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Smalaia smallI've had a love of the 17th century for several years (I made my first 17th c gown back in early 2010), because of the graceful seam lines on the bodices, and the big poufy sleeves and full skirts. When I learned in summer 2012 that the theme for Costume College 2013 would be Cavalier, I knew I wanted to make another 17th century gown for the Gala. I stumbled across the portrait of Amalia Van Solms by Van Horthorst in my research, and right away, the color jumped out at me. Unfortunately, I live in Seattle, far from any fabric store that carried such a vibrant silk taffeta, and even after buying the fabric online, I wasn't happy with the color that arrived. Luckily, I was able to make a trip to the LA Fabric District last March, and located the right color. After that, everything started to fall into place. 

The bodice is lined with two layers of cotton twill, and boned with flat steel. The sleeves and the skirt cartridge pleats are also lined with twill, to help give the pleats the body to stand out. The bodice and skirt waistband are finished with self-bias, and the bodice is trimmed with two different types of lace, rhinestone findings, and pearlized buttons, with a satin bow. The gown is worn over a quilted petticoat, petal-shaped bum pad, and chemise. I also made the pearl drop earrings to match the painting. 

I have only worn this once so far, to the gala at Costume College, but it was a lot of fun to wear 17th century along with a lot of other people. It always seems like such an underappreciated period in women's fashion.

See more at Rebecca's blog

Rebecca Maiten

Click here to compare Rebecca's image to
the portrait of Amalia Van Solms by Van Horthorst

Rebecca Maiten Rebecca Maiten Rebecca Maiten
Rebecca Maiten Rebecca Maiten  
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Gorgeous!
Absolutely fabulous achievement of fit. It really is portrait-perfect. Love your choice of materials as well. Beautifully executed!
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bmespo
I find the 17th century so intimidating because I fear cartridge pleats for whatever reason, I fear the unknown! You have done a marvelous job on this gown! The journey to LA for the perfect flame colored silk was worth it!
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aylwen
I love this colour on you, and the way this period encourages the use of such colours :) I agree, more of us should be exploring the wonderful gowns of this period! Definitely going onto my to-do list.
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costumespangles
I can definitely understand how you would have found this colour of silk hard to find, but you really nailed it. The fit is excellent too, the front and back of the bodice are so smooth - it is just perfection!

This dress has really made me want to try my hand at a 17th century gown at some point, this one is just so inspiring!

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