetchingly. If only Janet Arnold were here; I'd love to get her opinion on this.

Another thing bonking around in my head is that I planned on making a wide band of contrasting material on the hem -- black velvet or damask, actually -- and I know I saw this somewhere. But now that I've cut my hem to allow for this extra bit of stuff, I'm not seeing anything that says it's appropriate or period. Curses.

I just know the sottana fashionistas are gonna come a-knockin.

No comments:

Post a Comment