Pink French Gown

I can’t remember why I decided to delve into Elizabethan except that after years of swearing that I would never do anything past 1500 I actually found one that I liked – this 1565 portrait of Isabel Valois, Queen of Spain, by Sancho Coello.

Isabel Valois, Queen of Spain, 1565
1565 Isabel Valois, Queen of Spain, by Sancho Coello

There was a lot of off-white cotton / synthetic brocade around and so I bought something like 6m and dyed it red. Of course only the cotton fibres came out red so the whole looks pink – very pink. Actually the original is kind of salmon so its not far off.

This was my first attempt at a farthingale and I tried to make one with fine rattan cane but unfortunately it was a bit too stiff and so didn’t form an even circle – as a result the farthingale was a bit lumpy. It has since been replaced by one using hoop wire bought from Hedgehog Handcrafts.

I have also since slashed the sleeves (and changed the hooks and eyes that they’re held in with to eyelets and laces) and made both a French hood and a partlet as seen in this picture on the right.

Pink dress - first day out
First wearing, farthingale’s a bit lumpy.
Pink dress "Queenie"
Seated as “Queenie” with French hood
Pink dress - no farhingale
At Canterbury Faire