hsifeng: (handsewing)

Well, for those of you that made it throug the monster of yesterday’s post, I said I was going to be doing sleeves next.

But you see, I hate making sleeves. )

Thankfully for my husband, German men’s Wams’ patterns are often a matter of pleating 10 pounds of sleeve-head into a 5 pound armseye. Even I can do that.

But I have always wanted to be able to make my own well fitted sleeve pattern that could actually be mounted on an armseye and still let me move my friggin arm.

You know how it is with sleeves sometimes…

“Hey, could someone get that lantern for me? I can’t reach it even though it is hanging just above my head.”

I set out to put together something that I could live with last night, all the while imagining that I would be spending at least a couple of hours wrestling with muslins and pins and cursing like a sailor. Since I have pimped [livejournal.com profile] chargirlgenius‘s document on sleeve head construction1 to others in the past, I decided to actually sit down and read the whole doc again and perhaps even use some of its information for my first attempt.2 In the worst case, it would give me a starting point and some basic fitting tips.

Starting out.

I set up my station, took some measurements, did some plotting-of-points on muslin, added seam allowance as directed, cut out the resultant sleeve (which, let me say here, was not the sort of sleeve shape I am used to from prior constructions – really long trapezoid with a perfectly bisected sine wave at the top), pinned it together, pinned it to the bodice as directed (getting mildly excited because the sleeve-head actually fit to the armseye, and tried the whole thing on.



It worked, first time. The elbow was a bit baggier than needed, so I took it in a bit. Other than that. Perfect Pattern is Perfect.

My look of glee (and mild sleep deprivation)…

So happy with the results! I will be using this same pattern for my English sleeves, and with some modifications it will end up making me flashier German sleeves in future (plans within plans I tell you). I deviated a bit from my inspiration image in the trimming of the sleeves, and I am using ‘cheater’ buttons until I have time to make some ball buttons up post-event). In the meantime, here is the finished product.

I went kinda nutty and overstitched all my seams. I just like the way it looks.

Cuffs and temporary buttons.

The sleeve isn’t this baggy when attached to the dress, which will happen on Friday.


In closing:

1) This reading other peoples work thing, I should do it more often.
2) I think I owe [livejournal.com profile] chargirlgenius a drink at CoCo.

Up Next: Finishing the skirt, hemming, closures and attaching the sleeves.

If I Have Time: Totally making one of these for this weekend. In red. Because that is how I roll.  ;)


1 “Farm Boy… Fetch Me That Pitcher: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Reach My Own Damned Pottery” by Maistresse Mathilde Bourette, written for St. Anne’s Guild Costuming Symposium; April 28th, 2007 (and no, it’s not in MLA, APA or Turabian…bite me academia…*grin*)

BTW – If you ask I can send you a PDF of this item since I snagged one awhile back. Clearly, my recommendation of it carries more weight now that I have ACTUALLY USED IT. *head desk*

2 Because I am an Old Dog, and even though I had read the article in passing my brain filed it away as ‘medieval information’ and therefore something I couldn’t really use. Have I ever mentioned that I am sometimes a little dumb? Maybe you figured that out for yourself by now.



hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

OK, it’s been more than a week since I posted the teaser about my new costume project.

Now for updates (with pictures)!  )UP NEXT: Sleeves!

EDIT (because I am an idiot and [livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul is nice enough not to point it out). *grin*

"So what did you do next", she asks... )
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

That's right folks...she's sewing again...

Inspiration piece:

·         New bodice pattern (side-back seamed with shoulders set slightly to the back, center-front closing) complete.

·         Bodice liner (two medium weight canvas layers) cut and sewn

·         Cheater' lacing strips inserted

·         Woolen bodice body is half cut out

For the first time, I am not bag-lining my bodice. I am going to be reusing my fitting pieces as my liner, and after each piece is ‘covered’ in woolen outer fabric they will be whipstitched together to form the bodice body. The contrasting “T” for the bodice will be added after the sleeves have been set in and the hook and eyes have been stitched on (since the shoulder straps are pretty narrow and at the edges of my shoulders, the trim will actually lap over onto the top of my sleeves; the trim will also cover the fact that my front-closure hook and eyes are always stitched through ALL layers on my bodices (helps to avoid ye olde fabric shift).

