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Elizabethan Doublet - Mock Up

Okay, so my husband is required to present himself in Court to the Majesties on 12th Night. That means his normal tunic with jeans isn't going to fly. I showed him several different paintings and patterns and he picked Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Doublet with plain skirting and wings, with Venetian Breeches. I found some gorgeous navy blue worsted wool suiting for the doublet, midnight blue for the breeches, and a sage green for narrow sleeves.

Over the weekend I re-enforced all the tissue patterns with freezer paper. Today I traced out D's sizes onto plastic sheeting. He's a size 38 chest and a size 36 waist, with size 40 neck, so I had to be careful of which line I was following.

Thankfully I have a huge stash of muslin! Tracing, cutting, and basting didn't take too long.

Here is the mock-up with wings, but no skirting.

Fitting session will be later.

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K has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. She's not expanding sideways at all, just up and up and up!!

Last October I sat down and made her a green one piece split front dress that laced up the front, for October Crown. We ended up NOT going, so
she never got the chance to wear it before I realized the top was too small for her!! Bummer!! So I opened the back seam and added eyelets and
a modesty panel, and Voila! it's front AND back lacing!! (The straps also laced.) I also split the skirt from the vest to make it two pieces. The skirt became an overskirt that slides onto a belt and is worn over a blue skirt that has a bottom hem of about 5 inches, so hopefully it'll last a while!!

This is the front of the dress, before I started modifying it.

Here's the back before I added the back lacings.

With the back laces added in.


With October Crown coming this weekend, I pulled out the vest and tried it on K. TOO SMALL!!! Oh bother. I happened to have just made a really nice tote bag for myself out of a yard of thrift store-find material. (See last post) I had a nice chunk left, as well as some brown linen left over from another sewing commission that I will post about later. So I took out my paper bag pattern of the green vest and enlargedit in all directions. I did bag it, so it's not really period, but it is reversible!

I made the straps adjustable and did all the eyelets by hand in doubled bright red button-hole thread. I worked the eyelets so that the stitching made a decorative finish on the brown side and a plain eyelet on the yellow. I really like how it turned out, especially since I did it by accident!!

The yellow side all cut out. I had to remember to put the right-side against the brown, since I was bagging the whole thing.

The brown side.

The right-side of the yellow.

The brown side.

The finished vest, with 1/2 inch deep red single fold bias tape on the bottom edge.

The finished brown side, where the eyelets are more decorative then the yellow side.


I didn't add any boning, since K is just too active and I wanted her to be comfortable wearing this while riding in her car seat. I will take some pictures of the whole outfit this weekend and post a follow-up next week.
Wow, I hadn't realized how long it's been since my last posting. Over a year. Scary how time flies when you're having fun! Or at least attempting to have fun! :) Things in the family department have settled down to a dull roar. The husband is happily employed as a Project Engineer and gets to ride his motorcycle to and from work every day! (About 90 miles, round tripe.) Yes, it's a long commute, but we're not going to complain in this economy, and I can't argue with the smile that's on his face every afternoon when he gets off that bike. :)

With October Crown coming this weekend, I realized that I had been meaning to make myself a tote bag for taking to events. Due to my husband's involvment with our local biking community (Read: bicycles, not motorcycles) we have a HUGE pile of Bike to Work Day tote bags that I use for keeping individual projects in. They're great for when I'm sitting in the living room, watching a movie, but also working on crochet or handsewing. I love taking projects to events, but the bags are decaled within an inch of their lives, so they're not appropriate. :)

A few weeks ago my mom and I went thrift store shopping and I found a yard chunk of a beatiful yellow damask, which I'm pretty sure has a high cotton content. It was $1, so I got it without any specific plans for it.

So I was organizing my sewing room and happened to toss the yellow chunk on top of a tote bag while I was going through my stash. When I turned around to put it away the connection was obvious! The yellow was perfect for a tote bag!!! I also dug out a chunk of black cotton for lining and got to work! The whole thing took about 4 hours.

The Bike to Work Day tote bag that was my model.


The lay out

My first ever attempt at boxing in the bottom of a bag. I love how it turned out!!!

The strap. I wanted it long enough to go over my shoulder or across my body, without being too tight, but still allowing me to reach to the bottom of the bag while wearing it.

Got the strap sewn in!

I lined the bag in black light-weight cotton. I love the yellow thread against the black!!

Finished!!!

Finally....Pictures of progress!!

Okay, so here are some pictures of the projects I've been working on...



K in her surcoate.



Regency short stays.


Complete with hand-sewn eyelets! Ouch!


Pleating Victorian under-drawers into their waistband. Lots of pins were used!


Decided to use black trim instead of the red on the Tudor dress. On the right is what it looked like before in all red trim. I like the black better.


Lesson learned: Use 1/2" flat steel for corset back. Oh well, if we double up the laces in the middle it works better. Someday I'll figure out how to get the top to stop touching!


The gold underskirt for the Tudor. It's pretty!!


Holding the dress closed because I haven't sewn in the clasps yet. Still have to sew the ring and toggles onto the sleeves and armsyces, then it's wearable!


anielmom in her Italian and myself in my Tudor at Duchess War. I still have to finish putting on the black trim on the bodice, then black cotton velvet guard on the bottom edge of the skirt, and black cotton velvet cuffs on the sleeves. THEN I get to embellish!!!





New Hobby aka Viking Wire Knitting...

Sooooo, while at Duchess War last weekend I and anielmom  happened to sit in on a class teaching Viking wire knitting. I glanced over the instructions and thought "Holy Cow, this is complicated!!" Of course, looks are deceiving and I was knitting away after about ten minutes of fiddling. What fun! I even experimented with a double weave before the class was over.

