Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Step one - make the loops
Monday, December 26, 2011
Boen likes the lacis pieces set on point best. I agree, and since it seems to be the more period appropriate approach I'm running with it. I played with the layout of my squares and decided that I am going to make the two squares on the top of the shoulders the foundation of the layout/structure for my partlet. They will be connected with a full square at the center back...and then we'll see.
I think the single square set on point will be enough depth for the back of the partlet. If so, I will probably fill in the edges with 1/2 squares of lacis to square up the back and back shoulders. I think it may take 3 full squares on each breast to provide sufficient coverage to compensate for the complete lack of upper bodice which is the hallmark of this style. I want to be able to play with it so I'm not making any final decisions about the front until the back is completed.
I'm planning to start the collar by using the inner points of the three squares which form the back and shoulders. I think if I only join the squares to about the 1/2 way point they will form an appropriate opening for my neck and the remaing points will form a nice little standing collar if I connect them with some little triangles of lacis. I'll probably have to make these pieces but at least they'll be small! I'm not sure about making a ruff as of yet. I'd like to have at least a small one to serve as under proper for a larger ruff but since I can't wear the dress at all until I have some kind of partlet it may have to be a later addition.
At any rate, the first step is to finish/reinforce the edges of my purchased lacis pieces. They have a lot of missing joins at the very edge which need mending plus I am going to be putting the finished partlet through a lot of strain so I'm running three parallel rows of reinforcement thread along/around the outer three rows of netting. I plant to stich the sections together using these three rows to anchor the work. (Fingers crossed) We'll see how it goes!
Reinforcement stiching in progress:
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Men who have gotten all their presents can be so mean... ;)
I'm still working on the collar of his Christmas shirt so I rather feel for the poor shoppers, myself.
Friday, December 23, 2011
I've been stitching away all day...feeling pretty virtuous...bbbbbbuuuuuutttttttttt
We have no cookies. Not a one. Not a single cookie in the house!
I can't take it anymore.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
(I've suddenly realized that I had better get a move on with Christmas present projects!)
Since my last posting on this project I have finished the needle lace edging and crystal bead buttons for the needle case, replaced the bottom three tassels on the original bag with larger ones, and created a scissors case and restraining cord for the clippers. Like the pin pillow and needle case, the scissors case is attached to the bag by a length of finger loop braid, but this one was anchored at the center of the bags handle so it can dangle freely and also can be looped around a belt and through the bag's handle above the bead to anchor the chatelaine securely when the bead is raised. I have no idea if similar arrangements were done in period, but it works!
And now, for your viewing pleasure:
The closed chatelaine
And open to show off the contents
I can't believe I'm finally going to have all the gear I need to sew or make repairs at events easily to hand. I can hardly wait to give it try!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I think I'm gonna have to try making one. :)
(BTW, I discovered the above image courtesy of the wonderful research posted at:
http://alysattewater.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/extant-medieval-hairnet-photos-on-the-web/. Thank you Alys!)
That is, to try it out and make some observations about the shape, support and coverage I will need prior to making my own lacis partlet 100% by my own hands.
You guessed it, I found some lacis pieces on e-bay. Ten of them, in fact, and each about 8 3/4" square.
They came in the mail yesterday and while they make my own poor attempts at lacis look like great hulking lumpish things in comparison (I'm going to have to look into getting a smaller gauge and some finer thread) I'm excited to skip past the 'making the lacis' stage and get right down to making a partlet so I can experiment with the 'how in the world does this work!?!' part.
Now I just have to figure out how I want to assemble them....
and then get up enough courage to wear it!
Friday, December 9, 2011
Naturally I immediately started on a scissors case for the chatelaine, but my big news for today is:
Talk about projects you never expected to undertake. I went to the bead store [Danger, Will Robinson!] to get three little beads to use as buttons on the needle book and walked out with just a teensy bit of additional stuff...clear and white quartz crystal beads...and lapis beads... and some red silk beading thread...
I made the red silk tassel with a spool of silk thread I've had sitting around for ages. It's not quite the right color (aka, matching thread) but I just had to get as done as I could with the stuff I had on hand!
Ain't she pretty?
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I made a little bitty piece of lacis for the pin pillow and learned several very important things:
1) Yes, stretching it on a frame is important!
I decided to just stretch the netting in my fingers as I worked the pattern. Bad idea. The finished piece is...kinda lumpy. It's not as easy to control the tension as you work the pattern into the net and it's also much harder to get all the stitches in the correct place.
The second reason it's a bad idea? Dirt. I handled the piece a lot more and it's beautiful creaminess is decidedly grey in spots.
Live and learn (and wash itty bitty pillows!)
