Monday, May 19, 2014

Up for a breather

It has been nearly a year since I last posted, and I have been deep into the world of school. This much loved but quite often neglected blog has been cruelly left to languish while I have been busy making good grades, and some pretty cool art. I do my best to make it up to you all with updates on what I have been working on, but first I would like to share my latest creation.
So before I make with the pictures, I will start with the back story. Awhile back I was approached by my patron. He wanted to do something nice for a friend of ours that was having a rough time, you see her long term significant other was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis went from bad to worse. This woman is amazing, loyal, delightful, and often times will bend over to give you the shirt off her back. We wanted to make sure that she knew that she was appreciated and loved. So my patron asked me to make her an amazing coat.
Well as much as I wanted to make this coat the most awesome thing evar, I was having issues designing it. The Muse had taken a break since the deadline was months away. So I pondered, worked on other things, and generally fretted whenever the coat came up. I didn't know how to make a coat as awesome as she deserved. I went through design after design, I designed coats with felted greek key trim, I designed coats with appliqued bears, there was even a version that had a Skyrim joke, but nothing felt right. Cue the end of Winter term when I got the assignment for my Color Design final, "Create a Mood Through an Artist, or Culture",  Opulence is a mood, Byzantine is  a culture.
I suddenly found my Muse in the act of unpacking her bags, and tossing fabric swatches around in my head. Suddenly the Coat became more, I was making her a gown now. I caught the wave and was off. Pulling fabrics out of bins, and curtains were sacrificed and it all came together in a frenzy of sewing. That seems to be my habit, weeks of calm, and a mad push of creation. It is maddening, but I do get some rather nice results. The gown was sewn in less than 48 hours, and got me an A on my final.
Now it is a few weeks later, and I still haven't come up with a design that I like enough to start cutting, It was getting too close to the delivery date, and I finally decided on a pattern, then I couldn't decide on  a lining, angst. With the help of my apprentice sister patting me on the head, I made the final decision and began to cut. from there it was smooth sailing, and tonight I had the joy of giving it to a most delightful woman.
Without any further ado here is Nicasia's Byzantine Gown, and Rus Coat:























We made a new addition to the family, Bellatrix. She was supposed to be an indoor kitty, but snuck out when I did the photo shoot.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Raven Coat


I am one class shy of being done with finals for the term, and I had the pleasure of being able to tie in a project I have been wanting to make for awhile now as the final project in my Design class. Our assignment was to create a six word story. I came up with "Through the starry sky they reign". I used the ravens to represent the Mother, Madien, and Crone, and used elements from my SCA arms to inspire the design.

I was lucky enough to find this piece of blue wool at St. Vinnie's for under $10. It even had the Pendleton Woolen Mills tag still on it. It practically screamed "make a coat out of me". The lining was a gift from my Laurel when she took me as an apprentice. I had to do several layouts to make sure the pattern could be cut from the lining since it was only 36" wide.

I am really happy with the result, and kinda bummed that I won't get the chance to wear it until August.



Shoulder Raven



Rayonny Cuff Detail

Raven Detail

Raven with three stars

Outer shell of coat nearly assembled

Creating the runes

Pinning them into place before ironing

The finished coat

Add caption






Sunday, June 2, 2013

I really should be doing my homework.

So another Egil's has come and gone. I managed to get almost all of my homework done, and passed both my art history test, and my math test with A's. I finished an Anglo Saxon for my patron's wife. Amazingly I managed to get clothes made for the kids as well. Why is making kids clothes such a pain? Anyway Griffin got two new tunics and Hunter got a new tunic, and 3 pairs of pants.

Most importantly I was made a full apprentice to Domina Luitguard, and Tadhg took his first protege. Still not sure which makes me more proud.

There is still a pile of things cut out but not finished. By Sport of kings I hope to have all new clothes for the boys. Tadhg's Knight is going to be visiting from Trimaris and we get to meet another Knight of Duncan's line as well. It looks like SOK is going to be pretty sewing intensive.
  • Tadhg's Surcote
  • Kids clothes
  • Something pretty for me.
  • Tent repairs
  • Patron clothing
  • TBA (not sure what it is, but I know more will be added to the list)
And in the next week I have to make a Norse coat for my Design final. Lots to do in the next two weeks. YAY!

Pants for Griffin are on the to do.

Hunter really really loved the green pants.

Tadhg gets a new surcote because he finally has armor that won't destroy anything I make him.

Now back to my homework.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Accidents and Life changes

I know that lapses in posting around here are pretty regular, so thanks for still reading. It has been an interesting few months. I have, after nearly 20 years, returned to school to obtain an Arts degree, and 4 weeks into the first term I can say that I should have done this much sooner. For the first time in memory I am maintaining an A in math. This makes me stupidly giddy.

