liadethornegge: (Default)
I had a very clear image, fairly soon after I got my writ, of what I wanted to look like at my vigil and subsequent elevation. I listened to Sir William who said I surely had something in my wardrobe, and decided to add the finishing details to my Green English fitted gown I made for Double Wars 2006.

It was always meant to be finished off with a suite of ruffs, as shown by my source image

Making a suite of ruffs was going to be tedious, I knew, so I started with that before anything else. I cut two strips of loom width linen and appropriate width (I don't remember anymore, but about 15 cm) and stitched them together to form one 3 metre long strip. Then I hemmed all sides.

I then cut two strips of loom width linen to about 8 cm wide and hemmed all sides to make two separate wrist cuffs. I was always going to make double layer ruffs, but I disregarded any issue of up or downside and just hemmed everything to the same side.

Then I went about attaching 3 + 3 + 1.5 + 1.5 metres of cotton lace to the long edges of these three strips of linen. I worked on that for two months. Tedious, is the word.

After that was done I cut out more linen to a collar length and proceeded to use foul language in an attempt to gather the much too long ruffs into much too short collars and cuffs. Before attempting to do the gathering I folded the strips double of course. I did not measure, more than to find the half-way points, on the cuffs I did run a gathering thread. I actually first did that very carefully with the running stitches about 2 mm long. I had to re-do that because there was much too much thickness of fabric to be physically possible. I re-stitched the cuff taking stitches about 4 mm long. Equally impossible, and in the end I stitched it a third time with stitches about 15 mm long. This was at least possible and the other cuff I started with the right length of stitches.

On the collar ruff I did not bother with a gathering thread, instead went for the divide and conquer method. Pins, pins and more pins. This was my task the weekend before Kingdom University, and I am very glad for the moral support of Aros sewing circle thay day, because I kept being so frustrated with the entire concept of ruffs I threw my work across the room several times.

In the end I triumphed, and got both edges of the collar and wrist-bands attached to the ruff, and closed them up. I did it as shown in Arnold, PoF 4, stitching each pleat to one edge of the band, and the other edge of the pleat to the other edge of the band so that the pleated ruff takes up the pleat-depth between the two sides of the band. It ended up being about 1cm on the collar.

After finishing the collar and wrist-band attachment I only had to starch the ruffs. But before doing that I ran a thread through the lace edges to create the perfect figure eight pleating. On an Elizabethan Costuming group I'd picked up the tip to use the very regular lace to help me determine depth of pleats, so I simply did a large running stitch through the peaks of my lace (5 peaks per stitch for the wrist ruffs and 10 peaks per stitch for the collar). I tied this off and finger-formed the two layers of ruff into rough figure eights. Then I could proceed with the starch.

I managed to miss Baroness Margaret Walsingham's class on starch at Double Wars this year, but I persuaded her to send me her handout and had purchased barley starch (Ohrakas-fi, Kornstärkelse-sve) at Midsummer coronation in Finland, because in Finland they still use that stuff for baking. Her recipy called for one part starch and four parts water to be heated while stirring. It formed a lovely wall-paper paste type gloop, into which I mixed another eight parts water. Into this starchy bath I dumped my collar and wrists, wrung them out, and then hung them up to dry, after again finger-forming the figure eights of the ruffs.

They dried over night, hung by clothespins upside down. By morning they were satisfactorily papery in feel.

I found a small bowl with the right circumference for the collar ruff and a wine bottle for the wrist ruffs and then lightly sprayed smaller sections of the ruffs to finger-form them into the right shape. I first had to moisten the bands to be able to pin them around the bowl and bottle respectively. Then I could start on the double layer ruffs. I went around once, carefully spraying and pulling out the lace as well. When I first stitched the lace on it was very narrow, after starching and pulling it out it ended up about twice the width it was when purchased. I went around twice on all three ruffs to get the figure eights to look somewhat decent and then I let it dry again for most of the day. In the evening I again carefully sprayed and finger-pressed the figure eights. I would have liked to have a heat source to help in this, to get the linen very flat and orderly, but I think I succeeded fairly well even with just my fingers. At this point you can see I left the lace guiding thread in, to help me keep the figure eights orderly.

