Instead of Knitting…

Seeing how it is October now, I guess it is a good time to show you all what I have been working on for the past month.

You may remember Jeremy’s post about the Halloween party at his school last year. Well, since I am going to be visiting Jeremy in New York during the last week of October, I decided to make us some really nice costumes that would be appropriate for an art school party.

Here’s the concept:

Arnolfini Portrait

This is, of course, the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck. I don’t know that we are going to be able to recreate all the accoutrements of the portrait, but I just finished (with an incredible amount of help from my co-worker Alice and her daughter Amy–thanks soooo much, guys!) making Mrs. Arnolfini’s green houppelande, and have started work on Giovanni Arnolfini’s plum houp. Here are some pics of the former:

Green houppelande

Sorry the pictures are cut off above the knee; it is a very tall dress, and we were in a small room. Just imagine a fur-lined bottom hem that trails the ground, rather more in back than in front (though not as much as the one in the painting, for practical reasons).

Green h

The blue shirt and black belt I am wearing are just placeholders, but should give the right idea. I’ll post better pics of the sleeves, and hopefully the entire dress, when the batteries in my camera are recharged.

In case you are curious, this pattern is based on one I tracked down in Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress, Medieval-1500, by Jean Hunnisett. Considering that the entire dress pattern fit onto a single 8.5×11″ sheet of paper in the book, we think it turned out rather well. 🙂

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