Dress Diary Write-up

…now finished for the 1575 gown.

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Crossing items off the checklist

  1. The tiny prize token  I posted about earlier is now completely finished. Including the markings which makes it unique for this occasion.
  2. The decision has been made as to what items I am giving out as token-tokens during the Display at Double Wars.
  3. The cross-dressing party at Double Wars is now sorted as to what I’m wearing. It includes a silly hat.
  4. The belt which has been half-assembled for three or more years has today gotten the first round of belt mounts riveted on. By me. I need to drill through two more to make it twice as blingy, but I broke my drillbit. Bronze, it turns out, is a very hard metal.
  5. Class preparations for my double embroidery workshop at Double Wars is 3/4 sorted. The materials for both stitches have been assembled and prepared and one of the two handouts has been written up. The second handout I will have to do sometime in the week.
  6. A commission job, sewing for a growing boy, was also finished. Mostly machine made, but with some hand-finishing in the details. Delivered by proxy.

So that’s a full half dozen items to cross off the list. I’m feeling all efficient, and I credit it to pancake breakfast and delightful summer warmth.

Tiny token

On Sunday I finished the drawn thread hemstitch on a tiny napkin which I had as a leftover from a handwoven linen. The hems are tiny, unnecessarily tiny, but look pretty, and they make pretty handy little tear-blotters for SCA court.

I have made one for myself previously, and this second one I thought I could make into a token I can give away, so I transferred my badge as an outline which I stitched in stemstitch in green silk. I’ve just washed the napkin with the outlines all embroidered. I am pondering if I should leave it as is, or filll in the circle that rings the seeblatt with a plaited braid stitch in either silk or metal thread.

Pros to metal thread: Looks blingy.

Cons: Not so good for blotting off tears on account of being scratchy.

Pro for leaving it as is: Finished!

Con: Not as blingy as filling the circle with some form of plaited braid stitch in silk. My device is black, green and white. The outlines on the napkin are green. Should I then do the filling in black on the white linen? Or fill with green?

I think in the end, I will leave it as just outlines, and possibly add some text to indicate when and where it was given and by whom.

 

Black wool 1575 gown – Second finish

The first finish was the premiere outing at Spring Crown of my black wool gown in the style of the mid 1570s. The second finish I achieved tonight, when I finished the last trim application. I have two rows of trim doing down the front of the bodice and down the skirt done to hide the line of stitching that anchors the lacing strips, one line around the hem, and two rows around the sleeve openings. The trim, which is black satin tape, around the hem is 10mm wide, while the trim on the bodice is 4 mm. I also decided to reinforce and pick out the neckline with a single row of the 4mm trim.

For the sleeves, I have one round of the wide trim outermost, plus one round of the narrow trim. If I had had enough of the wide trim I would have gone twice around the skirt, but it seems I bought ten metres of the narrow and only 5 of the wide.

Since the gown is black wool and the trim is black satin, the effect is mostly one of texture and shade difference – which is what you often see in period portraiture. It’s all very tone on tone, and will give the gown a very subtle finish.

So now, when I bring the gown to Double Wars, I can celebrate the second finish with a bottle of bubbly if I should so choose.

Performance anxiety

I think I am experiencing performance anxiety at the prospect of actually starting the coif embroidery. I’ve had the frame prepared since Friday and yet I have not started the embroidery.

True, I’ve finished one commissioned piece, added stripes to my 1575 wool gown, and it’s only Tuesday, but this afternoon I definitely could have pulled it out and set it up to start, and yet I didn’t.

I think that for Filippa’s coif I had done so much research and preparations that once I had the pattern on the fabric I could dive straight in. I also knew that if I ran out of thread at any point I could fairly easily get my hands on more. The same is not true for this project. But I should have plenty to be getting on with.

However, I haven’t tried these threads out in an embroidery, and I think I do want to test them out on a scrap before I start on the real thing. However, since the materials are so nice I don’t want to just throw away the practice piece, so I have to do a little bit of a design and decision-making and frame it up and try it out. . . So here we are with not a stitch taken. It’s a good thing I don’t have a deadline. Or maybe it’s a bad thing?

Coif – pattern transferred

The pattern is now transferred to the very fine hemp fabric which I have some few scraps left of. Imagine that the almost circles that meet at the top in two little blobs are fully leaved wreaths, and ignore the fact that all seeblatts are turned on their sides. It wasn’t until I’d drawn it out on the fabric that I noticed this little quirk. Ah well, they’re on there at least, and I’m going to enjoy working this up.

The next step is of course to string it up on the slate frame – that’s not the most fun you can have with string, so I’m going to need to collect my mental strength before I tackle that. Maybe a blueberry and chocolate cookie will help.