What next?

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by health and trying to finish any project at all right now. I have a few projects I feel I should finish before starting anything new. But the reality is I have stalled on them for the same reason: health.

This doesn’t make it easier, it feels like more pressure. More pressure to do something really great before I can’t at all. More pressure for each event I miss because I fear I’ll still miss the next. This isn’t FOMO like we know it, this is real, this is genuinely not seeing people I care about due to predicatbly unpredictable health issues.

So what would that be. Do I want that to be a project I have been working on for 10 years or start something new that might be easier or more fulfilling.

I have most of my projects in one place, but I also have the clay and plastic and paint stuff out of sight as it’s winter and my workroom is not fun in winter. Especially not mow!

So Maleficent? Ahsoka? Sunburst? Spanish silver ensemble? The Mina? Elissa… Elissa could work. I finally bought another 10m of netting for the support. Just have to figure out where to put it! Probably another layer of short ruffles. I think that makes it 40m of net in total! And then Maleficent horns. Then it’ll be warm enough to go out and work on Ahsoka. I need to wait until my rib heals before even thinking of The Mina as It really feels like the end of the bone of the rib is exposed.

Do I want a break?

I do want to get my Cleves perfect so I am about to sit up in bed and get warm and watch Netflix. I need to clip fabric from the haube as it’s too bulky and I want to also line the neckline jewels properly. SO happy with how beautifully I finished the gown and sleeves πŸ™‚ Might just do some tidying of the shirt sleeves though.

Cleves approaches

I was going to do a lot of machine sewing to get her ready for Coronation so I instead took the time I had to sew by hand. Some of it went really welll, some like the haube is fiddly because the accessories are just not the way we are used to. I need to make my haube tie and also make sure all the gathers are near the crown. I may wind up pleating on my head form instead.

There may even be time to get pearls on the partlet. What is weird is I have a very long neck so I can wear my collar and show the full band of gold.

 

Okay, I now have my second lot of antibiotics 9note, not for the flu but for the secondary bacterial infection I have had since day two of the flu!)

Cleves gown made

My Anna von Kleve Julich & Berg gown is done aside from some hooks and eyes in the skirt.

The bodice and sleeves fit nicely but I am ver narrow, and after the flu moreso… so today I get to hunt for all the wool shoulderpads I can as I will need enhancement.

The hanging sleeves are finally hemmed, woohoo, and the chemise just needs a button and some seam finishing (the sleeves were french seamed originally and so I need to just tidy a few inches between the cuffs and up the arm. I really want to take some excess linen out but will leave that until I’ve worn it a few times. The sleeves look so pretty though and will make a lot of garb look really good. And I know what my nest two frocks are πŸ™‚ So excited.

So it may be that I will have to use a lot of cunning machine work in my velvet Cologne so that I can actually get her done πŸ™‚

And I may be able to get my documentation for her up fairly soon. But I want the Spanish stuff up first as a handy practical guide πŸ™‚

And I’d like to get all my garb patterns webified especially with so many lovely extant patterns out there now to use as references and (please buy these!!!)

 

I do have my haube. I may use my machine and then hand stitch over the top. That’s how I did my belt. The machine acted like basting which is hidden by gold braid. So I’m just waiting to hear back from some people who want to see this in the next few days and then I can have a proper rest and start collection info for my final workshop πŸ™‚

Oh and my jeweled neckline. That’s a lining. Same with my frontal decoration on my stickelsche.

 

Ah yes. The three panel skirt pattern too.

Cleves updates

Firstly some headgear progress πŸ™‚ Becase my pearlwork is so dimensional I need a flat brocade front, and then am able to have a flat but slightly more texture brocade for the haub.

Then we have the brocade for the collar and neckline. Yep, pressed the brocade into a curve! Ditto for the piece above actually πŸ™‚

I’m super happy about the collar πŸ™‚ I keep readjusing the neckline though.

Β 

I have tried it all on and I think I’ll just do some judicious padding of my inner layers as I am rather not as wide across my chest.

The skirt has a flatlining, and I kind of wish I hadn’t but it would require some serious careful unpicking because I used a triple stitch. This makes the diagonal seams as strong as if I had used a backstitch- I’ve had side seams pop a few times and the weight of this hem would definitely do that!

And yes, I have been working on her distinctive partlet πŸ™‚ Pearling is not going to be fun but what the hey?

 

Anne of Cleves back on track :)

I finally bit the bullet and am going to have my own Fealty Chain for the SCA πŸ™‚

I have several enameled medallions on the way to mix in with my hand wired roundels already shared.

