(Michael insisted I use that as the title for this entry...)
So I decided to make a rebato to solve the ruff issues I mentioned previously. The latest Patterns of Fashion was an IMMENSE help, since they have quite a few examples in there.
Rebatos in the period tend to be completely wrapped in silk and gilt thread or wire... which I definitely wasn't crazy enough to do. So I used black thread-covered 21 gauge millinery wire, although I did then wrap every piece by hand with fine gold wire on top of that (some things I am crazy enough to do...).
My darling, wonderful husband cut and shaped the millinery wire pieces, then I wrapped and assembled them. It was really neat to see these crazy pieces of unruly wire come together into something useable! The "spoke" pieces radiating out from the neck are not just decorative; they are central to keeping everything sturdy.
The inner arches are actually one piece of wire that snakes back and forth inside of the outer wire. I thought that was really neat, although it was a pain in the neck to do in practice... But we persevered! The last really difficult part was the out "frill" as I call it. Each of the wire arches supports a particular point of the lace. It took quite a bit of careful measuring to get everything to line up, and I did get off a tiny bit on one side, but it's hard to see. For the most part, they line up perfectly!
And so, I am one piece closer to inadvertently recreating the 1616 woodcut of Pocahontas! I never set out to recreate it, but here I am... Next up will be the loose gown, but probably not for a while... We'll see!