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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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.

Pattern drafting done

Going from the original coif found in Patterns of Fashion 4 (page 46, coif number 50 in the book) I modified the pattern for Mary’s coif so that every other line is twice the width of the original. Actually, the original lines are 18 and 22 mm apart, and for this I am doing 25 and 50 mm alternately. Basically this is enlarging the pattern 100% but I like the effect.

For the vines in the larger lines the original has the same flower sprig repeated, and I’m replacing every other one with a peapod, because I like peadpods, and the other flowers are alternately laurel wreaths and seeblatts. Because I want to do laurel wreaths and I have to make sure I can’t give it away to someone else when it’s finished. I have seeblatts in my registered device in the SCA.

I’ve not decided which threads to use, as yet. Probably the thicker silk that I have a cone of, black, for all the outlining. I might possibly do the vines in silver thread, or I might do them in black silk. Either outline with black and fill with silver, or just do silver chain stitch.

I might do the laurels in silver thread, possibly green silk gilt twist. The seeblatts possibly in silver, possibly green silk gilt twist, possibly black silk gilt twist.

I would like to add spangles as well, but have to source them.

So there’s still plenty of decisions left.