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A 15th Century Princess Gown Part II || Historical Sewing

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The second part in my video diary series on reconstructing a 15th century gown from a portrait. -References to archaeological findings are sourced from ‘Textiles and Clothing 1150 - 1450’ and ‘Dress Accessories 1150 - 1450’ from the Museum of London (see below for full citations). MATERIAL SOURCES: -Wool: A&K Fabrics, NYC. 9 yards -Orange silk lining: Bazar Fabrics, NYC. 2 yards -Green under sleeves: Bazar Fabrics, NYC. 1 yard -Cast buttons: Toho Shoji, NYC. 16 pieces -Trimming: M&J Trimming, NYC. 1.5 yards -Clasps: Daytona Trimming, NYC. 4 pairs -Linen thread: Burnley & Trowbridge [https://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com/linenthread.aspx] -Silk thread: Sil Thread, NYC -Embroidery floss: Daytona Trimming, NYC -Aglets (35 mm): Pimp Your Garb, Etsy [https://www.etsy.com/listing/473128156/new-10-aglets-medievalrenaissance?ref=shop_home_active_3]. 4 pieces Useful Tools for Those So Inclined: (Please note that these are affiliate links) -Clear 18-inch ruler: https://amzn.to/2DIdRrh -Steel-headed straight pins: https://amzn.to/2ByJUaQ -Every size & weight needle you will probably ever need: https://amzn.to/2Sd76R7 -My most favorite (& stupidly fiddly) #10 sharps, the tiniest needles: https://amzn.to/2SaZEGf -Ye Trusty Olde 8” shears (tartan ribbon not included): https://amzn.to/2DXkUft -Those wee bird snips that literally everyone seems to have: https://amzn.to/2zu9vzY -(But I’ve also just found these that are a unicorn and I am severely tempted; I should not be trusted with Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KvXGgX) USEFUL REFERENCES -Crowfoot, Elisabeth; Pritchard, Frances; Staniland, Kay. Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450. Museum of London. https://museumoflondonshop.co.uk/collections/book-1/products/textiles-clothing-1150-1450 -Egan, Geoff and Pritchard, Frances. Dress Accessories 1150 - 1450. Museum of London. https://museumoflondonshop.co.uk/collections/book-1/products/dress-accessories-1150-1450 -Nørlund, Poul. Buried Norsemen at Herjolsfnes: an Archaeological and Historical Study. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/B/bo26785756.html IMAGE CREDIT 1. “Saint George Slaying the Dragon” by Jost Haller. Unterlinden Museum. Digital image from Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jost_Haller_-_Saint_George_slaying_the_dragon,_Unterlinden_Museum,_Colmar.jpg 2. “Le Livre des faiz monseigneur saint Loys, composé à la requête du « cardinal de Bourbon et de la duchesse de Bourbonnois”. Detail from a manuscript, c. 1401-1500. BnF Gallica. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6000784s/f178.zoom.r=%20Le%20Livre Additional cinematography and finished gown photographs by Hana DeHart MUSIC Intro: Crunk Knight by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1400044 Artist: http://incompetech.com/ Background: Folk Round by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100357 Artist: http://incompetech.com/ End bit: “Yonder Hill and Dale” by Aaron Kenny Portals to Other Realms: Instagram, for real-time progress: instagram.com/bernadettebanner (@bernadettebanner) Patreon, for more vloggish and bloggish content: patreon.com/bernadettebanner Ko-Fi, if that’s more your thing: ko-fi.com/bernadettebanner Prints of costume renderings: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bernadettebanner For business enquiries only, please: [email protected]
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Text Comments (358)
Sydney Suzanne (6 months ago)
Wow, I adore this. I appreciate the attention to detail that went into making this dress! I recently started sewing, and I am mostly interested in sewing vintage and historical clothing. Your videos are fascinating and I am looking forward to more! They inspire me even more to begin creating my own historical costumes. What advice would you have for a beginner venturing into the world of historical costuming?
