Monday, May 28, 2012

The bug skirt continues

So my Clarence gave me a new iPad 3 for an anniversary present (our second) because, as he says, I needed a better camera for my blog. :)

Oh how I love that man!

I did my typical thing of waiting until after dark before deciding to take a picture. And my second usual thing of taking said picture in the totally inadequate lighting of our living room, and yet...

Well see for yourselves.

And isn't the hem on my soon to be finished bug skirt cute?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Steam punk musing continue...

I follow a lovely blog by Wilhelmina ( which is a marvelous source of pretty pictures of dresses and ladies from...well pretty much any time period which takes her fancy. The author doesn't tend to note details on her postings (rats) but the eye candy is fantastic!

I've been on the look-out for some visual sources for ideas for day dresses and I happened on the posting of this charmer

I think it has my name all over it, and I already own the perfect striped linen too.

Thank you, Wilhelmina!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I Did Promise...

Today I was looking at The Purple Files and I ran into another example of a sheer dark colored partlet and headscarf combination.

I've been unable to find it's location (the image is from wikimedia) but the painting is credited as

Guilia Gonzaga in mourning
Cristofano dell Altissimo, 1535

In it's present state I'd hesitate to call the partlet and veil black--they are really more 'dark'--but the transparency of her zebbillini calls into question the changes to the original color that may have occurred due to the deterioration of the paint over time. I hope I get the opportunity to see it in person someday so I can make a better judgement. For now I can quite comfortably assert that it is not white! :)

So that makes two images with a Florentine connection of some sort. (I haven't looked into the connection so I'm not asserting anything, but...) Interesting.

IRCC II - Bodice drafting quandary

I have been looking at patterns and blogs, ect. to gather my ideas and gird my loins (as it were) for the big jump into patterning a more period gown using a minimum quantity of fabric and in the process I've developed a burning question:

Has anyone tried making their shoulder straps with the fabric cut so they head diagonally *in* toward the center of the body (which I see in period tailor's guides) rather than out (which is consistent with modern practice and thus could be an example of 'seeing what we expect to see.'

It occurs to me that a strap cut as a bias strip would be pretty comfortable...but would it be able to stand the stress at the intersection with the bodice? Would it lay funny on the body? Would that strip solve the problems I have of bodice straps which seem to fit while in the sewing process stubbornly falling completely off my shoulder during wearing?

If some period bodices were cut that way, was it only to conserve fabric or is there an underlying logic that we are failing to realize?

Or have I simply missed out on the great resource which discusses strap design in detail?

Your input is invited. Should I try it?

IRCC II - Tasty Nibble #10

A peek at the printed linen for my 'test dress' (which, by the way, I am finally almost comfortable enough to call a sottana.)

IRCC II - Heeelllllllooooooooo out there!

Have you noticed that we are just not as chatty this year?

I wonder if it is the heat. Or we have been struck with a collective case of competitiveness that is keeping us from interacting. Or if we are all just too busy, or antisocial, or something...

Perhaps it's just my imagination.

Anyway, although I still have yet to finish a single item on my list--and thus have moments where I seethe with jealousy toward you more prolific types--I'd just like to say that I am following along with interest as we all work on our projects and ...


Nice work. Now to get back to my own. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

IRCC II - Tasty Nibble #7

After one false start and a bit of experimentation I've gotten the fur lining finished on the left front of my loose gown.

I'm using the selvedge along the front opening, whip stitching it on, and then running several rows of stitching to catch the lining to the face fabric so the (very slippery) fur will stay in place. I also stitched the lining to the fabric along the gold trim on the hem. And then I turned the fur and stitched it to the lower edge too.

Friday, May 4, 2012

IRCC II - Veil Patterns, Working on a translation

It's amazingly hot here (for the beginning of May) and I melt faster just *thinking* about working on my loose gown. So I'm not!

Instead I've been working on a translation of the text which accompanies the veil images I posted on my "IRCC II - Stitch by Stitch" page. According to google translate the closest I could come to the texts on my ipad translate like this (and I've added my guesses too):

Patrones para "mantellina o rebociƱo de damasco" calcados del libro de Fracisco de la Rocha de Burgen, Geometria y traca perteneciente al oficio de sastre, Valencia, 1618.
El sastre advierte: "la parte yzquierda ha de yr flores arrba por ocasion que se suele echar por debaxo el braco derecho la una delantera y asi es bien que vaya la parte izquierda flores arriba"..

