Sunday, February 16, 2014

Velvet formalities

I haven't updated here in a long time.  It's not because I've forgotten, I just haven't had a chance to sew anything over the holidays and trying to get the house picked up before tech rehearsals for Les Miserables.  So I present to you version 1.0 of my Gala dress for opening night.  I have not finished, still got about two weeks to go and I might change my mind still.

And a few in progress photos:

Friday, October 11, 2013

12th century bliaut construction notes

It occurred to me as I flipped back through the posts of my livejournal that I never posted any construction details of the bliaut I made.  As I start out on my next venture making 12th century clothing for a guy friend of mine, I should share the notes I remember about it (mostly to avoid making the same mistakes for a third time).

I started by making a bliaut for a man at his request.  He supplied the fabric, which was a navy blue (popular color choice) canvas type fabric.  Not the right type of material for a project that replies on draping and softness to work properly.  I trimmed it out with some red home decor fabric I had on hand.  It was absolutely horrible! I have no pictures of it, thank God!

Then I took his instructions that were printed out from this website and attempted to make one for myself after he convinced me to join SCA (I never did go to an event or anything).  I spent a small fortune on a very very wonderful navy wool gabardine and was surprised with a gift from him of a woven silk trim in a sort of blueish silver color.  I ended up making two versions of the bliaut using the directions from the above link.  The first, I followed them exactly.  It does not drape correctly.  Splitting center front and center back to insert a gore makes for some really unattractive skirt lines.  The second version I made, I put all the gores on the sides, a total of three per side.  It worked amazingly well.

Sadly, the only photos I have were taken with the webcam of my old MacBook and the dress has since been deconstructed.
This is the second version with side gores rather than splitting center and back.

Sort of a profile view focusing on the sleeves and the skirt drape.

Not really a helpful photo, but shows the color in a truer light.

What the bliaut became.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting distracted again

I know it's not an update that people were looking for, but I got a sewing gig of sorts.  I'm helping a friend revamp his 12th century SCA stuff.  Huzzah for men's clothing.  As such I'll be putting the notes I made when I made my bliaut into use as it relates to that.  We'll also be starting on a new gambeson this coming week.  It should be a nice little distraction for me.

Thought I'd dredge these up from the pits of hell too.  The only photos I have of the bliaut that is now a pencil skirt and a  ton of scrap fabric.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Here I go spouting off about how I'm going to blog more regularly and then I disappear.  I have not been completely gone.  I've been updating another page of mine (see above "Our Midcentury Ranch").  The temps outside have been ideal lately for painting and some home improvement things.  I was also doing the 14 week organizing challenge while reworking our finances, etc.  It's been a little crazy lately.

As for the 18th century court dress, I've been thinking a lot lately.  I'm going to wait to start until this winter, probably around December.  The hubby and I are both on a diet right now (going Paleo!) so I've been shrinking away.  I've been reading and browsing images though.

Just felt like a quick update to show that I'm not dead.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Will work for champagne

I've managed to do quite a bit today, but feel like I did nothing.  Oh well.

Fabric has been laundered for a corset for a friend of mine.  Just waiting to get the energy to start some patterning for it.  I've either lost or loaned my 19th century corset pattern, so I'll be using my underbust one as a guideline for Tracie's project.  She fit in mine perfectly, so this should be pretty easy to transfer measurements.

While I wait for myself to not be lazy, I started some research on the court dress.  After reading the write-up on the basics of court dress that Kendra put up, it made me realize I'm not sure what I was thinking.  I won't be needing my stays, so there was really no reason to tear apart the garage/laundry room for a second time.  oops.  I will be going the route of the boned bodice, using the 1660s one in Patterns of Fashion as a base.  After seeing the construction photos (and the finished result) over at Before the Automobile I'm really pleased with the idea.

Oh and I painted the garage door today.  A huge improvement I'd say, even if it is just temporary.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

18th Century Court Gown

Kendra at Demode posted this challenge for the world: To make an 18th century court ensemble for the Gala at Costume College next year.  While I will not be attending due to my theatrical schedule and lack of funds (we're saving for another outing out of the country), I am compelled to make a huge dress.  More information about the project can be found at Kendra's site on this page.  This has links to the other costumers participating as well as her progress.

The 18th century is relatively new to me, I've made stays and a striped francaise (that I cannibalized to try to make clothes for my old job in Columbia--stupid decision).  This will be something epically big, like my wedding dress.  Plus, I'm trying to consolidate boxes of fabric in the garage to make them fit neatly into the laundry room.  I am currently in possession of a large quantity of peacock blue silk thanks to my original maid of honor, Dena.  I think this will be the focus of the dress.  I also have a ton of mirror organza left over from my wedding dress, and I believe a good quantity of white slipper satin as well.  If those don't work with the blue, I have some gold brocades left over from various projects or some copper/bronze jacquard as well.

I'm claiming this dress.  It's from this site here.  I'll be making a minor adjustment and swapping out the yellow for copper colored fabric (to use up the supplies in the garage).

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Navy blue wool gabardine pencil skirt (even though it looks black in the crappy photo with the webcam) and lovely matching Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt
 Got the skirt done tonight!  The emerald green cotton one just needs a zipper, waist facing, and a hem now.  First two pieces in my new wardrobe...sort of.  It's hard to imagine that this skirt used to be a 12th century bliaut that I made for SCA and never wore anywhere.  I've got a lot of pieces like that.  Tons of red/gold decorating fabric that might make a really  nice vintage style coat for this winter perhaps?  There's going to be a lot of button up shirts, dresses, skirts, and "modern" clothing being made in the immediate future.

Did I mention that I'm going to get some patterns for jeans this week and try to tackle that?  I've never been so excited about sewing clothes before.
I'm quite happy with the result

Huge improvement