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helwen: (Steam)
We only went for Saturday as there were too many other things going on, including a niece and nephew deciding to have their baby christened on Sunday so that Granny (my MIL) could be there, before she went to CDH for knee surgery on Monday.

We had a meeting in the morning, but made it to the hotel by noon, nosed around the vendors, went to a few sessions, had tea in the afternoon to lute and harp music, a couple more sessions, chatted with folks, heard sea chanties in the halls, and even took in a few songs by a (rock? heavy metal?) group called Platform I before turning in for the night. I expect we're paying for taking a day off, but it was nice to get away for a bit.

I got a lovely necklace -- clock key with doubled lacy insect wings wired onto it, 2 pieces of chain attached to the wings. Kind of like a dragonfly, and very comfortable to wear. Plus the key is still usable, all we need is the right clock ;)

L and picked up a couple more pair of spats -- good for hiking, not just conventions -- a few WWII boxy belt pouches, and a silk noil skirt. Yes, I could've made it, but my list is already pretty long...

Lyle and I opted for casual dress for the day to minimize stress. Tweed jacket, blue/white striped shirt from Reconstructing History, his favorite brocade vest, suspenders and denim trousers (from an online vendor, I forget right now), spats, laced black shoes and bowler.

For me, black bagpiper jacket trimmed in white, blouse (from the '80s, so practically "period"), embroidered tan faux-suede vest, suspenders and brown drop-front trousers from Threads of Time, knit "spats" from RH, brown hiking boots. Yes, the boots weren't the pointy Victorian type -- I wanted all-day comfort. No hat, because I was wearing my "ponytail" of luxurious curls and wear it higher than really works with a regular hat, and I don't have any minis. They stayed on very well and matched my hair color beautifully.

Lots of lovely creative folks there. Nice way to spend the day. We took it pretty easy, but if you wanted to play games they had parlour games, scavenger hunts, and I think a nerf gun battle. Interesting room for the tea too -- the bar was built into a sailing vessel that was installed in the room.

The only things I made were the vests, but that's okay. My most recent venture into sewing has been to re-fit a linen blouse I made years ago and had come to dislike because it slid all over the place, especially after losing so much weight. Now the sleeves actually start at my shoulders instead of partway down my arms, lol. I made long, over-the-shoulder pleats with a slight taper to the waist, one for each shoulder, and then fixed the pleats in place by embroidering simple vines with leaves on them. I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length, and added buttons to the front closure. It's still somewhat loose but definitely more tailored. Pretty much the kind of clothing I love best -- semi-tailored but comfortable. I like looking nice but I also treasure being able to move without much/any restriction.

Okay, gotta go. More eggs to take care of!
helwen: (Default)
The fabric is not really my "thing", but I love the shirt itself. Wouldn't it be wonderful, whether for everyday or for kung fu?


I need to find a pattern for this....
helwen: (me1)

Looking forward to seeing the work progress, from the skin out, on Kass' birthday goal, and learning more about clothing :)

Dress Blog

Jan. 16th, 2012 09:05 am
helwen: (Default)
Here's one I think I'll follow - I like the dress Kass's looking at too:
helwen: (MacGyver)
I only read about this today, and most of the clothing I've ever made isn't modernwear. But it still sounds interesting, and I've been meaning to do more with making clothing, so why not?

The info on this challenge is here: Self-Stitched September '11

My pledge: I, helwen, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to wear one handmade item (clothing preferably, but possibly just an accessory) each day for the duration of September 2011.


And it being the first day of September, I guess I better go find something I've made to put on... hm... seeing as I'm already dressed, I think I'll start with a cat pendant I made in high school :D

I was actually wearing a shirt I made, yesterday, but I put it in the wash today. Also, I need to take it in a wee bit, but that won't be difficult.