These are going to be used to make a full set of neckline jewelery as per the Bruyn and Holbein portraits or Anna von Kleve Julich und Berg πŸ™‚ I’ll be aiming more for the Holbein style as it is very obvious as to the solidity of the border versus the main body. That little wrinkle at her right should (our left) shows this so very well.

I’ve also cleaned brass leaves and flowers and will work on my kranz (wreath) as I should be able to replace nearly all those leaves.

I love this book. It was a very lucky find a good decade ago. It does suffer from an Anglo centric view though. Calling Anna’s clothing unfashionable and not tasteful is just not correct.

She was incredibly stylish.

She just happened to live in a region with nearly equal influence from the Burgundian courts and Saxon courts. And her dress right here? Exactly what you’d expect! The other Bruyn portrait, and less successful copies, also show pretty much what you’d expect!

This is why I love Koehler and Boehn as resources- very continental so you see the general shapes from the Italian states, from the Burgundian/French/English courts, and also Saxon. All those Cranach beauties.

But more to the point there are still assumptions that the annulment was all her fault for not being pretty enough, not being “stylish” enough, not being clever enough.

Need I say more than that she wound up an independent woman with enough money that she was able to spend poorly and still be safe politically and financially? That even though she didn’t know English she managed to survive insulting Henry (by accident but in front of lots of people)?

I suspect then as now it is much easier to understand Dutch if you are used to English and vice versa than it is to speak either. The language Anna spoke is much closer to Dutch than Deutsche then and now.

Sentence structures are so similar I can read personal documents of the region and understand them. Yes I’m looking for clothing terms but I’ve read a heck of a lot of gossip in doing so! And so I think Anna was not only much smarter than the English have made her out to be but understood what was happening right then and there. yes, she would have needed help to write her letters, but she knew the content.

Obviously she couldn’t go back home- but by staying she also had to survive conspiracies. And the court was absolutely full of very dangerous intrigue.

To survive that takes more than just luck or a yielding nature. If she was that easily manipulated she would have been so the rest of her life. And we know she was used politically. A pamphlet written as if it was her was shared on the Continent and yet she survived those too. Not many people survived one bout of politcal manipulations, let alone several attempts to get her back in the marriage game. Yes, there were people who wanted her to be queen long after. In the English court that is.

So no, I don’t think she has had fair shakes!

Okay so this is one of the roundels πŸ™‚ It is a circular pendant with a brass flower in the center, a moonstone bead in the flower, and 6 large pearls around the outside. The laurel medallions are bout the same size so will have the same brass lowers in the centre with garnet beads in the centres. And I’m going to try and get the extra beads and flowers on my stickelsche.

Or I may wind up putting the garnets on these to make them look even less like the white rose used for another order πŸ˜‰ Six petals vs five and obviously not roses, but sumptuary laws are sumptuary laws.

anne of cleves continues

I did manage all the brocade stitching yesterday. I need to press it before stitching the joins but basically six rows of more than 4m a row through metal brocade was a nightmare.

Yes that is overlocking, no it will not remain for long. I do need to get some tape over the seam allowances but this keeps the edges stable until then. It may not be possible to find enough linen to make facings.

I think you may be able to tell the thickness from these photos, but that is a big needle. I need big needles so I can use all my fingers to push the needle through. Usually I can do this in a way that doesn’t require a thimble but this was so grippy… my needles did need to be pushed through at the very end and I can’t use thimbles so I have a bit of healing to do.

note: calluses are not good. They are brittle and less able to resist the pressure from a needle end.

I am looking at a leather thimble for my ring finger though. I sew and write using all my fingers anyway due to how my fingers curve unhelpfully, so I’ll test thimbles on each finger to see what works best.

No I am not able to use short needles please do not recommend ways of using them. I am though looking at just restocking more frequently. Pincushions have the sharpener for steel needles. Well most modern needles are chromed.Β This means you can’t really sharpen them to the same degree. Also the profile of the points can vary so I need to look to see if there is a specific brand and type that i can continue to buy.

I’ll see if I can get some photos/video of why short needles are so bad for me!

website updates

Oh thank goodness! Last night I was updating my theme (to prevent too many thumbnails being generated when I upload media from an old backup- it’s just easier to import them all) my browser hung. Then I got a 524 error.

uh oh, I thought. As a database error it was likely to be a plugin stuck on a loop… but no. It was my hosts. I just happened to be on he server that needed maintenance last night.

I need a super easy app on my comp to convert US time zones. I am 21 hours ahead ofΒ the time zone quoted in the update, but it’s not the same time zone as my server.

Anyway. I was also trying to make tags easier to spot in my theme, but the real problem is that WP doesn’t give you all your tags, just “most used”. I really need to make all my posts about “hisoric guides” easier to find as they are all the pattern drafting and draping systems I use and regularly share with others. It will mean putting them in a category now that I’m using them more.

