20 September 2011

The Black Côtehardie

Ever finish a big, long project, and think to yourself, "There, I did it!  Now I'm going to SET IT ON FIRE"?!

Local baronial Fall Championships are coming up (this weekend, in fact), and the event is kind of a big deal around here.  I needed something  ~*awesome*~ to wear, not just for court, but also for the choral guild's performance after feast Saturday night and before the theatrical performance set for that night. And since I know my tendency to think, "Look at all this time I have!" and then find myself sewing until 3am every night for the week before an event, I started seriously early - July early.  It worked: I've been done with the thing for over a week now (though I can't quit fiddling with it), and I'm not remotely stressed about getting my dress done.

I'm stressed about getting other things done instead! Yay!  But I digress. The point is: I love my outfit, and I can't wait to wear it, and I also want to SET IT ON FIRE because I've been looking at it for three months. There's got to be a middle ground between working on something slowly for freaking ever and waiting until the last minute.

ANYWAY, without further adieu, some teaser process shots...

In 26 years of sewing, and over a decade's worth of costuming, somehow I'd NEVER made a *supportive* garment from scratch. Ever tried draping/body-blocking yourself without help? It's not easy, and it's not fun.  But I did it!  This tutorial website was a HUGE help, by the way, so, big thank-yous to them/her. :)  

(And actually, this first draft was wrong, wrong, wrong, and I had to start over and do a second one - but this one has camo shorts in it, so, your argument is invalid. ;)

Body/sleeves seamed together, but not finished in any way - those are pins holding the front closed, while I checked fit.  Which I had to do a LOT over the last few months as I made this, since between July and this week I've lost about ten pounds and gained some muscles I didn't have before.  It's been weird.

The gown itself is a plain ol' 15thC côtehardie.  Black linen with a woven textural stripe.  Straight front and back skirt with wide gores - 2 each side, and 1 in the back.

It's lined with Random Blue Cotton (TM) that I had lying around the craft room, and trimmed with a forest green "velvet" (velour).

This is me checking button placement. Obviously.

While the actual côte has short sleeves on it (they're not adjusted for length yet in the pic above); the "real" sleeves for the gown are separate, full-length sleeves that will be pinned to the shoulders of the dress with decorative pins.Because I. Love. Pinned. Sleeves.

The embroidery - just dashes and dots, which prompted my boyfriend to ask me if it was Morse code - is simple, which is really all I can do, because I hate embroidering with a red, bloody passion because I suck at it and it makes my stupid arthritis flare up like whoa.  But it's simple, and sparkly, which is exactly what I wanted.  :)
 At the time I took this picture, this was the most shit I'd ever had on my head at one time. The fabric is an ivory faux-silk, which has, since this picture, been hemmed in silver and gold thread and beaded with tiny pearls. Because: bling.

<--  bling!

And no, I don't have any "after" pictures of me in the complete outfit.  You'll just have to wait until after the event to see the whole thing.  :D

To be continued...


1 comment:

  1. I love the fancy hemming. Very nice; says "I rock!" without being too over the top!


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