abendgules: (knitting)
Well, finished making - now for the washing and fulling part.

This is the flat cap I started at Raglan, in 2 ply jumper weight, which is quite fine. Hence it took an age.

The next one in the same yarn will be with 2 strands and bigger needles.

In this house, it's hard to photograph anything without a measure of cat butt appearing alongside...


abendgules: (brocade)
Years ago I made a lovely Cranach gown (materials donated by [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove)  with an underdress, all assembled with Lady Anne of Wokyngham's patient help. (just ignore my expression - didn't know I looked so sour!) It was my first effort at mounting fabric on a backing and then sewing it, cartridge pleating, adding a lining to the skirt hem only (to add weight for a better drape, and to resist fraying)...whole sets of skills I'd never known of.

After several years service, the canvas support of the bodice has shrunk inside the fabric (not prewashed to same extent as gown fabric). It had pulled away from the seams, so it's not giving the same shape as before.

I've held off making it new, because it has two side seams, that need dozens of lacing holes. My favourite....not. I considered replacing only the lining, but it didn't really seem feasible with the wear on the outer fabric.

But I want it to wear at 20 year, so...

So over the long weekend I took it apart to remind myself the assembly, unpicked it from the skirt, and checked the size compared to the pattern from 5 years ago. Remarkably the outer fabric had hardly changed shape at all.

I now have some linen canvas so I used that to mount a new linen outer fabric, and a lightweight linen lining. It's coming together beautifully.

It's odd because my memory of making this gown was that it took ages and ages to make; combination of not knowing the process at all, and fitting, which takes awhile when you are working from scratch.

But making from a pattern - it's taken one afternoon and evening to cut and mount most of the pieces, put three pieces together and start adding the lining.

Old gown - supervised by Haggis


Old bodice: I can't seem to keep my gowns from wrinkling round the upper tum, but otherwise they fit very well.

Pieces cut from a cream linen and mounted on canvas. I couldn't find the same lovely twill linen as for  but this is quite a nice weight. Middle piece looks a bit uneven - I left the selvedge in place.


Linen lining pinned in. There's no fabric lining the lacing placket so I only have 3 layers of fabric to put holes through...


Back piece, mounted and lining pinned in.


Note stray heraldic projects lying about - this is the latest round of our shire bunting in progress.

It's quite hard to take pictures in the house without some cat butt appearing.

Also evidence of gaming: noone tell the College of Heralds please.
abendgules: (clothing)
It's always charming to have answers to questions, but I'm certain this is the most e-mail I've received in reply to a simple question about sewing.

But it's great - I had no idea so many people used paper patterns.

I tend to think SCA sempstresses and tailors are self-taught, like me, from the T-tunic onward, a la Greyfells. I should remember we've all come from all corners...and Europeans (if not Britons) are far better at teaching their kids crafts and handwork skills in school than in Canada, so lots of people would graduate with 'real' sewing skills.

When I started sewing for SCA, the 'costume' end of the commerical paper pattern collection was for Hallowe'en only. But honestly, these are a long way from the Snow White and Cinderella outfits I remember - the bonnet's a bit odd, but otherwise fine.

Burda 7468 Middle Ages dress and bonnet and Burda 7977 Kirtle

A Simplicity Italian Renaissance gown - not my style, but recogniseable for the era.

Browsing the Burda site, there's a lot more costume options for adults, for every era - lots of 19th c style clothing, gothy steampunky clothing, Gibson Girl stuff. You can still find a wench bodice outfit if you want, but the selection is far better than it once was. There's even 16th c and 19th c corset patterns.

One source I hadn't known before is Margo's patterns, and I may be lashing out on at least one package (found a reseller in the UK who also carries RH).

One correspondent told me her favourite source is the German translation of Medieval Tailor's Assistant. Hopefully I'll get to tell Sarah Thurfeld of her success at the next MEDATS conference.

In the meantime - tomorrow I have another day off (using up leave at odd times, even during the crunch time, otherwise it expires). And I'm going to Weiss Gallery for the Tudor Child launch promotion. I've never been to the gallery, and I've got my copy in hand, so I can quiz the authors about the fabric sources. :-)
abendgules: (brocade)
The Tudor Child, written by Jane Huggett and Ninya Mikhaila, ed Jane Malcolm-Davies, is a delight. My copy arrived this week because I ordered in advance for a small discount. What a treat!

