CLOTHING FIT FOR A KING…A TRUE KING OF ENGLAND.

The reburial of King Richard III has fired many people’s creative interest, including my own. So after making miniature dolls of this King (and his wife Queen Anne Neville), I longed to have the challenge of making a medieval man’s outfit for a larger doll.

Richard looks like he is deep in conversation with Anne.....I wonder what they might be talking about.

Richard looks like he is deep in conversation with Anne…..I wonder what they might be talking about.

 

Last year I set myself the challenge of creating a Tudor Anne Boleyn costume for a 16 inch doll, and this went well. But I really do like creating historical costumes for male dolls too as I love making men’s fashions.

Anne Boleyn costume for a 16 inch fashion doll.

Anne Boleyn costume for a 16 inch fashion doll.

 

So imagine my absolute joy when one of my customers commissioned me to create a Richard III costume for her 17 inch male doll…there was much happy dancing!

 

With most of my existing male doll pattern pieces being more Victorian to modern day in style, I knew I would have to make some totally new ones. So I decided to make each of them as required.

Portrait of King Richard III of England.

Portrait of King Richard III of England.

 

But first, I needed to choose suitable fabric for such a sumptuous costume. My customer had asked me to base the costume on the well known portrait of Richard, or as near as possible. Whilst the portrait is just a head and shoulders picture, it is possible to work out what the rest of his outfit might be, from historical records of clothing worn at the time.

Main fabrics chosen for the Richard III costume.

For his outer robe, I chose a silk of two-tone gold, shot with claret red and with a tiny fleur de lys pattern. This fabric was the perfect scale for that size of doll.

A dark burgundy/brown silk with an interesting border was chosen for the robe lining and I decided to use the lavish gold border for the turn-backs on the front of the robe.

The other main fabric I chose was a deep red silk jacquard for his doublet, along with several other fabrics which were pulled from my stash for possible use on other costume parts.

 

With pencil and tape measure in hand and my own male doll of the same size to use for fitting, I made a start. First to be made was a shirt, with a gathered neckline and very full sleeves ending in a close-fitting lace-trimmed cuff. For this, I used a soft silky ivory coloured lining.

 

It is always very important with doll clothing to avoid adding unnecessary bulk, so sometimes clothing for dolls has to be made differently than for a real human. The shirt was no exception, being made shorter in length and also fastening at the back for ease of dressing.

The full sleeved shirt with gathered neckline.

The full sleeved shirt with gathered neckline.

 

For the hosen (tights), I used a two way stretch cotton viscose jersey fabric in a subtle shade of pale sage. Back in the 15th century, life size hosen would have been attached to the doublet by means of ties to hold them up. The centre front seam would also have been open with the triangular flap (codpiece) laced over it.

Since this would have been extremely difficult to dress onto a doll of this size, I decided to make a pair of tights, with elasticated waist and a false codpiece, and I found that this gave the right look for the doll.

'Hosen' or tights with false codpiece.

‘Hosen’ or tights with false codpiece.

 

The doublet was made in red silk jacquard and lined in pale ivory, with a false corset of gold brocade underneath the cord lacing at the front. Again, the reason for the false corset was to avoid unnecessary bulk.

The sleeves of the doublet are quite full and end in a tightly fitting cuff with snap closures. Each sleeve is split, with two openings, so that the sleeves of the shirt can be pulled through to form puffs. The doublet fastens at the back with snaps, for ease of dressing onto the doll.

A tie of fancy cord was secured to the waist of the doublet with two loops stitched at each side.

 

The outer robe caused a few headaches, but I got there in the end. The two silk fabrics used for this, were an absolute dream to work with (silk usually is…and I LOVE working with it!).

My customer had requested a full-length robe, but shorter ones were also seen at this point in history. Whichever length was preferred, the long hanging sleeves were standard.

 

 

Having made this kind of robe many times in miniature, I had an idea of the pattern shapes I needed to make, and I was pleased with the outcome of the larger version.

