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Elizabethan Middle Class Gown by immortalphoenix Elizabethan Middle Class Gown by immortalphoenix
Circa 1570. Side back lacing bodice with a few hidden hooks and eyes to prevent gapping at top and bottom. Skirt sewn to bodice. Sleeves tie in to shoulder with short black strings. Tan wool gown, burgundy wool contrasts, and black wool piping. Skirt, bodice, sleeves, and hat all lined with Wal-Mart $1 a yard fiber-content-unkown fabric. Bodice interlined with cotton duck and lightly boned with a combination of extra spring steel I had on hand and cable zip ties.

These pictures were taken before I left for the Bristol Renaissance Faire last Sunday. Total, undergarments and dress put together, I had three layers of fabric on my arms, three layers on my legs, and seven layers in my bodice area. It got to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. I was perfectly fine. Okay, so I got a little warm at points, but who doesn't on a summer day in any clothing? There was a nice breeze too. I had a good time. I got a necklace of a celtic-style cross and a pair of leather shoes to wear while I was there. While I was trying on shoes, two other middle-class costumed people, a married couple, came up to me and recognized my costume for being historically accurate and middle class, and they talked to me for a bit and told me to visit them at the Dirty Duck Inn. I went, and when I did, I got flagged down by a different lady, who it turns out was the guilemaster of the Guilde of St. Lawrence, and after talking to me for a bit, asked me if I wanted to join.

For those who don't know, there are three guildes at the Bristol faire. The Guilde of St. George are the people who dress up as the queen and her court. The Guilde of St. Michael are the people who dress in armor and protect the queen. The Guilde of St. Lawrence are the people who cook for the other guilde members and other performers in the faire and portray a typical middle-class lifestyle in Elizabethan England.

Anyway, back to my costume. I know the skirt is goofy on one side near the bottom; I am going to fix that when I get off the computer. Yes, I know there are some wrinkles in the bodice. It's a middle class costume. They didn't have enough money for the very best. Their clothing might not have fit perfectly.

And isn't my sunburn from the TKD picnic the day before just gorgeous?

Summer 2004

Edit: I fixed the skirt! Yay! No more odd goofy wrinkled stuff.

Another edit: New pictures, for my college application portfolio. I'm not sunburnt, and they look nicer, I think.
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:iconallgirlsboyband:
AllGirlsBoyBand Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, I'm making a middle class gown for a project and I wanted to know if you had any tips. I've never made a dress or anything similar so tips from expert would be great!
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:iconkathelyne:
Kathelyne Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I just have to say I converted 75F into Celsius and got 23.9C. This gave me a giggle because our winter days can get above this. I could see myself being a little chilly in this! isn't if fully how we al adapt to different climates?

I really like this and would love to include it in my group. If you’d like to be featured all you need to do is go to the correspondence section of your messages and hit the accept button. It works just the same as you submitting it to a group but backwards, all views still come straight to your deviation.
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:iconmonotsleigh:
monotsleigh Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Flaming hell! I find that unbearable! What country do you live in?? (You'd hate going to England then, but for once it's actually not raining. It's the one sterotype about my country that is actually true!) But then we've had snow in the middle of summer, in the 70's and more recently around...3 years ago.
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:iconaliceinothertimes13:
aliceinothertimes13 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010
this is amazing, really!! did you draw the pattern yourself?
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:iconcaptain200:
Captain200 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
Beautiful! I often wonder how they kept those long huge skirts clean from dragging along in the filthy streets? Ive been making huge flared jeans lately if you want to have a look in my gallery?
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:iconmonotsleigh:
monotsleigh Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
they wore over shoes with platforms over them. They were either springs of blocks of wood.
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:iconthemouserfluff:
themouserfluff Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010
Ooooo I love it. I'm a sucker for middle class costumes :)
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:iconaelthwyn:
aelthwyn Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I love the colours!
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:iconfullmoonoak:
FullMoonOak Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hello, i am about to go to a faire myself and i wanted to ask you some questions about your costume, since i am also making my own costume

i was wondering how you did the red sleeves on your costume (do they detatch from the rest of the outfit?)

what did you do for shoes? do you know what color shoes middle class women wore then?

and hats...what different kinds of hats are there and what kind of hat did you use?

i've been looking at several informational sites, but there's nothing like talking to somebody who actually made an amazing costume herself
thank you so much
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:iconbluemandolin:
bluemandolin Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I was at the Bristol Faire with my friend Emily this past summer on opening day and I had about 5 layers on from top to bottom. It was sooo hot! lovely costume
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:iconmuffinsrule101:
muffinsrule101 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2008
wow, its beautiful! these fairew things sound cool!
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:iconalexandrarena:
AlexandraRena Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Very nice! :clap:
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:iconsilverstah:
silverstah Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2006  Professional Artisan Crafter
I love this! Clean lines, great use of color. Lovely, lovely middle-class garb. :)
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:iconladyrose04:
ladyrose04 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow! I really like how this turned out. The wool looks lovely and it sounds like you had perfect weather for it. Congrats on the invite for the Guilde of St. Lawrence. *wishes she could get back to Bristol*
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:iconcountesslenore:
CountessLenore Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2005  Professional Artisan Crafter
great job! I really love the color combination and I love that you used side-back lacings! Lovely gown!
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:iconladylucrezia:
ladylucrezia Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2005
Such a beautiful, very accurate gown! The shoulder rolls give it a nice touch, as does the lovely flat cap and caul :D
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:icontrinity-lea:
trinity-lea Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thats wonderful! beautiful, and great quality to it, i like the colors you chose, very nice!!
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:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2005
*whimper* so not fair. i have enough trouble geting in accurate clothing to fit this well! :p love this style. tempted to try, but for me preferably all with $1 walmart fabric :D

(nice breeze or not, i'd probably stick a fan under the bumroll or something!)
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:iconcateyeceleste:
cateyeceleste Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004
yeah this is amazing work. Such a heavy costume to work with. I'd love to go to school for any kind of sewing or costume design... but I'm so broke I can barely feed myself. This truly is an artform and I think you've perfected it. I'm sure once you get the kind of exposure you want... you'll start bankin'. With talent comes interest... and with interest comes cunsumption... and usually with consumption there's money :D
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:iconshahrazadstrange:
ShahrazadStrange Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004   Traditional Artist
That's really amazing Rachael! You definitely have a huge talent for this! I love the slashed sleeves.
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:iconimmortalphoenix:
immortalphoenix Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004
Thank you! I plan to go into costuming as a career when I graduate, so the fact that I have an aptitude for sewing helps. Shh - I cheated on the sleeves, lol. I sewed puffs of fabric on the inside of the openings in back because my smock sleeves aren't full.
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:iconshahrazadstrange:
ShahrazadStrange Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004   Traditional Artist
LOL! I couldn't tell! I did Costume for the Screen and Stage at degree level, but I guess I've always been more of a designer. I loved making the fabrics and textiles but I get really stressed trying to sew everything together so I really admire you.
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:iconpadfoothunters:
padfoothunters Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004   Digital Artist
wow! you did a terrific job! i could never sew something like that... you should consider taking orders! you could make lots of money making costumes. :)
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:iconimmortalphoenix:
immortalphoenix Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004
Thanks! I do take commissions, actually. It's just that not many people in my area seem to need them or know I do, lol.
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:iconpadfoothunters:
padfoothunters Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004   Digital Artist
you should set up a simple internet store! people can email you with orders... im sure youd get a lot more buissness. ^_^
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:iconlaliea:
Laliea Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2004
Its beautifull. Im very fond of your work.. You have a done a wonderfull job! :D
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August 25, 2004
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