31 October 2011

Making Cloth Buttons

Not that there aren't already a frillion of these on the internet, but, these are the first ones I've made, so here they are:

a circle, basted around

and gathered

and flattened

more basting around the outside of the flat circle

and more gathering


Navy blue lightweight cotton twill, for a pair of sleeves in the same fabric, to be worn with a red & blue thing I'm working on for Yule Revel.


17 October 2011

Yea, and A Case To Put It Into

I needed a sewing kit upgrade.  My portable sewing kit, until now, has been a 6" organza gift bag, like these:

It was alright, but that little bag spent so much time in my purse that it ended up with holes and threadbare spots, and the ribbon drawstring was pretty much fuzz.  It wasn't big enough to hold my scissors, or really anything more than a couple of spools of thread and a case of needles.

What I really wanted was a pretty little box.  I just happened to have a flat box with a locking clasp sitting around--a few years ago I'd started to put a gray-tinted whitewash on it, but hated it, and never did anything with it. It was the perfect size for a couple of pairs of scissors, a few spools of thread, and whatever else I needed.

Because the wood on these little craft-store trinket boxes is so soft and thin, I didn't want to risk using a stripper on it, or sanding it much.  Instead, since the existing whitewash still showed much of the wood grain, I "stained" it with layers of acrylic craft paint, striated and buffed back to keep the real wood grain's texture visible through the colors. 

Orange oak-y highlights,   rich, deep "cherry wood" tones over that, then finally a thin, wet layer of black to provide shadows and patina.

Next up is some decorative painting, a deep and shiny clear-coat, fabric lining, and the brass hardware that came on the box (which is sitting in a cleaning solution at the moment, because there were flecks of the gray whitewash paint all over it).

To be continued...


13 October 2011

[My Own] History of the Veil, Part I

I'm sure there'll be a million of these posts.  For a woman who swore in January that I'd never cover my head or - god forbid! - wear a hat...I sure have a lot of veils. (Six at last count, not that I know where they all are).  And I just made my first hat.

I experimented with a frillion ways of pinning my veil directly to my hair, at first.  All kinds of fancy braids, with and without hair taping for support, hidden hair bands and barettes, all to no end. Everything just slid off.

At a demo in Salado, TX, in March.
There's an elastic band around my head, and the veil's draped over the top, pinned in place, and then folded back.  Slid off. Repeatedly.

 A turban-y sort of situation at a demo in Hellsgate.
VERY comfortable.  Bad photo, but it's basically one of these.

Lately I've taken to wearing a it as a foundation onto which to pin a veil, and it works REALLY well.  The trade-off is that the extra layer is kinda hot, although I can soak it in water to cool off, or roll ice cubes into the brim.

And then there was this business ("silk" veil and wimple), for our Fall Championships, which was *AWESOME*.  Still no finished pics, though.  Soon.

I'd been thinking lately, though, of trying out a couple of things:  a barbette and headband, and a hat.  So last night, I ...

Made what I thought was going to be a "quick" little linen barbette (chin strap) and head band.  It actually took me like an hour, since I mis-measured...twice.  D'oh.

For some reason I couldn't find my box-o-headgear last night while I was taking pictures, but I scrounged a square of fabric from my craft room to test-drive the barbette situation:  here's a "veil" pinned onto it.  SO COMFY!  Doesn't move, either.

And I found my headgear box like five minutes later.

I swear, if 1 more person asks me if nose rings are period...

And then I made a hat - a plain, 13th-early 14thC toque.  I'm not completely sold.  I like the hat itself, and I love the the fabric (which is a scrap of an old shower curtain - and yes, it's kinda paisley-ish, which is not period for Medieval Europe, but it was what I had, and it's a first draft).

Honestly, I think my face is tall enough already without the extra emphasis; and this oddly-angled picture doesn't really help. Stupid phone camera.

