Apr 152011
 

Navigation for this costume:
IntroductionMaterialsSmockFarthingalePetticoatBodiceSkirtingsRolled SleevesOverskirtForepartRuffsPartlet and SleevesJewelry making: Headdress; Necklace; Pelican Jewel; Sleeveband; Girdle; Wristbands; FanFinished gownFunny CommentsMiss StarkieQuiz

The construction diary of the “Pelican” gown reproduction
Original portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. My gown

I have absolutely no idea why I started making this gown, except of wanting to make something exceptional – which, in my humble opinion, is a goal I have achieved.

This dress diary is very, very long. It became so long over a time span of several weeks and grew to a size that I personally would never have expected – in the end, I had 25 different pages describing various parts of this costume.

The diary also has many, many, many pictures – which may result in long loading times on some pages.
You can click on each picture to see a larger version (except of some detail pictures of the original portrait which were small enough, anyway).

This is one of the most excessive gowns I have ever made, only being topped by one other gown I have ever created in over 25 years of sewing (though I didn’t make that particular gown for myself).

This gown was not made in the order in which the pages are shown here on the web. In fact, I’ve worked on almost all parts of the gown simultaneously to give myself the biggest possible distraction.
Some pieces required completely different skills from others – like, for example, the jewelry making.
By being able to change between the single parts any time I was able not to get annoyed with one of them, like, for example, the pearl decorations on bodice and overskirt – something that is, to be honest, one of the most annoying things I have ever done.

There are some people I would like to thank before starting any explanations on the gown creation process, even if they will probably have no idea that they helped me on this project – I guess they will find out if they read this diary, to which I will give them a link:

– Michaela De Bruce, for constantly doing something having to do with costuming, therefore making me envy her for continuity (“Geez, I *have* to be able to finish something complicated without always letting it end as an UFO (unfinished object) in my closet!!!”);
– Margaret, for asking questions which made me look even more at certain portraits *plus* giving me the urge to prove that elaborate Elizabethan clothing is neither uncomfortable nor unmakeable today;
– Martin, for lengthy email discussions about Elizabethan clothing (now do you think that this gown would be worth visiting the Shakespeare theatre, my Lord?) and for trusting me in many ways,
– Bettina, Amalthea, Su’uded, Emmi, Aelora, Judith, Alexandra, the people on my LJ friends list and some others – for just being friends, trusting and supporting my wrecked nerves in times I needed just that,
– some unnamed, yet to me personally known people for telling me (or suggesting to others) that I couldn’t do something like this / would do it the wrong way etc. *or* doing something likely with so many mistakes that they are obvious (overskirt bending over bottom farthingale hoop, wrinkling and too high bodice, declaring woven brocade as “embroidered” fabric and a million times misspelling “bumroll”) but yet and still being praised (and rightly so – at least for their fabulous black- and beadwork), therefore making me want to do something like this really bad and proving that sometimes negative endearments can work too – even just not the way they planned it.

Thank you all, without your support and friendship this project would have died at latest while making the 35th “Quadruple“.
I, too, had my moments when I just wanted to stop making the gown and simply stuff the half finished parts into the deepest corner of my closet. In fact I had *many* of those moments; the last probably being the two days of my life which I have spent on sewing the rolled sleeves by hand.
But the fact that I already had announced a dress diary for this gown in some Livejournal communities pushed me further and further until I had completed it.

These were some words I just had to say. And now – on to the dress diary:

First, I never wear red gowns, I don’t own a single one and only owned one in my whole, 34 years long life – I have such a light skin that I personally think red makes me look as if I have been dead for approximately several centuries.

For the same reason I don’t like green, yellow, golden and orange shades – usually, my personal colors are blue, silver, black and grey because they look best with my fair skin. But…

Hope you will like my dress diary as much as I enjoyed making the gown.

Please start browsing the diary by the navigation at the top or by the ‘Follow me!’ navigation you will find at the bottom of each page; this process will lead you through the complete diary with all items and you don’t have to be afraid that you would miss something – you can simply scroll down each page, read what you want (or just look at the pictures) and then use the ‘follow me!” navigation to get to the next page.

Here’s the first: Follow me to the list of materials I used to make the gown.

Comments? I don’t need them – I *crave* them! My email address is given at the bottom of each page, feel free to email me.

Best wishes,

Naergi

Navigation for this costume:
IntroductionMaterialsSmockFarthingalePetticoatBodiceSkirtingsRolled SleevesOverskirtForepartRuffsPartlet and SleevesJewelry making: Headdress; Necklace; Pelican Jewel; Sleeveband; Girdle; Wristbands; FanFinished gownFunny CommentsMiss StarkieQuiz

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