Okay, gotta go play with buckwheat!
helwen: (Steam)
L's vest is coming along. Taking longer than I want, but then just about everything does these days.... Still, all the pieces are assembled and I'm back to handsewing -- finish attaching collar, finish front facings (button area), and then backstitching all the edges. I'd forgotten about that bit when I started, but it really does make a difference in the appearance, plus the brocade resists pressing so this will help. Still need to get the back buckle and buttons -- thought I had those, but they haven't shown up, so need to go get some. At least it's a small-sized project, so I can take it in the car to work on; it's ready to go to kung fu tonight ;)

Now that I have a better understanding of where the seams are supposed to be -- that shoulder area baffled me until I was looking at it again with some friends -- I tried re-fitting it again this afternoon. I doubt it will lie absolutely perfectly since I'm not a master tailor by any stretch of the imagination, but it now looks more like a bodice should, so I'm fairly happy with it. It's still on the dress mannequin as I need to pick up another box of pins to finish out the darts in the front. Then each piece will get marked up with some lines and notes as needed, before I take it off and start actual construction. It's nice to not feel quite so stupid anymore... :P
helwen: (jug)
Nothing as serious as what's happening in the world at large, like the mess over in Japan or the Gulf of Mexico, but still sad --- pieces of history, literally gone up in smoke.

Costumes destroyed in arson attack on Lionel Digby's storehouse
helwen: (Woodsy)
Going through some of the wardrobe and seeing about maybe giving a few medieval items away to some folks... and realizing that if I make anything new for SCA wear for this winter, it won't be late period.

All the stuff I like for later period is fitted, and I'm changing size too fast for that to be worth the effort. So, the patterns I got from RH will have to wait until next year :( And, probably any really serious efforts at Victorian clothing too... at least until January.

So, going back to Norman for a while. I like Norman, and it was fun trying on my dress from 5 years ago and having it be a bit loose around the middle.

Fitzw is batting around the idea of a color court for Yule -- thinking Green and White/Silver. Wouldn't have to be both, or lots of it, if you already have something else planned, but an accent would be nice :) I'll need a new dress for that though, as I don't have a lot of green in the winter wardrobe (or white/silver either). He does have a green Norman, so that's one less thing to make. Hm.... maybe a silver undertunic though? Hm.... or he can go green and green too, as he has that. Well, we'll see.

Silk and/or wool would be nice....

In the meantime, I'm changing one thing that's relatively safe to do -- socks! Picked up some heavy and light weight socks. They're more expensive than cotton, but they last longer and also wool wicks sweat and dampness away, and if you get your boots or shoes sopping in cold weather, your feet will still be much warmer than they would be in cotton or acrylic.

We need to make a trip to Noho, to Acme Surplus. They've been carrying wool socks the past few years, and we could pick up some plain ones there for a decent price.
helwen: (Tower)
Still haven't ordered shoes, but maybe I'll make a decision on that in the next week or so. Have an appt. with the curator at AHS for next Friday morning to look at some clothing. Going to bring along a vintage jacket I have for her to look at also, and hopefully give me a timeframe for it.

She wants to add to the clothing collection over time, going up and including the 1960s. Don't think I have much that would help, but I might.... kid's clothing of course, but that's probably okay.

I'm thinking I might fit the jacket I want her to look at, after I've lost a bit more weight. If it goes back to the 1940's I could indulge in a pair of stockings with the seam up the back, like these, but I'm expecting it'll probably be 1950's. Well, I'll find out next week.

Reconstructing History has this fascinating book on Hairstyling, 1930s-1960s -- don't know if I'll need it, but I was watching an old movie the other day that reminded me that they carry this book.

And then, going back to my current project of putting together an outfit for demoing at the historical society, 18th century patterns of interest to me:
Rev War Gentleman Package

and then the Polonaise has always been of interest to me.

And of course, the Stays to go under that...

At this point I expect I'll start with something very basic and see how things go -- besides, I'm losing weight and changing shape, so something fitted is just going to have to wait until things stabilize a bit more. I might make simple stays to start with no straps, and leave any boning out on the sides, to make re-fitting it easier on me. Stays (like a corset, only different, but has stiffeners in it) were more for smoothing out the silhouette than for cinching in the waist. I've also seen references to it being useful for working women, as a back support while lifting heavy things -- like the kidney belt for a weight-lifter. I've worn this sort of thing before, many years ago when I wore early Tudor; made properly, it's quite comfortable.

At some point this summer, I'd also like to go to the Bryan Homestead. Home of William Cullen Bryant, it isn't far from here -- just over in Cummington, in fact:

Bryant Homestead

That's an early-mid 19th c. place, but it's close by, so could be a nice way to spend the day.
helwen: (Default)
Well, I will be making the German dress, but not in the next month or so... it's been rather hot and humid the past few days so research has been slow as I try to get the brain to work.

