Probably, because I like to sew, I’m interested in fashion history as well. My dolls are the perfect models to sew and try historical garments on them. Looking through “The Tudor Tailor” book by Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila, I burned with passion to sew Tudor French gowns for my girls.
First of all, I decided that I would use contrasting color combinations for both gowns (yes, I’d decided to sew only two at the beginning). My choice fell on red color with gold trim and black color with silver trim.
After that I chose red velvet for the first gown and golden brocade for its petticoat, and silver-black jacquard for the second gown and silver brocade for its petticoat.
Then I made a pattern for the Tudor French gown that fits Ellowyne Wilde dolls, tested it and dipped in the sewing process.
Tudor French gown sewing process
I cut out front and back gown details, and because the cut of the gown was very complicated, I had to gather pattern pieces as a puzzle to see how to sew the gown details together.
Then I attached upper sleeves to the bodice. I decided that the lower sleeve would be lined with gold brocade, so I lined the gown bodice first with white cloth to prevent stains on the doll’s body.
After that I prepared and sewed both parts of a skirt. Why I had two parts of the skirt? I’m not a re-constructor, thus I’m guided by the convenience of doll dressing up. Therefore, I used a zipper as a closure at the back.
Next I sewed the zipper in, and then – the bodice lining to the skirt with a blind stitch.
For the next step I sewed lower sleeves and lined them with gold brocade.
After that I sewed the lower sleeves to the upper part by hand at the same time attaching white false “smock” sleeves. For the next dress I decided to change sewing technology in such a way as to make the sleeve seam last, so I do not need to sew them in by hand.
Next, I sewed the petticoat, making a zipper closure at the side seam (once again, I didn’t sew historically accurate outfit) and waistline edge lining.
As you may guess, after this step I forgot to take pictures of the sewing process. I only remember that it was really hard to make a French hood for Ellowyne head due its small size. It also drove me nuts to figure out how the doll should wear it – I couldn’t just pin it to her hair. Finally, I made ribbons on the French hood’s back, which are tied under the doll’s hair, and a transparent silicone rubber that goes under the doll’s chin. Both, the ribbons and the rubber, securely fix the French hood on the doll’s head.
Then I sewed the second gown from the silver-black jacquard, made the petticoat from the silver brocade and the French hood even with a vail.
Sometimes, when I visualize a future outfit I’m about to sew, I also “see” the location where I should take it photos. So this time was no exception as well.
I imagined dolls’ poses, where they had to stand, and, as a result, the full photoshoot became a short photo story…