I got ambitious yesterday and decided to try a tripe weave for a choker for myself. Between yesterday and today it took me about  6 hours total. I figured out that it took 4 feet of wire to make 3/4" of knit. I stopped at 10 inches, so you do the math. I almost used up an entire 30 yard roll of brass 26 gauge wire!

First thing this morning, after feeding K of course, I hunted through my husband's tool box and grabbed the drill bits, then found a scrap 2"x6". I made a couple of 3"x6" pieces and proceeded to drill holes from 1" down to 1/8", going down a couple drill sizes every hole. This was going to be my draw plate. I made one for anielmom too.

So here are some pictures showing my progress....


The start of the triple weave. The beginning is the hardest!!!


The finished ten inches, before being pulled through the draw plate.


The broken draw plate that is the result of NOT using hardwood and trying to go too small! Oh well, you can see the drawn out chain above the draw plate. It's at 15 inches right now, and I'm going to stick with single weave for a while.

Back to the drawing board!  :)

Writer's Block: A rose by any other name

Do you like your birth name? If you had the opportunity to change it, would you? What new name would you choose?

I would have totally gone with my middle name, which is Erin, but changed it's spelling to "Eryn". I just like the way it looks and sounds. I do like my first name, as my dad picked it for me, but it's hard to be a commanding presence sometimes when your first name is as nice and sweet sounding as "Heather" is. "Eryn" could go either way. :)
So yesterday I finished sewing down the binding, and put in the last eyelet on the shoulder strap. So it's done. Well, as done as any project is ever going to be.

anielmom  helped me with a fitting last week and we took some pictures. The 1/4 inch flat steel I put in the back channels on either side of the lacing eyelets isn't strong enough and pulled. Down the road I'm going to replace them with 1/2 inch flat steel, possible two in each channel to fix that. BUT it's wearable with my Tudor dress, of which we fitted the bodice over the corset (and my newly fixed shift) and they all fitted together perfectly!

I will post pictures later this afternoon, as I am stealing a few moments to myself to post this before K gets up and we start our busy day!

Progress on Corset!!!

Okay, so yesterday evening, as I was waiting for my husband to get home from work, I picked up my Tudor corset and finally started on handstitching the boning channels in the back. I'm having to do this because I made the channels too wide and, of course, have already sewn the bones into them. So I'm stitching them tighter so that the bones don't twist around in them. I got all six done last night! They look really good too! No movement!

This morning I've started finishing the binding. This wasn't a tie-down strap design when i made it, but that's what I'm turning it into. I had a hard time figuring out the appropriate tightness in the straps, so tie-down was an easy out. :)

I have the two eyelets down on the front, but I need to finish the straps themselves, hence finishing the binding.

This is my first foray into corset-making, and a dear friend of mine is lining up a Victorian and Regency in my near future.

I've enjoyed this and will most certainly be making another Tudor corset down the road, as I'm seeing lots of things on this current one that I would like to do different/better next time.

Here are some pictures! (I'm getting better about the in-progress shots!)



Here's a close up on the boning channels I tightened in the back. I love my eyelets by the way!



The whole back.



The front with the tie-down eyelets.



The whole front.



The whole back.

By the way, this project has brought to light the fact that I really don't know how to bind all that well, as my turning corners really stinks!!

Back to it!

Brown 14th Century dress

So a friend got me this light brown linen from the White Elephant sale down in Oakland this Spring. Another friend got me some red and some dark brown linen on another day at the sale. The dark brown became my husband's tunic and the red became a dress in this same style. I finally got around to the light brown a couple days ago.

I laid it out on the kitchen table and started measuring to lay out the pattern. I discovered it was about 6 inches too short for the length. Bummer.

I decided that I wanted this dress pretty bad, so I went through the scraps of dark brown left over from my husband's tunic. Luckily, I turned up enough straight chunks to fill in the missing length. I laid out the pattern, cut out the pieces, and then pieced on the dark brown, before sewing them together.

The pictures show the dress seamed together but not flat felled.



This is one sleeve with the side gores attached. The dark brown was all uneven lengths, but I wanted the line were it attaches to line up all the way around, so that made it a little more complicated.



The dress put together, but laid out, without the side seams sewn. The dark brown will probably get thinner once it's hemmed, but I figure longer was better then shorter. :)



Here's a close up of the bottom edge.

I'm pretty proud of this one.

More once I finish it! Just the side seams to finish and then binding the sleeves and neck. And, of course, the bottom hem. Ugh!

From table cloth to surcoate...

Okay, so this red square table cloth has been sitting around in my house for some time now. It's a cotton blendy thing that has a nice drape, but isn't big enough for anything for me or my husband. BUT I was looking at it the other day when I was thinking about making some for Keira to wear to the upcoming archery tournament. She has a long sleeved shirt that I modified so it looks SCA-ish, but a surcoate would look good over it.

So I grabbed it and got to work.



The tablecloth laid out, pinned, waiting for me to cut out the side openings.



Side openings cut out and the neck opening is a keyhole style.



Dave holding up the surcoate. As Keira is only 2 and a half right now, it's about 8 inches too long for her. So onto the hemming!



So folded up the bottom on the inside, sewing up along the side seams, then around the top. Thankfully, the sides were straight so I didn't have to worry about hemming a flare or anything.

Just have to finish binding the neck and it's done. I ran out of the yellow bias tape, so that's why it's incomplete in the picture.

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