The merchant on Ebay who sold me the burnt orange fabric for my Valois dress, has it in stock again. I have contacted him, and he tells me that they have other fabrics in their store that are not advertised online. I may yet find another one that I like (maybe).
This is entirely crazy. French gowns have become an obsession for me, but only if I have the right fabric. And that ain't easy.
Here's the thing. When it comes to making garb, any garb, there are a couple of things that you need to take into account. The first one is materials. You can have the best pattern in the world, but if you make it out of innapropriate materials, it won't look like you think it will. I have seen many a decently cut garment, made in the most innapropriate materials and it looks like crap.
The second is the appropriate cut and fit. You may have the perfect fabric, but if your cut and fit are wrong, your garment will look like ... yes, crap.
Third is appropriate underpinnings. I have said it before and I will say it again. If you don't have the appropriate underpinnings, how can you hope to get the right fit? You run the risk of looking like last year's Halloween casualty.
Fourth is headgear. Head coverings and hairstyles are not optional. It is a sad thing to see someone wearing an otherwise awesome gown, only to have her wear her hair in a 21st Century fashion. It kills it. It really does. Same goes for footwear.
Fifth is makeup. You may want to do a little research and figure out what people did for makeup. It does not look like 21st Century makeup. In many cases women wore none. In others, they did. I am not suggesting that you go ahead and smear lead all over your face and get lead poisoning, but you may want to see what the right look is and try to recreate it with safe modern makeup. In many cases for example defined eyebrows are a yes, but mascara will always give you away. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you get the idea.
In regards to court dress, it is hard to get it right. Believe me, it was expensive then and it is expensive now. That's why it is so much more user friendly to go with lower or middle class garb, than attempt the nobility style. Especially if you want it to look like clothes as opposed to costume. It took me more than 2 years to gather the right materials for that gown, and it is still not finished as I am still adding decorations to the darned thing.
But it was well worth it.
Now I am planning on my next crazy project. It may take me another couple of years to get all of the materials, but it will be great. On the other hand, at least now I have all of the underpinnings, so this might shorten the time. Who knows.
In the meantime, I need to get my rapier armor altered and maybe make me some more doublets and breeches. Some that actually fit. Those go relatively fast.
And after this random stream of conscience, this girl goes back to working on new and exciting non-historical work documents.