Couldn't find my previous sources at first but had an interesting time reading about Burgundians -- both the original people (probably Scandinavians who migrated), and the people who were called Burgundians (at least by historians) but were named after the region that was named Burgundy after the original people. Murf.

K and I had talked about about this at Pennsic because I thought I'd remembered there being a German connection to the Burgundians. Which there might still be, seeing as over time the Burgundy area changes a lot, in physical dimensions, political affiliations, cultural influences, etc. And the Roman had thought the original Burgundians were an East German tribe because of where they were staying when the Roman got there (east of the Rhine).


Part of Burgundy, at least in the 15th-16th c. where I'm focusing my clothing interest, is Bruges, in West Flanders. Which means of course, Flemish clothing, not German.

Here's a link to some paintings by David Gerard, a Netherlandish painter who worked in Bruges:
David Gerard

Yes it's Wikipedia, deal. There are pictures.

Then there's this: 15th c. Flemish Dresses (a few of my dresses are sort of like ones in Gerard's paintings)

Sadly, none of my late period dresses are in black or gold, so I'm going to have to make another dress, as we've opted, along with other landed barons and baronesses attending Coronation, to go in our respective groups' colors. It should be quite a colorful assembly :)
helwen: (Woodsy)
Well, probably German... I need to do some poking around at Burgundian clothing and see if my memory of it being similar is correct or not. I definitely want to do the slashing, so that's more the deciding factor for this dress.

Pattern is RH504 - Kampfrau or Common Woman's Dress

The dress will be mostly black with yellow or gold guards. Black is easy to get, so I'm looking at the yellows and golds. Sadly, one recommended site did not have any suitable yellows or golds, so I'm at my usual site for wool, Denver Fabrics -- which has some good fabric, just a sometimes annoying way of arranging things. Also, who thought it was a brilliant idea to add 2% lycra to wool? *sigh*

Fabrics )

Time to find some pictures!
helwen: (Default)
So, a dyer name of Jenny Dean, author of a number of books, has a blog. You can also have her blog post to your own blog via RSS feed if you like. Currently getting into Anglo-Saxon Dyes!!!

Tashabear has the details here

My thanks to Tashabear for the info!

Sea shells can be used to remove heavy metals from water!. This is excellent news, since places that have seafood industry end up with piles of shells, and now here is another excellent use for them. An inexpensive way to clean water is super, too.

UK: Plum sites that the greens tend to ignore is an article on how a lot of environmentally aware people focus on wild spaces and ignore the importance of greening everything else -- England needs more Orchards! (And there is a program for helping with that)
helwen: (Woodsy)
14th Century Patterns by [livejournal.com profile] kass_rants! Also, a Tax Day/Week Special: Reconstructing History 14th Century Patterns
helwen: (water drops)
Are We Ready for Slow Fashion?

Not cut and dried, but also not too long. Talks about the different ways people are trying to create and/or acquire clothing with lower environmental impact.
helwen: (Woodsy)
My apprentice Robert Fairfax, who's recent adventure into sewing some of you may have been following over at the Reconstructing History blog, has a blog for putting up some of his SCA work. You can find it here: Fairfax Files.

So far, a few scrolls (the calligraphy part) and the documentation for some pins he made. I recommend reading the paper -- it isn't long but is well written, and an excellent exemplar for folks who are learning to do write-ups for their A&S submissions.

btw, he makes the pins for sale as well, both the everyday pins and the fancy coral-headed ones, and you can see pictures of them Medieval Pins

If you're into wearing veils at events, I recommend them. I personal have a horrible time with having anything over my ears (my lip-reading is only so good...), but I am thinking about getting a bronze needle, and maybe some linen sewing thread. I have some thread, but another spool isn't a bad thing. The Bocken 60/2 comes in several colors, too. It isn't inexpensive, but Bob reports that it doesn't break like some of the less expensive ones do, which sounds to be a more durable product.
helwen: (jug)
A useful page: http://web.comhem.se/~u41200125/Links.html

Has links to pages on various types of historical clothing (including Reconstructing History's site, btw). I found it because I was looking for the Fecamp Psalter site(s), as that's a 12th century source, of which there are not as many as one might like.

Have fun!

[EDIT]: For 12th century at least, it's also worth looking under the More Than One Period heading, because there's some bits there as well.


helwen: (Default)

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