Friday, December 5, 2014

Purple English Kirtle - Revamped

I have noticed that I've been fixing up some of my garb that I've either had a few years and got some wear and tear, or that I made poorly the first go around and needs some tidying up. This project is another one of those. I made this kirtle in early 2011. It's purple linen, with black linen guards and (originally) cuffs and neckline detail. It's lightly boned with spring steel, and interlined with cotton duck cloth. It still fits very well and is my most comfortable kirtle.

I wore this quite a bit when I first made it, then made the bright pink and teal kirtle, so this one saw less use for about 2 years. Back in September, I decided to pull it out of the closet and see what kind of shape it was in, as I had a demo to attend that needed something moderately warm and pretty but not showy or likely to get dirty. Thus began some changes! Pics below are the first iteration.

1. I removed the black linen neckline trim detail. I never got around to putting the black all the way around the neckline anyways, so I thought it looked kinda stupid as it was. Much cleaner without it!
2. I tightened up the shoulder straps. Maybe they were too loose to start, or maybe they loosened up with wear- I just needed them raised to about an inch tighter.
3. I lowered the neckline about an inch after raising the straps because it was gapping after the straps moved.
4. I ironed the crap out of this dress. After a monsoon rain at Pennsic, the fabric was looking drab and wrinkled.
5. The bottom guard was a bit frayed underneath the hemline from wear and tear- tidied that up.
6. Removed the cuffs. They were attached poorly because I didn't really know what I was doing when I first made them, and have since improved my skills. I prefer the kirtle without them now.
7. Moved around the lacing rings at the shoulder straps and sleeves to line up more neatly and show less.
8. Did some extra stitches on the back few cartridge pleats as they had loosened up.

Here it is now, shown with a (purchased) blackworked partlet and a black silk girdle belt with buckle. I am really glad that I took the time to fix this dress up. It fits great, is comfortable to wear all day, and I still get compliments on it! The linen has become really soft and flowy after a couple years with minimal wear showing (mostly at the back where it has taken some strain). I have already worn it twice since I fixed it up! And I definitely will get more use out of it, for a couple more years I think.

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