Showing posts with label camicia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camicia. Show all posts

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!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


So I'm happily stitching away at my camicia sleeve and feeling good that I *finally* have the first pass of the pattern done on all the long "seam" edges. You know, thinking that I'm finally going to see some progress and get the full pattern stitched near the top and bottom of each row so I can assemble at least this one sleeve...

I'm working away at the acorns on an edge and I decide to unfold the whole piece a little more so I can see the two sections together and gloat a bit. Gloating about how pretty something is going to be keeps me going :) And this *is* pretty! I feel so clever and talented!...and then...hmm...

Then I realize that I've laid out my pattern in two different directions.

No! I was so careful! That can't be! But yes, most of the edges go one way but the first two, the section with the most stitching done, go the other way. Sigh.

So, I'm trying to put myself into the headspace of 16th century me. Do I take something out? Or do I just keep going.
Remember. Mechanized perfection is not the goal...


OK calmer now.

Maybe it's not so bad.

Friday, May 10, 2013

On with the embroidery, etc.

Having realized that it will be a very long time before the pieces of my camicia are fully embroidered I have decided to take a new approach. I need the outer edges of each piece to be finished in order to do the assembly work, but the inner parts of the pattern?... Not so much.

Therefore I have decided to partially work the first line of stitching for the embroidery on all the borders-just the part up to the stems where the acorns break off. That will establish the over all pattern and I will be free to work the entire embroidery for a few repeats at the edges, assemble the garment, and work the rest as I have time.

It's still a pretty big project, but I feel a lot less restless knowing I'll be able to start some assembling soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

IRCC3 - OK, blackwork version 2

I think it's better...but still not quite right. Maybe only 1 thread in the blue silk...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Whew! That's over!

I've been madly working on many fronts, one of which being feast preparations for our local SCA Barony. We finally finished that project yesterday, it was fabulous, and while I am busy in my head with plans for an even better event next year my hands are back at work on my IRCC3 camicia. I've only got about 18" of plain hem stitching left to do and than I'm moving on to the blackwork!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

IRCC3 - Plans for the camicia embroidery

As you may have noticed, the IRCC challenges seem to send me off into an overly ambitious frenzy in which I will attempt nearly anything if I think it will be pretty. This generally ends with my finishing out the challenge period with a new pile of half completed--gorgeous, but only half-completed--projects! I have been looking for an embroidery pattern to work in double running stitch on both sides of my camicia seams and seem to finally have settled on a pattern!

(Just in time too since I only have one and a quarter of the drawn thread work bands to do.)

There are a whole lot of very nice, very elaborate patterns out there which made my heart jump, but I settled on a very pretty simple pattern which may actually be possible for me to complete. Yay for sudden bursts of sense!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

IRCC3 Camicia Sleeve #2 - First row of drawn thread work done!

It is possible that I am getting faster at this, which would be quite a relief since I am looking at so much more on the partlet. Speaking of which, while I'm waiting for my Margo's Patterns to get here (and trembling in anticipation) I've been pondering what I want to do with the collar. I don't really care for the netting pattern on the collar of my inspiration piece, nor do I want to go with plain fabric, so I think I'm going to go with more of the same drawn thread pattern....and possibly a macramé edging.

I know, you're most likely thinking 'but you already tried a macramé edging on a veil and got nowhere,' and, well, you'd be right. However I learned a lot in the process and one of those things is that the fabric I was using wasn't suitable for such work. I think this one may be. Since I will have to cut a length of fabric at least 10" deep to make gussets I think I'll make a test swatch from some of the scrap and see what I think. If it works I'll probably use the test for cuffs. (Which would also conveniently solve the question of whether I am going to make loose or cuffed sleeves. Bonus!) I've seen examples of macramé lace on partlet collars in portraits so I know it was done in period too.

And then there is the insertion stitch to join the pieces together. As it turns out, I only had to look a few minutes on Pinterest before I found a pin with the exact stich I was looking for. As I thought, I will have to put in the rows of hem stitch and square hem stitch at the edge of my fabric panels, and then make a WHOLE LOT of stitches to connect the panels together and then join them together into bundles, same as the drawn thread work I've already done. I think if I do it right they will be nearly indistinguishable, at least from a bit of distance. :)

Finally, musings on embroidery...pattern? color? What to do?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

And finally, progress on the IRCC3 layer 1 project

I've finished the three drawn thread bands which break my sleeve in four half-width panels. Well, I mean that I have finished the bands on my first sleeve. yippee! And I've started pulling the threads to repeat the pattern on the second sleeve. Progress is being made!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

IRCC3 - About that drawn thread work

I have to say that this stuff takes an incredible amount of time. Possibly the worst part of it is that the earlier steps kinda fool you into thinking it will work up fairly quickly...and then you suddenly discovered that you've done all of 4 inches in the last several hours and the horrible truth sinks in!

