24 November 2014

As Promised (For Once)

The first of three of my Florentine outfits from BAM weekend.  This one's my new Caerleon livery, a refit of what was originally going to be black and silver:

photo by Simona della Luna

Long hair wrap inspired by this.  After a bunch of ridiculous trial and error with the sewing machine and various scrap fabric, I finally realized I could just do this with my plain, long, silk gauze veil that I use for everything. HA. I just laid it over my head, tied it around my hair in back (which was in a ponytail with a plain elastic band), and then looped the ribbon ties around it until I reached the end.  It never once fell out, but was really easy to just pull off without having to untie anything at the end of the day.  Win.

Big bag sleeves, with company motto embroidered (machine) around the edges of the sleeve openings.

photo by Simona della Luna

A better shot of the back, with satin ribbon couched along the edges of the dress; sash made from wide upholstery scraps; corset and dress straps that won't stay up (a result of the cut of the back of both garments, I now know); the hair; and my new raven tattoo, lol.

photo by Simona della Luna

Another shot of the ribbon couching, sleeve embroidery, and sleeve attachment.

Man, that is some unfortunate Pause Face.  Blech.

photo by Simona della Luna

Evidently I forgot to remove  my bobby pins on this day, hehe.  I used them to keep my veil in place while I was wrapping it up, and while I was tying on this skinny velvet ribbon;  but once the pins were removed the whole shebang stayed in place like a champ.

Things to work on for future Florentine outfits: 

  • a higher back on the corset, to keep the straps in place.  
  • a shorter corset, because this one kept trying to sit above my hips, which pushed the whole thing upwards into my armpits, and made the straps fall off
  • wider-set straps in the back of the dress pattern, to help the back fit better and to keep the straps from trying to fall off. Sigh.  The off-shoulder look was popular during this time period, but it was achieved by cutting the outfits to BE that way, not because they just wouldn't stay up.  I love this dress, but I look like a pile of laundry.  :/ 
That said, my absolute favorite thing about this outfit was the sleeves.  They came out perfectly, and looked fantastic.  They were also, in combination with the boofy silk chemise sleeves underneath, very warm in the chilly, rainy air, without being too hot, or too bulky.  Yay! 

More tomorrow!   :)


18 November 2014

Unf$cking My Ribbons Box


Every. Single. Time. I opened this box I vowed to "one day" take the time to sit down and iron out this mess and wrap it up somehow so that this wouldn't happen again.  This is just stupid.

My friend says to me, "You laid all that out in a house full of cats?!"   The steam-hiss of the iron scares them away, hehe.

Muuuuch better.  It's a slapdash system, but it gave me the opportunity to try some diferent methods of organizing ribbons - usually I wrap them around my fingers and make little bows out of them, which I did for the looooong pieces.  My scrapbooking and art-journaling friends gave me the idea of wrapping smallish bits around the handle of an old spoon (they do it with washi tape).  My favorite, though, was wrapping the velvet ribbon around empty thread spools.  I'd really like all of my ribbon and trim to be done that way.  

All of this, by the way, was because I couldn't find the ribbon I wanted for a necklace.  And no, I never found it.  Maybe it's in one of the four boxes of ribbon, tape, and trim that I haven't gone through yet.  :-/ 



17 November 2014

A Wild Unemployment Appears! It Is Very Effective!*

Mmmmyeah, remember the hiatus?  Not so much!  It would seem that I have won the "free time" lottery - and boy am I already rocking out the backed up projects! (I still have a lot of house stuff to do, but now I don't have to prioritize so severely, and I'm working on the run-up to Bordermarch Autumn Melees/War of the Rams, which is in four days!)

Friday afternoon I went straight from the [ex]-office to my friend Star's house to work on stuff and help her do the same.  I spent the entire weekend just steamrolling through the pile, and, well, I haven't stopped since.  (And yeah, since I was halfway into moving my craft room, it's been a huge pain in the butt working across three rooms!)

While thinking about the weather this coming weekend for the event, and what clothing I already had that would keep me warm and reasonably dry, I decided to go full Italian for the entire event.  You never go full Italian!  Yes.  Yes, you do.  I find it exciting - this is the first time I've ever stayed in one "mode" for an entire event. Usually I'm all over the place (last event I had a Viking day, a 14th century day, a bliaut day, and then pretty much just wore all my clothes at once for an unexpected cold snap, lol).

And so, although I won't have many pics for you until after the event itself, here's a list of what I've gotten done since Friday so far: 

  • Removed the silver ribbon trim from my black gamurra and replaced it with couched gold satin ribbon, and 
  • Created a pair of simple early 1500s-era bag sleeves in gold linen with black ribbon ties, and a machine-embroidered motto along the edges (these two things because (a) I didn't have an Italian Caerleon livery, and because my 14th century CL livery is all too small for me!  D:  ) 
  • created another pair of bag sleeves in a lovely deep blue swirly damask, to be worn with my brown gamurra
  • finished one and created a second long, fabric sash to be worn over my belt
  • cut and finished two new, very simple pouches to carry my things in, one of a lovely embroidered silk that I can't wait to show you
  • made an exrta-long flannel chemise with extra-long sleeves, to be worn as a nightgown n the frigid eastern Ansteorra winter nights...which was a godawful beige color, so I also bleached it...and instead of simply whitening, it turned bright bubble-gum pink!!!  Dafuq??  Whatever . It's warm, that's all I care about. It's not like anyone is going to see it. 
  • Assembled eight simple, canvas "pilgrim bags"/flat satchels, and that'll get its own blog entry next week after I've given them to their intended recipients 
  • Figured out how to achieve a hair covering like this one out of veils and ribbons that I already possess
And finally, because I just cannot wait to show these off: 


Inspired by this photo, I drafted my own version, did a loooot of cutting out pieces ( I got to use a friend's rotary cutter, and I'd never used one before, and that is DEFINITELY going on my christmas list!), a loooot of edge-serging, and at one point in the assembly process made a really pretty squid.  And I finally got to use my gold (plastic) knot buttons that I bought at Gulf Wars three years ago!