The brown silk lining worked well with the fancy gold border, but there was a bit of a ‘hairy moment’ when I wasn’t sure if I had enough of it to do what I wanted to do. Thankfully, with a bit of ‘jiggery-pockery’ with the pattern layout, I just (only just!) managed to get it all out of the fabric.

I found some lovely (and quite manly) braid at my local fabric shop ‘Stitches-upon-Thames’ in Staines, which I used for edging both the ends of the sleeves and the openings.

 

For the shoulder chain, I found a very attractive faux jet and pearl choker in my stash, that just screamed ‘Use me…I look medieval.’ This worked well but needed fixing to hold it in place with a few stitches on one side, and a little loop to thread it through over one shoulder. (The chain hooks together at the back).

 

The hat was made from a piece of beautifully fine vintage pure wool felt and was stitched entirely by hand. My customer had supplied the beautiful pearly white rose and I hand embroidered the four little green leaves with gold outlines around it.

 

I purposely left the shoes till last, as it had been a very long time since I had made bigger doll shoes. I chose a darker shade of sage for these shoes to tone with the hosen. This very fine soft gloving leather worked well for this style, and enabled me to add a snap fastener opening at the outer side of each shoe.

 

 

In total, I made seventeen separate pattern pieces for this outfit, lost count of the number of hours it took to make, but……….I loved every single minute of it (including the ‘hairy’ ones!) and hope to get the chance to do something like this again.

 

If you would like to see the blog I wrote about the miniature King Richard III please click here.

 

And for his wife Queen Anne Neville please click here.

 

Please click here if you would like to read about Anne Boleyn costume I made for a 16 inch doll.

 

ANGELIQUE MINIATURES CELEBRATES 28 YEARS TODAY!

STORE BANNER HORIZONTAL PNG

 

To celebrate this anniversary I thought I would share some pictures of my favourite doll projects from more recent years (since digital cameras and the internet!!!).

From fairies and fantasy to historical characters, I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. The planning, research and actual creating never fails to excite me and I look forward to each new project that comes my way, so please enjoy my selection:

Anne Boleyn costume for 16 inch fashion doll.

Anne Boleyn costume for 16 inch fashion doll.

Miniature Fairy riding a unicorn.

Miniature Fairy riding a unicorn.

 Princess Diana wedding gown on miniature mannequin.

Princess Diana wedding gown on miniature mannequin.

 Miniature late Victorian Summer Bride.

Miniature late Victorian Summer Bride.

Custom made Aurora Rose tutu for 16 inch ballerina doll.

Custom made Aurora Rose tutu for 16 inch ballerina doll.

Miniature Giselle or Sylphide tutu set.

Miniature Giselle or Sylphide tutu set.

Miniature Fairy Slippers (shown with an English penny and American five cent piece).

Miniature Fairy Slippers (shown with an English penny and American five cent piece).

Miniature Fairy Flower Seller with her unicorn companion and helper.

Miniature Fairy Flower Seller with her unicorn companion and helper.

Miniature Brown silk bonnet with shirred ivory silk lining and matching reticule.

Miniature Brown silk bonnet with shirred ivory silk lining and matching reticule.

Miniature striped cotton walking dress with matching tall bonnet and reticule.

Miniature striped cotton walking dress with matching tall bonnet and reticule.

Something for the Maid. A much plainer miniature cotton house dress and apron along with a little mop cap.

Something for the Maid. A much plainer miniature cotton house dress and apron along with a little mop cap.

18th Century Marie Antoinette style gown modelled by 16 inch Tyler Wentworth. Made in pure silk.

18th Century Marie Antoinette style gown modelled by 16 inch Tyler Wentworth. Made in pure silk.

Miniature Dita Von Teese style gown and hat. one twelfth style.

Miniature Dita Von Teese style gown and hat. one twelfth style.

 Valentine Ball gown for 16 inch fashion doll.

Valentine Ball gown for 16 inch fashion doll.

