Saturday, December 31, 2011

ACC final report

Weeeeell I didn't get the dress done. I do have a beautiful sheer chemise that I am very happy with and a mostly completed necklace that just needs bling added. My gollar is fantastic. But I haven't got the under bodies quilted and the bodice is not attached to the skirt. I am still having problems with the arm scythe. The guards are also not completely attached. So I will not be done at the deadline and I am okay with that. I learned a lot and my documentation is good so I am ready to enter it in a competition for Arts and Sciences. I hope to have it ready to wear at 12th night. I will take pictures and post them when I figure out my new camera.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The list is not getting shorter

So I haven't updated my blog for a while due to a complete lack of ability to take photos of what I have been up to. Well still no pictures but need to update so here we go.

September I got completely sidetracked by sewing for Harvest. I made my hubby a very nice red tunic with some cool embriodery and some pants for my son. Also I discovered the answer to how long does a card of black silk floss last?! The answer is 4 cuffs and 1 collar of quite dense black work.

October I spent researching in anticipation of having documentation. I have been working very hard to document as much as possible before starting the pieces of the outfit. I feel like I am running out of time however so I really need to cut into this gorgeous wool. I do have a bodice pattern thanks to Maysun. I found the fabric I wanted for the low neck chemise. I have ordered 4 yards of cotton voile as it seems to be what will give me the sheer look I have seen in portraits and the wearability to make the dress comfortable. I also found some jewelry bits for the collar thing. I have been practicing the embroidery for the brustefleck. I am going with a padded satin stitch and have found the key to the stitch is the tension of the fabric. Now to decide on floss color and fabric color.

The goal for November is to get everything together. I would like everything to be at the lets fiddle with it stage by the end of the month. I was hoping to get some Laurel feedback at Collegium but was unable to attend due to a serious cold.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The dress research and plan

I have decide upon a inspiration portrait. The painting above has the "prosperous without being a noble" feel that makes me feel like this could be budget friendly and beautiful at the same time. I found a dress diary that believes that the sweetheart line in this painting and others is a very sheer chemise but I believe it is a ribbon (with a key or something tucked into the dress) not a chemise. Cranach defines even sheer layers in most of his paintings with some type of color and/or texture and there is no evidence of that in the portraits I have studied.

I have a game plan and the start for a shopping list. My husband compared my dress plans with our need to replace the roof over the garage in terms of budget. I really should avoid showing him grand plans for projects and several nights of research all at once. lol. My plan begins with the chemise of course. I spent long nights squinting at portraits and paintings and have decided to make two chemises. The gowns are shown with two types of chemise, a high neck gathered chemise and a low neck chemise that really does not show at all. The high neck chemise will be very light and I plan to search out some sheer silk $$$, the low neck chemise will be made out of light linen that I believe is somewhere in my stash. The portrait to the right shows the low chemise and some markings of the layers made by Naergi

For the dress itself may be changing a color. I was planning on the dress being pink with dark green guards but after looking for any portrait with a dress other then red and gold I believe a blue with pink accents will look better. I found a couple of portraits with green and gold and the contrast was beautiful.

I recently was given some wool that I think will be quite nice. I will use a standard bodice pattern with the front cut away and gather the skirt with rolled pleats attached to a waistband and then attached to the bodice. I am feeling very empowered by this dress. There are no extant examples to limit my theories so I can decide how best to make things work for me using period construction methods known to be used at the time and my own conclusions. The only extant dress I am aware of is the wedding gown for Mary of Hungary. Its not a cranach gown and I believe there are pieces missing or misinterpreted.

The fun part will be deciding how the "brustfleck" will be attached and to which layer. I believe we are looking at three layers. A chemise, an under bodice made of a stiff or reinforced fabric that may have the brustfleck attached to the top and the outer dress which may have the brustfleck attached in some way. My fourth layer will be a goller made from black velvet or wool and lined with linen. I will be making the underbodice layer as an entire bodice rather then a stomacher because I am a big girl and I want the dress to look smooth and hold me in without unsightly bulges, It will be smooth and supportive preventing any creasing from interfering with the lacing. I will be using canvas with possibly some hemp reinforcment and white linen as the outer layer hiding any boning channels. It is going to take some experimentation to decide how it will go together and I am working to fit a bodice that will look right and feel right.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I am excited to be part of the Artemisian Costuming Challenge. After much research I have decided to do a Cranach gown for the following reasons
  1. I get excited when I think about the embroidery.
  2. I have always wanted to make a German style dress.
  3. I can make up a story that fits my persona into that country and timeperiod with too much trouble.
I did immediately have a nightmare that I made the gown and went to an event and everyone else was wearing the same thing but given the recent trend in Italians I think I'm safe.

The dress itself will be relatively simple and I think I have fabric that will work. It is a dusty rose colored cotton fabric for the main part of the dress and a very dark green cotton for the guards. I am still debating whether I will add a gollar to the outfit. If I do I have black velvet and black wool to choose from and linen for the lining. here are some pictures of the fabric. The first is taken outside in full sun and the second is inside. The darker image for the pink is more accurate but the green looks better in full sun.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I am inspired to dance

I have been super drooling on the sublime stitching and Mr Xstitch blogs and am inspired to give their style a try. I have picked a couple of sayings that I would like hanging on my wall and just need to pick some decorative bits to add. The sayings are

"Life is not passing you by, it is trying to run you over!"

"one whiskey, two whiskey, three whiskey, floor"

I am thinking very tattoo inspired designs. Sublime stitching is helping by having a cool half off sale. bye bye paycheck......

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lessons learned

I entered the artisans showcase at Uprising. I am still alive to tell the tale. Lessons learned...
  • Don't wear the day before what you wish to showcase the next day.
  • Don't wear your best stuff, display it.
  • Don't sit next to people displaying better work then you, sit next to the blacksmith or pottery.
  • It is a good idea to empty the pavilion when it attempts to become airborne. The Uprising staff is so smart!

It was a good event. I found a lovely gold gown for Gwyn at the consignment booth and some very nice glass bottles that I plan to use to display cordials at the next showcase. The kids have new toys for their castle box and I didn't get sunburned until the ride home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Unfinished projects

I have been working hard on a goal I set for myself this year. The finishing of unfinished projects. Yes the dreaded UFO.... I have accomplished a lot I feel and even have pictures to share. I have finished a lot of hand sewing, finished a brown kirtle I have been ignoring for over a year which involved 40+ handbound eyelets, and threw away a few things that were just not worth finishing. I have a pillow I have been working for something like 5 years off and on and I am so close to finishing it that I went a bought the appropriate pillow form yesterday. I have pictures of the embroidery......but I can't seem to upload them. I will edit this post after I figure out what the problem is. The design is a DMC kit titled "Butterfly" and I modified the border using a blackwork design published in the Linn Skinners book "100 blackwork charts".

In other news, we have been fostering a couple of dogs and I have to say it is much more relaxing then fostering kittens. We usually get a big batch of orphaned or abandoned kittens to nurse and love every spring. Its like taking care of a dozen babies with round the clock feedings and potty training all thrown together. But this year we got a couple of phone calls from folks hit in the economic crunch and no longer able to care for their animals. We have never fostered dogs but knew the owners personally. So we have a pit bull terrier named Sadie and a toy poodle named Teddy. Sadie will be going home after her owners are able to buy a house. Teddy is waiting for his momma to get better and hopefully leave the nursing home she moved to. They are both sweet dogs and have only reinforced my insistance that we need a fenced in yard. They have gone camping with us and hiking with us and on family picnics, and I love them.