Sep. 3rd, 2013

hsifeng: (Landsknecht)
So I played dress up with my tiny 'tailors model' yesterday. I started with a pattern layout based on this:

de Alcega Cloak
(Note to Self: Check out [ profile] mmcnealy information on de Alcega tailors marks here.)

In which I modified the hood thusly:

Cutting Layout

I also pulled together a standing collar, which I will probably end up basing on the version I used in the fitted brown woolen doublet I made a couple of years ago. A bit of a question regarding that later...

Keeping in mind we want to end up with something like this:

Original Inspiration

I think I may have landed in the ballpark:

Sealed Split In Hood and Hood Attachment

First things first. YES, I need to add length to the back of the garment. The cloak looks to hit the back of the knees and the hood falls to just below the small of the back. But a few things *did* work in ways I really like.

Split in Hood Base

By removing a small triangle of material in the CB bottom of the hood, and then 'lacing' that space closed (in the same manner as the inspiration image) the material of the hood begins to form into a more natural 'bag' shape that makes for a better fit over the head. Many of the cloaks in this period are split much further down the middle and then seamed for shaping (either with a real seam, or with buttons or ties that can be undone to allow the 'hood' to lay flat along the back as this one does). Between this small split, and the 'gathering' of the extra hood length along the shoulders by placing the ties with loose bagging between - as done with pins in the image above) the overall hood becomes...well.. a hood rather than a flat bit of cape.

The forming of hood is hard to see in this scaled down version, but is more apparent in the first of the mock up images above. I plan on playing with the depth of the split and the amount of loose bagging between tie points on the full scale mock up to be done later this week.

Hood Up with Wrapped Tails - Front Hood Up With Wrapped Tails - Back

The 'tails' on the hood look like they are going to be *excellent* at forming the garment around the face and neck. I had guessed this was their purpose when seeing them on the inspiration image, but I love the result in the scale model. I have feeling that hubby may be annoyed by them on occasion (they may not *stay* wrapped without some pinning), but I have a sneaking suspicion they may be more able to hold their position than I think once the full sized version is done.

Now, on to the problems:

1) The collar I intend to use has an 'incorporated' back piece in one with the body of the garment. This doesn't seem to be done with cloak patterning, given the examples in my prior posts, but then *no* collars appear to be present in those extant patterns while we do see them on the actual garments in a number of cases. Thoughts on the best sort of collar method to use to get the result in the inspiration image? I am imagining whatever version I end up using, there may need to be a bit of pad stitching to get the form to hold to the back of the neck in the way it does in the inspiration piece.

2) The fullness of the back of the cloak just doesn't seem to match up with the amount of fabric even a full circle is giving me. If I want the sort of yardage that the controlled pleating under the hood form seems to indicate, I think I may need to add a gore to the CB of the piece to make it happen. There is *clearly* enough yardage in the cut lay out to allow for this

Cutting Layout - added gores

By opening the CB line of the cloak (on the fold currently) and adding one or both of these I would be placing a straight-of-grain against a bias cut which would add some stabilization to the natural stretch in the circular cut. Furthermore, if I reverse the position of the circular cloak piece to the 'open' side of the folded fabric then the gore would actually be on the fold - preventing additional seam lines in the final garment. The hood could also be swapped, but since the inspiration image does not seem to indicate a seam down the middle of the hood I would hesitate to do so.

Part of the issue could be the scale I am working in, or that my 'tapes' were thrown together, or that I started with the first line of 'picks' too far apart (please note, this is the inside of the garment you are looking at below - and yes I am watching Longmire in the background...*grin*):

Controlled Pleating

But honestly, it just *feels* like there is no way to get a circle alone to make pleats like this:

Original InspirationHood Up and Pleats From Back

3) The hubby wants a hood that will hold up to some weather and/or make him look like a ninja (my words, not his - but he *does* love the Nuremberg mourning cloak with its lirepipe hood and black, inky soul). This may mean that I need to add a bit of felt fabric to the lower edge of the hood form (which will end up around the face), and down into the 'wraps", at least far enough to ensure a similar level of face coverage as what we see in the detail here.

This may also allow the hood more 'forward weight' to help hold the wrap in place more securely, and may be one of the reasons for the trim in that location in the inspiration image.

Hood Up - Front Detail

So, on to the full scale mock up! The fabric is going to be muslin or something else that is lightweight, so I need to consider that vs. the final lined wool weight with trimmed hem to help hold it out. Still, it will give me more data!
hsifeng: (Ladies Sewing Circle)
You know how you sometimes think, "Why don't all my people know each other more?!? My friends are the greatest and my family rocks! We like the same things! Costumes! Booze! Adventure! How can we all spend more time doing that stuff together...  I have a brilliant plan!"

And thus CoCo 2013 was born.*

[ profile] claughter713 and I were lazing around on the interwebz one afternoon** when she sent me a set of pictures from The White Dinner hosted in SF. The images were of our friends, T, J & K, in a series of beautiful shots that all featured the amazing floral headdresses that J had put together for their table's guests at the event. I wish I had those images to share with you here, but basically our reaction is summarized as follows:

"OMGOMGOMG!!! MUCHA MUCHA MUCHA! We need to do this for CoCo!"

A plan was hatched.

We set up a secret pin board and began collecting images, and then we started talking to the folks we normally room with. Would they be interested too? Did they have anyone they'd like to have join in as well? What did we need to do to organize this thing? Etc., etc., etc. We ended up with 13 ladies, some of whom had never been to CoCo before (and some who still need to make it out - *cough*[ profile] sewinggoddess*cough*), and a couple of whom hadn't done any costuming to speak of prior to this project.

Thank god for having a deep pool of talent to draw on!

[ profile] claughter713 set up a space for workshops, J taught us all how to make fabulous headdresses, [ profile] harmanhay shouted encouragements from England, we all hunted the internet for resources. And that is where we hit our first snag...

Dude. The internet is supposed to have EVERYTHING right? Then why are tutorials on how to make dresses in the style of Alphonse Mucha *so damn thin on the ground*?!? Sure, Deviant art and Tumblr have a hand full of images of folks who have done similar projects in the past - but none of them blogged the process of making the darn things!


As a result, a few of us have said we'd write up our processes in an attempt to populate the WWW with something useful to say.

This isn't that post.

But that post is coming soon.


PS: The headdress workshop was amazing and we are trying to convince J to hold one as a class at CoCo 2014 - because EVERYONE NEEDS A MUCHA HEADDRESS RIGHT NOW.

PPS: The best thing about owning a Mucha headdress? Wearing it for non-Mucha related activities. I am not sure I can ever go to Mexican food without one on again. Life. Changing.

PPPS: There may or may not be a secret society as a result of all this. There may or may not be a secret handshake for that society. There is definitely a secret cocktail.

Mucha Maidens CoCo 2013

*Ok, there may be more to it than that (some of these folks may have already been going together for years and others may have been going regardless, whatever - The Plan Was Still Brilliant).

**i.e. Linkspamming each other via FB chat between projects at work and generally going, "Oh! Oh! But have you seen THIS case of humans being ____ today!?!"


hsifeng: (Default)

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