16th century, michelangelo, projects

Boys Are Skerry

But I’m making one an outfit, anyway!  Okay, he’s my husband, so he gets special dispensation from the skerry-ness (altho I still may need a lot of hand holding through this process, as I don’t DO boys’ clothes as a rule).  There’s a 16th century event coming up that he is (SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE) attending, so I’m going to make him an outfit!

The inspiration: Moroni’s Gentile Cavaliere, 1564-5

The inspiration: Moroni’s Gentile Cavaliere, 1564-5

Specifically, a 1560s Italian gentleman’s ensemble.  I wasn’t terribly picky about geography or decade, so long as it was 16th century; I had vague ideas that if I made his Italian, it would coordinate nicely with my Italian wardrobe; but it was only once I found specific paintings I liked, it all worked out, as they happened to be Italian!

I bought the Tudor Tailor Elizabethan Peascod Doublet & Trunkhose pattern, as yes I could spend 10,000 hours sizing up out of The Tudor Tailor… or I could accept that I don’t love men’s clothing (or know them very well), so having someone do that work for me was worth the insane cost of the pattern.  (I get SOME credit for scaling up the shirt pattern from TT, altho that was so not hard).

Originally, I was thinking all wool — I thought the more straightforward masculine-by-contemporary-definitions, the more comfortable he’d be.  He’s a winter color-wise (which has been WEIRD to shop for, as I am all about the warm colors), so we were thinking blue and black.  But when we had a design consult the other night, we veered off and ended up with the idea of all black wool, with dark silver silk damask accents.  Be still, my beating heart!

So here’s the plan:

  • Shirt (mostly done, will post about that soon)
  • Doublet in black wool flannel
  • Trunkhose and canions in black wool flannel
  • Dark silver accents, as in the Moroni portrait (swapping the gold for silver):  dark silver silk damask for the trunkhose lining, and dark silver couched braid on the doublet

I spent a LONG time looking for the silver damask, and was shocked at how little I could find that fit my mental image.  I finally found this 80% silk/20% poly damask on ebay.  Now I’m on the hunt for some kind of dark silver braid/cord that looks like the trim in the painting.  So far I can’t find anything closer than soutache braid, but it seems like there should be some other options?  I’ve checked MJ Trim, ebay, Farmhouse fabrics, minidolls… all my usual trim sources!  Even checked Calontir, but they’re all about the jacquard celtic stuff.  So I’m still hunting – suggestions welcome!

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  • Reply izodiea February 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

    When I was at Piedmont fabric in Oakland last week I remember being suprised/happy by how much silver trim they had. Granted, I paid more attention to the lacy stuff, but I remember seeing some braids as well. And then there is the giant Longs (Now CVS) at 51st and broadway that sometimes has really good finds (Like cotton voile for $4 a yard)

    Hope that helps, I don’t know many websites besides those you already checked.

  • Reply Bess - myladyswardrobe February 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Its in the UK, but Barnett Lawson would probably have what you want.

    They are usually very reasonable – something like 1 pound per metre of braid if you get a full card which is a 25 metre length.

    Would you like me to contact them and find out? I can do so via email and get swatches from them. As long as you have a hi-res of the braid in the portrait, they could use that as a base.

  • Reply catherine scholar February 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Kendra, could you please review the TT pattern when you’re done? I’m thinking about getting the effigy stays and the jacket patterns. I know they’re in TT, but I’ve never scaled anything and I am nowhere near the pattern size.

    I took all Bess’ classes at CosCol last year and now I’m having major Elizabethan yearnings. Never MIND that I have nowhere to wear such a thing!

  • Reply jubilima February 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Have you looked at the trim at Tinsel Trading Co.?

  • Reply Melissa Jarrett February 7, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I’m so glad that someone else has broken down and purchased one of the Tudor Tailor patterns despite the insane costs. I also haven’t worked on my yet, so I’ll be interested in seeing how you enjoy your pattern. I purchased the ladies Tudor Gown package.

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