Tuesday, June 7, 2016

CoBolWriMo 7 - The wonders of eBay!

Today's prompt is to write about a favorite resource and I've got to talk about my favorite go-to supplier, eBay!

I stared shopping on eBay in 2005 or thereabouts, mostly to feed my collection of turquoise-blue milk glass, but I slowly became aware that some truely incredible fabrics, and some great deals, could be found there. Since then I have made two major moves, relocating to vastly different places in the US and I've discovered that eBay us always there for me. :) My only local fabric store is a vastly inadequate JoAnne fabrics and I have almost zero chance of finding something I really want there, but....

Say I want six or more yards of smashing silk for a steampunk ball gown for about $60?

And it is so wonderful that I just have to find natural fiber lace to trim it. In fact I need enough to make pleated lace trim!

How does 27 meters of cotton lace grab you?

Works for me!

Or maybe I just happen to see a really great fabric and feel the need to transform it into a skirt.

Or I happen upon the most wonderful tapestry fabric and decide to drape a room in it?

Again, eBay!

I strategize a lot, and I've learned to hold out for a fabric I love at a price I love too, but on eBay I get access to some truely incredible things. You'd never guess I live far far away from the world of great fabrics. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

CoBloWriMo 4 - Trip to collect supplies for Quiver

So, Tandy Leather.  Such a lovely place.

I used to haunt my local Tandy leather store back in High School. I had a fantasy that I was going to make some wonderful tooled...thing... I visti the store, and stroke the leather and look at all the stamps and dyes and other mysterious stuff and just kind of drool.

It's nice to know that nothing has changed!

The closest store to me is the one in Indianapolis so on Saturday I took a day trip and ran off to the big city with my quiver i-in-process and a whole lot of questions about what I needed to purchase/do to finish it.

And they were lovely.

I did a lot of blinking, and repeating the phrase, "um, what does that mean?" but I walked out with a membership and all kinds of stuff, more dye, and deglazer, and finisher and needles and thread and punches and  rings... I got overloaded about the time I was learning about rivets so I'll have to go back to get them, but I have the basics now. Whew!

So, of course, I went home and started right into it on Sunday. Meet my new quiver!

All sewn together and ready for the finishing touches.

I know I've been a bit skimpy on the process details, but I can see several new leather projects coming down the pike--maybe even some shoes--so I will get to the details. Just let me learn a bit more , OK?

CoBloWriMo 3 - Archery kit gets a new look

So ages ago (about 4 years now) I took up archery again after a break of several decades. Well, that is if to count a few hours spent doing archery in summer camp as having 'taken it up!' :)

Anyway, I made myself a quiver out of 2 liter soda bottles, cardboard, duct tape and some other stuff and those quivers are still going strong. But I wanted to up my game a bit so I've been working on a belt quiver.

It all started with a painting


And some wonderful info about a project to recreate it


I am very interested in the cultural cross-over between Italy and Turkey in the renaissence period, and the instant I saw that painting I was struck by the resemblance of the quiver to Turkish quivers. Like this one c. 1550


I had to have one!

Since I have never worked in leather before I worked with a friend to cut out the front and back sides, and then the pieces sat around the house......for an embarrassingly long time......until I saw this!

It's a page from a pattern book dated 1570-ish, and there in the lower left corner is the inspiration for the design on the front panel of my quiver.

I enlarged the pattern to the right width for my quiver pieces and then made several copies so I could cut and paste and play with the pieces until I had a pattern I liked

And then I traced it onto baking parchment and embossed the pattern into my dampened piece of leather by drawing over the lines with a ballpoint pen. The parchment worked well for the tracing, but  tape wouldn't stick to it to hold it in place. It shifted on the leather a bit. Something to watch out for if you try using it.

The next step is to wet the leather and score the pattern in with a knife, cutting about 1/2 way through the leather, it was scary at first, but pretty easy. Just very time consuming! And then I started tooling,

and tooling

and tooling......

I've been having trouble getting pictures to post but I'm back now! And the Quiver is almost Done. Watch for an update soon. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CoBloWriMo - Oooooo......Eyes!

All the patches have been stuck in place, now on to the sewing!

and with the first 5 rows sewn on....