So, on Friday evening, Their Majesties held court, with only a couple of things on the agenda, one was to send me off to vigil, and my vision there was to come dressed in my new white kirtle, but the Green English fitted gown would be the overall impression. I had to pin the ruffs into the gown on site, they had been transported in a large paper bag to keep from smooshing in transit. I could pin through the picadil edges of my gown around the collar band to attach the ruff there. On the wrist I similarly pinned through the picadil edges to fasten the ruffs to the gown. The right way would probably have been to pin the ruffs to the shirt - but I wanted to shed the outer layer, including ruffs, once in the vigil room, so I opted to make them easy to remove as once.

I had to have help to close up the collar ruff in front. One straight pin right in front to close the band up (before next wearing I have to make either lacing holes, or stitch a hook and eye pair there), and two straight pins to make the two layers of ruff into a circle of figure eights around my throat. Once that was done I felt like I was being hugged by my gown and I was very pleased.

Of course, the ruffs were not all, the headwear had to be right too - and after looking carefully at a bunch of portraits of 1560s and 70s ladies I discovered that they not only had ruffs, but also wore a typical French hood. I had wanted to try out the new theory of French hoods (pdf from Sarah Lorraine) which works from the layers of headwear already in use from early in the century and constructed of many parts, rather than the slightly older theory of building a solid single-layer millinery hat. So I put my hair up in two braids, tied around my head, put on the forehead cloth, and coif (pattern #48 in PoF4) and then tied on a bandana of the same purple and green silk I'd used as picadil edging on my vigil gown on top. I carefully folded an edge in as it was a completely raw piece of fabric (no time) so that the front of this piece of silk showing behind the line of the coif would be neat. Over the top of this, and covering the fact that it was just a piece of fabric roughly tied around my head, was a black velvet veil with billiments attached at the front edge. This veil I had from my first Tudor gown and attempt at a French hood.

In the end, I this my attempt was wholly successful, and my Lord Edricus took a number of photos of me before court where I look pretty much like a portrait or effigy of the time.

On Flickr, better image On Flickr, better image On Flickr, better image
liadethornegge: (research)
The end of the year is nigh and people are starting to make lists. Lists containing titles such as: "Planned projects for this year at the end of last", "Finished projects this year" and "Planned projects for next year". I like making lists, too, I want in!

At the beginning of 2007 I made a nice picture-post of projects finished in 2006, and was quite surprised at what I had turned out. I did not, however, go in to much detail about planned projects for this year. In fact, let me quote myself in full:
For this year I want to finish my gloves, my hose and do a pair of turnshoes in the leather I now have for them. Finish the English fitted gown, do some headgear for the 1410 surcote. More fabulous scrolls - an Italian white vine scroll I can finally be completely happy with perhaps.   
--Lia, January 2007, emphasis added

In summary then: I did not finish my gloves, I did not finish my hose (although I did complete another pair completely from scratch - hurray!), I did not do a pair of turnshoes, I did finish my English fitted gown, I did not do headgear for my surcote and I did not make a white vine scroll. Which puts my score at one for six. Still, in all, my EFG is fabulous enough to make up for it!

That gown was not the only thing I did all year, though. Oh, no, this is where the list starts.

2007 - Sewing Projects:
  • Finished open hood Open red wool hood, January
  • (No Photo) Sture shirt, version 2.0, May
  • A Pair of BreechesVenetian breeches, May
  • Finished gown, worn at Double Wars XX 2007English fitted gown, May
  • (No photo) Wool mittens, August
  • (No photo) A pair of hose, September
  • Skirt attached and hooks and eyes on, worn without corset (Sept 25, 2007)Splendor Solis kirtle, October
  • (No photo) White linen Sture shirt for Sir Johann, November
  • (No photo) A petticoat skirt in brocade/linen, November
  • Tall hat, finished (December 2, 2007)Tall hat, December

2007 - Scribal Projects:

  • Finished. Photo. Sigillum Regis for Graf Gerhardt von Wüstenburg, June
  • ... Is that really all? I think it is. How sad.

