Of course, I could have just made up a fun dress and thought "What
the heck?" with style. But starting from actual dresses seen on portraits
made it much more interesting to me. So, I set out to find some inspiring
The famous pelican portrait of Queen Elizabeth gives me a few ideas
for the bodice. The white bits seen on the front (they are probably
puffs, someone with a better picture will have to help me on that)
can be replaced by jelly beans, the four-pearl together can be made
out of any small round candy.
There will be no blackwork on my partlet, but I have some other
partlet inspiration a little further on.
The choker will be made of various candy.
I might use gummi bears instead of the pelican brooch, or any other
suitable gummi candy such as those little whales or those little
Notice that there seems to be one jewel on each of her waist tabs
as well as on the shoulder panes and on the bodice pattern. They
also go down on each side of her forepart. This provides me with
lots of options to use hard candy.
||Eleanora di Toledo is earlier than the other Elizabethan
portraits I was looking at. However, the neckline treatment gave me
a wonderful idea. I see two ways of achieving an interesting look:
threading licorice lengths to make a kind of net, or thread ropes
through life savers to achieve a kind of net again.
I don't remember where this image came from, I only know it is
a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, but the kind of veil she's wearing
is very interesting. If you look closely at the part going over
her shoulders, it looks as if it's not built over fabric, but only
made of jewels, a kind of net. This is another very interesting
idea for my two "net" ideas exposed earlier.
Also, her pomander looks like it's hung on a ribbon, which means
that if I get tired of trying to pierce bubble gums, I really only
need enough to go around my waist. Those plastic fruit filled with
sweet powder would be perfect for a pomander, by the way...
On this gown, I'm looking at two main elements: the forepart and
the standing ruff. I know all the elements I've chosen don't go
together and I'll have to choose some of them, but I like the idea
of a standing ruff and, even better, it's not worn with one of those
awful French farthingales, although the bodice point is already
very long and the forepart is gathered onto it.
I will definitely make a ruff. The question is, will it be a regular
ruff or a standing ruff? I guess it will depend on whether I decide
to make a partlet or not. I plan on making the ruff out of marshmallows,
in two layers to reproduce a kind of "S" (it will look
more like a "W" but I think the final look will be close
enough to be fun). I am considering putting a lollipop at the end
of every length of marshmallows to put some more color into the
The belt will be made of a string of bubble gum.
The forepart here is interesting. I like the flower pattern. I
might be making big lozenges and putting the flowers in the center.
Another option would be to create a vine pattern with green licorice
and reproduce the pattern of flowers and single jewels found on
Also, the embellishment at the bottom of the forepart is very interesting.
What if I used gummies on the forepart? One frog, one whale, big
lips, one frog, one whale, big lips, etc.
||This came from the Totally Tessellated site, I'm sorry
I had to borrow it but it's just so much like the design on the sleeve
of the above portrait, even if they say it is Indian or Persian...
||Thought to be Lady Helena Snakeborg, Marchioness of
Northampton by an artist of the British School, 1569.
||Elizabeth of Austria, Queen of France by Francois Clouet,
||the Armada Portrait attributed to George Gower, c.1588.
||Elizabeth I by an unknown artist, c.1588.