Miniature Faerie of Spring and New Life.

Miniature Faerie of Spring and New Life.

Miniature Princess Grace wedding gown on mannequin.

Miniature Princess Grace wedding gown on mannequin.

The miniature Elizabeth Bennett Regency wedding bonnet.

The miniature Elizabeth Bennett Regency wedding bonnet.

Front view of the miniature Fairy Harp. The harp stood about six and a half inches tall.

Front view of the miniature Fairy Harp. The harp stood about six and a half inches tall.

Miniature Young King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.

Miniature Young King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.

Miniature Queen Jane Seymour.

Miniature Queen Jane Seymour.

 Miniature King Richard III with his wife Queen Anne Neville.

Miniature King Richard III with his wife Queen Anne Neville.

Miniature King John and his wife Queen Isabella.

Miniature King John and his wife Queen Isabella.

Miniature Elizabeth 1st doll complete in room setting.

Miniature Elizabeth 1st doll complete in room setting.

Miniature Scrooge.

Miniature Scrooge.

Miniature Ross and Demelza Poldark.

Miniature Ross and Demelza Poldark.

Miniature tricorn hat.

Miniature tricorn hat.

Miniature Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cranmer.

Miniature Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cranmer.

Battle of Flodden (c 1513) Scottish Pikeman outfit for action figue (around 12 inches tall).

Battle of Flodden (c 1513) Scottish Pikeman outfit for action figue (around 12 inches tall).

Coronation robes for 17 inch male fashion doll.

Coronation robes for 17 inch male fashion doll.

Victorian underwear for 16 inch fashion doll.

Victorian underwear for 16 inch fashion doll.

'Romanza' ballet costume for 16 inch ballerina doll.

‘Romanza’ ballet costume for 16 inch ballerina doll.

French (Breton) costume for 16 inch doll.

French (Breton) costume for 16 inch doll.

Alice in Wonderland costume for 12 inch fashion doll.

Alice in Wonderland costume for 12 inch fashion doll.

Miniature Lord Byron Albanian costume.

Miniature Lord Byron Albanian costume.

Miniature Lord Byron Regency tail coat outfit.

Miniature Lord Byron Regency tail coat outfit.

And last but not least:

Medieval style Autumn costume for 16 inch fashion doll.

Medieval style Autumn costume for 16 inch fashion doll.

Miniature Queen Mary 1st (Mary Tudor).

Miniature Queen Mary 1st (Mary Tudor).

I hope you have enjoyed my selection…just a few of the many favourites I have created over the last few years. All of them have given me enormous pleasure and taught me such valuable skills and patience.

 

 

 

 

 

THE MAKING OF QUEEN ANNE NEVILLE.

THE MAKING OF QUEEN ANNE NEVILLE.

King Richard III and his wife Queen Anne Neville depicted in a stained glass window.

King Richard III and his wife Queen Anne Neville depicted in a stained glass window.

I found King Richard III’s wife Anne Neville, a really enjoyable character doll to create. It is rare that I get the chance to work on costumes from this particular historical era. Late medieval female costume is so elegant, with long sweeping lines and very feminine.

Once again the costume books were consulted for the most popular styles worn in the early to mid 1480s. To keep this doll as feminine as possible I decided to take the lighter shades from Richard’s colour scheme and use these for the main colours for Anne, accenting them with darker tones. Richard’s doublet and the lining of his robe were pale gold so I used a similar coloured silk jacquard for Anne’s main gown and teamed it with another rich dark red silk for her under-gown.

ANNE NEVILLE FABRICS

Silk fabrics chosen for Anne’s costume.

Firstly, I put some silk stockings on her… and then some pantaloons. Now before the historians amongst you start shouting at me, I know they were not invented then…….but I have my reasons for doing this.