Sydney Suzanne (6 months ago)
WOW! Thank you so so so much for your reply. This was so encouraging to read and absolutely what I needed to hear! I will definitely heed your advice, and I'm going to head to the university library today (as well as research some books online) and read up on things! I also need to brush up on my hand-sewing techniques. You are so kind, I can't wait to get involved in the community and hopefully start my own YouTube channel! <3
Bernadette Banner (6 months ago)
Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of historical dress! Grab yourself a snack and put the kettle on, because we’re going to have a nice little pep-talk. You may scoff to hear that I too still consider myself a beginner with all of this; the truth is that there is so much we still don’t know about how things were made and worn throughout history. New discoveries are always being made, new theories presented, and new ideas tested every day, so there are always things to be learned—even by those who call themselves ‘experts’! The best advice I can give is this: 1) Get involved with the historical costumer’s/dress historian's communities online; this is one of the most helpful things I did. They (we!) are some of the most encouraging and inspiring people you will get to interact with, and you will not only learn so much from them, but they will constantly inspire you to keep going, to try harder, and to produce work better than you thought possible. I’m really quite partial to the crowd over on Instagram, but there are also some fantastic Facebook groups for specific and wider periods of dress, depending on where your interests lie. (I'm not on any other social media so can't advise there, but perhaps someone else may chime in.) Don’t be shy, and do n o t feel intimidated! People are almost always willing to bestow their wisdom upon you because the only thing better than having knowledge is sharing it. 2 ) Read. Read read readreadreadread r e a d. The purpose of publication is to share knowledge and information that others may not have access to, or to consolidate years of detailed research that not everyone has the time to conduct; for example, those with connections to museums are able to go and study objects, and can publish notes and patterns for those who aren’t able to get appointments for these things. Someone may have spent a decade investigating the history of lace and published years of findings in a book that you can reference to find that perfect bobbin lace pattern for your 18th century gown. But primary research (that is, consulting sources, objects, texts, portraits, &c.) that originate from the period you are working in are really the best place to gain the most information. Because the other thing about reading is that you must, MUST read critically: question where someone has gotten their information from, and decide whether you can trust it. It is very easy to misinterpret a fold in a portrait, or to mis-measure an old, rotted, warped sleeve on an extant garment. (Or to just run illogically wild with a theory; I've seen it happen!) Trust your instincts based on evidence you yourself have seen and deemed valid. When in doubt, go back to the contemporary source if it’s available to you. Ultimately we’re all working from the same original material, so don’t hesitate to look at surviving evidence and draw your own conclusions; they may be just as accurate (and valid!) as those of someone with a fancy academic title. In my opinion, some of the most detailed and thorough research on extant clothing to date can be found in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion series, as well as the V&A series on 17th Century Dress. Blogs are great for getting an idea of how people have problem solved in their own interpretations of projects, but they should not be used as the sole source for research. (Likewise with my videos! Let them stand as documentation of my experience on a reconstruction, but do make use of my sources and references to verify evidence and to direct you in your own specific areas of interest.) 3 ) Have patience. This is one of the most important lessons Original Practice reconstruction will teach you (if you let it!) Even if you do choose to work by machine, the construction of a historical garment takes far longer than that of modern garments. Take the time, do NOT rush things; you will gain so much insight into the construction process, the meaning of a pattern shape, the layering of garments, by sitting and sort of meditating with a garment for a while. Make mockups, test out samples of techniques before applying them to your final project. It’s also extraordinarily helpful, if you’re a bit daunted by, say, the strange shapes of 18th century stays, to photocopy a Janet Arnold pattern, cut out the pieces, and tape them together just to see how they translate into three dimensions. It all takes time. However I have witnessed firsthand that the folks starting nowadays are learning S O much quicker, only because there is so much more easily accessible information readily available. I have personally witnessed those who are diligent, who put in regular hours (even if only one or two per day) show extraordinary growth in just a single year. It's really astonishing what a little bit of regular practice can accomplish over time! Also, do feel free to ask around if you have questions! If there’s someone who’s done a particular technique that you’re curious about, don’t hesitate to strike up a chat! Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to write you an article on how they did it (case in point: ;D). Post in a Facebook group, send someone an Instagram message, comment on their blog (hey). Just imagine that you’ve spent a great deal of time perfecting your sleeve setting method, and someone’s seen the picture of your gown and asked how on earth you’ve done it. Most likely, after a small squee of excitement, you’re going to cast aside that voiceover script you’re working on and write out a novel’s length reply. ;) Anyway, I hope all that might be useful and that it wasn't all too daunting! Really, as with anything, the only way to begin--and to improve--at anything is to just do it. I wish you all the best of luck, and I look forward to seeing your glorious historical creations floating about the internet soon!
