Round-up of summer 2017

I had the lofty goal of updating this blog weekly, but, as has become customary forgot about it almost immediately. I have, however, done a few things since the last update. I patterned, cut out and have stitched up a new basic black 16th Century kirtle, which I plan to make my basic base layer. It’s nearly finished, the only thing left is hemming. I had help measuring the hem (Thank you, Tece!) so I just have to do the remaining bit of work. The goal now is to have it in time for October Crown Tourney in Aarnimetsä.

An old project nearing completion. 16th century gloves in soft tan leather. Sewn with silk thread.

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Another project finished this summer was a pair of leather gloves! I started them in 2008, after having the pattern done for a while after a Sewing Circle day where we all made glove patterns. I bought soft glove leather in a store which is no longer in existance, but since there are two gloves I got bored and it took nine years to finish them off. I brough them along to Cudgel War, and they were gorgeous, beautiful and all things wonderful.

Signet ring and gloves. 29/365 #everydayphotos #bwphotography #lumixgx7 #signetring #gloves

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If I were to do them again, I would fit each finger to me as I went, as the forefingers on each glove is a little too large. There’s not going to be any changes now, though, they are good enough for me.

AntoniosBreeches

Documentation for Antonio’s breeches made at Raglan

The second really cool project I did was draft and sew a pair of 16th Century breeches for a friend during the ten day camping event at Raglan in Wales. I had a look at the schedule before we went and could tell there was going to be plenty of time for me to just hang out. Instead of just sitting idle I wanted to try out some more proportional drafting as taught by Mathew Gnagy in “The Modern Maker“. He is currently working on his second book, which will contain breeches as well as lots of other garments for the 16th Century gentle, and he has been posing lots of pattern drafts taken from Freyle which is a pattern book from 1588. My friend Baron Antonio has long been asking me to make him something, so I thought I would combine the two. Said and done on the Thursday before Raglan I sent him a question about fabric, and style, and arranged for him to bring me fabrics. I provided threads and all other tools. I made a bara-tape based on his waist, and with the Freyle layout I drafted a pair of breeches, which I sewed on site using my reproduction brass needle bought in Visby.

Antonio’s breeches, front

Antonio’s breeches, side

They were a complete success as far as I’m concerned. Fit him very well, moved with ease, were comfortable enough. I also added a pocket, which I could have worked a little better, possibly might need a couple of stitches to make sure it doesn’t open where it’s not supposed to. I opted for a tight cuff at the knee, which meant I had to add a couple of points, which I made fingerloop braids for in matching silk. I started them on the Sunday and finished them just after noon on the Wednesday. The documentation was for the A&S Display for “Things worked on during Raglan”. I put the trousers out there along with the little page to explain the project, and some generous gentles left me a couple of very nice tokens of appreciation which made me very happy. I now have a matched set of fleur-de-lys brooches!

Nearly finished Laurel Cape

For Raglan I also made a little 16th Century cape, with a collar, on which I appliqued a Laurel wreath. This was a gift to Mary Verch Thomas who was elevated to the Order of the Laurel there. The base fabric is a cotton velvet and the leaves were cut from a wool cloth. Applique on velvet is a somewhat frustrating exercise. It’s also lined in a nice thin suiting wool, so it’s quite warm and cozy. The collar also makes it excellent as a wind-shield.

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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

Week 2 2017 – crafts update

So in order to keep track of things, here’s a post of what I did this week, crafts wise.

In preparation for sewing circle I ripped out the skirt and sleeves of my unfinished Spanish late 15th C gown. The plan was to get it re-fitted and measure out where to set in the skirt, which I got help with by Helwig. The skirt is not re-attached by hand – whipstitching it with buttonhole silk.

I’ve also continued hemming my wool Roman gown. It’s not a big task, it’s not a difficult task, but it’s slow going because I sew with wool using a reproduction brass needle. It’s lovely and tactile to work with, but I have to go carefully.

In other new, I’ve been talking to my household and working on a household badge (Per pale indented sable semy of seeblatts inverted argent and vert mullety argent), which I sent in to Edelweiss today. Hopefully it will go through without problem, as I asked Anna de Byxe to check it for me to start.

Entirely modern, I finally stitched on reflexive tape on windbreaker bottoms. I use the flexy reflective armbands on my arms, but they’re too small to fit around my windbreaker bottoms, so I’ve been planning to sew on a strip of reflex tape there for ages. This week I remembered it, when I was in town, with time to look for it in the fabric store, and I put it on the leg by machine.

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?

Sewing Circle Saturday

So yesterday was second official sewing circle of the year, or maybe it was the third. Anyway, last time myself and Helwig drafted up new bodice patterns following the measurement technique posted by Matthew Gnagy to the Elizabethan Costume group on facebook.

We drafted the pattern, and made toiles. Yesterday we took the toiles and patterns and cut out new dresses for me in black wool, for her in burgundy silk. I intend to make it again, properly, in silk, once I’ve tried out this pattern in an every-day gown out of wool.

This is all in line with our project to make English gowns in 1575. My main inspiration is this portrait of Countess Kildare, and Helwig is working to this green and this red gown. We also got Isabetta to start this project along with us, and she’ll be working to this red gown, because she has an orange silk brocade which will be perfect as the middle layer.