I have been keeping busy with projects between homework assignments, and I have recently had a very happy accident. My patron has an adorable little girl, and as typical with toddlers she grew larger between the time I measured her and when I made her new tunic. She got to wear it once. Her father in his wisdom suggested that I enter it into the Children's Garb Exchange clothing competition to be held at Bar Gamel's. I made her a new set of tunics, bigger this time so she should be able to wear it for two or three months.


Too Small Tunic
New Tunics that will hopefully fit for a few months



















Since we planned on day tripping the event and I wasn't sure that we would be there early enough to make the entry deadline, I sent the Too Small Tunic ahead of me with a friend that would be getting there Friday night. This ended up being a really good thing.


Friday evening I left the Husband to give the kiddos a bath and put them to bed while I went to the grocery store. I wasn't gone long when I got a text from him telling me that I needed to get home right away. Our youngest had had a pimple on his tush that we were keeping an eye on, and overnight it got much worse.


Tl:dr I spent 6 hours in the ER with a squirmy three year old, and we were not going to make it to the event.

My little man. Nothing keeps him down for long.

Cut to last night when I started getting messages telling me that I had won several of the categories for the contest. I think they were people's choice, Queen's choice, and most likely to be worn in a mud puddle. My friend brought home my prizes, and I was gobsmacked. Seriously they were not kidding around with the prizes!



Loot! The folks making prizes went above and beyond.

I plan on making something nice for my patron's daughter as a thank you for his great suggestion, and I think the pashmina would look lovely on his wife.

MY VERY OWN NEMO BUCKET!!! You have no idea how badly I have wanted one of these!

I HAZ A BUKKET!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adventures in Apron Dresses




So as a Valentines day/tax return present, I ordered a new pair of apron brooches from Raymond's Quiet Press. I have been eying them for a long while, and now the precious shall be mine. Of course this translates into my brain as a reason to make a new dress.
I just so happened to have this lovely black wool.

 And so we begin our tale of my new apron dress with this lovely piece of wool that I picked up from St. Vinnie's. I cannot remember the exact price, but I am sure it was about $8. I had estimated that there was 3 1/2 yards on the bolt, but when I finally got around to measuring it I realized that they had doubled it over before wrapping it on the bolt. I got 7 2/3 yards! Woo Hoo!

I always use the thread pull method to straighten the ends of my fabric before starting any cutting.


I wash all my fabric with few exceptions. There was some shrinkage, but nothing I was really worried about.

  Fuzzier texture, but I am cool with that.
All set! Let's start cutting!
Hedby Style Layout
This is actually where the problems began. I have been wanting to try the Hedby style layout for some time now, and so I thought that I would use the less brain bending version found here. I don't know where I went wrong, but somehow it was too short. I did not figure that out until after I had cut. Note to self do your own math.

So now the question is how do I fix this? I didn't want to chop the remaining wool into bits, and I didn't want to use my old Tried & True pattern because I wanted this to be a three panel dress. My intent with the three panel dress was to use a gusset at the center back seam, because I have and hourglass figure with full hips, and a large bust. Without a little definition at the waist I start looking pretty boxy. So I had to do some reconfiguring on my old pattern.


Tried & True Pattern


Reconfigured Three Panel Apron Dress

I cut the body panels to a 1/3 my underbust + ease and seam allowance. I didn't account for the stretch of my wool. . . but we'll get to that in a moment.


Choppy chop time!
Lots of leftovers for future projects, yay!
Center front panel with the two full gores attached to either side

I press each seam open before attatching it to the next body panel.

In true CADD (Costume Attention Deficit Disorder) fashion I decided to . . .

Yeah. I am a messy costumer.
Oh my there is a floor under all that crap.

Where is all this stuff going to go?

Almost there!

Oh my goodness look at all the organized little boxes!

Oh the joy of having space for all the machines to sit out at the same time.

Let me introduce you to my my new friend, this is Lapis LaSteamy. This is my first brand new iron, and my first Rowenta. I loves her. 

Oh yeah, this is a project with a deadline. Did I mention that I need to have this done by this weekend?

One of the things I do to make my gores pretty is to sew the seams in three passes. Pass one, sew gore to panel keeping the tip of the gore free.



Pass two, sew the other side of the gore again keeping the tip of the gore free. 

Pass three, sew the top of the body panel down to the gore. Did I mention that you do not want the top of the gore to get caught up in any of the seams.

Press the seam allowances open


Pin if you need to. With some machines you Do Not want to run over pins, you can pin horizontally to avoid needle breakage and sorrow.
Be sure to keep it far enough away from your presser foot :)


Beware of small demon children they are cute and will demand that you take their picture.


Well that's all for now. More sewing tonight. . . weaving first.

Wait did I say weaving?

Edit 4/29/13



I thought my camera ate these pictures, but I just found them so here is the new Apron dress. Now I just need to hem the under tunic. . .