21 October 2013

I hate thinking up blog titles.

Well, the purple dress I was talking about didn't get finished for Baronial.  In fact, I ended up not being able to go, which made me very sad.  And bored. And lonely, that weekend.  Boo hoo.  I didn't get it done for  was this past weekend, either.  If I want it done by the end of the month, I've got two more weeks, though.

However, I DID want to at least wear my new pie-crust hat for the Barony of Bjornsborg's "Trials of St. Anthony" event this past weekend, so I borrowed a sideless from a friend:

How FUN was this to wear?!  I have GOT to make one for myself!!!

But first I have to finish that damned purple thing, LOL.


08 October 2013

A Sewing Challenge!

SarahLizSewStyle is doing a garment-a-month sewing challenge, and I'm joining in!  I'll be doing it with SCA garments, though - and maybe the occasional mundane piece.  I'd begun a new outfit for our baronial event just last week, so I've decided that that will be my October garment and my first one of this year-long challenge.

If you'd like to get in on the challenge, visit Sarah Liz at her blog here, SarahLizSewStyle:

The dress I've begun (and I spent about two hours on armpit gussets alone last night; apparently this is going to be one of THOSE projects, egad), is a 12th century pendant-sleeve down.  Much like a bliaut in cut, fit, and shaping, but with long drooping sleeve ends that start at the wrist or mid-forearm, rather than the elbow or upper arm like a bliaut.

Inspiration-wise, I give you the following:

Mistress Aénor d'Anjou, a 12th-century clothing Laurel, via Pinterest, and her website.

Revival Clothing's 12th century linen pendant-sleeved gown (there's a red/black version on the website now, though I prefer this photograph).

This lovely and simple gown by Antalika on DeviantArt.  

The fabric I'm working with is an amethyst-colored "antique satin" (a satin or silk substitute developed in the 1950s which can be made of several different combinations of fibers;  mine is rayon and silk), which is cross-woven with black and with a slubbed weave and a very subtle luster on the outside.  I purchased it at Gulf Wars in March, and while I don't have a picture of my actual fabric, it's just about this color, maybe a tad lighter:

SilkBaron's "blackberry" dupioni

I cut out the dress pieces last week; last night I managed to get the body all put together, the neckline shaped, the gores in the skirt and underarm gussets all pieced in, and the sleeve pendants shaped, but not attached.  Not bad for one night!  Especially when you consider that I'm basically improvising this pattern as I go along.  I cut the basic body shapes based on my cotehardie pattern, without didn't cut a neckline so that I could do that later, and a tad large so that I can slip the entire dress over my head.  

This fabric is what my mother used to call "hairy."  It unravels like crazy, and SHEDS EVERYWHERE.  While the fabric itself is strong, trying to pick out an errant line of stitching is like walking on a rotten rope bridge across LAVA.  UGH.  

That said, otherwise, it's been wonderful to work with.  It has some give on the bias, but mostly doesn't stretch at all, so there aren't any weird tension issues with it pulling.  It's lightweight, but with a beautiful heavy drape, and feels wonnnnnnnderful against my skin.  I'm almost disappointed that I have to wear a chemise under it, hehe. 

The fun part is, I have to have the dress finished by THURSDAY NIGHT.  @_@   I still have to create an exterior neck facing and attach it, attach the sleeve pendants, finish all the interior seams, and hem the skirt. If I end up with time, I may also run some very simple embroidery (by hand) along the edge of the neck facing, and maybe around the edges of the sleeve openings, but I'm not sure about that yet.  

For now, the dress is just a pull-over, meant to be wrapped with a loooooong cloth belt (which I don't have, by the way, so there's that).  I'll be wearing my linen pie-crust filet hat, with a linen barbette, and either my large silk veil, or my small chiffon veil with the pearl edging.  Haven't decided yet. 

Fun!  So we'll see how far I get tonight.  Update when finished! 

01 October 2013

Headphones That Don't Actually Work

I really SHOULD make a list of "things I swore I'd never wear but now love".  Might make for an interesting, or at least laughable, post.  Here's another one:

Nice hair, me.  

I've seen ear cauls like this all over the place, and I really love the way they look.  The inspiration for the pair I've made came from here, here, and here, via Pinterest.


THE FIRST RULE OF EAR CAULS IS:  We will not talk about ear cauls!  That is to say, I am not going to discuss or debate the period-ness of them, either to "SCA period" or any point in actual history, nor am I going to discuss or debate construction techniques, artistic interpretation from extant paintings/statuary, or really, any other facet of these things.    

Why did I make these, and why did I make them the way I did?  Because I like them.  End of story. 

Any comments that break the first rule, or begin with the words "actually" or "technically", will be deleted and the posters summarily executed using rabid weasels.  Luv yoo!  


So.  The fun part.  Here's how I did it:  

Clockwise from top left: 
  1. After roaming the house holding random items to the sides of my head, which I assume would have looked hilarious had anyone been there to see it, I finally settled on the cooking implement in the first picture.  I laid a square of cheesecloth over the tool, then made a papiér maché form over that. They're green because that's what color tissue paper I had.   The papiér maché medium I always use is just water and fabric glue.  Nothing fancy. 
  2. Once they were dry, and trimmed into a neat circle (papiér maché is messy, y'all), I whip-stitched a hoop of 20-gauge jewelry wire around the edges, to stabilize the form and the edge and keep them from bending, or tearing.  
  3. Two squares of red faux-silk (both alike in dignity), with strips of gold metallic flat-woven braid sewn in place on my machine.  No, the grid is not straight.  Because yes, I just kinda winged it.  Wang it. Whatever. 
  4. A second glue enters the arena:  general-purpose spray adhesive, which is how the red fabric was affixed to the papiér maché caul forms.  I just kinda smoothed and smooshed it down as flat as I could get it. 
  5. Once the spray adhesive was dry and set (about thirty minutes?) I trimmed the fabric to about 3/4" away from the edge of the caul forms, and then folded them over and hot glued the edges down to the forms.  
  6. More hot glue! After I sewed all those goddamned beads on, and then they all fell off, I hot glued those little bastards.  They stayed put. 
Not pictured:  Last step was to open out a heavy-duty hook from a hook-and-eye set for skirts to about a 38º angle, and then hot glue them in place at the top edge of each caul.  I seated both hooks in a largedollop of glue until it pushed through the holes in the hook where you normally sew them on; then covered the backing of the hook with  glue as well. This was to keep the hooks from popping off.  

The hooks were used to hang each caul from the silver circlet I already wear.  No, they wouldn't have stayed on their own;  but I braided my hair and wrapped it around the front of each caul, both to frame the caul and disguise the rather odd-looking edge, and also so that the hair, pinned in place on my head, would stabilize the placement of the caul.  

Materials used:  
  • kitchen spider/strainer with bamboo handle
  • cheesecloth
  • papiér maché - water + fabric glue, strips of tissue paper
  • strong wire for edges of caul forms 
  • fabric to cover forms
  • trim
  • beads/pearls
  • hook half of a flat skirt hook-n-eye
  • adhesives: 
    • spray adhesive
    • fabric glue
    • hot glue