 

I have been working on my Cleves gown πŸ™‚ And My stickelchen is nearly finished πŸ™‚ The leaves and pearls are all back in place and I ust need to make the wee body for Mr Boo in the middle πŸ™‚

Also I need to punch some more holes in more leaves as I really do need the front decoration to be “I AM NOT A LAUREL” laurel wreath πŸ™‚ Because it’s just silly. Look if you let me use a hearlic device on my goods I’m gonna do it. And push it

Sumptuary laws baby, they are part of history. My Cleves gowns look like they may be sumptuary laws in effect. Which is just very cool. I have some laws hoarded in my files (not easy to read) so want to go through them but some aspects are very obviousgoing by art.

 

what was that about not handsewing

Yeah, well I tried by machine. It was actually much harder and the result was just not okay. I either had really obvious stitches or had to break out my craft blade to unpick very carefully.

The light heat n bond is kind of perfect though. It is too light to work on its own but works really well to stabilise the brocade. It both retains the curve I managed to pressed it into as well as stick to the silk. But the fabric is much too heavy, so it absorbs the stuff!

Also if anyone has been watching my instagram they’ll have seen the progress of the centrepiece of my stickelchen. My Boo, he is made from embossed copper with silver leaf so is quite fragile. I was going to make his body from pearls but I think I may want to preserve the feeling of softness by either embroidery or more embossing. I have silver thread but nothing to couch.

And yes, I still need to tidy the couched braid as it is a bit wobbly from stretching.

Anne of Cleves gown progress :)

This gown has really stressed every problem solution option I have! I mostly chose modern options if there was an external issue, or period for internal.

So the lining is salvaged from a badly made skirt and left over length. The grain is all over the place inside the skirt so I overhanded all the seam allowances to help stabilise them Β then there is tiny piecing of the lining at the hem so as to make sure the hem guard is nice and stable.

The skirt is still very full, with the flatter front and fuller back that defines this region so well.

 

This is where my modern sensibilities went nope! I am not using a similar but not same piece of brocade for this I took the back of the skirt in by 12cm instead.

The skirt really is fine as can be seen from the above and I may have a nice strip of silk now for other elements of this gown πŸ™‚

 

Today I get to press the border in place.

 

Unfortunately my disease is triggered by physical stress on joints so I absolutely cannot hand sew this hem the same way I did the bodice (nearly fully hand sewn) . I use steroids to settle the infmammation and disease itself but that has been at levels used in trauma. So that is not really going to do anything good for my heat and liver and everything really.

 

I don’t tend to hypersensitivity but because I have signs of it with pin pricks (the only pain I know full well is OTT- I can breath through injections but random scrapes from sewing? It’s hypersensitive for sure.

But we have decided to try to block pain signals- and it has made a big difference today πŸ™‚ I do though know it’s blocked signals so I have to make sure to not do something I know will cause har.

 

So back to the border! It has been fused to heat n bond. I am using light which should just hold this together long enough for me to easily manipulate it under a machine.

If anyone is all “omg that’s too modern!” I’d point out that I do not have a workshop full of apprentices to do all this πŸ˜‰Β Tailors did not do this, their apprentices did. And I’d like to point out there are traces of glues and waxes found inside garments some used for stiffening some appear to be to hold pieces for working.

 

If you like pretend I’m using feather light, the stuff that dissolves away on second pressing πŸ˜‰

I will need to do all this on my padded table, the pressing and careful fine work to tidy the top edges of the widest braid.

more cleves progress

Stickelchen is now tidy enough to line and to add more leaves and sequins πŸ™‚

The back is slightly longer than the original I made so there is a bit of a gap. Currently binding the individual cords in gold thread. It is taking a few goes as my needles keep bending.

Brocade trim progress:

The double border after the dye was removed, being cut into usable strips.

Then one of those strips being pressed for use. Hopefully enough to do what I want. There may have to be creative use of scraps if not!

The bodice! So proud. I’m using a few actual tailoring methods here πŸ™‚ Heavy thread to baste the layers and to ease the armscye. Yes. the thread is slightly tight which draws the fabric closer into the shoulder and arm. You can seen the deep clipping used to fit the armhole too, it was really distorting the fit so it had to be done sooner rather than later.

What’s this? Yes, stay tape around the neckline (including deep front opening. I wanted a round neck but all those images of Anne show her nckline really scooting right up to form an inverted V at the front so it makes most sense to make a V in the back.

But a V is on the diagonal so stretches out. The tape is to prevent that.

Is it telling that I really want to make the matching belt? Like really really really want to. I feel it’s going to tie the whole ensemble together well πŸ™‚