2) Cotton batting doesn't like having you squish it into a tiny space and then stick pins into it.
Next time I will try looser filling, but I suspect cotton is not the material of choice when it comes to filling pin pillows, mainly because the glass-headed pins I bought keep bending when I try to stick them into it!
3) It would have been a much better idea to graph out the pattern I wanted.
If I had I might have realized that my original idea for a pattern wasn't going to work before I stiched it up. This tiny little piece of lace is positively riddled with joined sections from figuring out what I was doing on the fly.
Still, all in all it looks pretty good.
The needle case is much more of a work in progress. It's got a little pocket for a needle threader and two leaves of felt with a selection of tapestry and general sewing needles. I'm thinking I'll work the edges with needle lace and add a button to close it. And/or I might add some white work embroidery...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I should, perhaps, mention that said store is only a block away from my new place of work and knowing the temptations such places offer I have, up to now, been very good and kept far far away...
But that's all over now!
(Cue joyful crescendo of bliss.)
Let's just say that it's a nice shop, but the important bit for now is that I not only found a yellow jade bead that works nicely for controlling my strings, I also found Mother of Pearl oblong beads which I think may become the most beautiful thread winders.
It sounds like I should be able to grind a curve in the long edges (maybe with sandpaper?) and then polish them back to shiny goodness. I guess we'll see, but they sure are pretty!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
It smells as yummy as it sounds!
For those of you who don't recognize this dish from the list of ingredients (which I wouldn't have until earlier this week) this filling is one of the many variations of a South African classic: Bobotie. We used this recipe for the ingredients but changed the technique a bit. Basically we precooked the meat (as did several other recipes) and added a crust.
I love that it is completely possible/plausible/believable in the context of a medieval kitchen, yet I've had Bobotie pie at a restaurant and found the recipe in a gazillion places on-line.
I hope it tastes as good as it looks(and smells)...
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I started out thinking it just wanted to be a sweet bag...but then it got more detailed...and wanted accessories...and now I seem to be working on a sewing kit/chatelaine much inspired by this example.
I've worked and attached finger loop braid for the edging and tassel/strap loops, made tassels and am currently working on binding the thread loops and making more finger loop braids for the various straps which will be necessary to attach all the pieces together as a chatelaine.
Since I lined the original bag with silk organza and it is going to be possible to see any objects it contains, I want to stick with my current off-white color scheme. I'm thinking I need a needle case, pin cushion (with pins), scissors with case and maybe some thread winders or lace-making supplies (bobbins or gauges?) or something.
I'm going to have to do some research on how period chatelaines were made and worn but I really excited to add such a useful item to my kit!
Progress thus far...
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Mixing canes of various colors was looking pretty good for the ivory so I took out my 3/8" dowel, cut in some grooves for the fan's wire frame to run in, and started covering it with the plastic clay...only to discover that it was going to turn out way too thick. OK, plan 2! I took out my 1/8" dowel and started covering *it* with the plastic clay...looking pretty good...I only have to sculpt and bake it....
I have to bake it...in the oven...rats!
I've tested it out and there is no way a 3' length of dowel is going to fit in my current oven. (Sigh, I really miss my fancy stove which is back in New York state.) I've decided to keep the 'ivory' and try it out a fan with a shorter handle so it's back to the drawing board for the stick treatment for this fan. I guess it's good that I still have some stitching left to do!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The good part of that situation is that I now have time to wander around on the internet looking at cool stuff. I've found plenty of info on ways to make faux ivory out of fimo or other similar materials so my current plan is to make the stick for this fan out of a wooden dowel (it's a bigger fan so I think I will go for a full 3' length in the stick) covered and sculpted in faux ivory.
They say I should bake the fimo stuff on a wooden or even cardboard surface so I don't think baking the dowel will be a problem. I hope it works because I already have ideas about an 'ivory' wax tablet...I guess we'll see!
The possibly bad part of wandering around on the net is that I learn about other new a different cool stuff. Like the Scroll Blank Challenge which is going on in the Midrealm (aka my new Kingdom.) I have been thinking about trying my hand at the scribal arts and now could be the time. I have until early February to make a donation so I'm sure I will at least be able to make a scroll case for the concurrently running Scroll Case Challenge.
Scribal Arts..what fun!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
I swear this lady looks like she is wearing a variation on a potholder/trivet thingy one of my Mom's friends had in the 1970's. It was of string-ish yarn, thick, with loops on the edges much like this partlet and caul.
I have no idea what the technique is called but if I can figure it out I may have to make a set for myself. Warm would be nice.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I'm using a period pattern but I graphed it onto a piece of graph paper for my reference while working so here is a picture of what I am going for...
