Friday, April 15, 2011

LJ Archives: April 2011

April 15:  *No Subject*

Thinking once again on the lovely blue and gold (now blue and white) number I'm 2 years into based on this inspiration piece:

I figured out a passamenterie technique that would be very similar to the one used on the neckline trim, thanks to the passament class at Collegium.  I'm thinking I could probably make something nearly identical using silk and maybe even some metal threads.


I'm hoping to take some pictures tonight, but my 15th century bodice and 15th century skirt have come together to make something remarkably kirtle-like.  I went digging for the sleeves that I cut out ages ago and THEY WERE NOT TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE!!!  I hate my lack of space and organization ability when it comes to my fabric and sewing needs!  Since I was mad and impatient I cut out some new ones -- I had a 1/2 yard leftover from cutting out the skirt AND my original paper sleeve draft handy, so I guess I was meant to stupidly lose it.  If I had planned on long sleeves, I would be completely fuming now, but as it is I can sort of wave it off.  They're all pinned together waiting for my lunch break so I can start sewing them together.

I have a feeling that the original sleeves will turn up in about a month and I'll have to make a sleeve-shaped bag or something.  I think it would be fitting punishment for going missing.

April 4:  *No Subject*

Last night I got so sick of blue fabric I decided to start mocking up my next project:  a recreation of Saint Birgitta's Cap from the Birgittine Convent in Uden.  It seems that I always miss the best costuming memes by about two years, and this is no exception -- it seemed to be popular with recreationists a few years ago.  I don't blame them -- the existence of an extant garment and plenty of corroborating evidence in artwork of the 13th-14th centuries makes it really easy to document.

My library doesn't have Medieval Clothing and Textiles 4 (they only have volumes 1-3, and Interlibrary Loan is dragging its feet) but I was able to find a very partial version of it on Google books with the approximate pattern, so I was able to make my version look more or less like it.  Since it's just a mockup, I used a cheapy puple poly-cotton blend and some ribbon that was only long enough to go around the head once.
These pics were taken over some fairly severe bed head, so cut me a little slack.

In the photos it looks a little small on top and a little big in the back, but it felt great.  the ribbon coming around the crown gives it a nice tightness and kept it on my head for hours.  I think it just needs minimal tweaking from here.
The extant cap is 14th century, technically a bit earlier than the blue kirtle I'm working on, but the style seemed popular for over the 13th and 14th centuries and doesn't seem to be unheard of as late as about 1475 (  Also, it seems really useful as a foundation for attaching further headgear and veils, which is still a valid need in the 15th century.

The attachment mechanisms for this cap seem pretty similar to those of coifs of the Elizabethan era (, so much so that I wonder if one style didn't just lead to another over time, but that's research for another day.

April 3:  Kirtle Progress:  Skirt of Death

it's feeling that way, anyway.  12 gores was just a tad ambitious.  I was really hoping to get the whole dress finished by the end of March, but I've been languishing on this skirt.  I made a lot of progress over Conference weekend, and it's at least now recordable as something resembling a skirt. The final hem looks to be maybe 5/8 of a full circle, which is pretty good considering I used about 4.5 yards of fashion fabric.  I did some math that led me to believe the hem will be about 200 inches, and even if that's generous, that's still a pretty full hem.  Awesome!

I was a little worried about doing a true pinwheel technique on this instead of doing something more symmetrical to the right and left sides, but it was a lot easier to sew it straight-to-bias with my particular sewing method.  Plus, there will be no weird stretching along the seams.

The technique seems a lot more obvious on the reverse side.  I haven't quite finished tacking down all the seams yet (you can see the 3:00 seam still needs the treatment), but I've gone over a major hump with this.  There are probably 50 hours in that skirt, easily.
And my poor sewing finger laments!  Thimbles seem to just slow me down, so I just deal with the needle pricks.