Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Purple Silk Venetian Gown

A while ago, I posted some progress on a purple silk Venetian gown. It's done now! I wore this to Coronation recently and got some photos. The silk is actually hot pink shot with blue, so it appears purple.
The bodice is fully supported with canvas interlining and steel boning. The gown is also worn over a corset and camicia, as well as a taffeta underskirt. The front insert is made from a small piece of silk brocade - a scrap - that I inherited. The bodice is hand beaded, and I also made a new girdle / belt and a linen partlet. The sleeves are re-used from my last Venetian gown because I love them and they match!

I made this one regular height - no chopines for me! I love my chopines, but man, I'm too clutzy to stand around in them all day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

15th Century Hat

I made a 15th c. hat! This hood is present in many 15th century images, and I've wanted one for a while. I finally made it while watching a movie last night!
I came upon in my search, and her pattern is very similar to mine. I just updated it and changed a few things! I also lined mine because I like the weight, and I like to sew everything by machine and then turn it inside out to hide the stitches. hehe

Note: This creates a fully lined hat. I started with two small rectangles for the brim and a large rectangle I folded in half for the back. I sewed the large rectangle together, cut off the top, then sewed the two brim pieces together with the back stuffed inside - so it turns right side out. The back of the brim is stitched together at the very bottom. To wear, wrap the two tails around the head and tie.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

14th/15th Century Pouch

I made this pouch to go with my favorite late 14th and early 15th century wardrobe. This is sort of a ubiquitous pouch style during this time, so it's appropriate for much of what I wear on a daily basis.

The first two images show examples of this pouch style in artwork and in an extant piece.

In the first of my own images, you can see my pouch in progress. The pouch itself is two rectangles, and the cord is finger loop braid. The eyelet holes are all hand stitched. Here, you can see how I did the tassels. I wrapped my yarn around a piece of cardboard and then took it off. I tied a piece of yarn around the center top to hold everything in place. Then I wrapped another piece of yarn around near the top to create the upper loop. Then I cut it off to my desired length and sewed all my tassels onto my pouch.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Completed cotehardies for a client

I finished these two cotehardies (aka gothic fitted gowns) for a client. She wanted them to be similar to two dresses I made for myself, just without all the heavy hand stitching.
These are both late 14th century styles, though they are still present in the early 15th century.

The first dress is made of linen. The second is made of cotton velvet with silk sleeves and belt.
My intern Dani helped me sew on all these buttons. There are so many! How sumptuous!

My similar dresses:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gothic Fitted Gowns - Progress for a client

I'm making two gothic fitted gowns (aka cotehardies) for a client. They're basically a lower budget version of two of my personal dresses - same colors and everything. It's weird to make *my* dresses for someone else lol, but they are a bit different. Since my client is not as concerned with historical accuracy as I have personally become, I was able to manipulate some design elements to fit her budget. They're actually almost done now, so I'll post finished photos soon!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Striped Venetian Gown: The Beginning

I wanted to make some more late period garb to wear around casually (Okay, HA!HA! it's totally formal, but I still intend to wear it "casually"). I had this awesome fabric I inherited in remnant pieces. Because I am both small and short, there was enough to piece together a gown for me! And...well, it looks remarkably like this late period Venetian gown, so I'm sort of cosplaying these portraits, combining elements of both.

Here are the bodice and sleeve pieces for this striped Venetian closed front gown. The bodice pieces have an outer layer sewn to a linen lining and canvas interlining. The two linings were first sewn together and stitched with boning channels, and the boning is inserted: 1 in center front, 2 diagonal from bottom front to armpits, 2 at sides of front, 2 at sides of back.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

15th Century German Under Dress

I made this dress for Mercy Neumark, who is a Master Potter! She does a lot of 15th-16th c. German pottery, so this was so perfect for her! The original image is late 15th c. German, and it depicts a female potter at a wheel. This would also be medieval underwear, to go underneath gowns. We chose wool lined in muslin so she could easily wear it alone (gotta look like the awesome picture!), while it can also be a warm undergarment. I also made the lacing cords for the sides by finger loop braiding, and the eyelets are all hand stitched. All machine stitching on the garment is hidden inside the lining and hand finished.

A note: This is one variation of the elusive under dress that has started to surface rapidly since the unveiling of the Lengberg bra. I personally believe that this type of fitted upper bodice and attached skirt could be one possibility regarding the origin of a Lengberg bra type garment. This one is obviously a bit different, but I think it's the same type of idea.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Venetian Gown Progress

I've been working on a new Venetian gown! How did this come to be, you may ask? Well, a while back, I came upon this fabulous dupioni silk. It's hot pink shot with blue, so it appears different shades of purple-ish depending on the light and angle. I got a deal on the remainder from the bolt and set it aside, wondering what should I make it into. A wonderful fantasy gown for my collection, perhaps? A fabulous fanciful historical gown for myself? Finally, fanciful Venetian gown won! I don't have a portrait of anyone wearing this color, but it makes me really happy. I have seen mention of shot fabrics in period, and they did have pinks and blues. And, yes, various qualities of silk did exist, not only smooth silk. Smooth silk, however, would have been preferred, as it was (and is!) more costly and higher class ish.

Enough of my rambling. The gown is a basic bodice pattern with an open V in front. The ladder lacing goes through some lacing rings I stitched to the inside. I wear a corset underneath, but I still added boning to the bodice to maintain the shape. The skirt is cartridge pleated, which I did in the library one day! I reinforce my cartridge pleats, when the fabric is so thin, with a satin ribbon. I did some hand beading on the bodice, and the insert is silk lined in linen with an interlining, the same as the bodice itself. The insert will be pinned to my camicia when worn.

