Log in

Abby's Misadventures in Couture [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

FINALLY! [May. 1st, 2005|06:40 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Finally, both camera and internet have co-operated long enough to allow me to post an update! I bring you: NATE'S SHIRT!

I'm sorry Nate, this was done last week, but my technical issues wouldn't allow me to show you any earlier! Hope you like!

So, here we are:

Made of hanky-weight linen, using primarily the rectangular construction demo on The Renaissance Tailor which is a great reference for period costumers. If you haven't seen it yet, go now!

The collar and cuffs were made to turn back over the doublet collar and sleeves, and are simply doubled from their normal height. I made the ties out of finger-braided cotton perle cord in black and white, and I think it gives a nice touch.

Here's the details on the placket and cuffs:

I stitched the small lace on by hand, and added small black stitches in embroidery floss, to mimic the twisting pattern of the ties and set off the lace a bit. I really like how it turned out, though that was more handwork than I had originally intended. The inspiration for this embellishment was from the great Lynn Mcmasters.

Nate, I hope you enjoy. The collar will hang more naturally on you than on my hanger, but unfortunately I don't possess a dress form to show it off on beforehand. Voila!

I've also made alot of progress on my dress, so stay tuned for another update later today!
link1 comment|post comment

Nate's Fabric Choices! [Mar. 7th, 2005|10:54 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Well, there we have the promised fabric choices!

On the bottom left, rather bleached by the camera, is the wonderful hanky weight linen bought at Gail K Fabrics in Atlanta. It's very very lightweight, and has almost no slubs whatsoever--it's a very smooth weave! The piece in the middle of the pile is a lovely Irish linen that will line the doublet, and on the right is the wonderful silk/wool blend (20%silk, 80% wool). It's so lightweight, and has the most beautiful weight. I'm not sure how period a blend fabric is, but both silk and wool were the main staple fabrics of the nobility for outerwear, so I'm inclined to overlook the blend.

The black braided trim will be used on the outside of Nate's doublet, as in the Bronzino portrait in the last entry. It's narrow, but has the loveliest scroll pattern on it, and I really like it. The lace is actually for my Venetian gown, it's more pointy than the scalloped lace I had planned to use underneath the sleeve heads, and much more resembles my inspiration portrait by Titian.

Here we have the silk satin color choices:

These are the choices for the contrasting sleeves -- all of these colors are fairly closely represented in the portraits of the area and time. The silver is closest to the Bronzino Florentine portrait, and the red is quite close to the Tintoretto Venetian man's portrait. There's also a Moroni painting of a man in pink wearing shades very similar to the middle pink. Nate likes all three, and those will be ordered later, depending on what he picks out in the end.

Next in the works: working on the shirt!
link2 comments|post comment

Presenting, a Venetian Man! [Mar. 2nd, 2005|02:29 pm]
So, as I mentioned last post, I've been conned/talked into making a Venetian man's costume as a complement to my 1550-60s Venetian gown. I've picked out most of the fabric, and here's all my images I've used in coming up with my design.

First, let me say a HUGE thanks to Bella of The Realm of Venus, most of the images I used in the design phase were very kindly given to my by her, and her site has been a tremendous help to me during all parts of my own adventures in Venetian costuming. Thank you, Bella!

The first thing you notice about both Venetian and Florentine mens portraits, is that there's little stylistic differences between the two areas. Black is HUGELY popular for doublets or jerkins. Sometimes the canions, slops and sleeves match the doublet, sometimes the slops and sleeves are of a contrasting (but matching each other) color, perhaps arguing that the outfit is actually a doublet with matching sleeves and slops and a black jerkin worn closed over top. Unlike the English malefolk, the Italians don't seem to be prone to wearing their jerkins partially open to show the doublet underneath, so we don't really know if it is actually a jerkin over a doublet, or a doublet worn alone. For my purpose, I'm going with a black doublet with contrasting sleeves. I don't have the time to make both a doublet and a jerkin, and Atlanta in May is quite warm. One layer over the shirt will be more than warm enough, especially in black.

