Saturday, November 26, 2011

Productive Weekend? Maybe

I had plans to really bang out my bodice this weekend, but here's how it went down:

Wednesday:  Get off work early, help my friend who's hosting thanksgiving make pies, and set up the turkey brine.  Dream about tasty pies.

Thursday:  Cut out bodice front.  Feel like a boss.  Make trifle and creamed corn and use oven for casseroles and bacon. Feel stuffy in the evening, which is not a good sign.

BTW, here's the bodice all cut out, two layers of cotton canvas, and one of cotton batting:

Friday:  Wake up stuffed and congested.  Sit at sewing machine to quilt together bodice layers, only to have the machine not working.  Remember the morning of Collegium, when in a pre-event rush the broken-spring foot pedal was left to run the machine on full power for twenty minutes.  Curse.  Take offending pedal to Bernina shop, where they miraculously had an identical spring to replace the broken one.  Sit at sewing machine a second time, only to find that the fixed-spring pedal is still broken.  Electrics are probably fried, which is a much worse situation than a broken spring.  Curse.  Determine to hell with it, the bodice is getting quilted tonight, and look up pad stitching.  Nurse an entire roll of toilet paper throughout the day, play a bit of Mario Kart with friend's family.  Try not to spread too many germs.  Finally get Mucinex at 10:00 pm so sleep can be possible.

Saturday:  Finish quilting bodice.  Feel like a handsewing boss.

Take machine back to bernina shop, pay $25 for a new universal presser foot retrofitted with the original wiring of the sewing machine.  Express love and devotion to the awesome professionals at the bernina shop.  Go to Zupa's for soup.  Go home intending to work on bodice, but sleep for four hours instead.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ACC: Sleeves

The wheels of progress move slowly, but they do move.  This, as you may recall, is what I was going for:
Margot de Valois, 1560 (from Wikipedia)
I decided on DMC memory thread for the decorative elements on the sleeves and front.  It's a fine cotton/viscose thread wrapped around a cotton and copper wire core.  It's also fairly cheap, readily available, and, conceptually speaking, fairly period to at least the 17th century (Tricia of Thistle Threads offers a silk thread-wrapped pearl purl as part of her 17th century kits that was way out of my price range, but it gave me the initial idea).  I looked into metallic threads but the cost was pretty severe in the amounts I was looking for; plus, I never really decided whether to commit to gold or silver jewelry, so I could still do either further down the process.

DMC Memory Thread.  The little plastic doohickies are useless

I worked on the sleeves for the last month or so; two weeks of actually embroidering, and several more of being completely unmotivated.  I finished the last knot today:

Couched Sleeves, DMC Memory Thread (white) on silk with silk thread
I love the effect, though it was hard to work with such a large piece of fabric without everything kinking up.

A quick note on the sleeves:  I usually do sleeves with the seam running down the back of the arm instead of the more modern technique of running it from the armpit because it's a more accurate cut for the 16th century.  But trying to figure placement for the vertical lines was making my brain explode, so I went with the symmetrical sleeve pattern for easy ruling.

I'm thinking at this point that I will actually make the bodice of the dress first before trying the more complicated filigree embroidery on it, just to ensure that everything will work out with the fit and construction.  Fortunately for me, I have a nice long weekend to make that happen.