So I'll wear it this weekend to the event I'm going to in Bjornsborg, and wait for the Facebook pics to start showing up.  Either I'll love it or I'll never go out in public again without a bag over my head.

Hilariously enough--I thought--I used my dog's e-collar to come up with the angle and size and curve for the hat pattern, LOL.  Much easier than taking fifteen head measurements and doing a bunch of algebra.  ;)


12 October 2011

Nothin', Just Lutin' Around.

"Concert of Women", 1530-40, unknown

So, I'm a singer and a musician.  Within the SCA, I sing in my local choral guild (for which I run a blog), I play in the local musicians' guild - soprano and alto recorder, classical guitar (when applicable), and, just recently, lute!  When I put out feelers to the guilds, looking to check one out to rent or possibly to buy, a friend of mine who had one offered to lend hers to me to learn to play.  I can't tell you how excited I am about it.  I've had it for a couple of weeks now, and I can't put the thing down.  It's wonderful.

And it's beautiful:

And then there's the case, which is cardboard (not period, lol), and just a bit unwieldy for the carrying-around:

Fortunately, I just happen to have a metric crap-ton of fabric sitting around, so I made a case for it, with a shoulder strap on the side which also forms a drawstring around the neck to make sure it stays IN the bag while I'm carrying it:




11 October 2011

Random & Sundry


Sheer natural linen batiste at my local JoAnn's...for only $24.99/yard.  Sigh.

A pair of half-sleeves I whipped up last week to wear with a dress I ended up not getting time to change into.  Blue/teal/gold with a teal lining. Good sleeve practice. And practically free, since the brocade came from a shower curtain. Heh.

Wow.  I can't decide what blows me over the most about this painting: the gorgeous dress, the beautiful green sleeves underneath it (surprise!) or that blue and gold tablecloth.  I covet that tablecloth.

Isabella of Castile, artist unknown

I love sketching clothing ideas and working out pattern logistics on paper.  My BFF gave me this nifty little grid-lined notebook that I carry with me everywhere for when I feel like drawing.

I have this navy silk...hm...

I really should get some underwear and cold-weather layers together before I start any new dresses.  Hoods, cloaks, buskins, shoes, braies...and I need a long-sleeved chemise, too.  Drat.


07 October 2011

Bits 'N' Pieces For the Camp

Not that I even have a whole camp thing going on just yet.  I will, but grand plans for pavilions and things can wait - for today, I have a wee bit of furniture re-upholstery to show you. Two wee bits, actually.

Before:  a little footstool, $5 at Goodwill.  (They threw the ugly in for free). 

After: A $2 scrap of upholstery velvet I bought from a friend's fabric sale, and some gimp left over from a previous project.  

No, it isn't remotely period. But it's a cute, and useful little thing.  The legs won't even be noticed amongst all the other stuff that I hope will eventually make up one hell of an awesome, lush campsite decor.

Before: Look, it's a 15th century plastic beer cooler!  No, wait...

After: Now it's an ottoman!  Storage and extra seating, how about that?  Props to my friend Kate, from whom I stole the idea. :) 

I do plan to build a pavilion this Winter (to have ready by Gulf Wars in March), but first there's all manner of little things like this to take care of:  cushions and chair covers and tables, oh, boy! 


04 October 2011

The"Ikea Cotehardie" (Assembly Required)

Still haven't managed to get a photo of the black côte (and accessories) that I put together for the Fall baronial event in September; but I do have shots from Coronation last weekend! 

Vasilii & I
 (I was, by the way, seriously mad at my veil situation that day.  I forgot my freaking barbette, so I had to try to pin the thing directly to my hair, which was too clean and unruly to stay in one place for long.  I have since put together a basket o' headgear to keep ALL my veil and hat supplies together so I can just grab it and go, so I won't ever forget a piece again!)

grey linen from Ikea, via a friend. 
black decorative stitching, nifty sleeve linings to peek out

the garnet/silver necklace I made for this

altering the pattern DOWN a size & a half! :D