Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gold Florentine Gown and Gold Petticoat

I made this gold silk Florentine-style gown over a year ago, and have re-vamped it recently. When I first made it, I didn't realize that it was rather Italian in style (due to the sleeves), but came to learn it was after doing more research on the styles relating to each country in the 16th century. You can see the original version in my userpic.

Changes made:
1. Added more trim to the bodice to make it even more "obviously" Italian in style. The trim on this is a stiff jacquard embroidered with metallic thread and sequins. It's super thick and hard to cut, so the bottom of the trim on the waistline is just cut (folding over doesn't work). My new girdle (thanks Holly!) hides the edge wonderfully.
2. The pearls on the sleeves were popping off when I wore this gown last, in december, due to the sleeves being too tight at the elbow. I switched out the tiny pearls for 8mm ones, and did 4 down each sleeve instead of 5, making a "pouf" open at the elbow instead of a pearl holding it tight.
3. Removed trim from wrists and sewed them on a half inch lower. The sleeves were a tid-bit too short before; now they're perfect.

I also made a gold silk petticoat today, and will be adding it to my entry for the ACC. The color is this astonishing shade of buttery yellow- so lovely that I almost didin't use it for this petticoat, though I bought the silk for this exact purpose.

The way I constructed and sewed it has minimal stitches in it, so I could potentially take it apart and use it for another project if I wished. Simple, one-piece rectangular skirt, on a ribbon waistband to gather the fabric at the waist towards the back for more pouf in the back than the front.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sleeves and Forepanel

Finished the extra set of sleeves and forepanel for my black silk Elizabethan. Seeing as I decided I will not be bringing my elaborate red silk damask French gown to Pennsic (for fear of it being stolen), I chose to instead make a second pair of sleeves and forepanel to switch out- it's like having another gown! Fabric is a lovely, shiny apple-green and silver cotton-blend damask that cost me all of $5 for 2 yards at Uprising!

These are easily the best sleeves I have ever made. Why? 
1. I loved Crystal's way of sewing in the ribbons into the sleeve head, so I tried that on this set, and I love it! Much easier than sewing on rings and losing loose ribbons.
2. Fully lined in green silk, and fully finished on the inside with no frayed edges (a bad habit of mine).
3. Pattern placement is perfect! I took care to make it exactly right.

Forepanel is pretty straightforward. I chose to do just the forepanel alone, instead of attaching it into a whole underskirt. It's documentable, so it works. Plus I'll have a petticoat under it to hide the hoop lines. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pink Kirtle

I made this kirtle over a year ago, and decided that it needed some revamping. I'm going to Pennsic in a couple weeks, and as I was looking through my garb debating what to bring, my brain thought "this kirtle isn't good enough anymore", and instead of pushing it to the back of the closet, I spruced it up! Left is before (feb 2010), right is after:

Changes: 1. Added two more rows of trim, plus tacked down the old trim better. I did such a shoddy job last time around. 2. Removed the skirt from the bodice and cartridge pleated it, taking out the box pleats, and reattaching it. I don't think I will ever go back to box pleating thanks to Noelle teaching me cartridge pleating. 3. Changed out the ribbons from thin pink ones to wide cream ones.

Now it's ready for Pennsic, and I don't have to hide in shame!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fitted English Gown

Finishing up the tidbits on my black wool gabardine fitted overgown so I can wear it at Pennsic in August.

Firstly I must say that I did not make this- I had this made before I could sew at all, and despite the bodice fitting great, I never liked the sleeves. They were way too long, and the underarm pane hung much lower than the outer arm pane. I've been attempting to fix them, then putting aside in frustration, for over a year now! I wore this for about 10 minutes at Uprising in 2010, then got self-conscious about the stupid sleeves, so I took it off. Weird, I know! For some reason, I just decided I would freakin' do it today, and I did! Now it's wearable.

This gown is based on the picture at right, which is taken from the Tudor Tailor book (image from Ninya Mikhaila's site). I adored it so much I had to have one too!

Here's how mine looks now. I have a little more trimming to do in the black velvet- the hem, inside the collar, down the inside bodice front, and the shoulders. I might add another frog or two to make it close a little higher. The collar is deliberately open and closed for the picture, to show the trim. I just might add some black silk inside the sleeve panes, too.

Loose Gown

I'm over halfway finished with my mid to late 1500s loose gown. I bought this silver wool velvet (!) fabric well over a year ago, and initially was going to make a fitted English overgown, but I just couldn't get the fit right, so I tried a simpler loose gown style a month ago... plus this fabric is really tough to work with. It's so thick! When you slide your hand over it, it feels like you're petting a dog!

How I left it last month: collar was too wide and tall at the tips, needed more shape.

At left, the current state. Right, the lining inside out.

So this gown is lined in silver silk only down the front panels and the back "yoke" because that's all I had on hand, and I think it'll be alright. It's lined where it matters!

Right now it's super simple, so I'll start trimming next. One issue is that I wasted so much fabric trying to make the fitted gown that I didn't have a lot left for this, so the hem is about 8 inches short. I think I'll do a wide black velvet guard, and trim it with black velvet around the armscye? Thoughts or ideas about that?