Ooo...I like this!

CoBloWriMo! Just a little something to start out the month.

Hello Again!

It's June first for me, and Costume Blog Writing Month commences. I intend to use this month to get back to working on my costuming, and my blog...so, of course, I decided to start a huge new project last weekend!

Welcome to my world. :)

So, I registered a household badge at last and in preparing to go to a big SCA event this month I realized that there is just no way I will get my Pavilion finished in time--mundane tent for me :(--but I really want some splashy period stuff to set the scene in my encampment. I have a table and chairs but no sunshade/day-tent...and eyes! 200 custom patches I ordered during a sale last winter. So now I am making a day shade.

I am doing the canvas part all wrong, of course. Since it need it FAST I went to the hardware store and bought a heavy but 100% cotton canvas tarp (10x15) for my base. Since it is only a day-shade I hope it will be sufficiently weather resistant for my purpose.

I am working on an inner liner in red and blue cotton covered with eyes:


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Night Circus Inspiration has Struck

Yes, it's time to start working on outfits for Teslacon again. (Past time, really.)

This year there is a sub-theme of a traveling circus which comes one night to the western town we will be visiting in the main story line. I confess I am not wildly enthusiastic about the wild west theme, but a night circus is something I can get behind!

I've been inspired by this illustration: 


I just love the juxtaposition of gossamer and sturdy fabrics and the femme-military vibe. Perfect for the Circus!

There will be changes, of course. I want a fluffy bustle with lots of folds and a contrast lining, and I already have a few pieces of sequined fabric (former skirts) which I am planning on using in my frothy layers, but I'll be keeping the solid colored waist and all the military braid!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

And then there was a muff - part 1

Spurred on by the impulsive purchase of a fabric sample in *just* the right colors I have been working on a new accessory  for the IRCC5, a fur lined muff. And yes, I mean real fur. I'm recycling a vintage coat I was given a couple of years ago which I have been too afraid of to touch until now. amazing the courage the perfect fabric can give one! :)

My fabric scrap is too small to make the muff on it's own so my first step was figuring out how I was going to enlarge it. I decided to baste it onto a slightly larger piece of two layers of linen and cover the joins with some metallic gimp trim I have in my stash.


 Close up of basting. It doesn't have to be neat to be effective!

I actually had about eight metallic trims which I considered and I find it interesting that one of the cheapest was actually the one that looked best...and most expensive...when paired with my fabric. It reminds me that it is best not to make assumptions about these things!

As to the fur lining, when I took the fur apart I discovered all sorts of interesting things. They had used huge sloppy stitches through the hide (but hidden under the hair) to hold various facings and turnings in place, and they had made the original vents at the hem with an integral, turn-back facing stiffened with something like soft parchment or a stiff lightweight leather. This gave a crisp edge to the fur while allowing it to cleanly continue to the reverse side. very nice.  I was inspired by this technique to try making a facing strip of brown paper for the edges of my muff.

After cutting out my fur I split open a brown paper bag and cut out 3 strips of paper which were 2" wide. I marked one edge with a guideline 1/2" in and then basted it to the wrong side of the fur with the 1 1/2" edge hanging over  

Right side

 Wrong side

Then I flipped it back using the 1/2" of paper as a guide and basted it into place while also overcasting the cut edge of the fur

Wrong side

It makes a beautifully soft clean edge (with no shedding!) so I continued  the same process on the other two cut edges of my fur. The third edge of the fur has a band of leather finishing the edge which I kept since I think it will provide a nice stable place to attach the buttons and will wear well.

Right side (but I think you knew that)

The facings give a lovely stiffness to the edge which I think will influence the finished muff to hold it's shape. After some consideration I decided that I wanted to add an internal layer of felt by basting it onto the front also. It helps fill in the hollow left where the front turnings end, and I hope it will keep my hands toasty.

Felt layer basted in place

I then placed my front piece an the fur backing--slightly off center as my original fabric sample isn't centered and I forgot to even it up before I attached it to the linen)--folded in the edges of the fur backing and stitched the whole thing together along the edge of the fur.


The assembled muff

Next steps are to add more trim, sew the short ends closed, and add buttons and loops. Almost done.