New project, 16th C Dutch

For ages, like about a decade, I’ve been planning to make one of these Dutch outfits from c 1565. I love the sombreness of them, the understated elegance and the contrast of black on white with the red sleeves highlighting them. I have three favourites, pictured here but for more variations see my board on Pinterest.

This first one is my favourite, you can see that the skirt is quite flat at the front and she is wearing a cute buttoned partlet over the gown.

Lovely contrast of black velvet ribbon on black satin or taffeta.

I hypothesise a sleeveless kirtle underneath which the dark red velvet sleeves are laced, pinned or hooked to.

This next one is similar except the her gown is open at the front and there is no partlet. It looks like the kirtle, which is quite high on her chest, is buttoned, but they may be decorative.

Note accessories: chain belt and parrot!

This portrait of Anne Gresham, the English Ambassador’s wife, is the only one I’ve got where the sleeves are not red.

I love it for the detail in the portrait, the clear use on contrasting textured bands as decoration, her lovely chain belt with what may be a pomander on the end.

As I am quite busty a straight cut through the bodice tends not to work well for me, especially with a high neckline. So i have decided to cut the bodice front of two pieces but these will be joined and the seam hidden by a wide band of ribbon. Future editions I may button as above but this one will be back-side lacing. The photo below shows the basic shapes and the inner stiffening layer, both heavy cotton canvases from my scrap pile.

Two bodice pattern pieces cut out: a back piece in white and a front piece in red.
Bodice pieces cut out with stiffener layers.

The photo below is the first cut – the outer velveteen. After some more fitting I found that I required a bit less breast bump and this has been smoothed out.

Two bodice pattern pieces cut out with brown paper patterns still pinned to them.