Because the first question people ask me when they've seen the new Japanese outfit I made for Takuan (you remember Takuan) is "did you make these? wait - how did you do that??" I figured I'd make a blog entry about it, since I've spent all week working on these.
In place of the six lions down the lapels of his jin-baori, as with the yellow and gold Caerleon outfit linked above, I did six mon, the circular embroidered designs (patches, in this case) running down the front of the garment, which bear a form of his SCA device.
I started with a red silk fabric with gold-colored dragonflies already woven into it. This circle was cut so that it had one fly already in it, to save myself a bit of work. I ironed a scrap of lightweight interfacing onto the back, and satin-stitched around the design to make it look appliquéd on the way the others will be.
you can see I've also run a loose zigzag around the edge of the circle, to keep it from unraveling. This is some seriously unravely fabric.
Sometimes my camera is really badass.
I have to say, at this point, that this new sewing machine is CRAZY AWESOME. It's fast, it's quiet, it's smooth - seriously, these things went together in about twenty minutes apiece, once all the prep was out of the way (interfacing, making the circles, etc.). On my old machine they took an hour EACH.
Also, I didn't notice until I saw this picture that I'd forgotten to put on the special foot I'm supposed to use when I'm satin-stitching. Oops!
Finally! Obviously the circle isn't really straight, but I can't trim it just yet.
First I had to clip all the loose threads. Next was to iron a circle of heavier interfacing onto the back, since, as you can see, the fabric is kinda wibbly.
And what are these going onto?
Well, this, for one thing. Or rather, something like it.
The set of patches featured here are actually the second set - the ones for this black and red outfit were the first. the second set went a lot more smoothly, since the first set was the proverbial $4M ashtray (West Wing reference; r&d and experimentation are the hard part. Now I know what I'm doing).
The black and red outfit was done in August of this year. It was a bit of a surprise, so I hadn't posted about it yet. But here you go. It's basically the same thing as the Caerleon samurai outfit (linked at the beginning of this post), but with sleeves...and...obviously...a different color. The helmet, armor, and weaponry were all made by Takuan himself.