Friday, May 24, 2013

The Super Handy Lucet

With a gown that laces up the sides, I need some strong cord. In the name of attempting period methods, I'm making lucet cord. Back in college, a dear friend of mine took it up after seeing some people in the SCA trying it. I wanted to follow the leader, but a brief online search for lucets revealed prices I found painful.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago, and I saw an article (I don't remember where) on lucets and lucet cord, and how to make your own tool for cheap. So I cut out three layers of cardboard in the proper shape and glued the together. Due to the way I tug on the string, the thing puckered fast and didn't last long. Hence, I went to the alternate cheap way to make cord detailed in that article. With this tool, I can take in anywhere, I get great control, and the tool is an awesome multitasker.

Now With a Top

With the mockup squared away, my biggest enemy was my propensity for getting distracted. I did give myself a self-imposed deadline for cutting out the bodice, and I went through with it. The back pieces got one layer of linen, but the front got two layers, quilted together for strength and bust support. Then came the moderate depopulation of my pincushion pinning the outer fabric to the lining so I could hem each piece individually.

I did hit a minor setback with cutting out the outer fabric, cutting the bottom bits a little two short. Thankfully, this was nothing that a bit of piecing couldn't fix. It had the added benefit of utilizing scraps that otherwise would have ended up in my "good only for stuffing" bag.

Hemming came much faster than I expected, with the bodice getting done in a day. The back pieces were done in less than a week, stitched as I was commuting. Joining the back bits together was took a day, on the ride to work and back.

I would like to say that I am displeased with the outer fabric. It is not the material's fault, it was advertised horribly. The cloth was allegedly pure wool, but it shows shiny streaks even on a middling section. At the very least, it is wool with a considerable amount of petroleum based fiber mixed in. Sigh. I would have preferred the store be more honest.

I have a time limit for IRCC, and I don't yet have a single piece completed, so naturally I needed to take another detour and use time that could have gone to finishing stuff. I got an itch to do something that would qualify as additional handwork under the rules of the competition, without adding another garment or accessory to my planned list. Trim felt like a good solution, so after rummaging around my mother's old yarn stash, I found some thin yarn that I felt was adequately subtle for my liking, and I made a line of chain crochet long enough to make a double row of trim. Tammy Dupris mentions something similar being done in period, but I have no definite proof of this being done in the time I place I chose for my outfit, so I place it in a grey area of documentability.

What matters is that I have another point of visual interest that didn't take ages to do, and cost me nothing to create.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Little Things

This is what I did on my first week of IRCC. To save a little on fabric for the skirts of my gowns, I made bias tape to bind the hems. The one in black is for the gamurra, and the one in brown is for the overgown. As some decoration for the overgown, I made blue piping to trim the edges of the bodice, similar to the edging in Gozzoli's Birth of Mary. Lastly, the thing in yellow is lucet cord

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Diversion

My old liene found another purpose, this time to line the embroidered coif. After all the hours I put into the thing, I didn't want to accidentally ear out the hanging threads in back. Once the lining was installed, I began to add loops to the bottom hem so I could thread a ribbon through so I could gather the cap and tie it on. After the third loop or so, I decided that this detail was pretty, and I would add at least a second row to give a lacy feel.

I was and still am a bit leery about making my own lace, as all those bobbins and carefully counting, pulling, and reweaving threads feels a bit intimidating. This feels nice and approachable, so I'm glad.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Now With a Body

I finally got around to completing the body of Serenity. Most of it was made in a day, but I did not like the sensation it caused in my wrists. I shouldn't get careless in the name of speed, I have lots of sewing to do.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

One and Done

The beauty of having a mockup from a previous project is being able to re purpose it for later ventures. I took the gamurra bodice pieces from my first outfit and altered it so it closes on the sides instead of the front. I then pinned on some lacing strips, and tried it on after some contorting and scratches.

I am pleased to say that the fit is successful, and the support is excellent. I did a couple of test jumps, but everything stayed in place.