The same careful research, beautiful photos and well chosen examples go into this book as the previous ones, with a quick review of techniques familiar from the Tudor Tailor and the servants' books. It's the same page count and size as the Tudor Tailor - apparently it grew in the writing, from a small book to a sturdy one and took longer to assemble than planned.

Some highlights:
- photos of Ninya in two different high-Elizabethan outfits, non-pregnant and then at 7 months pregnant, to illustrate how existing outfits were modified to accommodate pregnancy (looser lacing, new plackets and stomachers) - she looks just like the portraits of pregnant women.

- photo series illustrating how to swaddle an infant (under 3 months) and the result is exactly as shown in portraits, with the baby looking eerily like a lifesize doll. Beautiful. The discussion of swaddling and of toilet training, is intriguing. Great outline of a 16th c layette set.

- wonderfully thorough study of surviving portraiture and accounts, to support their discussion of what you dressed children in - what was considered the minimum requirements for even the poorest children. They now divide the discussion into lower, middle, and elite class needs. When you dress boys and girls the same, you can only distinguish them in portraits by their accessories - hats, belts, swords, and kerchiefs. For some portraits w/out named sitters, they just describe the figures as 'infant' or 'child', because there's no real telling them apart.

- Great quotes from the Lisle letters, of the 'tween' daughter (around 13) being fostered in Paris, writing to ask for money for 'things that you just don't need when living in England, but you, like, *totally* need if you're living in France'.

- pictures illustrating all the sets of clothes, including Master Paul's love-child! a boy dressed in tweedy breeches, woolly hose, a blue doublet and a flat cap. All he needs is a high-pitched giggle.

- knitting patterns! for hose with garter-stitch heels, a shirt (like the one in MoL, or in the painting of the Madonna knitting in the round), caps and mittens - a different mitten than the one in MoL! I was thrilled to see a different mitten option for knitters. All the items are very fine-gauge. I haven't read the patterns closely yet but am looking forward to doing so, because I have acres of double-knitting yarn to use up.

The patterns and line drawings look familiar from previous books (hose, doublets, gowns, kirtles) but are new - scaled to childrens' bodies and shapes.

The elite clothing patterns includes two of the best known Elizabethan child outfits: Edward Tudor as a boy, and Elizabeth Tudor as a teenager, in their respective finery.

And for those in the costume and filk-fan-con world - Teddy has a credit, as he and Ninya designed the fashion doll on the cover. I saw the doll, in fact, at Teddy and Tom's place, not realising it would be so prominent in the book. And there's a pattern for it.

Overall, the pictures of children in the reconstructions are a delight - a balance between careful sober portraits, imitating the originals, and children laughing and being children. The back cover shows a detail of a beautiful bodice and skirt on a child...who has her thumb in her mouth.

My only reservations - and these are quite small, given how much I like the book:
- the authors cite the 1560 Breugel painting 'children's games' several times - I wish there'd been one, single illustration of the whole painting. There are detail pics of different figures, but I'd love to see the whole.
- I've love a list of suppliers, to find out who provided what materials. The silks, brocades and velvets are just sumptuous, and I don't think I've ever seen the equivalent, so I'd love to know where to find them. Presumeably if you're a Tudor Tailor follower you know a lot of suppliers already, but I almost want cites at the bottom of the picture like in fashion magazines: Silk by Chatelaine silks, linen by Classic Textiles, hair model's own...

If you like clothes, knitting, or children, or some combination of these - it's worth the price of the book to have for yourself.
abendgules: (catching snowflakes)
...England is a awash with flooding. I'll have to watch the Peanuts Christmas special on YouTube, and the Grinch too, for any white Christmas fill.

Hoping to stop pretending to work and slip out of the office soon, and go shopping in person rather than online. 

For this holiday crafty wish list:
- get more gilding tools to improve gilding results, hopefully today
- finish lining a hood
- start a new cardigan on the needles
- make more smellies as gifts
- optional: start laying out new bodice for German undergown

I have to rein in my instinct to start a half-dozen new projects - I get so wound up at the prospect of a few days uninterrupted crafting that I tie myself in anxious knots over what I could do, and end up frozen, unable to decide what to do first, and only manage to do the boring routine stuff like housework.

