“Sew 17th Century Challenge” – Finding my Painting

Last fall Isis from “Isis Wardrobe” started the “17th century Challenge” to encourage more interest and recreation of 17th century fashion.
(As she explain in her blog post (see above) the idea comes from Maria of “In deme jare cristi” who started the “Manuscript challenge“.)

I immediately liked the idea, since I’ve been pondering on making a 17th century dress for some time and this seamed the perfect excuse.
(This project also fit perfectly into the HSM15 challenge “Out of your comfort zone” due in June)

The rules for the “Sew 17th century challenge” are simple:
*Pick a painting or original garment from 1600-1699, and upload your picture to the Facebook album
*You got 1 year to recreate the painting (every piece of clothing) as close as you can considering, skills, time and budget.
*Present your garment in the Facebook album and tell a bit about the process.
(read the in dept rules at “Isis Wardrobe”)

So this winter I took a good look at what internet had to provide in terms of 17th century fashions.

While searching I discovered some of the typical styles in (women’s) fashion painted in the 17th century.

The extremely elaborate court robe:

(c) The Royal Hospital Chelsea; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Catherine of Braganza (c) The Royal Hospital Chelsea; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The goddess drape:1671 Louise de Kérouaille by Sir Peter Lely “Louise de Kérouaille” by Sir Peter Lely (1671)

The crazy as panniers court dress:1660s Ines de Zúñiga, condesa de Monterrey by Juan Carreno de Miranda “Ines de Zúñiga, condesa de Monterrey” by Juan Carreno de Miranda (1660s)

The “simple” high waist:1632 yellow dress“Yellow dress” (1632)

The extremely elaborate high waist:Susanna Temple ca. 1604-1669 (later m. Lady Thornhurst and m. Lady Lister) by Marcus Gheeraerts, 1620sSusanna Temple ca. 1604-1669″  by Marcus Gheeraerts, (ca 1620)

The crazy as embroidery:  Portrait of Margaret Layton, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts, c. 1620. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London“Portrait of Margaret Layton”, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts, c. 1620. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
I would love to make this one from the recreation of this fabric some day, But not right now. 

The 16th century lingerer:Frans Pourbus the younger, Portrait of Margaret of Savoy, Duchess of Mantua, 1608Portrait of Margaret of Savoy, Duchess of Mantua” by Frans Pourbus the younger (1608)

The “Poor” people dress:Mother Combing Child's Hair by Caspar Netscher (1669)Mother Combing Child’s Hair” by Caspar Netscher (1669)

The rigid and “simple” dress: Peter Lely. Portrait of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Northumberland, and later Countess of Montagu, 1668. “Portrait of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Northumberland, and later Countess of Montagu”, by Peter Lely (1668)

The rigid and lace decorated gown:Portrait of a Lady by Gabriel MetsuPortrait of a Lady” by Gabriel Metsu (ca 1660s)

Even though I can see something charming in almost every one of these fashions (maybe except the “crazy as panniers” – I mean what is that), but I’m definitely drawn to the 1660s “simpler” styles of dress.

So focusing on portraits from that period I still had to narrow it down to just one favorite.

Elizabeth Capell, Countess of Carnarvon, ca. 1665 (Sir Peter Lely)Elizabeth Capell, Countess of Carnarvon by Sir Peter Lely (ca. 1665)

(c) Enfield Museum Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationPrincess Henrietta Anne of England (1644–1670) by Jan Mytens (1665)

While both lovely, I knew I wanted to make something a bit more basic and les fancy.

Not loving the dress color, besides I could never get over how bald she looks in the mirror.Woman at a Mirror 1650” Woman at a Mirror” (1650)

This one would be perfect if I could ever find those golden ribbons (yeah, as if…)The Glass of Wine (detail), c.1661, Johannes Vermeer.The Glass of Wine” (detail), by  Johannes Vermeer (c.1661)

Perfect!
Gerard_ter_Borch_(II) - The_Concert ca. 1675The Concert” by Gerard ter Borch (II) – (ca. 1675)
Yep, That’s the one

You can find my Pinterest board for the “Sew 17th century challenge”here.

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