I really wanted to get a photo of these over my silk chemise sleeves...but I can't find my silk chemise!  NOOOOOO!   I must locate it before the weekend. While this picture is just over a t-shirt, I did try it on over a cotton chemise, and the sleeve boofs (technical term??) blouse up nicely like they're supposed to over the proper undergarments.

So what's next this week?  A great-coat-thing like this one, of heavy embroidered cotton and fuzzy blanket lining, for warmth.  A whole bunch of small flags, already cut out, that need to be painted and them assembled.  A woodworking project (a simple and quick one, thankfully), for the event.

Once I'm finished there'll be a LOT of sorting and packing and loading of SUVs.

And in between is my BFF's birthday, and a celebratory movie and dinner.  Yay! :D

* For the record, I was laid off from my job, which is not doing so well in the present economy.  This is a GREAT thing for me, though - I've been stagnating there and have often thought of moving on.  Now I get to!


10 November 2014

Short Hiatus

In just over thirty days, my BFF will become my roomate.  Having finished the major crush of SCA projects for the fall event season, I now turn my focus to getting my house ready to accomodate two occupants once again.

Part of that is swapping out my master bedroom and my craft/sewing room.  My bestie is also a huge crafter and maker, and between the two of us, a gigantic workspace was definitely needed.  While my sewing room is a measly 9x11', my master bedroom is 16x18' - it only makes sense that one space was essentially wasted on sleep, while the other was too small for just me, and wouldn't remotely outfit a pair of crafters.

Yesterday, I begun the process, by swapping out the two closets. If you're interested in following the process, you can see the posts about this at my home/DIY blog, here.

In the meantime, any sewing that needs to occur right now will likely take place in the living room, as soon as I start moving furniture, and I'll be posting about those things  (Bordermarch Autumn Melees is in two weeks, and I have a couple of small things I'd like to get done, but which aren't a huge priority, so no loss if I don't get to them).

I will, of course, post final results once the giant craft room - hereafter referred to as The Room of Requirement - on this blog once I'm finished.  :)

05 November 2014

A Bliaut In Three Parts

  1. Russet-red silk twill from the fabric district in Dallas, TX
  2. Black linen
  3. Calontir trim

Technically, I guess the fourth part would be drafting the pattern. The fifth might be that this lovely lady is lending me her serger machine for my work, and it is EPIC.  

The dress is side-laced, with the lacing going up into the underside of the upper arm for ease of getting on/off, and for movement.  The idea came from the lacing I saw on this Flickr page, via Pinterest. 

The black guarding along the bottom of the dress, below the trim, is...seriously...because I f'd up cutting out one of the panels and it was WAY shorter than the others. I had to cut them all off to match, and then used the black linen to lengthen the dress again, LOL.  :)

You saw the preview yesterday, which is a better shot of the trim, which can be found online here at Calontir Trim

An aside: 
The first pic is from the Village of Castleton, Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra, for our annual baronial event (last weekend).  Castleton is AMAZING.  It's a medieval village built by several of our members many years ago, whose buildings include a number of small dwellings, a castle, a wooden ship, and a smaller replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, called The Curtain Theatre.  I've attended many a court in that theatre, and performed there, and it's heavenly.  I adore this site. 

The Curtain Theatre


04 November 2014

Make All the Things!!! (v. billionty-one)

Pics from the weekend's event are forthcoming; for now I have just a couple of recent things to share, and in no particular order:

First, a serious one.  This is a bliaut that I made for a friend, of russet-red silk with black linen lining, and trim by Calontir Trim.

I'll have pics of her in it soon, as well as some other things I've made for her.

I've finally started the process of creating some false hairpieces for the SCA out of my own hair that was removed in March of this year.  Braided tightly and unevently, they don't look like much here, but the total hair is nearly two feet long!

I've combined this pair of braids into a single hank of hair, and washed and conditioned it.  Next I'll be separating it back into a pair of even braids, and working them into a shape that I can use with my cauls, or as templar braids to be worn with my circlet.  Soon. I hope.

At the Bjornsborg Tournament of the Smitten Heart three weeks ago, I made this little guy. Since it was a pre-Halloween event, they held a "skull bedazzling contest." - and I have to say, I wasn't going to join in, but when I saw the plain plastic skulls on the table, I HAD to grab one and make a little calavera.

Lo and behold, it was one of two "judges' favorites" winners!  Squee!  My prize was a lovely stoneware goblet and a string of emerald chips...and a trip up in front of court to be recognized, so, you know: fear.  Hee.

Firstly, I love funny, mistranslated labels like this. "Preventing finger"??  LOL.

FYI, my new cot, which I purchased because I was sick to death of waking up on a flat air mattress,  also prevents the following:

  • sleep
  • comfort
  • blankets staying on the bed
  • unbruised ankles
AND this past weekend at the baronial event, I'm fairly certain that this bastard was at least half responsible for the TWO partially dislocated shoulders that I am now rocking.  OWWW.  

So yeah: fuck cots. 

More soon!