Elizabeth 1

A study of Elizabethan dress 1547

I choose the painting by Thomas Scrots (1537-1553) to create a replica doll. The research, development and making of this piece was a fascinating study.

The  painting of Elizabeth 1 was commissioned by the princess as a gift to her brother, the future Edward VI.

In 1547 Princess Elizabeth sent a portrait of herself to her brother (the future Edward VI) accompanied by a letter. This was probably not this particular portrait, but the sentiment in the letter indicates the princess’ attitude to having her portrait painted. She described the portrait as ‘the outwarde shadow of the body’ and expressed a wish that her ‘inwarde minde’ could be more often in her brother’s presence. Royal Collection Trust

Elizabeth’s gown is constructed of a crimson silk fabric woven with a pomegranate pattern. The artist has also included tiny parallel lines of gold indicating that it was also woven with precious metal threads. The triangular forepart at the front of her skirt and undersleeves are made of a more expensive fabric known as cloth-of-silver tissued with gold. Massed groups of gold loops are shown in a pomegranate pattern against a pale silver-coloured ground. Royal Collection Trust

Making the doll body

Doll height: 72cm

The chemise

The farthingale

Pair of bodies

The petticoat

A petticoat skirt was usually a plain design (wool in winter and linen in the summer) with a more decorative frill at the bottom that could be easily replaced when worn or dirty.

The kirtle and embroidered forepart

Dyed silk dupion. Free machine embroidery

Extending the forepart pattern

Free machine embroidered pattern on the forepart

 

The gown bodice – marking the pattern design

Fabric – heavy Duchess silk satin

Designing the fabric design

The original dress was a heavy lampas weave and I used fabric pens to create the pattern on the Duchess silk satin of the gown

The gown lining finish and sleeves

The under sleeves

The pattern design is free embroidery with metallic yarn on silk Dupion. Small needs and fixing to create the jewels.

The hair

The French hood 

Many ‘pearl’ seed beads decorate the rim of the hood

The replica doll 

Height 72cm