Monday, 21 March 2011
Elizabeth Armistead's Pelisse
Known as a Pelisse in Elizabeths time, these coats were constructed with a tight fitted bodice and skirts that matched the shape of thier dresses. I had quite a job matching the curve of the high back and gathering two layers of pleated fabric into the small bodice, but lots of stab wounds and careful snipping seemed to make it possible.
A few years later the tight short bodice was worn without the skirts, and was known as a Spencer. I couldn't find too much information of the different versions in Elizabeth's time.You can often see these and versions of the Pelisse in period films looking really cute with leather gloves and lace and ribbon trimmed bonnets.
It was interesting to find out that jacket and coat sleeves were worn quite long back then. Coming down to sit over the back of the hand, sometimes almost to the knuckles. I remember well my mother telling me off for pulling my sleeves down over my hands. And I still do it to this day in winter. I wish I'd know that now so I would have had an excuse :)
The lace I'm using is quite delicate to create a look of white-work embroidery, and I've tied a pale pink satin sash around her high waistline, with long floating ribbons hanging in back.
I can't quite decide yet if I'll be making Elizabeth a bonnet or reticule for her to carry. I really want to see how she looks when her gown and pelisse are finished first before I decide.
I should have her finished in the next few weeks. The trimming is very detailed, and it's taking me quite a bit longer than I'd planned. But it's worth it.