2007 - Crafts/Embroidery:

  • Front, finished 16th C needlebook embroidery (24 Jan 07)Needlebook cover, January

  • pouch4 allMorale booster pouches, February
  • Linen outlines finished, close-up. (March 30, 2007)Intarsia Pillow, March
  • 16th C Sture shirt v 2.0 - Inside Collar Embroidery. (25 Apr 2007)16th C Sture shirt v 2.0 - Whitework on outside of collar 4 hours (1 May, 2007)Blackwork/Whitework shirt collar, April
  • Suit of Ruffs: Cuffs finished, except for ties or hooks/eyes.Cuffs, May
  • 16th C Blackwork embroidery for Ingrid, collar and cuffs (July 2007)Collar and cuffs blackworked for Ingrid, July
  • Miniature game board, backgammon (3 July, 2007)Tiny gameboard, July
  • Highlight for Album: Building A PavilionA period pavilion, August
  • Second reticella square (7 Sept, 2007)Reticella squares, September
  • Assisi embroidery finished. (24 Oct, 2007)Assisi embroidered cloth, October

Goodness, I think I am going to faint. That's a fairly long list. However, they're mostly little projects (not counting the pavilion). Still. Wow.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Check out the photo of me in profile in the EFG. Note the pleating in back. What do experts say; should or could I add a bumroll to this?

Also, what do you say about the headwear on my inspiration, the Nonesuch Palace lady #5? Is it linen? Is it all part of the caul? How many parts are there to it? I think it could be possibly one, possibly two. The caul (stiffened front edge) with a little bag, and a veil of some sort ontop that is folded forward over the head, attached to the caul or not, same material (linen) or different. I do believe it is her hair that is visible forward of the caul edge that parts the head in half. Please advise! :)

Also, I put myself on a set of scales over at [ profile] helwig's place (I don't own any myself) and I'm at 69 kg. Apparently, 70 kg is some sort of magic line and below that my lovely fitted gowns don't fit me right. I don't usually fluctuate much in weight, and above this magic line there are places for flesh to move around to such that fit isn't really affected badly. I'm starting to think about moving seams on my gowns, seeing about leaving a gap at side-laced openings, because ill-fitting dresses are likely to depress me. But frogging* is about the worst thing ever to have to do, especially on my painstakingly hand-stitched seams.

Honestly, loosing weight (something I never actively tried to do) is horrible for my medieval fashion vanity, even if I like the look of < 70 kg on the scales.

* Yes, I know it's a knitting term, but I like it and intend to use it for sewing, so there!
liadethornegge: (garb)
English Fitted GownEnglish fitted gown from the back
Taken at Double Wars, on Thursday. I like it lots, and I was complimented a number of times on it.

However: I really need to move sleeves further in, the shoulder seam is too long. And the kirtle underneath no longer supports me like it did upon making so there is some, er, sagging, going on. I don't know how much weight I have lost, but there's definitely more room in the kirtle than there needs to be. It's also quite warm, all I need are gloves for night-life 1580's style.

I have not yet edited the photos of me in my Bob outfit (definitely Bob, and not Lionel or Leonard). I expect to do an update on that further on. Know that it was a fantastic success and I loved every second of it. I don't know when I have been more amused by an outfit.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Wearing my English fitted gown at crown tournament
The photo taken by Lady Astrid.

As you can see, it's from a distance, there's a branch in between the camera and my head, and the Baroness of Styringheim was blocking a third of my skirt.

And the kirtle is not, despite appearances, white, it is light blue. Promise.

I think it's time for me to play with linen. New headwear of different shapes is needed, in addition to a suite (is it suit or suite?) of ruffs.

Done it is.

Apr. 3rd, 2007 09:28 pm
liadethornegge: (garb)
Aahahahaha! The English fitted gown is all finished, done, finito, complete!

liadethornegge: (awesome)
Oh my... *bounce* Squee!

Can I just say, I LOVE the guarding around the hem of my gown. It is gorgeous. I knew I would.

