While putting some more latex on Ahsoka and wetforming the knee cops I got a call to do a photoshoot today. Was able to put it off til tomorrow 🙂 It’s for the Herald article that I did a short interview for 🙂 So I’ve tidied up most of the issues with my frock, just need to whizz the chemise under a sewing machine. Or I can sew by hand for when I do eventually hand finish it. Hmmm…..
I’ve been watching Elementary today to do so and been able to do some back stretches again! Physio for my rib was pretty much to loosen all the muscles that tightened during all the flinching and flu while the break was healing.
I’ve obviously also been very wary of stretching and especially using props due to how I injured my rib in the first place. I’m a bit concerned about bone density as it has been treated before, and has everything to do with medication and disuease full stop.
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 🙂 Might just do some tidying of the shirt sleeves though.
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!)
Firstly some headgear progress 🙂 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 🙂
I’m super happy about the collar 🙂 I keep readjusing the neckline though.
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 🙂 Pearling is not going to be fun but what the hey?
I finally bit the bullet and am going to have my own Fealty Chain for the SCA 🙂
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 🙂 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 🙂 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 😉 Six petals vs five and obviously not roses, but sumptuary laws are sumptuary laws.
So I have been thinking a lot about order of sewing, technologies, and workshop roles a lot. I just have forgotten to apply it to my own work and finally made that connection 🙂
I keep stalling hemming because I want it to go fast, it hurts physically so I use long needles so I can reduce stress on any one finger but instead use three fingers and thumb. And I know people expect a “laurel” finish.
Well okay so no my hems don’t look like a master made them.
But they sure as heck look like the real deal because hems weren’t done by a master.
My work looks like it was from a workshop not a single hand. And I like that.
But it took a long time to like that. It’s not about sloppy stitches it’s about practical stitches that are also speedy. I may not have had my daily rations to aim for as a reward but I do get my frock that one step closer when it’s done. So not the same thing and it really does make me appreciate the anonymous workers who made up the garments we now know by the designer or the wearer.
Anyway. So finding that appreciation for my own work again made it much more enjoyable. I stopped making excuses to not do it because it was not good enough. It is.
Now redoing the hemming of my suite of ruffs… I’m not looking forward to that. That does need teeny tiny stitches and having lost TWO(!!!!!!!) ruffs hemmed to ridiculous fineness I also really don’t want to invest in stitching something that will likewise get lost again.
Well okay. Let’s see if I can put the same positive thought process into the hemming of the ruff.
Oh but hemming took about 3 hours as it was so no, I was most definitely not making excuses for my work. It’s a hard task as it was the wool facing that needed stitching- it needed to be caught to match the edge of the gold braid to make sure it didn’t self collapse. And I still need to tack the layers together underneath the row.
I wound up breaking out the overlocker all day instead of working on horns. Which was probably wise. The rain is still leaving everything damp so curing would be risky.
So I zipped around the edges of my Worth sunburst skirt (the satin is so perfectly buttery that it was just nice to do!) and used the drafted bodice pattern from the 1876 tool to trace a new pattern for my new Phantom wedding dress bodice. I did use the vintage organza after all so that leaves some of the crepe for a potential Moulin Rouge dress. If I ever find a trim that works!
So that was tracing and transferring the pattern to a layer of twill, a layer of calico, and a layer of organza then overlocking all the edges tidy.
And then finally I cut the trim for my Cleves sleeves having removed the colour from the silk. And that leaves some softer trim for the undersleeves.
And finally, my last cast from my Ahsoka molds finally worked!
Finally have my studio feeling spacious. There has been a lot of digging through stash to divest the burden, still lots more to go and we have so much old furniture to get rid of too.
Anyway. Today I cut and pressed all the gold trim of the saree. Well now gold. I used RIT color remover to turn the base fabric yolk yellow and the metal tarnished to gold.
These are photos from the auction. As soon as the seller added these I clicked by it now 🙂 That double border does go from one end to the other, or did, and there was a 2 yard length on the other side (one width). Real metal, cold to the touch.
The space between the double border has also been turned into narrow trim for the chemise.
The main body? Well I’ll have to cut to shape then use that for the kirtle bodice. That is mostly not metal, but a double satin. It’s pretty darn amazing as a piece that has been totally able to be used with minimal waste.
Today I cut the sleeves and lined the bodice and refitted it (based on the Mary of Hungary bodice which really relies on the bias at the waist to fit!) So on the whole really stepped up to get this ready.
I have plans to go to Hamilton Gardens with a good friend and get photos. Honestly, I just want to get all my gear out there and photographed. All of it. No, no exceptions. All of it.
I woke early and put Pride and Prejudice on and sewed. And sewed.
Backtracking a few days: My support bodice has been theorised and made. Basically I went this area has both Dutch and German influences and I really don’t want another sidelacing support so what if…?”
The shoulder is cut separately like in Alcega and other tailors. Because like me those tailors said “man this wastes fabric also I want a stable neckline all on the grain thankyouverymuch.”
I have done this since.. well the Kampfrau at least, but in all the site moves this has been lost. So, that’s the two-fold benefit of cutting shoulders separately. Oh, but the shoulders are a single layer like the Effigy stays because it really is super comfy!
Then I wanted to try to use the overhanded body seams. This was nervewracking! I know the curvy S front seam means that’s where fitting happens, but it is very apparent from extant items that the side back was where the final fitting happens. This is clear when you look at the even seam allowances at the front but uneven allowances at the side back. That can only happen if the fronts were fitted and made up and the side backs done last.
I have managed that through very bad initial fitting stages though…
So here is my cunning method of transferring a seam and also my curvy S front seam. The entire bodice (aside from sloping neckline) is straight from a tailor’s book seen in Kohler’s History of Costume that looked like it was made up but is definitely from an extant manual.
I thought it was in Drei Schnittbucher (which really I hope everyone has) but I think was in another article. I will find it. Meanwhile the Kohler diagrams:
So finally I used twill tape to stabilise where I’ll be poking lacing holes, and bound the entire piece by hand.
Lots of falling in love with all the characters from P&P here and also lots of life lessons between my first viewing and latest!
So that wasn’t enough. I also removed the dye from the brocade for the hem of the gown proper and started putting the stickelchen together properly.
I like making hats, I love millinery. So of course am doing this as complicated as possible. But it’s at least plausible and mimics the structure I know was used for rigid headgear at this time. Oh trust me that documentation is coming but it’s been a slog to reverse image search as my bookmarks are out of control! And because it’s been over a decade since this project started there are broken links to hunt for archival forms 😉
The twill tape is to stabilise the edges.And the front shell is in place and the jeweled band is in progress. Just second guessing a few decisions for that one. I just don’t have the finding I know I want to use. The pretty ones clearly have glued stones and the “aged” gold is just not what you want for period items (you didn’t pretend the bling was dirty or not real, you wanted the bling!.)