#LuckySeven – lines from my new novel

I was tagged by Barbara Kyle in a game where you have to reveal the seventh line of the seventh chapter of the book you are working on. So here’s mine – from my current work in progress which is based around Pepys’s Diary.  According to the Diary, John Unthank was Elizabeth Pepys’ tailor, and he had a large shop at Charing Cross which served as a meeting place for ladies to gossip.

‘Despite her protestations that she did not need new clothes, a carriage was called, and they put up their hoods and set off to Unthank’s. Unthank’s Tailors was a small cramped shop that smelt of wool and velvet and the sweat of Mr Unthank’s underarms. Once out of her wet cloak, Deb fidgeted and held her breath as the tailor lifted his arms to measure brusquely around her chest and waist.

She showed no enthusiasm when a bolt of lilac twill was thrown onto the table. Elisabeth exclaimed over its shade and texture, and asked its price, but Deb was silent. To think, a letter about her mother was waiting for her at this very minute and she had to be here fussing over cloth and trimmings.’

Perhaps they were about to have something like this made? This dress, influenced by fashions from France, dates from approx. 1695. I would like to tag authors Gabrielle Kimm, Carol Cram, Carol McGrath, Judith Starkston, Debra Brown, Judith Arnopp and Philippa Keyworth.


cameoo asked: have you found any 17th century fashion? all the nice pieces i can find are 18th century and foward and im looking to see what the time period around the Salem withc trials were like. brsis mentioned this to me yesterday and it slipped my mind (sorry!) Janet Arnold’s The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620 and the C.1660-1860 is the best source for extant examples from these periods. I’ve never actually looked into Puritan fashion, I’m more of a Cavalier! Around this period I’m still hanging out across the pond at the French court and chillin with Charles II! The Stuart’s are in Power and they brought with them the loveliest style of dress.  The above dress is from 1695-1700 and is called the Valdemar Slot Gown. The fabric is moss green silk brocade with real gold threads, and the museum that owns it claims that it is amongst the eldest whole surviving civile female outfits in Europe. This is the closest I could find to 1692 (Salem Witch Trials) but I’ll keep looking around for you!