Squee! I only had silk for about 60% of the hem length, and I've pinned it on at the hem. Only just started stitching it from the front and had to try it on right away.

[ profile] oldergoddess - Thank you thank you thank you thank you for this fabric!
liadethornegge: (aros)
Wrong kind of leather for shoe uppers. Typical. I do know what style of  shoe I want to be making, though, so that's good I guess.

The day was a bit shorter than our other micro events on account of there being no mini-banquet. However, since I hadn't planned on staying for it in any case that didn't really change my plans. I managed to mess up in my knitting somehow and I've got too many stitches on the needle - very vexing.

Now I'll see about finishing off what I can on the English Fitted Gown, so that I might be done with it before I leave - I think it's doable. I can finish my knitting on the train.
ETA 9pm:
Now the cuffs are done, and I took a couple of pictures. They were crap. I also noticed that the picadil edging on the cuffs themselves are uneven. It grates at me. I'm not sure I can abide it. Future will tell. Now then, to continue with the hem guard. I can do most of it, at least until I get the rest of the silk in the morning.

Now, seriously, WHY THE HELL do I not have any black silk sewing thread? I'm sure I had at least one spool. Maybe even two. But where? ARGH! Annoyed, so annoyed.
liadethornegge: (woe)
Note to self: Measured hem 345 cm
Silk fabric width: 110 cm x 2.

Rough maths shows I do not have enough silk to go around the hem. Bugger.


Mar. 26th, 2007 08:49 pm
liadethornegge: (garb)
Stitching the second guard on.Finished the guard in back.Both front guards on.
Here we have me stitching the second front guard on, me modelling the back of the gown with guards on (very subtle touch, neh? I like it, but I'm not sure I can abide it) and how the gown looks closed up with both front guards on. Modelling this time with the surcote lining kirtle on underneath.

I seriously like how the gown fits in the back, and I'm about 85% happy with how the front fits at the top.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Edging the guards in silk on the other side as well. (March 25, 2007)There I am. Wearing modern underthings, giving the wrong profile, but feh. I've just finished stitching on the picadil edging on the one guard that goes down the front. I finished and stitched on the guard around the neck and it's looking pretty damn sweet. I threw on the Henrician coif and threw off my glasses for the quick photo op there.

You can see the guard going around the collar looking sharp, and it's pretty obvious what the edging on the right does to the guard compared to the left. Oh it will be pretty, so very pretty. If you look very closely you will see many many joins in the silk edging as I had to use pieces approximately 10 cm in length, overlapping, to get all down the front edge. I managed it fairly invisibly I thought. I might even have enough silk to go around the hem. We'll see. I can't remember now if I'd decided to put guards around the cuffs or not, but I think I did. They definitely have to be edged with silk, so I will finish the fronts first, then do the cuffs, and then see if there's enough silk to go around the hem.

I know I measured it at one sewing circle when I was procrastinating on hemming it, now if only I had written it down or could remember how long it was. [ profile] helwig do you recall?
liadethornegge: (woe)
How can I not have a single inch of black silk sewing thread in the house? How? AUGH!

I've been using dark blue instead to stitch on the black guarding. Thankfully the thread mostly disappears into the wool. All you really see is the divots it makes as I pull it tight.

EFG update

Mar. 24th, 2007 11:22 pm
liadethornegge: (garb)
Squee! I've got the hem finished, done, done, done. It turned out, when I hung the gown up again that the lining was too long so I had to turn it up nearly all the way around. It's all good, though, and it is now hemmed.

Next up: Apply guards.

I think I'll start with the back two strips. I'll do those without the extra silk because they're in the middle of the fabric and will be a much more subtle touch. I have nowhere near enough silk for the hem guard either so I will let it be plain. On the guards down the front opening I will apply the silk first, then stitch it down. I think. I can't seem to decide if I want the front edge to go all the way to the floor, or if I want the hem guard to take over down there.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Ah, the wonders of weather, right?

