Fashion changes, early Tudor/late Medieval

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lidimy
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Fashion changes, early Tudor/late Medieval

Postby lidimy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:51 pm

Hey,

I found this piccy which was taken at one of the Kentwell events, and was pleased to see that the women are wearing kirtles with joined short sleeves, which I had previously associated only with medieval clothing. Is this style normal for early Tudor too?

Thanks :)

Lidi
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Postby Sophia » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:27 pm

They look to be what I would call transitional, i.e. showing the short fixed sleeves of the C15th but probably with the bodice type of the early C16th and a waist seam. Difficult to tell as the women are all wearing aprons. Having said that, there is a strong probability that this type of kirtle would have persisted well into the C16th among the poorer sorts. I would pass those kirtles as reasonable for any period from about 1480 through to at least 1509 (death of Henry VII). Would be interested to know what other people think.

Not sure about the man - Peter (my husband) does not do later period, so haven't really looked into later men's clothes.

Sophia :D



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ladies costume evolution...

Postby jelayemprins » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:41 pm

Sorry to be a harbinger of doom but latest research seems to favour long sleeve kirtles as the norm in the 15th century.

NOOOOO I hear you shouting from here. :o

Here's the research document...
http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/Docum ... leeves.pdf

Let me know what u think?

IJ



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Re: Fashion changes, early Tudor/late Medieval

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:34 am

At least two early Tudor-era books of hours by Simon Bening show peasant women dressed similarly to the women in that photo (some in long sleeves, some in shorter-sleeved kirtles with or without pinned-on sleeves); see the Da Costa Hours (c. 1515) and the Hennessy Hours (c. 1530-1540).



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Postby Tuppence » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:33 pm

similar kirtles are shown in a couple of pieter breugal's paintings - and they're well into the 3rd quarter of the 16th c.

have read in depth the article on sleeves, and many, if not most, of the arguments used in it are distinctly flawed.


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Re: ladies costume evolution...

Postby William » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:09 pm

jelayemprins wrote:Sorry to be a harbinger of doom but latest research seems to favour long sleeve kirtles as the norm in the 15th century.

NOOOOO I hear you shouting from here. :o

Here's the research document...
http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/Docum ... leeves.pdf

Let me know what u think?

IJ


This article has been discussed before here:
http://livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewt ... eve+kirtle

and here:
http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/ ... hp?t=57131

Not exactly the most robust or convincing research for many reasons.



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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:15 pm

Thanks guys :D

Sophia you said that they would have waist seams, does anyone else know anything about the construction of this type of kirtle?

Here's another piccy from a straight on view, except that her bodice appears to be more boned that those in the previous picture :? I wish I knew what year this was at KW as it was obviously still authentic to wear them!

Lidi :D


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Postby Annis » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:16 pm

what site did you find it on?


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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:17 pm

Can't remember - but it must have come from you either way :lol: Doesn't look like it could have been Sheepie's though.

Lids :)


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Postby Annis » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:29 pm

Aha! I found the link to her site with it on which was an email from last year. So I guess that picture there is one from last years main event or 1578.

A quote from the email: "It's a touch old-fashioned for this year, but
not impossibly so."


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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:30 pm

Gosh that really is quite late!

Here's the link so everyone else can steal a peek-

http://homepage.mac.com/rachel.jardine/PhotoAlbum5.html

Lidi :)


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Postby Karen Larsdatter » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:14 pm

lidimy wrote:Sophia you said that they would have waist seams, does anyone else know anything about the construction of this type of kirtle?

I want to say there's a bit in the Tudor Tailor that deals with the construction of these sorts of kirtles -- but I can't remember for sure now. (There's also an online article on Making the Kirtle.)

For the late 15th century kirtles, there's also The Medieval Tailor's Assistant as well as the new 15th century Women's Kirtle & Sleeves pattern from Reconstructing History. (In terms of helpful websites, there's also Making 15th century front-laced kirtles, 15th Century Kirtle with Trapezoidal Skirt Panels, and Building the Feminine Silhouette & Fitting a 14th or 15th Century Supportive Dress.)