Emily Rowland-Rawson (1 hour ago)
THAT HAIRPIN IS GORGEOUS! please tell me where you got it.
Kiera (3 days ago)
I don't know what your talking about most of the things me but I still enjoy it thoroughly. This is so pretty!!!
Hilary Marquez (3 days ago)
Holly crap it's like she stepped out of the painting!
Ghosteriz (4 days ago)
All the sudden you get caught in time travel back to 15th centuries.
Satu Mannonen (4 days ago)
Fantastic outcome! I just started my first medieval dress and this gave my so much great ideas, thank you so much!
Germania Kuoni (7 days ago)
You do beautiful work!! I wish I had learned how to sew. Seems like nobody does it anymore 😔
SewCal Sewcialite (11 days ago)
Wow, very cool and inspirational!
ANTIQUEFOTOS (12 days ago)
It's so nice to find so many young women excelling in this field. Even knitting and tatting is getting a comeback!
juicyfruit133 (12 days ago)
She speaks differently
Robin Nelson (13 days ago)
Great work. I love historical clothing. Everything about it. Your hand work was amazing
Hafsa Fossie (14 days ago)
Bernadette your work is beautiful love how you hand stitch the garment with details.
D. Tasker (14 days ago)
Did you iron or steam your fabric at all during this process? Would a medieval seamstress have done so?
AlvaroManiac1 (14 days ago)
The finished gown looks stunning. I appreciate the time you took and your attention to detail. Superb work!!!
JoAnne McNIff (15 days ago)
Absolutely beautiful, great job.
Maiken May (16 days ago)
Sooo pretty!
Mme Lafimee (17 days ago)
this is amazing! your attention to detail and historical knowledge floors me. I aspire to be like you in that sense.
Miss Velours (18 days ago)
It's sooo so beautiful, thank you for sharing your amazing project!! <3 I'm gonna try it out and start a simple medieval dress.
Tracy Lunos (18 days ago)
This was so Beautiful to watch.
Sylvie Vicenza (20 days ago)
I am so happy I did find these videos! I have to tell my little story because I am so over the moon. I now live in northern Italy and had love sewing. I met a young Italian family with 2 daughters ( 2 and 4 y o). As soon as I met them I knew that I was going to sew Renaissance costume for them! I had a used curtain panel in taffeta and velvet that I was keeping for no special reason. I have now finish all petit coat, all skirts and all tops. The thing is that family has been owning one of the nicest Palazzo in the old town. They have been living in it for 350 years. The family has been (name for a lack of word) Conte (count and countess) because of a favor for a prince at that time. Ciao
Stacy Atherton (20 days ago)
I love your videos. Good job. :)
RavenPuffGal1296 (22 days ago)
Wow... You look so pretty wearing that dress! And seeing how you've applied historical methods into your project makes it all more beautiful....
LeeAnne Hazel (23 days ago)
The renaissance fair must love you 😊
What beautiful work! Very impressed and happy to be able to look into the details of gowns from that particular period. Thank you!!
Cat Leim (26 days ago)
"She knows not what the curse may be; Therefore she weaveth steadily, Therefore no other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott. "
Abigail Hannah (27 days ago)
I watched your video on making a modern walking skirt, and loved it. WHY DIDN’T I SUBSCRIBE THEN?!?! Oh my god, this dress is beautiful!!!
Priya VGS (28 days ago)
tina silver (30 days ago)
If ever you visit England recommend you stay at Littlecote House Hotel, which has a fabulous period garden, and was a real home from the Roman period, unfortunately Peter de Savary sold off alot of the genuine furniture when he bought it in 1985.
redBlue 88 (30 days ago)
so much work you are amazing I love history btw
Asterope Hellebore (30 days ago)
This is amazing! I love it. Also... where did you get your crown?!
