Showing posts with label IRCC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRCC. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

IRCC5 - And we're off! (almost...)

Tomorrow, April 1, 2015 is the first day of the fifth Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge, run by Bella Lucia da Verona of the Realm of Venus.

I have lots of plans. :)

I was one of the lucky few who supported the Kickstarter fundraiser for Margo Anderson's Italian Wardrobe patterns and they are just waiting to be taken for a spin around the block. I am planning to use them for both my layer 1 (drawers) and my layer 2 (a parti-colored sottana). I'm not sure if I will use the pattern for my layer3 (striped overgown) or not. It rather depends on the fit of my layer 2. I think now that I have discovered the joys of making full gowns with 4 yards of fabric I may feel that the skirts are too full, Plus I've been longing to try out Matthew Gnagy's cutting and tailoring methods...

I may just frankenstein together a bodice drafted by his method (as close as I can infer from his book on mens tailoring) and my new Elenora-style skirt...or whatever style skirt is necessitated by my experiments...instead

The one thing I know for sure about the outer layer is that I want to try to make a striped dress. This dress, in fact!

Francesco Montemezzano
Portrait of a Lady
Private Collection
ca. 1580

I am completely fascinated by the stripes in the skirt and I want to answer the question of whether this representation was likely to have been an accurate portrayal of an actual style--or at least is possible when using ordinary striped fabric.

Not that my fabric is "ordinary!" I have the prettiest teal and gold plaid in my stash and it is very sure it wants to be this dress.

Who am I to say no?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

IRCC4 Layer 1b-Yellow Petticoat!

I'm using 100% linen fabric that is about 58" wide. I am also continuing my experiments with using less fabric so this petticoat is...frugal. So frugal that in the past I would have called it skimpy! My waist-to-floor measurement is 42" in front and 44" in back. Since I want a petticoat that doesn't touch the floor I cut two panels, one of each length, for my front and back skirt. I wanted a smoother-fitting front to my petticoat and a fuller hem so I cut triangles from the side edges of the front panel -- 10" wide at the waist narrowing to 0.0" at the hem -- reversed them and attached them to the back panel.

I like to stitch my angled pieces bias to straight grain (or cut edge to selvedge) to control the tendency to stretch along the seam. As you can see, I offset the triangles a bit at the bottom edge so that the long sides would be the same length when I trimmed them for hemming.

I folded back a 3/4" turn at the hem, just eyeballing the curve at the inset triangles...

pinned and basted...

and trimmed the excess.

I'm contiuing my experiments with a lightly padded version of a doppia (padded hemline) so I cut three 6" deep strips across the width of the fabric and set them edge to edge with my cut fabric at the skirt hem and basted them in place, making sure to gives some extra fabric for wiggle room at the curves of the hem.

I attached the individual pieces finished edge to finished edge in the same manner as the side seams.

To pad the hem I knew I wanted to fold my 6" strip three times. I  tried folding and measuring to see what worked best and discovered that I needed my upper line of stiching to be 2 1/8" from the hem edge so I stitched that all the way around the skirt.

Then fingerpressed down form the stich line and folded the hem in. Once...

and then twice.

As you can see the edges are *just* shy of matching on the outside...

and inside.

To make the waistband I took two lengths of cotton ribbon from my stash (they came wrapped around some pillows I bought but were too nice to throw away, even with the bright yellow printing!) marked the center point and measured out 13 inches on each side of the center point. That will give me 26" per side (front and back) and exactly enough to fit my 52" waist. since the two sides will tie on independently the waist is extreemly flexible in sizing. The pieces simply overlap! :)

While I did run a single gathering thread on the front side I didn't find it particularly useful so I simply pinned the back half in place. for both side I useed the classic method of pinning the center and outer points, foldign the remining fabric in half and pinning the new center point of the skit to the new center point of the wiast, over and over....

Since I removed fabric from the front panel and added it to the back, my front waist is only slightly gathered but the back waist has little knife pleats. I basted both waist in place with two rows of stitching and then tried on the Petticoat.

And it fit! I split my remaining piece of 6" wide fabrice (left over from the hem) into two 3" strips and finished the front and back waist bands.

Monday, July 21, 2014

IRCC4-feathery progress

After curling the plumes I used the same thread binding technique to assemble some plumes into multicolored sets.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

IRCC4 - Wow, Feathers take a lot of prep work!

But all my 48 are now trussed up in sets of two and curling has commenced. The nice part is that the curling is dead easy and goes fast!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

IRCC4 - Feather work commences

When I was working on my last feather fan I discovered an excellent tutorial regarding creating full beautifully shaped ostrich feather plumes:

In my opinion the feathers for this year's fan shouldn't be all that long, but they do need to be lush and curvy so the first step is to take the feathers I purchased and convert them into plumes! Interestingly, the process is rather like tying up a roast. You create a series of connected loops which hold the feathers together and tie them off at the end. I did mine thus:

Match feathers together in sets of two as best you can. I look for feathers which are similar in length and curve and which will complement each other when assembled. This means that I wouldn't pair together two feathes which were both skimpy on the right side, but I would pair a right-side-skimpy feather with a full or left side skimpy one.

