Friday, July 31, 2009

Quick update

Well I would love to be posting pictures of me in my lovely new linen gown, but due to the extreme heat at Coronation I was unable to get a decent picture taken. Also we are getting ready to move so future projects are going to be on hold while we get everything set up at the new house. Hopefully this will be a temporary stop before we buy a home, but it is definitely a upgrade from where we are now. I'll have a real garage, a dining "room", more than 2 cupboards in the kitchen, a bathtub, a hallway, and a laundry room. Honestly I don't know how we have survived in our cottage this long, let alone the year my mother was there with us.

Later this month I will be attending Sport of Kings, and hopefully I will be taking some pretty cool classes The Textile Equipment of the 12th Century Warrior, and Rectangular Construction Gambeson Workshop. I hope to have my husband looking like a 12th century nobleman both on and off the field. As it is now his armor really needs spiffing up. His gambison is 20 years old, and has some rather interesting rust stains. I just hope my confirmation comes soon so I don't have to harass the registar.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Purple Linen Cote

Sorry for the lack of updates lately I have been rather preoccupied with my life at the moment. Traveling throughout the Principality and being all Baronessy has taken a lot of time that I would have for sewing, but in addition to that I also have to contend with finding a house to move into in the next month, a toddler that just turned two, and the ever fun first-trimester-exhaustion of pregnancy.

On the sewing front I have been working on a 14th century dress made from this lovely purple/black shot linen. At first I was going to have it as a loose rectangular construction tunic with short sleeves, since my current summer wardrobe is woefully inadequate. After I got the dress assembled I realized I was unhappy with the bagging at the armscye. I decided to take the sleeves out, fit the gown closer, and. . . draft sleeves. Drafting my own sleeves has been the bane of my costuming career. For the longest time I just plum didn't get it. People have tried to explain over and over how to do it, but my brain couldn't translate their instructions. Finally it all just clicked, and these instructions didn't hurt either. I am proud to report that my very first drafted sleeve fit into the armcye perfectly the first try. I of course had to rip it back out because I was using a red linen mockup to test the fit before I cut into the last yard of my linen. I hope to have it done this weekend for An Tir Coronation.

Sorry there are no pictures, the battery eating camera strikes again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alysaundre's Perfectly Pointed Gore Tutorial

Awhile back I posted my tutorial on how I insert gores into a slashed opening. I usually do this by hand since I could never get the point to align correctly, and it didn't look very good. So for years I have been telling anyone that would listen that the best way to insert gores is to sew it by hand, well now I am going to tell you different. Last month while attending the local sewing night I was taught a new method of inserting gores, and it is all done by machine, and it results in a perfect pointed gore

So without further ado here is Alysaundre's Perfectly Pointed Gore Technique:

On the left is the gore, and on the right we have our main fabric with the slash. Flip your gore upside down over slash Right Sides Together (RST).

Find the place where your seam allowances converge, and place your pin through the mark.Place the pin above your slash by 2-3 threads.

Pin through both layers.

Position your needle directly over your pin, where you marked the converging line of your seam allowance. Take Two stitches across the top of the gore.

You can hardly see those two tiny stitches, but they are there to be an anchor, and mark your starting/stopping point for your seam.

Pivot the gore to align the seam allowances.

Notice that the seam allowance doesn't match exactly at the top of the slash. This is OK! If you pull the gore over to make it match you will distort the grain of the gore and your point will get wonky.

Sew seam with your needle inserted into the two stitches you took earlier. Use the gore to align your seam allowance, not the slash.

See, nice and even from this side, just don't look at the back.

This part always feels weird to me. Match the other side of the gore and the slash RST.

Align the seam allowance from the bottom remembering thet the seam allowances won't align at the top

Again use the gore to align your seam allowance. I found it easier to sew bottom up on this pass. End your seam at the two stitches.

Now press your seam allowances from the gore out.

Now you have a perfect pointed gore!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boring projects, and Burning fabric

I've been making gift bags for Largess. They are not worth digging out the camera to show you. But this is a good opportunity to remind everyone to use safe handling practices when conducting a fiber burn test. Can you see where this is leading? Yes while I was determining whether or not the linen look fabric I had been given was indeed linen, I discovered it was more NOT than Linen. I made this observation as the strand I was testing shot a molten ball right into the center of my palm. This is why I recommend natural fiber fabrics. Anyhow since it was an obvious synthetic I decided to cut it up into Largess bags, and spare anyone the potential pain of setting themselves alight in this melty fabric. See I'm not a fiber snob, I'm a humanitarian.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our service will be temporarily suspended. . .

Well I have a post, and a few projects in the wings, but alas I have severely ganked my wrist. So until I can hold a needle, I will be unable to work on those projects. I did however buy another sewing machine, so you may be seeing other projects take place.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Post 12th night update.

Do not be deceived by the lack of posting, I really have been busy. You see My Barony hosted our Kingdom 12th Night this year, and I was crazy busy getting ready. I was planning on finishing up the beaded yoke and making a dress with that as the feature. After calculating how much time it would take me to complete the beaded yoke I realized that I wouldn't have enough time to finish it by 12th Night. So alternate plans were made. I have a beautiful red and green shot Sari that has been taunting me from the bottom of my stash. It was a gift from my father about 10 years ago, and I've been terrified to cut into it. I finally found the perfect fabric match for it, and I needed something to wear to 12th Night, so after anguishing over days I finally . . . gasp. . . cut up the Sari. I of course hemmed, and hawed about how best to layout the pattern to get the most use possible out of each of the shiny trim bits. After I drafted a pattern, and was all set to start, I discovered that I had neglected something, my husband's Retainer. He had no clothes! I promised him clothes! 12th Night was 2 weeks away! But I needed to have shiny new dress for 12th Night, didn't I? Well even though I wanted to be selfish I did the right thing, and cut out a tunic, caftan, and leg wraps for Lord Retainer. Why is it I am always making the guys look good? During this time I had a burst of understanding regarding my husbands Hose. I finished the Tunic the Caftan the Hose, and the legwraps with 5 days to spare. 5 days to finish cutting, and start sewing. It was a valiant effort, but I sadly didn't finish. I tried really hard to get it done, but in my haste I flipped the length and with on my sleeves, and they turned out too small, I even took Friday off of work, but I didn't have enough time.
I really wanted something shiny and new to wear, but alas It was not to be. Hopefully I will have it finished for March Coronet or Egil's (whether I can wear it would depend on the weather). But I am satisfied in knowing that my husband's Retainer was well dressed, and he paid me on of the sweetest complements, he said that this is the nicest garb he has ever owned.