So, on to THE IMAGES:

Shirts can be either worn with a simple standing collar (perhaps with a small ruffle) or with a turned-down collar not too dissimilar to modern men's shirt collars today. The Venetians seem to prefer the shirt collar turned down more often than not, where as the Florentines seem to like it standing, with a simple ruff. Keep in mind these are just generalizations, now. There can also be either red or black monochrome embroidery on the turned-down part of the collar. Cuffs of the shirt can be simple, or turned back to match the collar. When closures are visible, they seem to all tie with twisted (perhaps finger-braided) cords. I'll be making a shirt out of hanky weight linen with both turned back cuffs and collar to give it a more Venetian feel.

My final design sketch was influenced jointly by the first portrait above, by Tintoretto of a man with pinked red sleeves and slops, and the below Bronzino portrait of a Florentine man for the doublet and sleeve decoration pattern.

His doublet has simple bands of braided trim in vertical lines down the front and along the seamlines and pinked and trapunto corded sleeves. Here's my quick and rough design sketch for Nate's outfit:

You can see the doublet closely echoes both the Tintoretto and Bronzino portraits, and you can see my design for the sleeve detailing as well. I couldn't convince Nate to wear slops, and at any rate I'll be busy enough just getting the doublet ready. He'd prefer to wear turned down pirate boots, but if he can't score a pair, we'll have to force him into canions, stockings and a pair of period-esque shoes. If the sleeves can't be ready in time, he can wear just the shirtsleeves. He might be a touch underdressed, but at least he'll be a bit cooler.

Next post, the FABRICS!
linkpost comment

Calling all Venetian men.... [Feb. 16th, 2005|01:45 am]
I have been appointed to wear my completed blue Venetian to the Atlanta Ren Faire in April/May, so that gives me a deadline and some motivation to get this project moving!

I am also taking a male friend of mine and he wants a linen shirt and doublet for the faire. Don't think I can talk him into trunk hose but canions are a possibility.

My question is this: Does anybody have any good Venetian men's portraits from 1550-60s era? The ones I have predominantly come across are religious figures or scholars in their long dark robes....this does not give me a good idea of Venetian men's doublet possibilities. Send me your portraits and links, I beg of you! Send them forth!
link1 comment|post comment

Survey [Feb. 12th, 2005|09:03 pm]
Found this on ~noxcat's diary and just had to use it.

1. What is your favorite fabric?
For wear and use - natural fibers. For utter beauty and quality of workmanship - Japanese silk textiles.

2. Best pattern you have ever used?
Drea Lead's online corset generator. I used it to draft 2 corsets and a bodice for my first Elizabethan.

3. If you had to choose to make a dress from either the 16th century or 18th century which would you choose and why?
16th century, it's always been my interest. I'm not too big on wigs and panniers.

4. Last costume book you purchased?
Janet Arnold, PoF

5. Do you prefer hand sewing or machine sewing?
machine sewing, except for blackwork. I have little patience.

6. What type of sewing machine do you own?
Kenmore sewing machine and White Speedylock serger

7. If you were given a choice to visit a museum to study costumes, what country and museum would you choose?
Well, the Nishijin Textile Institute in Kyoto, Japan is a prime choice. But since I'm already going to Japan in a few months, if I had another choice it would be the V&A.

6. Favorite costume designer---before 1945?

7. Do you prefer to work with silk or velvet?
Silk. Lighter, and you don't have to fuss with matching the direction of the nap.

8. Cotton or Wool?

9. If given the opportunity to be taught the craft of costuming by a costume designer from any era, who would it be?
Edo era kimono schools.

10. Silk thread or Linen thread?

11. Given the choice would you choose to learn the art of dyeing fabric (natural or chemical) or the art of draping?
Dyeing, as taught by the Japanese. Definately a fine art. If you doubt my word, go and look at how yuzen dyed kimonos are made.

12. What is your dream dress?
Damn, this is a tough choice. Arwen's Blood Red or Funeral gowns, a cut velvet doublet with hanging sleeves and matching kirtle, any of the gowns in Pirates of the Carribean.....