 I stack the better looking feather on top of the less handsome one, flip them over so I am facing the backs and match the tips so the lengths look well. I take a needle threaded with a length of thread approximately three-to-four times the length of the feathers I'm working on and take a stitch around the stem by sticking the needle between the quills of the feather and coming back on the other side.

Then I tie the two ends of the thread together in a square knot, leaving one tail extending about 5" past the length of the feathers and the other with the bulk of the thread on the needle.

And then I get a little wild. I left the long tail because I want to be able to tie off in a square knot also, but I don't want the bulk of two threads when I'm stitching the feathers together so I lift the upper feather and work the thread clear of all the quills so that I can run my long tail down the center spine between the feather layers.

Once I close my little feather and thread sandwich back up I start stiching them together just as instructed, making a chain of loops to encase both spines and my thread tail.

I make multiple loops at the end an finish it off with another square knot.

To finish I rescue any trapped quills by pulling them out with a pin so the whole feather looks beautiful

Much better!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

IRCC4 - Mango, Marigold, Ivory, Beige. The Feathers are Here!

This year's inspiration fan is a fluffy multicolor marvel.

Since the feather selection in my town has dropped off considerably of late (and it was never good) I decided to finally try getting feathers on the internet. Did you know they come in colors? LOTS of colors! And many sizes, types and prices too. The inspiration fan strikes me as being fairly equal amounts of four different colors. I got 4 12-packs of dyed ostrich feather drabs in the 9"-12" length.
I plan to pair them up and stitch them together to make 6 plumes of each color. Perhaps I'll have extras!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

IRCC4 - Parts for my fan have started to arrive

After a short stint of shopping on e-bay I found a great option for a metal frame for my first accessory item. I think this hairbrush will make a great feather fan!

Step one was to take it apart. The brush is held in the frame with three short nails so I just pried them up and pulled out the bits I found.

As you can see, there's quite a lot of stuff in there!

The original brush-head is wood and perfectly shaped to fit the frame so I will probably try to use it to hold my feathers. I think I can remove what remains of the original bristles pretty easily (they are in the disintegrating phase) and if I drill the original holes all th way through the board I should have lots of attachment points.  Now I just have to keep resisting the urge to use it as a giant bubble wand!

My feathers are due to arrive today or tomorrow so I hope to make some progress on this layer this weekend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

IRCC4 - Busy, busy , busy!

I find it hard to keep it simple. I may be the very last to discover this fact, but it's true! :)

Since I can't yet bear to pull out the blue silk embroidery from the sleeves I stated for a camicia for last years IRCC (3)--nor (apparently) can I stand to finish that embroidery--I was a short some pieces for my new Franken-camica for IRCC4. After much hem-ing and haw-ing I decided to use my original front and back panels as the sleeves for this camicia and add new panels for the body of the dress. And then began the debate about finishing...hemstiching...insertion stiching...maybe I should just go ahead and finish the original sleeves after all....

Eventually I was able to reason with myself and stich together

 and hem.

This whole thng goes a lot faster when I'm not fancying it up!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

IRCC 4 - The Plan

I'm inspired to attempt to recreate another picture that I happen to own appropriate fabric for the gown

Leandro da Ponte Bassano - Summer (July) - 1595/1600 - dining outdoors

I intend to stay true to the details of the original so...

Layer one: A white camicia with a small self ruffle at the neck and wrists.

I already have a plain white cotton camicia that I made about a decade ago and I love most things about it except for two things, 1) I sort of gather/smocked using a single row of back stitch that tends to break when under stress, and 2) the neckline tends to disappear below the neckline of the gown when I am getting dressed-especially in the back-and after I drag it out, the fabric tends to pooch out underneath the stitching line and give me funny puffs between the neckline of the bodice and the neckline of the camicia.

I plan to make my new camicia out of linen and smock and line the neckline using the instructions from (Adapted to place the neckline above the bust rather than at the neck, of course.)

Layer two: A black and gold open front sottana, trimmed in gold, with ladder lacing and matching sleeves.

Layer three: A sheer silk overgown with gold trim. I am fascinated by sheer silk overgowns as seen in the picture. Layer three is going to be a big adventure as I try to collect more information about this variation of outerwear.

Layer four: The painting includes a set of pearl earrings with a matching necklace featuring a drop pearl in the center, a white handkerchief with lace edging, a white partlet with an attached ruff and a yellow and white ostrich feather fan with a gold sculptured handle. I think those all sound mighty fine, so that's the plan!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

IRCC3 - Whew! It's over and I am TIRED!

I'm also not done, as my bodice has yet to be started and the camicia embroidery project may well outlive me, but I finished my final report and can now rest and speak to my husband for a few days before recommencing. I think he will like that :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

IRCC3, Layer 2 - Pattern Matching: your mileage may vary

Because the 1/4 width pieces I am using for the triangular shaping in my skirts were actually longer than a skirt panel I am able to play about a bit with the positioning of the pattern on the piece which will be upside down. I tried various things:

Alternate side
even at the top * slightly raised * nearly even at the bottom

And the original side, nearly even at the bottom

While I found the various combinations of wiggly lines interesting, I decided that this version, which continues the rhythm of focal spots horizontally across the breadth of the skirt, is most appealing to me.

And did you notice how nicely the patterns match on the triangles I already attached?