It's almost done! I actually just need to make a petticoat! I'm going to wear my old cutwork sleeves for now - or go sleeveless when it's warm.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Teal Kampfrau Dress

I don't believe I shared this dress on my blog yet. This is a 16th century German style, also seen amongst the Swiss. These ladies are now known as kampfrau or trossfrau, and they followed the Landsknecht soldiers.

This dress began as an underskirt for my other kampfrau dress, my first year in the SCA. I later made the bodice and turned it into a new dress. I mean, when you have such fun colors, it's hard to just hide them!
The hat, known as a wulsthaube, was a pretty recent project. It's made from a sort of padded roll structure sewn to a thick headband piece, and the veil is tied on top.

More photos here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sideless Surcote and Gothic Fitted Gown in Progress

I have several projects in progress right now. Since I have photos of these, I thought I'd share! These are both 14th/15th c. I have a couple of late 16th c. projects going too, but I need to photograph them before I can share!

The first one is a wool gothic fitted gown, lined in linen. I already had both fabrics at home, and I thought it would be nice for cold weather. It gets much colder in CA than where I grew up, so now I'm always bundling up in lots of layers that may or may not match, and this will really help!

The second one is a sideless surcote to accompany a late 15th century transition gown - also made, just not pictured. I used non-bias binding since I really only have evidence for non-bias and I wanted to try it out. I've worked with tons of bias binding in my life, and I was a bit worried about going around all these curves without bias, but it worked out really nicely! It's still pinned down on the backside in the photo, hence all those little pinned spots.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Realm of Venus Showcase

I'm really honored to be this month's featured costumer on Realm of Venus! For anyone who doesn't know, Realm of Venus is a really cool website dedicated to Italian Renaissance costume research. They do periodical showcases for costumers who have created lovely Italian Renaissance outfits, and I'm really excited to be a part of it!

You can see the showcase here:

The gown I have featured is my 1490s Italian Renaissance dress made of red velvet and brocade, in the Venetian style. This is my favorite Italian Renaissance style! I included a few pictures below, but please check out the showcase (link above) for all of the photos and the information!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Landsknecht Gown

I made this gown and smock for a customer. She wanted a yellow, black, and white 16th century German gown, and I was quite happy to make it for her! The women who wore this style are often referred to as kampfrau or trossfrau, the women who followed the Landsknecht soldiers in Germany and Switzerland.
The dress is made of linen with wool guards, and the bodice laces in the front. There is a little bit of visible machine stitching, as normally happens when you're working out a reasonable budget, but I have a lot of tricks to make it very minimal.

I took photos of the dress pre- and post- slashing. Both ways are acceptable style options, but in this case, we were going for the more detailed slashed version.

I'm really happy with it! I was actually thinking about how I'd like to make a new slashed German gown so I could implement my new research into it, and then this one just came to me!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Old Green Kirtle

This is my old green kirtle, made in early 2007 to wear underneath my Burgundian over gown. This dress is a pretty ubiquitous 15th century style. I have newer and better kirtles now, but Jocelyne makes this one look so good, so I thought I'd share! She's also wearing my velvet belt and my linen coif, both of which were made sometime around 2011-2012.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Van Der Weyden / Memling Kirtle

This is a Nether­lan­dish kir­tle from the 15th cen­tury. Though the style is not exclu­sive to Rogier Van Der Weyden’s or Memling’s paint­ings, I used these sources as my pri­mary inspi­ra­tion. This kir­tle has a waist seam and a sep­a­rate skirt, and the front closes with lac­ing rings and hand­made cord. This is my first waisted kirtle, and as much as I love it, I have to say I prefer the fit of the non-waisted kirtles. That said, I won't stop making these because they are also lovely!

The belt is made of vel­vet with metal fil­i­grees.
The ruf­fled veil is linen. I hand stitched all the edges!
The sleeves pin on. They're made from a bit of brocade I had in my remnant stash.

This style was also worn under the famous Bur­gun­dian, or Nether­lan­dish, gowns, in addi­tion to being worn on its own. I intend to make a new Burgundian gown in the near future, and that was my excuse to make this dress too.

The last photos are me being silly, trying to pose like the women in the very dramatic scenes I stared at for hours when I made the dress.

You can see more photos here:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Costumes For Sale!

In an effort to clean out my closet a bit, I'm doing a costume sale. This is round 1! I have some historical garb and some cosplay outfits for sale.

I just keep making new things, and I've reached maximum closet capacity. I don't wear all of these outfits anymore, so it's time to let someone else love them!


Monday, April 1, 2013

1490s Italian Renaissance Dress

I love the Italian Renaissance, especially 1490s fashion, but I'm sad to say I haven't done much costuming from that era. Well, let me just fix that! I was particularly inspired by the Girl With Cherries painting by Ambrogio di Predis from c.1491-5. As per my usual methods, I was not interested in making a direct copy of the dress in the painting but rather using it as my primary inspiration, with supporting evidence from other various period sources and other similar dresses.

I purchased nothing new for this dress! It was meant to be a quick fun project to use up some of my materials on hand and give me a new dress I can wear on an everyday basis that's not another gothic fitted gown. The outer gown is made of rough dupioni silk and lined in hemp. The under gown is actually a false gown! It's just a bodice and sleeves. It's a clever solution to many layers when you live in a hot climate. The under gown is made of green cotton velveteen and lined in linen. I already had a camicia! All of the eyelet holes were done by hand. I grumble about all the time it takes, but really, I just do them while catching up on tv shows at night, so it's not such a big deal!

More images are here on my website: