Friday, April 29, 2011

More blackwork trials and a dilemma

I have this beautiful linen lawn that has been sitting in my stash for years waiting for me to decide what to do with it.  I want to use it for my camacia and partlet. 

Fast forward to my blackwork is an enormous pain in the arse to embroider this fabric!  I have always done counted blackwork, which is working fine on the linen for the men, but the thread count on the lawn seems to be a billion.  I could trace the pattern on, but that's never really worked for me.  I think I'm going to just get a good start on the blackwork for the shirts, then come back to this.  I think I'll end up going with a simple pattern like the third from the left here with the bead accent.  


I had a whole post disappear. One minute there was a post about my son's baptismal gown, the next it was gone! I can still view the comment on it, but no post. :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blackwork trials

I did blackwork once before. I found a lovely pattern and did a whole cuff and when it was done I looked down with pride and realized...I hated it. I never used it. So with this project I decided to do some trials before committing to the full piece. It also gives me an opportunity to work out the kinks. So, here are the trials for the Blackwork on the two shirts. The small, diamond pattern is for my little man. It is about half an inch tall. The big acorn and vine pattern is for my big man and is about an inch.

Due to real life concerns all three outfits will be almost exclusively made from stash fabrics. I have a pretty extensive stash, so only a few bits will need to be purchased (mostly lining fabrics). The two shirts will be made from a medium weight linen, the blackwork will be done in black silk embroidery floss.

Both blackwork patterns come from a 16th century Italian sampler. It is a wonderful piece with lots of different designs on it.

(I'm really sorry for the terrible quality of the picture...I'll replace it later.)

A little plan for a little man

My sweet baby boy was born in December and I want for this outfit to fit him this fall/winter. I'd like for him to be able to wear it for Winter Solstice and 12th Night (the two big court events in my area of the SCA, one in December, the other in January). I'll be cheating a bit on the fitting. I'll use one of the modern patterns I already own to get the size right, then I'll re-draw around it to get accurate lines for what I want. It's the best method I can come up with to make something that will fit him in six months.

I saw this portrait and immediately fell in love with the little boys' outfits.

Here's the rough plan for him. Don't mind the are hard to draw! It is almost an exact replica of the outfits in the portrait, right down to the little shoes (which I didn't draw, but are in my plans).

The plan for the man

I am lifting another sketch from my archives for Dennis' outfit. The style will be similar to something I worked on for the King of Artemisia to wear in December. The basic lines will be very much like this portrait. I've been in love with this outfit since the first time I saw the portrait. If you look closely at it you can see simple lines of what I assume is embroidery vertically on the outfit. There are simple straight lines and what look like either beading or just small ovals of satin stitch. I'll be doing that on Dennis' doublet as well. The doublet will be brown velvet with burnt orange embroidery.

His under-doublet will be burnt orange silk, modeled after this one...of course, because every person who does 16th century man's clothing makes this doublet at some point. There's a good's because it's a wonderful doublet!

Here is the overall plan for his outfit. The left side is the over-doublet/jerkin type thing. The left side is the underdoublet. I drew out several different cutwork patterns so we could discuss options. He decided he likes the simple verticle lines, so that's what we're doing. The left side of the pants was my first attempt at drawing panes and...well, it's not so good. Just look at the right side. :)

For over this the original plan was a half-cape, but then I started falling in love with these coat-type thingies (I don't know what they're called). I'm going to shop around for fur and if I can find enough at a price I want to pay, then I'll make one of these, if not then it will be a half-cape with either embroidery or applique around the edge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My outfit

I've been thinking about what to do for my own gown since I first heard about the challenge. I am nursing my five month old son, so I'm limited to front opening gowns with relatively easy to undo closures. I've decided to use this portrait as inspiration. I've loved this dress for a long time. There's something so elegant in it's simplicity. The pearl buttons, the soft-ish lines...I just can't resist.

I am thinking about doing a partlet to fancy my gown up a bit. These two styles have really caught my eye. A fabulous friend of mine recently showed me how to do pulled work and I think that a pulled work partlet would be a lovely addition to my gown. I think the first style would look beautiful as pulled work.

Here is my sketch for the gown, it doesn't include the partlet because I haven't decided which style to do, yet. The other decision I need to make is which sleeve style to do. I think I'll go with the one on the left because it fits in with the very subtle, simple lines of the rest of the gown. I really like the one on the right, too, but I have a bit of time before I HAVE to decide on that. The camacia will have white work and possibly a little bit of beading around the neckline.

I will also be making a loose gown, these two portraits call out "make me!" There are things I love about both of them, and they're at direct odds with each other. I love that with the first one you would be able to see the sleeves from the dress, but I LOOOOVE the sleeves on the second one. The second one would be a much better "keep me warm" coat-type gown, which I have been desperately needing anyway. So...I'll leave this decision for a bit, too. I'm going to start with the white and blackwork for the underclothes anyway.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Beginning

It all started a couple of weeks ago when a friend posted a link to the Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge at Realm of Venus.  Four months to create one late Italian Renaissance outfit consisting of at least four pieces.  Now, ambitious me has three entries.  One for me, one for my hubbysband, and one for my baby boy who is currently five months old, I'm going to aim for an outfit to fit him this winter.  (Details of the outfit plans to come later, once I scan my sketches.)

I would love to win, but I'm up against professional costumers, so more importantly I want to challenge myself to up my game.  I know I am capable of much better work than I generally put forth, I just have to slow down and give myself the time to do it right.  Yup, I did just say that I have great potential if only I would apply myself (and yes, I did hear that a lot growing up).  With required updates and friends also participating I will have a level of accountability with my sewing that I've never had.  Win or not, my goal is to perform to my personal best.  As long as I feel I've done that I'll be ecstatic at the end of this.

So here we go!  Enjoy the ride. :-)