1560s Flemish Peasant

January – June 2021

Hey, it’s another Flemish peasant outfit! This new version is in wool and has a set of pinned-on sleeves. But those are the only significant differences from my first Flemish, in salmon linen. If you’d like to know more about this project, please see that first write up as I go into a lot more detail about the construction.
This wool was purchased in the discount section of my local fabric store, and there was only 3 yards. I didn’t buy it for the mousey color but for the exceptional quality. It’s an extremely soft, heathered, light-weight worsted wool flannel. As it turns out, there aren’t a ton of costuming options for 3 yards, even at 60″ wide. So it’s been in and out of the fabric boxes for years. But I finally decided that if I was going to even consider buying new fabric this year, then I’d better use up some of the stash first. At the same time, the fabric had spoken – there was really only one thing to do with it – make a Flemish dress. Having a pattern ready to go certainly helped!

You see quite a few of these drab-colored Flemish dresses in the artwork. (Above is a link to my research images). To expand on the theme, I decided to make a matching apron in oatmeal handkerchief linen. The rest of the accessories are from various remnants in my stash: red linen sleeves, a matching red center front placket, and an orange linen/cotton blend placket. The black apron is a made from a very finely woven linen. This true black color was difficult to achieve, as described in The Tudor Tailor on page 40. Though fashionable for upper class garments, it might still be seen in an outfit like this, as an apron or other small piece. Regardless, whether or not the black linen is accurate to the ensemble, it was an afterthought and started months after completing the outfit. As I’ve still got enough of it left for a fancy-wear apron, I decided to go ahead and assign it to the Flemish ensemble rather than let it sit in the closet. Incidentally, there are many more accessories that could be made to go with this simple dress.