Stacey K (30 days ago)
I so love that you do so much hand sewing!
selenaynaz Er (1 month ago)
Rayyvyn (1 month ago)
Wonderful vid,the dress was beautifully made & finished ! Ppl that don't sew have zero clue how truly laborious a process making clothes,(esp elaborate historical ones !)fully sewn by hand is. On the buttons,a cpl great resources for metal buttons,besides eBay/test,ect, are Military & Native American trader supply companies.( I esp love Russian/French/Chinese/Japanese historical ones,they KNOW & LOVE their opulence,even in something as small as a button,lol)They'll often have wonderful,hand hammered ones,in many designs...but they also sell beautifully cut,finished hammered edged ones w/centers blank..allowing you to customise them using metal/hardwood stamps:) I loved when you were making the over-sleeves that you made,in your words, "a wee sample piece" pattern for them,as I have always done that when creating historical pieces,before making full size Brown paper & muslin ones. I have 3(+) dolls I use,depending on costume,one is traditional barbie(plus a Barbie w/her boobs flattened,lol),then 2 from my childhood I believe aren't sold anymore. Francine,who is built w/more normal proportions..Madge,an older woman doll,w/normal,but more stocky build & Midge,what I use for kids/preteen pieces.A few weeks ago I decided to fully catalogue,photo,all my patterns,by era,sex,type/(& time of day,peasant/merchant/nobility,ect,an immense undertaking !What cracked me up when seeing your mini sleeve pattern is it reminding me that when all patterns were laid& piled up,I had this huge pile of mini pieces too...I never realised how many I truly had done before this,I had over 200 sleeve patterns alone ! I could put out a comprehensive book of historical doll-clothes patterns,hehe. *snicker*
Jessie West (1 month ago)
This Was Absolutely Amazing !!!!
geneva morton (1 month ago)
Joshua Rosen (1 month ago)
The end result was absolutely beautiful. I love to watch a skilled person making something lovely, whether it's a hand made cabinet or a 15th Century dress. Great job.
Haley Grigg (1 month ago)
Gorgeous! 😍
Bk Maxfield (1 month ago)
Remember: your reference is a painter's interpretation of a gown. In flesh-and-blood fabric it may have been impractical or crazy to make it like that. Your version is beautiful.
Shari Arnold (1 month ago)
Your long delicate fingers are mesmerizing to watch as you sew your seams with perfect tiny stitches. You are so fun to watch and so entertaining to listen to. I started sewing at a very young age and learned on my grandmother’s old treadle Singer sewing machine. I loved making clothes for my Barbie doll (the original one with the ponytail and black and white chevron bathing suit)...made all my own patterns. She was my tiny mannequin. Now I am almost 70 years old and still love to sew and collect fabric and antique buttons.You are so accomplished for your young age...and so knowledgeable and so adorable. I am so happy I found your channel.🧵💞
Emma Jenkins (1 month ago)
If you sold the tunic pattern I'd use it to make a dress/kirtle for my local Tudor house. We do monthly education days and costumes always add to the fun.
Theresa Novak (1 month ago)
Lovely 😊 Fascinating to watch your creative process and kudos on the video and stills.
Kelsa Gruban (1 month ago)
I find your content fascinating and your talent incredible! Love your channel, so glad I stumbled upon this!
Madison Banks (1 month ago)
The "sorcery used to apply the perfectly smooth sleeves and bodice" is called artistic interpretation. Don't feel bad - this guy just painted the princess to look pretty, not to design a genuine dress that is wearable! Your dress is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm definitely gonna use some of the patterning that you've shown when I next need to create a cosplay of a similar period (but I'm gonna sew with my machine - the 21st century is good for something!) <3
Elena Syrma (1 month ago)
Girl you just got a new fan 😁
Charlotte C (1 month ago)
Hi I love your work and was wondering if you Instagram? If so please can I have your username I find your techniques and videos so helpful and inspiring x😊
Charlotte C (1 month ago)
+Bernadette Banner Great thanks, I couldn't find you before 😊
Bernadette Banner (1 month ago)
Indeed, I am @bernadettebanner on the Instagram.
