of a flemish working woman
04 May 03
I have bought the fabric for the kirtle. I originally wanted to buy linen, but
as my economy is rather low, i decided upon brown cotton. I prewashed it, and I
am ready for sewing. When I get the time, that is.
09 June 03
Finally! I have made the bodice of the kirtle, and I just need to say 'Jen
Thompson - thank you!' This means that I have used her
bodice pattern, and i have been sewing although I should have been sleeping. (it
is 03:15, and I am awfully tired) Tomorrow, I will write a more detailed description.
Here is an image, but id doesn't look good. When I am wearing it, it does look
good. The dummy is not perfect, but at least, I managed to make a fitting
bodice without pain, sweat and tears.
10 June 03
Here are another image. The reason why the triangles are not at the sentre
front, as they are supposed to, must have something to do with the fifferent
size of my breasts once I have taken off my bra. Still - the shape of the bodice
makes sure that there is no real need for a bra underneath. Gahh! Look at that
skin colour - I made the image lighter, just for you...
The shape of the kirtle might look a bit
strange, but it is very comfortable. The more comfortable it is, the more likely
it is that a working woman would do it that way, right? As you can see from the
image, the lacing holes are made the very lazy, but not neccessarily
'What has happened inside Marthe's head
when looking at images of flemish kirtles?
- Thank you mini-me, that was a very good question!
Erhm - good question, because I have been having a hard time deciding on that
one. After a lot of pondering, I decided that the kirtle should be both pleated
and gored (in the quite traditionally elizabethan petticoat styre). I 'know' one
thing - there is no reason why the kirtle should be fully gored. When you
look at Aertsen and Beuckelaers paintings (especially Beuckelaer) you see that
big bottoms are in fashion. Some of the women looks as if they even wear a bumroll.
You can also see that no
farthingales are being worn by the workers. You cannot be sitting on the
floor wearing a farthingale, can you? And if you have no farthingale, but want a
big bottom - you will ahve to pleat the skirts. But why do I believe that the
skirts are gored in front? Well - it you look at the same
image again. Look at the working woman - you can se that her skirts are
laying smoothly in front, while there are folst on the sides and back. Tadaa!
Perhaps you can see it better on the bigger
There are plenty of images showing boned bodices on flemish working women. I
think that the more busty/wealthier women would wear boned bodices. The vegetable
seller with the big bottom has bones in front, the same goes for Martha
and Mary. Still, there are plenty of unboned bodices around. For instance,
woman and this
woman are boned at all (or so it looks). As i am not that busty, I
will try the unboned version first.
*The shape of the bodice.
That question was easier! If you have another look at the pancake
lady, you can see that she has an arched bodice. Arched, but not too arched
(I think I will moderate the arch on my bodice, because by now, it is too tall
and not at all filled by my breasts.
So, when I am done with the pleating of the
skirt, I will post it here. Be patient, now I will return to the dreaded fitting
of my brother's doublet. He seems to change measures every time I try it
Beuckelaer, Joachim - The
Cook (1574), Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Pieter Aertsen - Market
Scene, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Beuckelaer, Joachim - Christ
in the house of Martha and Mary, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Aertsen, Pieter - Vegetable
seller, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
Beuckelaer, Joachim, Market
Scene, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.
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