Although ladies of these times did not wear pantaloons, I always put them on my miniature lady dolls. The reason for this is very simple: Firstly, people ALWAYS turn dolls upside down to see what they are wearing underneath! Secondly, most of my dolls are quite poseable and, with this kind of doll, there is usually a join where the lower porcelain part of the leg meets the upper wired and padded section of the leg and hips. Pantaloons cover this join so that the doll looks nicer when she is inevitably turned upside down!

Silk stockings and the (illegal) pantaloons.

Silk stockings and the (illegal) pantaloons.

Leather shoes with slightly pointed toes were then added to complete her under garments.

Anne's leather slippers have slightly pointed toes and filigree decoration.

Anne’s leather slippers have slightly pointed toes and filigree decoration.

The under-gown was then fitted in two parts, a tight close-fitting strapless bodice that represented the corset and the skirt which was often worn longer than the wearer for a woman of this class. To avoid bulk, I attached the skirt around the doll’s waist as I knew I would need to keep the area below her bust as smooth as possible to accommodate the skirt of the main gown. The doll was then placed on a cork board where her skirt was draped and pinned into folds.

Anne's silk underskirt is pinned to the board to set the folds.

Anne’s silk underskirt is pinned to the board to set the folds.

Over-gowns of this time were often voluminous with trains and skirts fell from just under the bust like an Empire line. Although V necked bodices had been popular, these did give way to a wide round necked version where the top of the corset could just be seen. Sleeves could be narrow and fitted and I felt that this style would suit the doll best.

All Anne's top clothing is now in place.

All Anne’s top clothing is now in place.

As far as fashion goes, in my opinion, the 15th century had some of the most ridiculous headdresses for women that history has ever seen. Size and shape became quite huge and outlandish and must have been quite a hazard for anyone standing too close! By the mid 1480s the ‘butterfly’ headdress had become the thing to be seen in for all fashionistas of this time. Basically it was an adaptation of the popular Burgundy headdress (like a tall fez) with the addition of wire frames to support a gauze veil.

Here is a good example of the Butterfly headdress from the TV drama 'The White Queen'.

Here is a good example of the Butterfly headdress from the TV drama ‘The White Queen’.

The fez part was worn quite far back on the head rather than on the top. Wires that looked like the antennae of a butterfly protruded from the back and another V shaped wire frame was attached at the front. The veil was then draped over the wires in a variety of different ways, depending on the wearer. At this time, it was still fashionable to pluck the front of the hairline to give the appearance of a high forehead, the rest of the hair being pulled back tightly and pinned up underneath the headdress, often in a linen under-cap. I had not made one of these ‘butterfly’ monstrosities before in miniature but was quite surprised that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.

Close up of the wire supports and veil.

Close up of the wire supports and veil.

Although fiddly, I was pleased with the final result. (Some of you may have noticed that I used the same fabric to cover the fez as I used for Richard’s stomacher).

Showing the top of Anne's Butterfly headdress.

Showing the top of Anne’s Butterfly headdress.

Anne Neville in medieval room box scene.

Anne Neville in medieval room box scene.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the making of my Queen Anne Neville doll. She is available for sale. So if you are interested in buying her please do contact me either through this blog, Twitter, Face Book or my main website

If you would like to read about my Richard III doll please scroll down to the post before.

Richard looks like he is deep in conversation with Anne.....I wonder what they might be talking about.

Richard looks like he is deep in conversation with Anne…..I wonder what they might be talking about.

THE MAKING OF KING RICHARD III

THE MAKING OF KING RICHARD III

RICHARD III OF ENGLAND

With all the publicity about the reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral this year, it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the urge to make a miniature doll of this English monarch.

I have always felt that this particular era was one of elegance regarding costume. It is the very end of the typical medieval fashions yet one can definitely see the beginnings of the more well-known Tudor styles.

King Richard III died at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 so, with several historical costume books open at the mid 1480s, I made my decision regarding what exactly my Richard was going to wear. I had made a young King Henry VIII a few years ago, based on the fashions from the very early 1500s and it was quite noticeable that men’s fashions hadn’t really changed that much during those few years. Any changes that had taken place were very subtle so I was able to use the patterns I had made for young Henry to make those I needed for Richard.