Jawelim Topia (1 month ago)
Idol na kita lahat yan tahing kamay lang lab it 😊😊😊
Ango Râ (1 month ago)
"wathever sorcery was applied to achieve those perfectly smooth sleeves and bodice" --> maybe it's only this perfect in the painting, the old times photoshop x) But seriously, your work is amazing !!! I just discovered your channel but I am eager to discover all its content !
faruka1969 (1 month ago)
You are truly talented.
betzy vargas (1 month ago)
Beautiful. I love it. 💜💕
Rachelstorrersings (1 month ago)
Your sewing soothes me beautiful job ❤
lemasch01 (1 month ago)
OMG! Your button holes! My teacher always got insane while my tailor education because I suck so much at this. I really love your channel because of your magnificent work. 😍😍😍😍
Andrew Dolghii (1 month ago)
Wow so entertaining
EJ D (1 month ago)
I imagine bits of charcoal from the fireplace could have been an impromptu pen for the finer fabrics.
chanthamala8 (1 month ago)
Inspirational! I can barely finish pad stitching a lapel and you made an entire acurate historical dress by hand. Brava!
Suzi SaintJames (1 month ago)
On attaching the buttons. The only thing I would have changed is instead of poking one hole, I would have poked two. One a few threads away from the next. Split the button tails into 2 groups (one group to be threaded through each hole). Then tie the knot on the inside like you showed in the video. Tying the button tails around fibers of the sleeve, the knots cannot pop through the hole... It's the common problem found when sewing French knots. If after tying your French knot you place the needle in exactly the same hole the knot may pop through, however, if you go down a thread or two over, the knot cannot ever pop through and you have a lovely embroidery. ❤🌅🌵
Thomas Moss (1 month ago)
I have this mental picture of Errol Flynn in Robin Hood costume finding you in the forest and calling out, "Maid Marian!"
Eric K (1 month ago)
Wow, lovely!
DragonTwin88 (1 month ago)
Ugh you make me want to sew the cloaks that I've been wanting to do
Sew So Much (1 month ago)
Stunning. Very skilled and patient. I'm such a lazy sewer I cut corners to make my projects go faster!. Hope you aren't doing all that sewing on the floor though, you need to be careful for your back!!
mariahcarey hi (1 month ago)
This is beautiful. Btw I want to make this and I don’t know how many meters of fabric to buy I was thinking about 9, 10 meters with the dress and the sleeves would that do and like 2 meters if the pink silk with 1 meter of the green silk
connie arancivia (1 month ago)
I have been sewing since I could thread a needle and that is a long time now. I've made costumes for community theater, for costume shops, and for myself and on one occasion for an author who was touring to promote his book and wanted to be accompanied by costumed characters from the story and not once did I sew anything completely by hand. I write this to say that I can appreciate just how much time and effort goes into such an endeavor as recreating an authentic period costume. Your are my heroine.
Mini R. (1 month ago)
Wow Bernadette! Super!
Maurice Powers (1 month ago)
Omg! So beautifully done!!! I love hand stitching!
Amanda Harp (1 month ago)
you should start a vintage buttom and sewing tools store
Lorraine Marcketta (1 month ago)
Beautiful!! Lovely fine work!
Oddly Enough (1 month ago)
Lovely and incredible that it's all sewn by hand.
Marie Delorien (1 month ago)
What a wonderful work, i'm in love
Deborah Melo (1 month ago)
That was sooooo interesting! I hope you will keep sharing this amazing contents!
Lumberjackin' It! (1 month ago)
I loved this. Thanks
Mabel Goddard (1 month ago)
Joel Lacwasan (2 months ago)
Are you irish ma'am?
Connie Doiron (2 months ago)
Not only are you beautiful you are talented as well. Your gown is exquisite.Your directions are easy to follow. Keep up the great content.