13. Arnold or Hunnisett?

14. What costume drama would you prefer to have worked on?
Lord of the Rings

15. Favorite Queen?
Isabella of Spain

16. If you could own only one costuming book, which would it be?
Alcega or Arnold

17. If you could only choose one embellishment for your gown, what would you choose?

18. Feathers or fur?

19. Green or Red?
deep red

20. Assuming you own more than one vintage garment. Which piece would you donate to a costume museum?
Umm...I own several vintage kimono, one a wedding kimono of some value....probably that one, but I'd have to be pryed from it by force

21. What is the most comfortable - corset/stays/set or bodies you have worn?
The most comfortable is the built-in boning of my Campi bodice.

22. Embroidery or Tatting?

23. Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
I have to CHOOSE?!

24. Favorite Costume Drama Actress?
Cate Blanchett

25. What was the last Costume you made and why?
Heh, I have three in various stages of completion: Cream and Burgundy Elizabethan: 95%, Campi peasant gown: 80%, Venetian: 30%. Why? Because I want pretty costumes, damnit!

26. Last costume drama DVD you purchased?
King Arthur. I want Last Samurai soooo bad.

27. What type of music do you listen to while sewing?
Depends. I have a rather ecclectic taste. I do handsewing while in front of my computer watching anime.

28. What inspires you to create a ensemble?
Seeing other great garb online or in film.

29. Would you prefer to be a costume designer or a costume technician?
linkpost comment

Quiz fun [Feb. 9th, 2005|11:06 pm]
[mood |dorky]

What kind of Jedi are you?
LJ Username
Dark Side Growth Potential - 93%
Light Side Growth Potential - 95%
Master's Name jayarr
How likely you are to lose a limb - 7%
Lightsaber Blade's color Pink
Lightsaber Style Double-Bladed Lightsaber
This Quiz by neo_epyon - Taken 6663 Times.
New - Dating Advice written by YOU!

You know, I'm glad to know I'm going to end up as a Light Side Jedi, but a PINK lightsaber? I dunno if I'm cool with that.
link2 comments|post comment

Venetian Jewelry Update! [Feb. 8th, 2005|11:28 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

Well, the apron for my Campi is currently half done, and I got tired of hand-sewing so I moved on to the jewelry for my Venetian!

The ensemble consists of a girdle, the pearl necklace we see in almost all Venetian portraits and a pair of drop pearl earrings on thin gold hoops:

I apologize for the way the pearls glow, the flash on my camera really whitened them. I knotted the pearls (and they're real, btw :-) ) using the wonderful directions on Jessamyn's site. She has a fabulous Florentine gown made with some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever seen, so if you haven't seen her diary before, you seriously need to check it out.

The earrings are simple drop pearls hung from a brass pin with a decorative end, on a gold loop. The pin I used is also in the photo next to the earrings. I simply bent the end of the pin in a loop and threaded it around the gold hoop. Those ribbons I tied in bows to hide the ugly uneven loops that were the best I could do with an old pair of pliers. Does anyone know if decorative bows like this exist in period portraits?? I swear I've seen some on earrings just like this, but I can't find the portrait for the life of me. It might be Elizabethan rather than Venetian.

And, here's my girdle!

It's made of an assortment of handmade glass beads in various shades of dark blue, which I thought would contrast nicely with my lighter blue brocade. Inspirations for this came from the wonderful girdles made by Oonagh of Oonagh's Own and Alyxx of Immortal Longings. In the center are the much larger beads I plan on using to make the head of my ending tassel out of. That part is being problematic, so I thought I'd get what I had posted and leave it there. I'm very pleased with the look of the girdle, even in it's unfinished state.
link2 comments|post comment

Campi Skirt is attached! [Feb. 3rd, 2005|01:47 am]
[mood |jubilantjubilant]

So, I got the skirt of the campi dress cartridge pleated and attached to the bodice. It's my first time attaching a skirt to the bodice directly, as I usually just pleat the skirt to a waistband and leave it separate. I think this worked quite well, though, and it really makes it feel more like a gown this way. So, pictures!

You can see that I made a slight slit in the front of the skirt to make it easier to get in and out, and I'll put a hook and eye there to keep it from gapping. I eased most of the pleats towards the back to give it a bit more fullness there.

My chemise is a bit problematic is terms of how it lines up: I actually bought it at a renfaire before I had even begun to get into making my own garb but wanted something to wear to faire. It's got elastic at the neckline and cuffs (gasp!) which makes it hard to get it to lie even on the neck. I may very quickly replace the elastic with a ribbon, which would more easily allow me to loosen it to lie the way I want it too. It also has raglan sleeves which I've discovered are a bit annoying. But I have utterly no intention of making another one.

