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The handout for Sunday's 15th century dress workshop progresses. I'm pretty pleased with how quickly it's going - I tend to have all this info in my brain and then wait until the last minute to try and jot it all down. That's overwhelming and I'm never pleased with the end product. However, I've got my Flemish stuff already (although hard copy only, sniffle!) and I have a huge volume of the Italian/Florentine stuff that I've done previously.

It covers Flemish/French, Italian (emphasis on Florentine), German and Spanish. I usually go nuts with figures because I am always sooo engrossed in proving my point and providing umpteen examples of something. Well, that's not too practical in this case because the topic is so broad in a regional sense that my typical habits would lead to 100+ figures. Instead I pulled what I felt were good examples of common modes, included a few oddities, and I will leave it to my test subjects to run-a-muck and disprove or support me on their own.

I think I even did something moderately clever - I built a table. The table breaks down the characteristics of the dress by region. So I've got a column dedicated to whether there was embellishment or banding on skirts with Yes/No answers for each country. It makes it really easy to compare and contrast regional differences. For example, until I built the table, I hadn't noticed that all the Spanish examples I found had squared necks. Nor had I really analyzed all the sleeve combinations that were out there (attached, pinned, tied, matching, non-matching, etc.)

I'm having lots of fun doing this. I did a brief bit on body linens and a brief bit on overgowns - probably about a paragraph for body linens and two sentences for over gowns. The overgowns are a workshop and presentation in their own right and I don't have the wherewithal to build a tome. But I've deliberately included pictures and I'm drawing out the lay-outs I used for cutting my own to help guide the test-subjects. Plus, I have several examples to bring that go with the fabric lay-outs.

The plan is to make CDs that have color pictures, print up black/white pictures and provide a handout that summarizes what we are covering in the workshop.

Hmm. Next time I think I will make some scaled mock-ups of the stuff I haven't already made or am unable to borrow. Next time, however, is not this time. Actually, that could be a good homework assignment for the apprentices, too. (heh, heh, heh).


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August 2014



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