AriannaXOXO (2 months ago)
Would you be able to do something styled from the 16th century America? Like 1690s (AKA, The Salem Witch Trials). Or maybe the Civil War? Or the Georgian Era?
star dust (2 months ago)
Wow 😍 what a beautiful dress, even with a tutorial I would mess it up lol but the photos of you wearing it are amazing! I love everything about this!!
Il Fiore Nero Costumery (2 months ago)
Love this dress soooo much!!
Gerrie Jackson (2 months ago)
Im saying this now, you're gonna go far in this world
Gerrie Jackson (2 months ago)
You're a magician
elizabeth raitanen (2 months ago)
I don’t sew; but I love your videos. This dress is beautiful!
saeklin (2 months ago)
I'm an engineer with zero interest in clothesmaking, yet I watched these videos all the way through. Guess its just the appeal of watching and listening to all the intricacies of the craft.
oldchickenlady (2 months ago)
incredibly beautiful - the garment, your bearing and the scenic background!
Chastity Knite (2 months ago)
This will be a video set I'll be revisiting next year. I had wanted to make a custom gown that Elsa from Frozen or Belle from Beauty and the Beast might wear. But with old English/Gothic influence.
Mily Alvarez (2 months ago)
I completely speechless!! What you did a true art piece!! i'm so happy I foudn this channel. I love historical costuming and styling and I never seem to find a place where I can fit. Thanks for your videos!!
Catherine Brockman (2 months ago)
Jelena Jelisavcic (2 months ago)
omg it literally has GREEN SLEEVES
Hiltsy ArtNstuff (2 months ago)
Charcoal might work to mark the silk, it might wipe off though. Edit: AANND you mention it, lol. That's what I get for commenting before I'm done watching.
CuriosityRocks (2 months ago)
This reminds me of a dress Clara wore in Doctor Who
megan white (2 months ago)
I can't believe you hand sewed all of that! I barely have the patience for machine sewing. *goldfish have longer attention spans than me
Dani O (2 months ago)
My mother used to sew all button holes by hand just like this. Its how she taught me. It made me really happy to see u doing it this way also. The dress is just lovely.
Rym Zobiri (2 months ago)
oh my God!!! you are amazing😍
blktauna (2 months ago)
As a thought, if you full the fabric, the ravelling stops and the seams can be set down with running stitches. If only I'd seen this sooner I could have sent you to a place that makes proper buttons and lacing tabs. I've also always run the seam for the oversleeves down the front to avoif the excess of finishing needed .
Karen Bowler (2 months ago)
This really nice work. Hand work is a true art in itself. One thing that may have tripped you up is the odd proportions of the woman in the painting.
Anne58266 (2 months ago)
I am just amazed at all of the sewing that went into that gown. It is wonderful how you have the inside just as beautiful as the outside of it. You are so talented.
Runa (2 months ago)
Wow you actually hand sewed the whole thing!!!! 😲😲😲😲😲 This is amazing!!
emily schwellenbach (2 months ago)
Honey. Just. No. (2 months ago)
How the frick r u so thin😂
Bernadette Banner (2 months ago)
Congenital spinal disorder; would not recommend that as a weight loss tip though.
Dominique Michaud (2 months ago)
I enjoy watching your videos so much! They are well made and entertaining!
Sarah Leach (2 months ago)
Beautiful dress well done So fun to watch.You explain things very clear and nicely.
•Luna Amore• (2 months ago)
I love how u wear ur work at the end n just have da body fit for it, it's like straight out of a fairy tale ♡ i like watching u do the felling stitch now ^-^
Milène Gonin (2 months ago)
This is such a lovely dress, it looks great on you ! For the green sleeves maybe if you had cut them on the biais of the fabric you would have been able to have more fitted sleeves like you wanted (the biais of the fabric is basically the spandex of historical garments ;) ). Also your recreation from a painting made me think about that mini series I watched a few months ago it's called "a stitch in time" it was originally made for the bbc but I was able to find it on Youtube. There are 6 episodes and in each one they recreate a garment from a painting using historical methods, I thought that is something you could like if you haven't watched it already. Have a nice day !

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