Today was a fairly good day, a bit breezy, not very warm, but the sun did make an appearance or two over the day. I also pulled myself together and hopped on my bike to [ profile] helwig's place for sewing circle. The first couple of hours I spent being generally miserable and uninspired. I did start by stitching in the last bit of silk edging to the lower end of the skirt in front.

Then we had tea and cookies and it seems I leached some inspiration from Helwig, and got down to some proper work. I cut down the marked hem of my English fitted gown, I folded in and stitched down the shell wool, and I folded in and pinned the linen lining on the skirt.

I also decided to go a little crazy and edge the black wool guarding with the gold silk on both sides. That will work simply by attaching the guard right against the outer edge of the gown itself, and stitch on another picadil edging of silk to the guard so that it will be surrounded by gold silk on top of the green gown.

I have been looking at it in my room and decided that there was not enough contrast between the guard and the gown itself, and when I was fiddling with the last big of picadil edging I suggested I could add a line on the opposite side. The ladies were cautiously optimistic. Then I tried it out, sliding a bit of silk underneath the guard and we were all sold on the idea.

Damn, damn, damn. Creeping Feature Creature has struck again. I can't not do it now. It will be gorgeous, yes it will. Not sure yet if I have enough silk left over. Helwig might have a teeny bit I could use. I shall continue to sew this evening and we'll see how much father I have come at the end of the weekend. Hopefully quite a ways!
liadethornegge: (garb)
I was not able to psyche myself up to doing the rest of the boning channels on the effigy corset front by machine. I just couldn't do it.

Putting off hemming the green English fitted gown means that all boning channels on the first front piece on my effigy corset are now complete, also that the front edge is stitched on the second front piece, and all remaining channels marked out.

Hemming the green English fitted gown has suddenly become the most horrible thing imaginable for no discernible reason. I look at it and I know that once I get the hem done and the guards in place I will love that gown to pieces. I will want to wear it all the time. I am that confident about my pleasure in the finished item. Only, for some reason, doing the hemming seems like a fate worse than death. I spread the gown out on the floor and fiddled with the pins that mark the length, prepared it for the task, then I kicked it into a large green pile and continued sewing boning channels.

A bit later, I spread the skirt out again, looked at it, felt a twinge of disgust and decided to measure the hem length (335 cm) so I could confirm that I have enough guarding cut out (I do). Then I kicked it back into its pile and finished the boning channels on the corset piece.

That done, I folded the gown up neatly, and started marking out the remaining boning channels on the last piece of my effigy corset.


Feb. 19th, 2007 02:09 pm
liadethornegge: (garb)

I've had my English fitted gown hanging on the end of my bookshelf for a while now. It still needs the hem done up, it's pinned, but not finished. And also, the sleeves need fixing. I realise that this will then be the second time I'll re-do them.

The sleeves themselves are actually quite good. I'm happy about them. The only thing wrong now is that I was lazy and did not finish the armscye properly, and because of that the shoulderpoint is too far out. I need to open the armscye up and move the sleeve seam in about an inch. As it is now, the shoulder rolls can be seen to slump a bit, coming off the end of my shoulders. I am not happy about that, and I did promise myself not to cheat on the sleeves this time. I will not rest until they are perfect.

So, to re-cap, left to do in finishing my English fitted gown is:
  1. Hemming.
  2. Stitch on guards.
  3. Move up armscye.
  4. (Aptionally) Add lining inside sleeves.
  5. Snip all picadil edges.
  6. Add hooks and eyes at the sleevecuffs
  7. Manufacture a suit of ruffs.*
* Step number 7 is of course not entirely simple, being composed of several steps I've never done before. But I have been thinking about it for a while now, and I've got the embryo of a plan.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Tod.. yesterday was first Sewing Circle Saturday for a while - what with events getting in the way - and I started the day with a lovely one hour walk over to [ profile] helwig's place.

Then I tried on surcote lining kirtle and English fitted gown and Helwig helped me by marking out the hemline. But when I went to neaten that up I lost any momentum I had.