If I can settle to just a handful of projects, I have more chance of actually finishing them, and thus avoiding further rebukes from UFOs round the house.

I've actually had some FO results - finished a smock, finished some knit garters - but somehow they're anticlimactic compared to starting new.
abendgules: (brocade)
HLady [livejournal.com profile] liadethorneggecame through with pictures, and only one of them is slightly tipsy-looking.

Pics are huge, so you an enjoy them in all their splendour! Also, it was a lovely day.

Aside from being happy that it came out the way I pictured it, I was really pleased with the silly hat. It has a wire form inside to provide the shape - there's precedent for wire forms for the pointy gabled hoods, so I suspect the use has been plausibly extended to this earlier pointy bonnet shape. The silk ended up draping very well - better than I expected - and it's all pinned to a headband.

The rosary beads were a gift from Lord Logan, who made occasional trips to the holy land; the sash is a silk pashmina from Lord John, chequey's squire, who came back from Af'stan with a bag full of beautiful textiles for Robert and me. I'm hoping to trim it to make a more manageable sash, and still have a lovely scarf to wear.

When really finished, it'll be hooks and eyes all up the front - as is, there's H&E to the waist, then I stitched up the rest of the bodice.

I still have wrinkles round my middle, but at least these ones are documentable - they look just like the ones in a painting shown in the Queen's Servants.

Gown of great shinyness )
abendgules: (brocade)
One of my earliest medieval clothing (well really costuming) experiences was with velveteen - I was charmed by the prospect of making a 'push 'n shove' (basically an ahistorical low-cut bodice that would show off my assets), and made it in red velveteen.

I used one layer of fabric, and the pattern was based on a cotehardie pattern that [livejournal.com profile] buttongirl had made for me. I knew nothing of lining, edge finishing options or any other related skills. I stitched light boning casing to the seam allowance (already clipped).

I remember Helly saying, 'what lining are you using?' and me saying, 'lining?...' in a puzzled tone. It's astonishing I emerged with anything wearable.

Anyway: at the time, I shared a cream-coloured flat with Cat: cream walls, cream/grey carpet, cream linoleum, cream everthing. The red flecks of velveteen got everywhere; finally C asked me nicely to run the vacuum  as her cat Mittens looked like she was breaking out in some kind of pox. (I was going to anyway, but I'd hoped to put it off til I was fiinished sewing, and do it just once.)

This experience warned me off velveteen for nearly 15 years, til Anne and I made my big German gown, with mucho velveteeno: skirt, bodice and sleeves are all cotton velveteen (donated by [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove, made beautiful by Anne).

But honestly - I do not remember the acres of velveteen for that gown shedding even a fraction as much as the 1m? 1.5m? I've been working with for the past week. Both the silly hat, and the binding for the gown, are velveteen - leftovers of the German gown, in fact.

In case you're wondering, cutting up offcuts of velveteen into 3cm strips and stitching them together into one mondo binding strip is absolutely the most effective way of spreading velveteen flecks across the greatest area: lounge, kitchen, bedrooms, loo. Harley has velveteen lint in her toes.

This combined with the lint from the beautiful wool is creating industrial-level dustbunnies. These guys are ready to unionise, and are already holding meetings in the stairwell.

I was thinking of Cat, Mittens, and that velveteen bodice a lot this weekend, as I vacuumed velveteen lint for what felt like the n'th time...

The other b****er of working with black velveteen is that you cannot sew it after sundown. Our lighting is fairly good, but diffused, and I can't see what I'm stitching anymore without natural light.

It's similar for scribing - I try not to finish any painting by artificial light alone. I don't know if it's just light levels, or what quality it is about daylight, but I see all the mistakes in daylight that I can't see in indoor lighting.

I've only rarely handled real silk velvet (cotton velveteen is the affordable substitute). I'm suspicious of the 'silk' velvets in the shops, partly because they seem underpriced, partly because they feel so plastic-ey.

I understand that most items sold as silk velvet are either silk fabric and rayon pile, or vice versa (can't remember which way round).

