Midsummer Night’s Doll

My second Flame Artisan doll will be a recreation of an outfit I made for a feast themed after another Shakespeare Title, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My first event in Angels, the feast was a great excuse to do a themed outfit. A number of participants dressed as modern interpretations of fairies and elves, but I took the theme as an opportunity to go as my persona would go to a themed event. The resulting outfit was a bit of a departure from historical accuracy, but it kept to the spirit of what my persona might have imagined a fairy to be rather than how we’d think of a fairy today.

The outfit consisted of:

An entirely period brown linnen cotehardie that looked quite a bit like this:

The cotehardie is very simple to construct. The body of the dress is just four pieces, snug at the top and flared from the waist. The dress might start flaring as high as the ribcage or as low as the hips, but mine were flared from the waist. This linen is actually taken from the original garment, which has not fit in a LONG time. The garment opens in front, lacing with spiral or ladder lacing, which allow the garment to stay completely closed. Cross lacing causes a slight pucker and can shift and gap, but ladder and spiral lacing don’t.

Over the cotehardie, I wore a simple a-line skirt of embroidered chocolate satin with a scrolling floral pattern. I don’t have any fabric quite like that so I used a tan embroidered silk. My skirt had four panels but the doll skirt has only two. It tied at the side. This creates a gap that can be unattractive, but it’s covered by the next layer, so it didn’t matter in this case.

Next will come a green lace-up overdress shaped similarly to the cotehardie but open in front to reveal the floral skirt. This is the part that really goes off canon, as there isn’t anything QUITE like that in period, and split-front skirts certainly didn’t come into vogue (at least to my knowledge) until much later.

 

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