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Charla's Laurel Elizabethan

I made this gown in 2000 or 2001 - I can't remember exactly which year. I created this gown for my then Laurel, Mistress Charla Noel du Lac for Laurel's Prize Tourney, I believe.

This gown started when i was browsing through JoAnn's Fabrics and saw some really gaudy gold trim on spools in their discount bins. On a lark, I thought I would go through the bin and see what I would find. What I ended up finding was one spool (3 yards) of the gols metallic trim with Laurel wreaths and some curly-queue design. The trim was screaming, "Bead me!." so I decided then that I was going to bead it and build a late 16th century gown after the French Fashion fo Charla. 

I bought lapis beads, coral beads, amber beads, jade beads, carnelian beads, fresh water pearls, glass pearls and 14k gold filled beads for the trim. I took all of this to Pennsic and during the first week, I sat in camp for several days and beaded the trim. One day while I was strolling around through the merchants, I ran across a brocade fabric that had laurel wreaths and Carolingean bees on it. The designs were period and the motiffs were approprite, and the color: dunn was a period color - so I purchased it on the spot to go with the trim I was working on. A few days later I found the sleeves and forepart fabric at another merchants booth and I jumped on it as well.

I brought everything home and then began to construct the corset. I do not have the corset anymore I don;t think, but the design was based on the effigy corset but the busk was shortened in the front a little to be more appropriate to the gowns of the 1560's-70's.

Charla wore the dress a couple of times, and there was an issue with how the trim in the neckline was set in. I took the dress home to fix it, and then life happened and I dropped out of the SCA for 5 years and moved to another kingdom. That is the reason that I still have the dress, and why it is now become a rather unique art-piece/lamo in my work area.

There are things that I look at now and shake my head. The cartridge pleating and top stitching on the skirt are a few things that just make me grin a little. However, overall I still very much like the look and the silhouette of the dress .