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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:21 pm

Thanks muchly - I will check out those links.

Just flicked through the TT and on pg 78 there is what is described as a 'fitted English gown with plain half length sleeves and hooked fastening' but no kirtles :?

Lidi :)


*returns from browsing*

Well here http://cadieux.mediumaevum.com/frontlaced-kirtles2.html there appear to be some examples of waist seamed dresses, woop, from the late 15th c, including a Flemish painting of a bodice that also appears to be boned? So I guess this type would still be OK for early Tudor (looking for encouraging nods here :P)


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Postby Annis » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:03 pm

wow, i love those tie on sleeves to make the short ones longer! (not tie on ones in general 'cos i already have some :P)


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Postby Tuppence » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:09 am

similar kirtles are shown in a couple of pieter breugal's paintings - and they're well into the 3rd quarter of the 16th c.


just to qualify that, of course they are european - and I think it's pieter - one of them anyway!!!


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Postby Karen Larsdatter » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:01 am

Yeah, all them Brueghel boys were Flemish. Bening, too. (But when Bening paints upper-class people in some of those books of hours, they look awfully similar to upper-class English people -- at least, I think so -- check out the May and November illustrations from the Hennessey hours, for example.)



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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:22 pm

Is that a yes, go ahead? :)


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Postby Sophia » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:10 pm

Just a quick point on boning - I have looked at various booklet and stuff I have got and can find little evidence for boning in many women's garments before the end of the C16th when pairs of bodies first appear (working their way down from court).

A similar silhouette can be achieved by using several layers off linen canvas as stiffening and by making sure that you have fitted the garment properly. If ordinary people did bone it was certainly not using whalebone but rather something like broomstraw.

They will also have used wooden busks laced into a pocket in the front of the kirtle to help give the right look.

On the waist seams on C15th kirtles part of the problem is the lack of English imagery. I have been able to find early C15th images where I can see kirtles but nothing for the latter half of the century. Those images we do have either don't show the kirtle or are upper body only. Mind you I could have missed some.

There was a great deal of social, cultural and economic interchange between England, France and Flanders (Everyman the morality play is a translation of an original Dutch work, Caxton was Master of the English Staple at Brugges, English possessions in France.....). I think that by the 1570's if you were very up to date you could well have a waist seam on your kirtle.

The other reason you might have an apparent waist seam is because you have pieced the panels of your dress to save on fabric - remember fabric is expensive and labour is cheap by comparison. How you made up your kirtle and how wide the skirts were would depend on your fabric width and your station in life.

Sophia :D



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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:15 pm

Now you've confused me again...

I thought that ALL Tudor kirtles had waist seams! They all do in the TT anyway :|

When I said boning I didn't mean it as in using bone, I should have said stiffening as that is what I mean :)

And what of the sleeves? :?

Lidi :D


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Postby Sophia » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:27 pm

Right, I try and unconfuse you....

The last three paragraphs of my post refer to C15th kirtles.

Yes, AFAIK all Tudor kirtles we know about have waist seams, though there may well have been a few without still hanging around among the poorer sort in the very early 1500's.

I was referring to boning as a technical term for an inserted linea stiffener. As I said you can achieve a similar effect with mulitple layers of linen canvas and if necessary a wooden busk.

The sleeves will have a high sleeve head and be relatively close fitting, they will probably be in one piece with the seam set 3/4 of the way up the rear side of the armhole (same as on a modern gents suit jacket). This type of sleeve would not have been pointed on but sewn in.

Hope this clarifies things.

Sophia :D



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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:17 pm

Yep it does thanks :D

What is a sleeve head?

And can I conclusively conclude that-

To have a waist seamed kirtle with short sleeves and slightly stiffened front would be authentic for both early Tudor AND late Medieval?