Patterns for "damask rebociƱo mantellina or" traced the book Fracisco de la Rocha of Burgen, Geometry and fireworks belonging to a tailor, Valencia, 1618..
The tailor warns, "the flowers r yzquierda must arrba per occasion that is often cast by braco vnder the front and right one is so good to be the top left flowers."

I'm thinking that this has something to do with how the curve of the outer edge would fall in rippling folds on either side if the top center was placed on the head...

Patrones para un "manto de seda para muger". Pagina del libro de Francisco de la Rocha Burguen, Geometria y traca perteneciente al oficio de sastre, Valencia, 1618.

Patterns for a "woman silk robe." Page of the book of Francisco de la Rocha Burguen, Geometry and fireworks belonging to a tailor, Valencia, 1618.

[289 & 290]
Interpretacion de los patrones del manto de seda para mujer de la FIG. 288, siguiendo las instructiones que de el sastre, que tienen algunos puntos oscuros. La pieza de tela extendida, que mide unos once metros de largo, se dobla primero en uno de sus extremos a lo ancho para sacar el patron de la FIG. 289, que resulta duplicado. Despues, doblando varias veces la tela restante a lo largo, se van cortando las piezas que componen el patron de la FIG. 290, igualmente duplicado. Estos patrones resultan, pues, de tela doble, lo cual se explica dado lo extraordinariamente finas y delgadas que eran las sedas empleadas en estos mantos.

Interpretation of the patterns of women's silk mantle of FIG. 288, following the INSTRUCTIONS that of the tailor, who have some dark spots. The piece of cloth extended, which is about eleven meters long, is bent first in one of its ends in width to make the pattern of FIG. 289, which is doubled. Then, bending the fabric several times remaining lengthwise cutting are component parts of the pattern of FIG. 290, also doubled. These patterns are, therefore, double fabric, which can be explained given the extremely fine and thin silks were used in these garments.

Las imagenes de algunos mantos femeninos muy particulares de los que se puede dar por seguro se correspondian con los incluidos por el sastre Rocha Burgen en su libro, nos permiten imaginar como si se disponian los patrones de las FIGS. 289 y 290. El resultado era como si se Ilevasen superpuestos dos mantos de distinta forma, que no sabemos como quedaban unidos; los extremos del que iba encima se unian delante, donde se recogian con una mano (ver FIGS. 292 y 293).

The images of some very particular female garments that can say for certain is corresponded with those chosen by the tailor Rocha Burgen in his book, allow us to imagine as if were preparing patterns of FIGS. 289 and 290. The result was as if two overlapping sheets Ilevasen differently, we do not know and were joined, the ends of which was joined up front, where they gathered with one hand (see FIGS. 292 and 293).

I think it's saying that the big oval veil and the veil shaped like a slice of bread were worn sewn together, the smaller layered on top of the larger whose outer tips were held in one hand. Looking at illustration 292 I can see it as a plausible explanation of that particular veil, but I haven't noticed layered veils in Venice...I'll have to go look!

I'd say there's still a way to go on the translation, but it's a start!

I'm currently leaning towards basing a veil on fig. 287 but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what fabric I come up with since the quantity of veil fabric will have a lot to say about what shape I can make.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IRCC II - Tasty Nibble #6

Another find from today's lovely book.

Do you see what I see? In the lower left section, near the bottom of the lady's skirts...period bustling!

It makes a lot of sense to me that the image comes from a dance manual. What a lovely and sensible way to manage a train.

I hope to have enough fabric for a train on this years gown and if I do I will definitely put in some eyelets for a bustling tie!

(Clicking on the photo will show you the full illustration.)

Steampunk Bustle, Revised

As it turns out, my fabric is not the bright white I thought it was, nor the grey my Mr. C. feared, but a lovely pale straw gold, grey and black. I love it!

But we need new pictures, of course

And some more inspirational lmages too!

Aha! This dress lives at the Los Angeles County Art Museum.

Young Woman's Dress, 1878;id=125173;type=101