Just for fun, I held up the length of fabric I bought to make my apron out of to see the color against the dress. It's a nice, wine red color. It will be fast, just hem the sides, fringe the bottom (if possible) and run a cord through the top to tie it on. I may put some simple blackwork at the bottom as well. View the combination!

(You can also see my cat Mitzi poking the tip of her tail around from behind me. :-) )
link4 comments|post comment

She LIVES!!! [Jan. 30th, 2005|06:29 pm]
I haven't posted anything in months on here, and for that I apologize. However, most of the sewing I've been doing recently has been contemporary clothing, as I am about to start a job requiring office wear, and I don't have much in the way of nice professional clothing. So, I made some.

This is not a Venetian gown update, but instead a Campi gown update! I started an Italian peasant gown several months ago, inspired by the paintings by Vincenzo Campi, and also by the lovely Italian working class gown over on that ever-so-helpful Festive Attyre site.

I wanted a simple, cheap but relatively authentic peasant gown that I could wear on hot summer days, and also on camping events. My goals were: a)keep it cheap, b)make it look authentic, c)make it be comfortable and cool. I decided on going with cotton instead of the period choices of wool or linen mostly because making a gown out of real wool or linen would blow my budget right out of the water.

Here are my two main inspirational pictures, both by Vincenzo Campi:

The Fishmongers, 1580's

The Fruitseller, 1580's

The gown is most like the Fishmonger woman in design, with a very similar moss green color cotton, with heavier weight black cotton twill guards. I include the second picture because of the details of her chemise cuffs. I already own a chemise very similar to hers, and not having to make a new one will also keep my cost down.

I finished the last details on the bodice last night, namely finishing and attaching the shoulder straps at the top. View:

The bodice is self-lined, with a single layer of canvas for interlining. The guards are sewn down by hand (gasp!) as I didn't want any machine topstitching showing. I also plan to add one, possibly two, more guards at the hem, and we'll see if I'm dediated enough to also handsew those. The bodice is front closing with a simple ribbon. I took a page from the wonderful Festive Attyre's Jen, and used a ribbon to create a way to spiral-lace the bodice. I simpled sewed down a ribbon at intervals to each side of the edge, and the intervals allowed 'holes' through which to lace a second, smaller ribbon to hold the bodice closed. View:

You can also see the boning channels, two per side, in this photo. Campi's Fishmonger obviously has little to no stiffening in her bodice, but some other Campi paintings just as distinctly show some. Much less than any noble gown, though, these women had to be able to move! I used cable ties (for cheapness!) and only used enough to give me some shaping and support, but not give me a conical shape. There is quite a distinct curve when I wear the bodice, so it looks to be just enough.

Hopefully, I'll get the skirt attached to the bodice tonight. I've already marked the intervals for the soft cartridge pleating, and I'll attach it directly to the bodice. I've never had to gauge a skirt to attach it to a bodice with a point before, and I'm a bit unsure how it will work. We'll see.
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Aug. 30th, 2004|09:21 pm]
Today, I bring you: the PETTICOAT!

I was meaning to work on my bodice next, but my pretty, pretty silk shined out to me and said "Sew me! Sew me!" So I listened.

It's box pleated to the waist, with about 4 inches of flat gap at the front with no pleating. The hem is pinned, but neither ironed nor sewn. I did this in a very rushed manner, so I think it needs to hang for a bit and I'll check the hem again before I trim and finalize it.

I also retain a few delusions of chopine grandeur, and I'd like to have small (3-4 inch) chopines with this dress, which would change the hem length. In that case, I need to reserve some length via hemming it up in order to lengthen it later. Anybody know anyone who has actually made chopines?

The skirt itself was made from two rectangular panels and two large-ish gores. Here's my cutting layout:

This made for a nice hem yardage, and I should be able to wear this over a modest farthingale for Elizabethan clothes as well.

Next, on to: the BODICE!!
link9 comments|post comment

[ viewing | 10 entries back ]
[ go | earlier/later ]