anotheranon: (costume)
Ever since the notorious pink project, I've wanted to make another, more historically correct Regency gown (for the non history buffs, think the high-waisted gowns seen in Jane Austen films).

Specifically, a white one, despite all of the care and maintenance issues.

This project came off the back burner when I rediscovered some very pretty white fabric with a woven windowpane pattern whilst going through my stash. Of course, there was only ~4 1/2 yards of it, for a pattern that required closer to 6.

Damn the logic:

snipped for space )

True to form, most of the fabric is used up by the skirt. What you see in the photo above are the bodice pieces and a bunch of binding/overlay pieces cut on the bias, thus using up more space. Everything but the skirt and a couple other long skinny pieces is cramped into that 1 1/2' length you see there.

I'm not cutting it yet. I'm letting it sit overnight, then I'm going to look it over in the morning, read the directions, compare to the layout and look at it again before I cut.

There is no room for error, and there will be NO scrap.
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
After looking and debating and dithering for almost 3 weeks, I'm finally calling this done! Photos below (previous entries: 1, 2)!

final results with commentary )

Learning experiences:

  • If I had it to do again, I would have used real leather. I still think the PVC looks, well, like plastic, but none of the test scraps I tested with gloss and leather dye gave any noticeable depth.
  • Sometimes there is no substitute for hand sewing. Teflon foot + wax paper just pulled/stretched too much.
  • Indeed, all of the straps were assembled by hand, with a twill tape core to diminish stretch. They are the main reason it took 6 months to make!
  • Yes, I am THAT lopsided :P

Crossposted to [ profile] dressdiaries
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
Haven't been sitting idle - dig the new pix!

final pattern )

front coming together.. )

back variations )

Other notes: I think the base color looks nice but lacks depth. [ profile] dreamtigress volunteered her time (thanks!) and did some experiments with samples I sent; she recommends a varnish of acrylic gloss mixed with brown leather dye. Taking one thing at a time, I'm going to wait until I've finished the construction phase before starting the surface embellishment phase, but I have the products on hand and will try and post pix of test scraps.

Crossposted to [ profile] dressdiaries
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
Got the first draft of the pattern and muslin done over the weekend.

The original, for those not familiar with the series )

first pattern )

draft one )

Next step: putting front and back together and trying on, and seeing how well I can fit things on myself with minimal assistance :P

Crossposted to [ profile] dressdiaries
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
After nearly a week of procrastination, I finished the tux pants, including all the couture-esque foos to make it special (linking the hems of the pants and lining together so it won't cling/float around). They're getting professionally cleaned/pressed in my next dry cleaning run, though given they're so hot I'm not sure when I will have a chance to wear them :P

So, onward and upward! Whilst working through the metric buttload of laundry and cleaning up my sewing area a bit (wow, there are tables under there!), I did tentative work on my next project, a duplicate of Zoey's vest from "Firefly" (because in the circles I run in, one never knows when one might need a Firefly costume).

I've been sitting on ~6 yards of maroon upholstery PVC for over 4 years and thinking it's perfect, but PVC does NOT look like leather, so I'm experimenting to see if I can make it look like leather. I sanded/scraped a scrap around on cement and dyed over the scratches, to no effect - the "wrong" side and backing is white flock and wouldn't take dye.

My next tricks will include trying some of the tips from AlleyCatScratch's faking leather page ("Use sandpaper along the long lines-where you would expect to see wear & tear. You can work the brown (brown what? - A. Non) in where you abrade the vinyl from roughing it up.") and this neat book I got as a gift, sometime after I get back from K. Zoo.

Feeling kind of ho-hum. This sometimes happens after I get a lot done - I feel so accomplished and then at a loss because "what next?" isn't immediately apparent.
anotheranon: (fencingchart)
Today I finally had a time to edit/upload more fencing doublet pix:

piccage )

Full gallery from work in progress to completion.

I also got off my butt and made my golf ball target for sport foil (and to a lesser extent, smallsword) point control practice - damn but that thing is hard to hit, and hence, good practice!

Easy to make though, once I drilled through the golf ball's crunchy exterior to get at the mushy middle (we are a two Dremel tool family - this pleases me :))
anotheranon: (histfencing)
Finally got together doublet, venetians, and over the knee socks together for practice today. Took many pictures; here is a preview:

A. Non and friend )

Notes on performance: In motion it is much lighter than I expected it to be with the weight of 3 layers of canvas + hemp cord + lining distributing evenly during regular wear. It's as tough as I hoped and after repeated hard jabs with smallsword (smaller but pointier than the rapier, so more likely to tear the exterior) there are no nicks and I feel pretty safe wearing it :)

In addition, the hemp cord bulk doesn't add much heat to it, which was surprising, but I'll take it. That's not to say I'm ready to wear it fencing outside in July heat or anything, but it's no worse than my regular sport jacket + underarm protector (yes, I'm wearing breast protector "hubcaps" under there!) It moves well and even though over a year in the making, my size/shape has held and it fits most excellently (thank you [ profile] shemhazai!)

As usual though I do sweat like a pig in it and given my new interest in keeping my gear clean(er), doG help me, I'm going to try and sponge the inside and air dry (NO washer or dryer is touching this baby!)