The pattern is pretty simple. Centering on the location of my 'seam', I pulled a vertical pattern of pull 2 threads, leave 4 threads, pull 7 threads, leave 4 threads, pull two threads. The outer two edges of are worked in a simple hem stitch in sets of 4 threads. (This is the part which goes quickly.) One of the bands of four threads is worked into sets by bracketing the edges of the square with stitching. (Four sided hemstich. Slower, but still feeling good.) And then the time comes to work the second band into sets while also attaching the ladder-rung-like groupings of threads the stitching has created together into X's. (Pea hole hemstich. Bang! It's three days later and it feels like nothing has been done.)

O.K. I'm doing a bit of exaggerating.

I started out using the linen threads I had removed to do the stitching but since I had already started into the threads removed from the sleeves before I completed the stitching on the body it was clear that there wouldn't be enough to complete the process. Rather than canabalizing the remaining fabric for additional thread, I have switched to cotton thread for the stitching on the sleeves. It doesn't match as well but gives a much cleaner finish and running out is not an issue.

Stitched with the pulled linen warp threads.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

IRCC3--I'm in!

And while the counter ticks off the moments until the official start, I thought I'd share a bit of my thoughts so far as I work on the "extensive handwork" (which is allowable early work) on my camicia.

My pattern:

I decided to make the style which is simply assembled lengths of fabric with square gussets in the armpits but with a couple of changes from the plain cotton one I did about 10 years ago. (Which is still going strong, by the way.) Firstly, my new camicia is 100% linen in the body, and very sheer. I plan to embellish it to within an inch of it's life! I also plan to gather the neckline into a band this time, and to edge it with needle lace.

To begin I held the fabric up to my desired height for the finished neckline, measured and decided that I want a camicia that hangs about 36" from the neckline to hem. i then measured from the top pf my shoulder down my arm and decided that my sleeves also need to be about 36" in order to have length for puffings. I will need at least two full widths of fabric (a modern "56") in the body--three would be preferable--in order for the camicia to have the appropriate looseness around my frame. I will need another full width for each sleeve to maintain the appropriate proportions so I started by cutting 4 lengths of fabric.

I next considered the question of loom widths. I did consider cutting my fabric into narrower panels to mimick those available in period. I decided against it mostly because it seems to me that would introduce the weakness of a cut edge at the exact spot the system is meant to take advantage of the strength of a woven one. It seems to me that the system of constructing garments from basic shapes which make full use of the fabric as woven is a brilliant combination of the saving of time, effort and materials, flexibility of fitting, and using materials in such a way that their strengths are taken advantage of and weaknesses minimized. I can't imagine a Sixteenth century seamstress who needed to make a camicia for a woman of my stature cutting 45" wide fabric apart because she was used to a narrower width. I think she'd use what she had and thank her lucky stars for finding it!

That being said, I have noticed that camicie made from modern loom widths often look strangely 'wrong' to my eyes. I believe that is because the practice of embellishment at the seam lines has made the visual rhythm of those seams an integral part of the garment which we strongly notice when missing. Thus, I compromised by using the full width of fabric but introducing bands of embellishment at approximately the locations which would have been seams in period.

I believe that one period approach to my camicia could have been to supplement the traditional four body panels with half-width panels set in at each seam. I have worked my bands of drawn-thread lace at 1/4 and 3/4's the breadth of my panel to approximate the front, back, and four inserted 1/2 breadth pieces of this hypothetical approach. You will have noticed that I still need the side panels...

They are coming. After I finish the drawn-thread embroidery on the sleeves!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #11 - Hmmm...A Shift!

Am I being bad? Hmm...I'm really not sure.

I have the materials for my "Peasants and Pioneers" project, but not the inclination so I've started on the project I do have inclination for: Squares, Rectangles and Triangles. I've been thinking for awhile that I wanted to try a highly embellished camicia--from scratch. And as the days wind down to the commencement of the IRCC3 my mind has wandered to embroidery patterns, and needle lace edgings, and the 10 yards of sheer white linen (IL030) I bought when it recently went on sale at

I pondered. And I thought. And I mused, and I pinned. And then I took up my scissors and started cutting!

And now, about 8 1/4 hours into the beyond-the-cutting-phase part of the project I am well on my way to my first completed bit of embellishment. Details will follow later but for now let's just look at my pretty pretty pulled-thread work!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

IRCC II - Tasty Nibble 14: Oooo! Lacy!

I'm keeping a more detailed record of the progress of my Camicia in the "Stitch by stitch" page but I couldn't resist sharing this shot...

I'm not getting much lift (I need to try fitting a bodice when it doesn't have lace I care about attached) but even though it's cut extremely low I feel really secure that this neckline isn't going anywhere. It's definitely the best fit I've achieved so far. happiness!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012