So I switched to ripping up the waist seam of my surcote lining kirtle. I then tried to iron the front bodice flat, but the bloody thing has bagged so I will have to add some creative guards to hide the ugly. Then I marked where the new waistline needed to go on the front skirt panel and redid the folding down of the seam allowance before attaching half of it back onto the bodice. I conserved the thread I ripped from this seam earlier and it only lasted half the distance. When I ran out of thread I proceeded to spend the rest of the time leafing through QEWU and Modelejon. Marvellously inspiring.

I think the new waistline of the surcote lining kirtle will be much better. I redid it to the exact curve of the bodice and skipped the pleat in the front completely. So now the front waistline lies smoothly and the extra width in the panel at the top gets to underlap the back panel to prevent unsightly gappage in the side opening. Hopefully, this will mean I will be able to wear the kirtle on its own, without being horribly ashamed of the poor fit. However, since only half of the skirt panel is stitched on I can't say if it worked or not. I'll finish it off in the morning, and maybe get to work on the hem of the English fitted gown too.
liadethornegge: (Default)
I've been fiddling with pleats today, following (soon to be Mistress) Eleanor's instructions for a suit of ruffs, marking the linen at each 1/2 inch. Doing that up seems to me to make enormous pleats. Will that really look good for a ruff at the cuffs?

I can see it doing alright for a collar ruff - maybe - but it still seems large. Unless I am misunderstanding and doing the pleats at twice the size they're supposed to be. Of course, the linen I am using now is fairly coarse. Not fine at all. I suppose that's a big no-no in the ruff-making world?

And then, I did the triple stacked pleats, and then the instructions tells me to stack these piles double on each other. OK, that works fine for like the first two, then there's irreconcileable differences and there's not enough loose fabric in between the pleats to accomplish it. What am I doing wrong, or what am I missing? Do I need to remove pins and loosen one pleat at every other one or what?
liadethornegge: (research)
So I was looking back over old entries, checking to see what brilliant thoughts I have had and found a reference to the English fitted gown. It was just an idea then, and it is nearly finished now. I'll probably skip slashing and cutting the guards, as all evidence points to single-colour strip down front and around hem only. Which means I only have to hem it and stitch down the guarding all around for it to be finished.

Anyway, along with the idea of the Efg was sleeves for the ropa. Now I did the layout on the dark green brocade for the front of a petticoat and a pair of sleeves, if you recall. Basically, forepart and sleeves. Well, what if I went with that idea, only turn it into a loose kirtle, with fancified bits down the front, around the hem and fancy sleeves, with grungy linen for the rest, as it will always be covered by another gown. The loose kirtle in PoF (p. 110) has the sleeves laced in as well, so they could do double duty for the ropa as well. How about that for an idea? I think I rather like it myself, and it would take practically no time at all. I could wear it with the English fitted gown, and it would show up, all spiffy and brocade-y in the front.

Of course, I could also concentrate on fixing all the little things that need fixing or finishing on my old clothes rather than start something new, but I'm a costumer, damnit! I want to make new and shiny clothes not fix stuff I've already finished once.
liadethornegge: (garb)
Testing placement of guards.
So here I am again, wearing the gown with guards pinned on in a couple of different options. On one side, the diagonal guard on the bodice goes from under the arm down to front/back waistline. On the other, the diagonal goes from the point of the shoulder down to the waistline. I could also just go with the guarding down the front and around hem. I don't know if it is very visible in the pictures (view the full version) but I have also got a guard pinned around the collar. I could go either way on that as yet, but I think it would look odd without it. Also have it at the cuffs, but could go either way there.

I am also considering going quite fancy: slashing all the black wool guarding and backing it with the remains of the gold silk. I don't have a huge amount of cabbage left, but the guarding is quite narrow and I feel confident I have enough silk to do it. If I don't slash the guard around the hem, that is. I could do all down the front and the bodice diagonals.

Edited To add: OK, I've decided that the guards coming from the shoulder down to the waist is the best idea. Unanimous vote in favour of that so far, and I like it better myself. Will also probably do guard around the cuffs, for continuity - every other edge that will have picadils (front and collar) is bordered with black.


liadethornegge: (Default)
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