More fenc-y weekendy stuff later - it's been a busy weekend and gearing up to be a week of more of the same.

P.S. Yes, those are fuschia socks. They were so loud and obnoxious I just had to wear them!
anotheranon: (craft)
Today I huddled up on the sofa with "Chamber of Secrets" and "Prisoner of Azkaban" to make a final long-winded "push" on the doublet. I have largely succeeded :)

All of the buttons are now on, all of the buttonholes are now finished. I may add one additional button near the top to make sure there are no blade-friendly gaps, but even so, all that remains would be that button and hole and hooks and eyes for the collar (the buttons are round beads that might feel "choking" if pressed into my neck by the mask).

Pictures forthcoming, hopefully including me in full kit with Vera once my over-the-knee socks arrive :)

* No exaggeration: each button and hole took about 3 yards of thread each. I used up almost 2 spools of 110 yards each on this thing!

on a roll

Dec. 15th, 2006 10:00 pm
anotheranon: (costume)
Once I got going, I couldn't stop - incredibly, in only a couple of hours, I've got most of the venetians outer and lining made up.

Almost. It's a fairly simple pattern and a loose fitting garment (so I'm not worried about final fit), but the pocket is confusing me (for those following along at home, I'm using the pattern/instructions on page 103-4 of The Tudor Tailor, which references the trunkhose pocket on page 100). The directions are contradictory: the pocket instructions say to put the pocket into the lining but the venetians instructions mention pockets in the context of making up the outer layer. Neither are clear whether the pocket goes in wrong sides or right sides together.

I've asked on H-Costume and not received much of an answer; I'm aware of the Yahoo group but need another list subscription like a fat hole in my head :P If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be grateful.

As it is, I'm going to leave the pocket adventure for tomorrow, as it's late and tragically I left my thermos of coffee at home today so I've been burning low and dim all day :P
anotheranon: (costume)
In a fit of dedicated sewing, I managed to cut out, assemble, and baste in place the tabs/"skirts" for my fencing doublet. I took a couple of pictures, and have some questions for anyone who's made men's Elizbethan/16th century before:

pix here )

Background: I'm loosely basing this on Janet Arnold's research of a fencing doublet from 1610, with some alterations: I'm using linen instead of kid, and the front is pointed because my navel lies below my waistline.

My concern: despite their resemblance Arnold's drawings/proportions, these tabs look too large to me! I didn't pad with cotton batting because I didn't want to add bulk (the batting is sparse enough I didn't think it would add much stiffness), but these look like a row of droopy dog's ears! Am I perhaps basing my opinion (incorrectly?) on the smaller sized tabs seen on women's stays and bodices from the same time period?

Short version: Is this how it's SUPPOSED to look? If anyone can answer I'd appreciate it - given the layers of fabric I'm sewing on by hand, I'm reluctant to wear out my hands a stitch further until I know this is right.
anotheranon: (costume)
I've been working on this steadily for just over a month, and finally have something new to photograph:

photos )

What I'd do differently next time - I'd have done the torso and sleeves separately and attached the sleeves afterwards, as what I ended up doing here by treating the outside layer as an "overjacket" for the inside corded layer made it difficult to see what I was doing to line up shoulder seams.

Next: slim down the outer sleeves to match the lining and baste both together.

Prior post/pix of the corded inside.

Crossposted to [ profile] dressdiaries.
anotheranon: (costume)
With my sharp new machine I actually have enough memory to open photos and play with them, so I point you to the fencing doublet gallery! Some commentary:

This doublet is loosely based on two ca. 1600-10 leather doublets believed to have been used for fencing practice that are included in Janet Arnold's The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c. 1560-1620. I say "loosely" because of the changes I've made: chiefly 1) the outer layer will be teal green linen canvas, not leather, and 2) instead of silk/cotton padding over the chest area, I'm compensating for the fact that I'm girl-shaped by boning the bodice (albeit with hemp cord, not boning) for support and protection.

These pictures are of the interlining (working from the inside out). It's two layers of cotton canvas, boned with hemp cord for a balance of support and flexibility. I've tried it on and it does move fairly well, albeit with a "crunching" noise from the cord :P Shem draped it on me back in February, and it does fit very closely - narrower across the back and with a much smaller armhole compared to modern fencing gear or outerwear.

It's also fairly thick without being heavy - I did some target practice against it while it was on my dress mold and it stood up well, even against the broken blade I saved as a stress-tester - I think I'm going to be pretty safe in there :)

The seams are on the outside so as to keep the bulk of the seams on the inside where they won't rub me (I will be wearing t-shirt, "hubcaps" and likely underarm protector underneath). I plan to line it with some green cotton sheeting that I've been sitting on for years.

The sleeves are going to have 3 layers as well - one of the outer fabric, one of canvas, with cotton batting sandwiched in between (that's 100% cotton batting - polyester would be too hot and perhaps not dense enough).

Current status: I'm padstitching the batting to the sleeves, and the torso is draped as seen here on my dress mold for target practice :P

I hadn't originally planned to make matching breeches, but after seeing [ profile] jdulac and [ profile] lucianus1's presentation on doublets and talking to them a bit, I'm thinking I will. If it's historically accurate I may go for a codpiece as well - the shock value might be valuable on the strip someday :P

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