Recent craftings, Brown Kirtle finished

Following Drachenwald’s Crown Tourney I left some items unpacked for mending. A wool petticoat skirt got new hooks and eyes for closure so I won’t have to ask for help each time, a pair of hose got mended, a shirt was fixed up and the extraneous stiffening in the front opening of my new brown kirtle (which premiered at Crown) was removed.

The “new” brown kirtle, started in 2010 was finally finished in March 2017. When I tried it on, it was a little short, so I had to extend it by about 10 cm. I simply stitched on a long strip of the same fabric, and covered the seam with some black satin tape. It makes for a practically invisible extension, as it coordinates with more of the black satin tape which decorates the bodice. I also padded the new extended hem lightly, which helps the skirt drape a little better and keep out, even though it is entirely unlined.
Anyway, it is laced with inside lacing strips, and the front only has to lay closed with the help of hooks and eyes. For some reason I had decided to put in stiffening on this outside edge, which did nothing at all to keep the shape, instead being very much in the way for closing the hooks and eyes. So, once worn I decided to rip those out. Not too much of a procedure, and hopefully the dress will perform better in the future. I see it being a staple of my new Double Wars Camping wardrobe.
I took a few photos with my phone, but they are mysteriously deleted. I’ve not yet seen anyone post a picture of me wearing the brown kirtle at Crown, so I think evidence must wait until Double Wars, which is closer than is comfortable.

This past week, however, I’ve been working on a little napkin. I found some offcuts of the very fine hemp which I hemmed with drawn thread hem stitch, and embroidered with my filament silks. It’s a gift which has not yet been delivered, so I will wait to post pictures of that as well.

In other news, I finally closed down my livejournal, imported all the entries over to dreamwidth and my crafting history can now be found there instead: http://liadethornegge.dreamwidth.org

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Stiffened upperbodies, Gnagy bodies 2

We had much fun trying out the Gnagy measurement method to draft doublet bodices at the beginning of the year, and it produced some gorgeous looking gowns, however, mine did not provide me with the support I’d like so I said I would do it again, adding in some compression in the measurements.

Today was that day, and I decided on 2 inches of compression at the bust level and 1.5 inches at waist. I’m currently making it up into a stiffened upperbodies, which will be sort of a test for a full gown. Hopefully, I can build a chocolate brown silk dress on top of this.

Three and a half summer projects

While I’ve been in the frozen north, I’ve worked on three commission jobs, and one personal sewing projects. All of these projects will be coming along for delivery at Cudgel War which starts one week from now.

The first one is a partlet, which is accompanying a smock, which I have been working on for a long time. I finished the smock fairly quickly, but the partlet took a little longer, entirely because I didn’t actually pick it up to do anything on it, and also because I opted for a more work-heavy way to assemble it.

The second is a machine sewing project, commissioned to create a wardrobe for Pennsic. I’ve been using the machine and made three pretty much identical tunics, inspired by the Herjolfsnes-kirtle. One in bleached linen, two in unbleached. I did finish the necklines on them by hand, because… uh. Because. But all other seams and felling was done by machine, in a very efficient manner.

The third commission project is a red wool flat cap. At Double Wars I had brought the red hat I knitted, because it’s been on my shelf forever now and I’ve never been comfortable using it as it was too big for me. I had asked before the event if anyone was interested in buying it off me, for a seriously reduced price, and one lady was particularly quick to take me up on the offer. She only arrived to Double Wars late in the week however, and before she was there to try on the hat, someone else approached me asking if I could make them a red hat. I said  that of course I could, and I even had one red hat finished with me which was for sale. If the lady would end up not wanting it after trying it on I had a taker as the gentleman tried on the knitted hat and was much pleased with it. In the end the first lady snatched up the hat, and was (jokingly) called hat-stealer for the last two days of Double Wars.