I have been trying to learn something new with each project I take on so this project I'm learning new stitches, and maybe I'll try making faux ivory in fimo for the stick.
Friday, November 11, 2011
When I was looking for a pattern to work in lacis for my Idle Hands Challenge flag fan I kept seeing period patterns which I think may be for lacis partlets.
They were shaped vaguely like a diamond with the top tip cut off which left a flat top for the neck opening, slanted top sides for the shoulder seams, and a long point going down to the waistline in the back. (Or at least that is how I envision it working.) But now that I have formed the ambition to make such a partlet for my IRCC outfit can I find a pattern? Nope!
If any of my readers happens to recognize this description and knows where the patterns may be found I would really appreciate a hint. Thanks!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Last weekend we found the most wonderful retro diner--Arnold's Drive-In--in Decatur, IN, and last week I found these
at my corner hardware store!
Apparently they are a kind of hand drill called gimlets. My new set is made by a company called Robert Larson. I can hardly wait to work on a project which requires holes...I can now drill them guilt free!
(By the way, if you are ever at Arnold's and wondering if you should get the apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream, the answer is unequivocally YES! They are amazing.)
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Fan #1 - Feather
I already blogged about most of the process I used to create this fan so I'll just say that I'm proud of the techinical parts of this fan.
The wooden base I assembled is very stable and provides a lot of strength/support to the feathers. Drilling holes thru the base and sewing the feathers into place worked well as a temporary hold while I glued everything into position and waited for the glue to dry. It also let me make corrections before I glued it all up. (NOTE TO SELF: Ostrich feathers go on--front and back--FIRST!) Finally, I used two layers of ostrich feathers, one on both the front and back of the fan base, and found they completely obscured the wooden base which made it easy to decoratively finish the fan without worrying about hiding the inner workings.
I made my fan to approximate the narrower shape which is often seen in paintings but rarely found 'in life.' It moves air well, and seems to me to be much easier to carry and use than a rounder fan. I'll be interested to see how I feel about it after an event.
In my next fan I'm going to work harder at getting a proper curl on all of the feathers. I did curl them all but they seem to lose body and curl to the side. I'd like to try splitting two feathers--keeping the barbs on one half of each--and attaching them together to make each plume. I think that may get a better result when replicating the distinct, full plumes of the feathers in many period portraits.
Fan #2 - Lacis Flag Fan
I made that. :) !!!!
It was very interesting to me to note how the fan gradually became more useful as the net was embroidered. Net on it's own was absolutely useless as a fan but as the lacis pattern was filled in it became more and more effective. The bottom line is, it works great!
I've already started the netting for a second fan. This time I'll carve the chanels for the wire entirely seperately from any decorative carving on the stick. I also hope to do more carving on this one...and maybe even some painting and/or gilding...
Yeah, I thnk I have a thing for fans.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
We're off to pick up more of our stuff in NY so I've wrapped up my first two fan projects and sent my final report off to Bella. I suspect she may be holding them until the Challenge is over so I'm still not posting pictures...or even details...but it's nice to know I can actually finish a Realm of Venus Challenge!
And I'm really happy with the fans I have made.
Of course I am also happy with the 2 other fans I have started, the 3 I am musing about, and the muff I have started the planning process for...I've even been thinking about handkerchiefs!
I really like focusing on one aspect of costume at a time. Or maybe I just really like accessories...
Good luck to all you other IHChallengees. I can hardly wait to see your pretties!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Maybe it's the fall weather but I'm getting the itch to get back to work and finish my pavilion before the next SCA Camping season. It seems like forever since I worked on it but the break has been good for me. I thought my way through the quandry caused by finding the roof panels which I had misplaced.
I'd re-envisioned the sections I had at hand into a completely different style of pavillion (a Bell Wedge instead of round) and finished enough of the hand work on the rest of the pavillion that I really didn't want to go back...but I don't have too! I've been wanting to make detachable walls to convert one of the awnings into a bedroom and I think I can dismantle the extra roof to use for some of the parts of the bedroom walls.
Yippee! Now to implement the plan....
Friday, October 21, 2011
Perhaps that's the reason I didn't find any pictures of flag fans with tassels at the stick?
At any rate, after I cut off the last tassels and got all the bits which had lodged themselves under the wire loop unstuck, I darkened the metal of the wire so it's not so noticable.
The only bad news is that I'm going to hold off on final pictures until the challenge is concluded.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I started with a 3/8" x 48" dowel from my local hardware store. For strength and contrast I picked the heavyest and darkest dowel they had. I don't know what kind of wood it is but I'm sure it's not pine.
