Period Pattern ™ No.56
Late Tudor and Elizabethan Gowns, c. 1545-1610 A.D.
Includes patterns for 3 Late Tudor gowns and 3 Elizabethan gowns, plus a sleeveless partelet with collar, in sizes 8 - 18. These gowns should be worn over undergarments from Period Pattern no. 90, and go well with headdresses from no. 52, capes from no. 92, and pouches and purses from 93.
The late Tutor period was a time of transition and uncertainty with 3 rulers in 11 years (not to mention Lady Jane Grey, who only ruled for 9 days!), and the country endured violent switches from Protestant to Catholic and back to Protestant again.
Very few new elements of woman's style appeared during Edward's short reign. During Mary's reign, through her marriage to Phillip, Spanish styles (favoring dark colors) were reintroduced, but the basics of the previous styles remained the same, and women's fashions were less flamboyant than men's.
The elements of women's styles, including the Spanish farthingale (Period Pattern no. 90), lasted into the 1570's. However, under Elizabeth's rule woman's fashions came to visually dominate the court.
In the 1570's the drum farthingale (Period Pattern no. 90) radically changed the shape of woman's skirts, while other less sweeping changes, such as high standing ruffs, also occurred.
Elizabethan gowns could be plain and somber, or quite colorful; they could be made of plain linen and wool or brocaded velvet with gold threads woven into the design.
Embroidered fabrics were fashionable, using linen, wool, silk or metallic threads; pearls and jewels were sewn to gowns (the inventory book of Elizabeth’s wardrobe mentions a number of times a jewel or pearl was “lost from her majesty’s back”). The limit was whatever the owner could afford (and the sumptuary laws allowed!).
"Elizabethan" styles lasted well after her death in 1603 - the new king saw no reason to pay for new clothes for his queen, Anne of Denmark, when Elizabeth had left such an extensive, ornate wardrobe that could be made over to fit the new queen.
The stomacher, underskirts and undersleeves are not sewn to the gowns, to allow wearing different sets with one gown.