Lidi :D


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Postby frances » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Lidimy, don't do it. Take it from me, trying to use one set of clothing for two different periods does not work. This is particularly true of middle and upper-class clothing. Even peasants' fashions changed a little over time - but then you should be thinking of wearing dirty, patched and correctly distressed outer layers that could have been passed down from your grandmother, or fallen off a cart onto the road to be picked up.

Even the lower class silhouette changed from medieval to Tudor. The latter has the bust a bit higher and a boned/straight front with some emphasis on a smaller waist. The earlier is more natural-looking to us, and if the bust is lifted it still looks as though there are two bits under the bodice, rather than a slab.

Your ladies would have been caught in the middle of their work as their chemise sleeves are rolled-up and they have not had the time to roll them down before being seen in public. They could have been washing, doing things in the dairy or the kitchen before running out in this emergency.



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Postby Sophia » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:50 pm

The sleeve head is the curved bit at the top of the sleeve where it is sewn to the body. A sleeve with a high head has is relatively narrow and close fitting and has a curve over the top similar to a steep bell cuve if that makes sense. :D

Regrettably, that type of kirtle would really only be suitable post 1480, the slightly earlier flat-fronted kirtle has a different construction with a centre front panel, two side panels on the front, a single piece back panel and is laced down the side of the bodice. Before 1560 unless you are very up to the minute on continental fashions you shouldn't wear a flat fronted kirtle at all.

In fact, I need to make an earlier kirtle and gown to be really authentic for the earlier events, though will probably end up just doing a gown and wearing it over my later kirtles. I am going to be very busy do 1584 clothes if I am accepted for Kentwell.

If you are interested in Medieval Clothes then you should spend your next lot of spending money on The Mediaval Tailor's Assistant.

Finally, Frances is quite right - you really do need the right clothes for the right period.

All the best,

Sophia :D



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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:50 pm

But if it's OK for Kentwell.... ? :|


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Postby Sophia » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:01 pm

The kirtles shown would be ok for any point after 1480, Bosworth was 1485 and any date after that can be classified as Tudor. Personally I think of Medieval as actually ending with the death of Henry VII in 1509 and Tudor as really starting with Henry VIII.

Kentwell covers the whole of the Tudor/Elizabethan era and they portray all stations in life. They therefore pass clothes depending on the year being portrayed and role of the individual. What is ok for a kitchen worker or someone in the Cott is not ok for the Gentry in the Hall.

Hope this makes sense.

Sophia :D



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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:10 pm

Therefore the type of kirtle in the first piccy is not suitable at all for medieval? :|


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Postby craig1459 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:11 pm

Lidi
Medieval events that we do stop dead in 1485 - Bosworth - and that was 14 years after the previous battle at Tewkesbury. The WOTR started in the 1450s, so an early Tudor kirtle would only really be appropriate for Bosworth, if at all. But then again not every group does events focussed around the battles like we do.
The Medieval Tailor's Assistant is a good start as it explains the transitions as well as providing patterns and guidance.
I do medieval but have different kit for different periods within it.

:D


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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:14 pm

Thanks :) You see I thought that Sara had a brown kirtle (in her avvie I think) that had short sleeves and looked similar to the one in the KW pic which is why I thought that it would be OK.

Screws up that plan then and I still have 4m of yummy wool sitting in a bag on my floor..... :(

Lidi


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Postby craig1459 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:21 pm

lidimy wrote:Thanks :) You see I thought that Sara had a brown kirtle (in her avvie I think) that had short sleeves and looked similar to the one in the KW pic which is why I thought that it would be OK.

Screws up that plan then and I still have 4m of yummy wool sitting in a bag on my floor..... :(

Lidi

That's not one of Sara's - it was borrowed - but I think that was a Bosworth vintage kirtle. (even though it was a 1450s event :oops: )


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Postby lidimy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:25 pm

Therein lies the problem :twisted:

I need to make something and I still don't know what :( I mean I could make a 1480s-1510 kirtle, but TBH I can't see the point and I don't even know if I'll ever be able to do any re-enacting before it might become too small.

If only I knew what year it was at KW!! :evil:

Lidi :|


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