I was inspired by various pictures to try a flag fan with a loooong stick. I was thinking somthing around 2 1/2' - 3' but my dowel had a bend in it so I cut it just above the bend and ended up with a 29 3/4" for this fan and a remainder piece just long enough for another fan. (I think I may try my hand at a round fan too.)
I couldn't find my file or carving tools so I abandoned the idea of a turning lathe for this fan and went with simple carving using the tools I had on hand. I used a coping saw to saw the dowel to length, to saw shallow channels for the wire which forms the frame of the fan, and to saw shallow channels at the top and bottom of the ball ornaments I was going to carve. I then used a 1" chisel to shape the wood and an emery board to smooth the finished work. (I told you they were simple tools!) I then heated a small amount of olive oil and rubbed it into the wood to deepen the color and add a slight gleam.
If I hadn't decided to add a tassel or two I'd be done. But since my theory of late period costume can be summed up as 'Add More Ornamentation!'...tassels are next.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Woo hoo! It's my first piece and I think it came out just lovely.
To convert the Lacis piece onto a fan I've made a 4" x7" (finished dimensions) frame of wire and covered it with the same thread I used for the lace. I basically covered the frame with buttonhole stitching with the ridge of the loops running on the outside of the frame and then stitched a second set of buttonhole stitches around the frame between the stitches of the first set, this time with the loops running on the inside of the frame.
I used a very simple faggoting stitch to attach the lace to the inner edge of the covered frame--see all the pretty little holes? I am currently working a pointed lace edging around the outer edge of the frame.
The next phase will be to prepare my stick and attach the fan!
Friday, October 7, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I finally started unpacking my SCA boxes today. Found the red silk I may use for my IRCC overdress and a lot of clothes in need of a post-pennsic washing. Sigh. We're renting an apartment for our first year in Indiana and the new place doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit. Bigger sigh. I've unpacked 4 *huge* tubs of SCA stuff but have yet to find my red brocade which I will probably use for the IRCC overdress. I don't want the silk to win out by default so I'll perserve with the unpacking but I looked at the Realm of Venus today and discovered Bella is sponsering a Mini Challenge (only a month long) focusing on items held in the hand. Hmmmm....
I'd been planning on making a second fan any way so this may be just the thing to get me back to work...
Since I'm going to think of this fan as another piece of the IRCC outfit I'll probably use the 'What Hold's Breasts Up?' page to chronicle my progress...fingers crossed this gets me jumpstarted!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
We are all packed into the truck and just touching up the staging for the house before we hit the road. Indiana, here we come!
I'll be getting back to working on my IRCC dress after we settle in. Same bat time, same bat channel...
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Pennsic was lovely. Pennsic was overwhelming. Pennsic was HOT!
Sleeping now, but later I will gush at you about how lovely my IRCC undergown looked at the red and white ball...
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I finally made it out of camp (in a sudden burst of ambition) so I though I'd take a moment to tell you:
IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR
1) Pre-Pennsic sewing should include making several outfits which keep you covered up but feel like you are nearly naked.
2) Then you can think about what *else* you could take off.
3) Yes, it is worth it to bring a shade pavilion/fly!
4) It turns out the earplugs aren't so much about sleeping through the drunken carousing, it's the trucks on the highway causing the real noise.
I'm off to take about 15 million classes. Having fun. Wish you were here!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
It's not just that the deadline is only a week away, or that I've had to prioritize our move to Indiana. The biggest problem is that while I was packing up the house for our move I discovered that I actually had completed a third section of roof panels...way back in the dark ages in California.
So now what do I do?
Since I actually have all 12 pieces I could revert to the original plan and make a round pavilion...or...
I could split the third section in half, connect each half to one of the sections of 4 pieces I was planning to use for my bells, and thus have a larger bell/larger tent overall...or...
I could come up with some really brilliant third option.
So right now I am stuck, and crazy busy. I'll get back to the pavilion after our move..
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I want to know what everyone is doing! I want to see what people are working on! Even if it's not going well, undone, and/or not for the IRCC! I want everybody back!
There, I've said it.
I thought *everyone's* projects were really interesting. I liked how your work gave me ideas and inspiration. I *miss* you guys!
What am I supposed to read while I stitch away at my skirt if you are not here?!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
So there I am at a work related cocktail party, talking about byzantine tents. I love my life!
Thru this conversation I have just discovered the existence of The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. Not my field, but super cool!
My friend presented at the SPBS Spring Symposium (April 2011) and also attended Margaret Mullett's session "Experiencing the Byzantine Text" I'm writing to Ms. Mullett in the hopes of getting permission to link to the handout from her session. Stay tuned!
(I know, I'm a wicked tease.)