Does anyone know where you find real, honest to goodness silk on silk velvet? I'm mostly just curious - after this project I'm off piled fabrics for another 15 yrs I think! - but I'd love to know what it really handles like, and how it's different from cotton.
abendgules: (brocade)
...because even early 16th c clothing is a journey of many many steps, when you're trying to follow pattern instructions.

Should look splendid, if I can find enough hours in the day to do the hand finishing. I spent all free hours over Jubilee weekend on this gown. I'm beginning to hanker for t-tunics.

However: one awesome aspect has been using cross and dot pattern paper for the first time - not just scrabbling together cardboard and recycled paper, but large sheets of paper printed with crosses and dots like giant fill-in-your-own graph paper. 

It made drafting the bodice, back, sleeve and bonnet patterns crisp and precise (two seam edges meet, and match in length! who knew it was possible? parallel lines, for real!) than previous saved-muslin patterns. I'm totally sold on this stuff (even in its non-optimal metric gauge).

I think playing with paper patterns for trousers primed me to tackle medieval-clothing patterns with paper, and doing it with enthusiasm.

The pink gown is finished and even documented with pics, to be posted.

Have I taken a single photo of the amazing beautiful overgown? Of course not. Sigh. I'll never make a real blogger like [livejournal.com profile] liadethornegge.

abendgules: (brocade)
A lovely newcomer took some pictures - this is in the little courtyard adjascent to the site:

And of course, the Cranach painting that inspires it - mostly bachlorette number 2, but with number 3's geometric bust band decor.

Three saxon princesses on the marriage market, wearing their dowries
abendgules: (brocade)
Thanks for your encouraging remarks about the gown.
[livejournal.com profile] maryf and [livejournal.com profile] kirieldp commented about the undergown. I'll be honest, I don't know if German noble ladies wore undergowns as a matter of course.
The idea developed with milady Anne of Wokyngham's help, as she was the more knowledgeable of the two of us about 16th c. clothing, but she's the first to say she knows English, not German, clothes.
But there's a good argument based on her research. 16th c. English folk very reliably wear linen underclothes, and then two layers of clothing. The terminology isn't consistent, but 'kirtles' (underneath) and 'gowns' (over top) are used by the Tudor Tailor authors.
The kirtles tend to provide the support and shaping, the gowns provide lush layers to display. This convention goes back to previous periods, at least in England.
Looking at paintings, 99% of women wearing this style had a white underlayer, that showed up the lacing across the stomach. (There's one portrait where it's black.)
So what is the visible white bit? The options are:
- a chemise: in which case there's only one layer of gown providing support and shape, and the German ladies are exposing their tummies to the elements covered only with linen or silk.
This struck me as unlikely. For one thing, chemises are puffy and ruffly, and these ladies tums are uniformly smooth, whereas the puffy and pleated parts of their chemises are clearly illustrated quite beautifully. If you wore an ordinary chemise under a gown that had an open space around the tum, surely it would puff out between the lacings?
- a kirtle or petticoat with a white bodice, possibly with the heavy cartridge-pleat skirts attached. Lady Anneke suggested this option to me, and it makes a lot of sense. A doublet over it, with the odd bust-band, would then be decorative, not supportive.
If I did this gown over, I think I might go this route - though then I'd have to find a way to keep the doublet from riding up, because it's cut quite short and snug.
- a kirtle or petticoat of any colour, with a white 'stomacher' pinned in - like mine. English ladies wore assorted parts of their gowns pinned together (stomachers, partlets, sleeves, skirts), so the pinning is quite plausible.