I wanted a complete change in colour scheme from Henry’s light, fresh palette so I decided to go with a richer, darker look, partly to reflect the darker mood of the times but without overpowering a miniature doll of only six inches tall. Eventually (it always takes me ages!) I settled on deep wine red and gold silks along with accents in black.

Silk fabrics chosen for Richard's costume.

Silk fabrics chosen for Richard’s costume.

First to be made were his black hosen (similar to tights). These are extremely difficult and time-consuming to do on a miniature doll but are worth the effort once finished. The cod piece is always a bit of a challenge, but having successfully mastered this with the young Henry doll, fore-warned was definitely fore-armed. The contents of the codpiece were in place and looking fine (and not ridiculous!) in just a few minutes…..unlike young Henry. (Click here if you would like to see what happened with Henry).

Hosen with cod-piece, shoes ans shirt front.

Hosen with cod-piece, shoes ans shirt front.

Richard’s footwear was quite different to Henry’s square-toed shoes, being more like an ankle boot than a true shoe. Although the fashion had been for very pointy-toed footwear, by 1485 the look was more rounded than it had been. There was also a flap or lip at the back and front of the ankle that could be worn turned up or turned down.

Shirts of this time were fairly low necked and as always with a miniature doll, my Richard’s shirt is simply a false panel of very fine silk secured in place to look like a shirt.

The doublet of this time was short and not always worn with the skirted vest so I chose to show off my Richard’s legs by omitting the vest. This also helped reduce bulk in such a small doll. You may have noticed that behind the gold thread lacing on his doublet, there is a small panel of dark red and gold fabric. This is known as a stomacher and was a stiff section that was inserted into the centre front of a corset or other garment to help shape the top clothing and also aid good posture. Most people have heard of this in female costume but it is not so well known that men also wore them at this time…… although they had disappeared in men’s costume by the mid 1500s……wonder why! (In female costume they lasted right into the 19th century).

False doublet with gold thread lacing and cord tie belt. See the stomacher (panel) behind the doublet.

False doublet with gold thread lacing and cord tie belt. See the stomacher (panel) behind the doublet.

Once Richard’s doublet was in place, the robe could be dressed onto him. At this time, the robe could be worn long or short. It had long lined sleeves that were slashed at the front to allow the lower part of the sleeve to hang down freely. In a miniature doll, the main body of the robe is dressed onto the doll first, then the long robe sleeves are added. The last part was to add the doublet sleeves. These were often slashed to reveal the shirt and with a miniature doll, false slashing is made using silk ribbon carefully hand stitched in place. Since Richard was a king, I decided to add a decorative heavily jewelled chain around his shoulders. This fashion lasted into the early 1600s for nobles and royalty.

Richard's robe is in place along with the false sleeves of his doublet.

Richard’s robe is in place along with the false sleeves of his doublet.

Here you can see the mock slashing on the doublet sleeves.

Here you can see the mock slashing on the doublet sleeves.

The last part of my Richard’s costume was his hair and his hat. Much has been made about the possible colour of this king’s hair. I decided to stick with a darker colour, since in all probability (and we will never really know for certain anyway) his hair was more than likely fair as a child but darkened as he became an adult. Men’s hair at this time was often on the long side and worn in a page boy style with a hat that became known as a ‘pork pie’ hat. This was simply a close-fitting hat with a round turned up brim, often notched and decorated with lacing and a brooch.

Richard's hair is in place along with his hat.

Richard’s hair is in place along with his hat.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the making of my King Richard III doll. He is available for sale. So if you are interested in buying him please do contact me either through this blog, Twitter, Face Book or my main website 

King Richard III.

King Richard III.

Next time, I will be talking about the making of Richard’s beloved wife, Anne Neville.

King Richard with his wife Queen Anne Neville.

King Richard with his wife Queen Anne Neville.