Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fabric choices, sleeves and front seams

Continuing Magna Faire Project,

I considered buying linen for the bliaut but it is so expensive, then as I lay awake contemplating what to do I remembered I have a pile of red silk that I've been dragging around for the last 10 years or so, not knowing what to do with it. Light bulb!!!

So now I have light blue cotton for the under dress and red silk for the bliaut. In the Waterhouse painting, Ophilia is wearing a dark blue bliaut with a red under dress. Close enough for me.

Unfortunately I have lost part of my pattern in the mess that is my sewing room, so I had to pattern off of the last under dress I made. That mostly worked ok.

I decided to start with the sleeves. I was debating about how to hem them and what trim I could use when I laid out the fabric, well actually, it is a very nice Egyptian cotton sheet, when I notice the top hem. It has two bands of what looks like woven trim and it it looks totally period. So I decided to leave that on and use it for the sleeve finish. I just need to make sure in my documentation that I note that as a deviation and why.

So I put the gusset on the sleeves first, the wrong way of course. I had one sleeve almost done before I realized the gore was in backwards and I had to pick it all out. It seemed to take me several hours just to get that one sleeve done. I was also having some issues with the needle not going through the fabric as I would have liked. I changed needles for the second sleeve and once I got the gore on it went pretty quick.

Today I tried putting the body together...during an autocrat meeting. Maybe that is where I went wrong. Once I got home and was able to try it on I found that the back top bunched up funny and the front neckline was incredibly low. I took the back off, recut it and went to sew it back to the front when I realized I had sewn the two side seams together as the center front. No wonder it was so low, that was an arm hole not the neckline! Sheesh, you'd think I'd never made garb before with all the trouble I'm having.

Once I took the front apart and put it back together the right way, I pinned the shoulders and side so I could fit it again and now it fit right with only a few adjustments

The way I'm going so far its a good thing I have until Dec to get this done...

Project Runway or was that run away?

Some how I made the crazy decision to compete in a Project Runway styled garb making competition even though I had never entered an A&S competition before. Yes, it was a crazy decision. But it just sounded so fun, lol.

We had to bring our uncut fabric, trim, period pattern and sewing machines and make the entire outfit on site. I didn't find out until a few weeks before the event that we could have a team....Wha??? Not only did I not have any help lined up, anyone that I would have chosen to help was not planning on attending the event, or had other things going on. (like a vigil for a knighting in their household, a wedding, ya know, important things) So I competed by myself. The only other entrant was a team of 3. They made a very nice Italian Ren. I attempted to make a 14th C. bliaut.

I had made this pattern before and remembered it being fairly simple. Apparently I have a faulty memory. The lining on the bodice didn't fit in right. The sleeves gave me fits and those things delayed me enough that I wasn't able to put the skirt on correctly or hem anything. At least I got enough done that I was able to model it, since that was the judging part.

We had to model in front of HRH Amber, who asked questions and made some small talk. (I like her as far as Queens go) Then we had to model in front of the 2 judges and let them pick it apart, as judges do. They didn't like my choice of fabric although according to the rules that was not supposed to be considered. They did commend me on doing flat felled seams.

My final score was 21.5 out of 30. I was very happy with that score considering this was my first competition and that was an excellent score for a novice.

If I do this comp again next year, I will definitely get a team together. And I will stick with something truly easy, like a T-tunic or a Viking Apron!!

My bliaut

My compition's Italian

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Magna Faire

Magna Faire is a kingdom level Arts and Sciences competition that has both a Peer (laurel) judged competition and a peer (open entry) judged competition. I was able to shadow judge the costuming last year and learned so much about the process of judging and what they are looking for. This year I plan to enter the Peer judged side. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with my blog as my project progresses.

To that end, I plan to make a 14th C. bliaut and cote under dress loosely based on the painting Ophelia by John Waterhouse.

The painting was actually done in the pre-Rafaelite style of the late 1800s but I have been able to document the dress to the 14th C. with a few exceptions.

I already have a scrumptiously soft cotton in light blue that I am considering using as the under dress. If I use that I will use a red or dark green linen for the bliaut. Still debating that. I do plan to include the gold guard on the bottom of the skirt as that can be documented, but the art deco stuff on the bodice is not accurate in the least. I will probably put some trim on the neckline instead and also on the sleeves. And then I will need to figure out what to do about buttons since i want to use the bottom front closure.

Dreaming, dreaming....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sometimes more info results in undesired outcomes

So I finally got the $95 Hungarian costume book thanks to Christmas money and an Amazon gift card, yay! Turns out the skirt I've been focused on making is way too late for! I did find dresses in my 14th C period that I like and can easily make but this changes a lot of what I had planned for my fabric stash. Back to the pattern drafting board. :(  I think I will still make the skirt and blouse I was planning just not with the fabric I was planning. I'm not going to use the expensive stuff on garb that isn't correct. *sigh

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A great Christmas find

While we were in the north visiting Loko's family, he took me to an awesome antique mall. It's the kind where vendors rent a space and fill it with their consignment stuff. I found a hand crank fluting machine. Doing some quick research on it shows it was pattented in 1866 and was on the market until the early 1900s. Not quite SCA period but a modern used pleating machine is about $200. I got the antique (in usable condition) for $100. Now I just have to figure out how to use it. A good portion of the Hungarian garb is pleated so I expect this to save me some time and frustration of trying to make all those tiny pleates with a modern iron.