What clinched it for me is some paintings by Cranach featuring the woman caught in adultery, dated around 1540s. There are several, with the same basic composition, and the woman is always wearing a peach or vermilion gown that is unlaced, though the details vary - sometimes the angry crowd around her are in armour, sometimes in civilian clothing.
(Notes from the Met Museum say there are over 15 versions - must have been the hit of his corner of Germany.)
Christ and the adulteress, detail, Cranach elder, 1532
Same image, full image
ETA: found one source, it's in the Met.
Christ and the adulteress, Cranach the elder, 1540s accession no. 1982.60.35
(small copy is in my scrapbook, but go look at the Met Museum site, you can zoom brilliantly! Very cool). woman taken in adultery
The adulteress has presumeably been hustled straight from the offending bed, with no time to even lace up her gown.
Her chemise is, I think, showing as a ruffled layer across her bust, and then there's a white triangular space between the two sides of the gown, that has loose lacing over it. I'm not certain if the line around her neck is a dark necklace, or possibly a finished edge of an extremely fine translucent chemise or partlet, as fine and see-through as her veil.
But if that's the chemise, what's the ruffly bit over the boobs?
In the Met zoomed version, you can clearly see boobs through the ruffled shirt.
AND you can see that the white bit extends around her shoulders, just short of the black edge of the outer gown.
(You can also see the beautiful delicate blackwork in her veil - it must have looked like it was just floating free over her face, unattached to anything, the linen is so fine.)
This white line, to me, suggests that the white bit between the two 'lapels' of the doublet isn't just chemise, but is a layer of gown, one that continues under the orange one. So increasingly, the white kirtle is looking like a good option.
This adulteress' gown doesn't seem to include a bust band - either styles had moved on from the Saxon princess era, or the lady was swept from her room before she could grab it. Not certain!

So: that's why I'm wearing an underdress for this outfit. YMMV.
abendgules: (brocade)
I'm finally coming close to finishing a late-period clothing project that has dragged on for years. As much as I'm pleased with it, I don't think I'm making something like this again any time soon! Cote hardies are sufficiently complex for me.

Robert agreed to take pics of the several layers of this gown. Please ignore somewhat grumpy expression: I thought my face was more neutral than that!

Also, unfortunately this isn't a true representation of the bold red colour in the skirt - it seems very variable depending on the light source.

The slashed 1520s style shoes are from a reenactor merchant - very reasonably priced, and very cute.

Items remaining to complete outfit:
- hooks to hang skirt to bodice
- fitting again, to decide how to attach bustband to bodice (hooks & eyes, or stitch one side and pin/hook & eye)
- hem about 15 miles of skirt
- make a beaded snood
- possibly make a fine pleated partlet to fill the neckline
- find plied cord to lace sleeves to bodice, or ply more
- reshape hat 1.0 so it actually stays put

smock, hose and shoessmock, hose and shoes with turban to retain my modesty
undergown, with lacing on each sideundergown, with lacing on each side Linen, lined with calico and linen in bodice.
underdress side viewunderdress side view
underdress back viewunderdress back view cartridge pleating at back, wide knife pleats in front
adding white linen facingadding white linen facing This is a sort of flat 'stomacher' pinned in place, to give a smooth white front to go under the gown and lacing. The vast majority of the gowns appear to have smooth white surface under the top layer.
added skirtadded skirt This is the cartridge pleated velvet skirt, lined with linen. It actually sits above my natural waist, and will hang from the doublet by hooks and eyes, to keep the doublet in place. It's very heavy.
laced bodice and separate lower sleeveslaced bodice and separate lower sleeves Bodice hooks to the skirt. Lower sleeves are separate, and slide on, loosely laced over puffy linen chemise. Have to find the lacing cord I plied up for this purpose.
side view of bodice and sleevesside view of bodice and sleeves The cartridge pleating actually forces the skirt out from my waist quite sharply, as you can see.
bustband pinned into doubletbustband pinned into doublet Requires fitting, after finishing skirt+doublet
hat and chokerhat and choker Hat 1.0 is too small and requires work. Choker is by thorngrove, gold trim mounted on silk velvet, and beaded with pearls and garnets.

abendgules: (brocade)
Remembering that I want to look like princess no. 2 here, I've finished the 2-part sleeves, with guidance and patterning by milady Anne of Wokyingham. I'm pretty pleased with the result, and hope to heck they fit in the finished product!
Hopefully, hopefully, to be modelled at Crown at the end of the month.

3 Saxon Princesses, by Cranach 3 Saxon Princesses, by Cranach
Cranach sleeves, finished Cranach sleeves, finished

Backs of sleeves, showing silk lining.
Black Velveteen and gold patterned silk brocade is mounted on a calico internlining, and lined with yellow silk. Both pieces have two rows of slashed velveteen at the top and one at the bottom. The slashes are not lined or finished - they fray, but not overly much - an interpretation of the costly extravagance of the clothing.
Cranach sleeves, finished, fronts Cranach sleeves, finished, fronts


abendgules: (Default)

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