wpid-20140704_204456.jpgSo I took a head measurement by means of a string, lost the string before leaving the event, and took delivery of half a meter of red wool from the gentleman to make a sewn flat cap for delivery at Double Wars. wpid-20140704_204639.jpgWith the measurement I drew out a circle, made two discs an appropriate depth which I stitched together along the outside edge and turned inside out to topstitch along the outside. Then I cut out a crown another appropriate size larger than the disc which I stitched in to the inside edge of the brim, making laid pleats all around the circumference. Then I folded in the other side of the brim to enclose all raw edges. I will advise the recipient to add a “sweatband” of either silk or velvet on the inside as well. Pretty much all extant flat caps, even for poorer folk, have a lining of silk (finds from the Mary Rose for example) so I will also recommend that to the recipient. It took me just under seven hours to make this all by hand, so I think I will definitely make myself a flat cap in the same manner as well.

wpid-20140704_204538.jpg wpid-20140704_204725.jpg

The fourth and final project is the one for myself, which I am also doing by hand. I discovered after Double Wars that I only had two chemises for my 15th Century wardrobe, and as I’m planning on wearing that for Cudgel War I wanted to make at least one more. Some of the linen in my stash went with me and I cut out a very simple A-line kirtle bodice, fairly straight sleeves with underarm gussets of a strange shape. No godets. I discovered I didn’t need them for fullness once I had made up the side seams. All seams are sewn up, and felled with linen thread, and the only thing left to do is carefully hem the neckline. I’m planning on doing that on Tuesday, when I’m going over to Master SvartulvR and Viscountess Elizabeth to hang out and craft.

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.

Wardrobe troubles

So, it’s been clear that everything is all muddy again.

I’m not sure anymore which layers I should be wearing with new insight into supportive kirtles to be accurate to about 1560s 70s:

  1. A smock next to my skin, plain white to be washed frequently.
  2. Over that, a shirt? Or a corset?
  3. Over a corset a shirt?
  4. Over the shirt, a kirtle. Sleeves or no? Supportive, with boning or no?
  5. Over the kirtle a partlet?
  6. Over the kirtle a gown.
  7. Accessorier: Hats, socks, shoes, gloves, ruffs and bling.

So for those 7 layers I’m certain about 3 if you count the accessories. There’s more ponderings and research to be done.

The one thing I know I need is a new red kirtle made in silk. But the question is how I should construct it.

Just goes to show you, the more you know, the less you’re certain.

The 1575 Gown – first finish

A couple of photos of the gown. I wore it outside with the partlet made for me by Countess Cecilia Jaeger, the half-gloves knitted for me by my mother, suite of ruffs and black velvet veil and billiments. Unfortunately you can’t see the fabulous shoes that I’m also wearing. It’s also clear from the photo that not ironing the front seam was a mistake on my part, which will be fixed for the second finish when I will adjust the length of the sleeves, and also add trim.

1575 Dress - first finish from the front 1575 gown First finish from the back

Spring Crown and new dress

I went to Polderslot, the shire in The Netherlands, to attend Drachenwald Spring Crown Tourney and see Margaret de Mey be elevated as a Pelican. I brought only one outfit, my new black wool dress, which worked very well for all occasions. It is, however, much bigger than it needs to be. On the other hand, I was entirely unhindered and very comfortable all weekend. This will be my new slacking gown!

On Friday I wore just my Laurel coif, a shirt, and the dress, plus Eleonora stockings and the shoes. On Saturday during the day I wore my plain white linen coif and forehead cloth, plus French Hood veil with billiments, plus my suite of ruffs, the dress, the Eleonora stockings and the shoes and half-gloves. It worked beautifully, and the gloves were perfect to keep my hands warm and still let me use the camera unhindered. The stockings were a little warm, the shoes very comfortable and pretty. The veil I had help to get it pinned up to not pull everything back off my head. It anchored very well into the braids at the top of the head. The suite of ruffs, however, were much too weakly starched and wilted during the course of the day. They ended up looking more Dutch than English. Although considering where we were, I suppose that can be explained as following the local custom :)

I did get a fashion shot taken, which I will post when I have emptied out the camera.