The gnome hat and short sleeved jacket will be next on my list. I have thoughts on how those jacket sleeves are formed, and how to keep the hat semi-firm…but if you have thoughts as well please feel free to share them!

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Well crap.

The hubby pointed out last night that I am not really following my own rules about dress “design” when it comes to this placard fronted dress project. I tend to pick a dress from a specific image and then reproduce it as closely as possible. At the very least, if I make a dress that is not from a specific source I work to ensure that the dress I ‘create’ is based on commonly represented design elements.

I am pretty far off those rails with this project so far.

Part of me wants to pout and stomp and make the damn thing anyway.

But the guiltier part of me knows I need to do more research.

*le sigh*

At any rate, I had fun last night playing design games with my original sketch. I love doing this sort of thing (“Mommy! Mommy! I want a paper doll!”), but realized I have never shared any of this aspect of my costume projects with folks on here before.

So, here are the two sketches I came up with last night.



To be honest, they both demonstrate the problem that my husband was pointing out: neither resembles the inspiration images closely enough (other than in basic outline of the bodice) to be identifiable as having originated from them.

*makes a twisty face*

Back to the library!

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

*sounds of brain spinning and gears grinding*


Having thought about the various inspiration images from my last post, I think it is pretty clear that I am interested in making one of the ‘placard front’/high necked dresses. The gown I end up making won’t be a recreation of any specific inspiration image, but I am pulling from all three current versions (as well as tidbits about historic tailoring I have picked up over the years) in an attempt to get the overall shaping and design to be recognizable.


So, I sat down with the Tudor Tailor book last night and came up with the following rough sketch. There is still a lot of tweaking to do here (the neckline isn’t yet what I want, and honestly may not get there until I am doing my canvas mock-up), but the rough design is here.




Until my mock-up is in progress (and I learn what an idiot I am) I am planning on drafting for a ‘three part’ collar; the back of the collar being an extension of the top of the bodice’s back, and the front being made of two separate/shaped bits that attach to the bodices frontside pieces at the neckline.


I am hoping to set the shoulder seam toward the back of the shoulder: extending from the bottom of the collar-join and terminating in the upper 1/3rd of the armseye at the back. I am under the impression that this sort of seam placement is historically acceptable, and I like the ‘non-standard patterning’ look it gives to the finished back of a garments. It also gives me an excuse to do some creative sleeve drafting later, in order to try to get the sleeve seam to line up with the shoulder seam toward the back of the arm.


The shoulders will also be slightly dropped off the shoulder point, as this seems to be a common feature of all three inspiration images.


The neck will be ‘open’ (not designed to close at center-front), with the two bodice-frontside pieces having attached forebodies that will be concealed behind the overlapping placard. The forebodies will be lightly boned (probably with zip strips) and should allow me a means of creating the necessary support/shaping that I am looking for.


The placard will extend from side-seam to side-seam (or close to) across the front of the dress. The bodice will have side seams, and not back-side seams. This is to prevent a plethora of seaming/placard attachment points making the whole top look cobbled together. The top of the placard will curve slightly upward rather than in a straight line, as this shaping appears to be part of all three inspiration images. Depending on the strain that the mock-up placard demonstrates, this piece may also require some light boning in addition to canvas backing.


The forebodies/placard combination should close in a manner similar to this one (from the Tudor Tailor):



Using [livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel‘s cartridge pleating method, I will attach my skirt to a narrow waistband, before attaching that band to the bodice. I anticipate the opening in the skirt aligning with the “open” side of the placard. I am secretly thinking I may very well use this side-opening skirt as an excuse to make myself a ‘pocket’…. 


…wait, did German women have ‘pockets’ (the kind that hand around one’s waist on a cord) in the 16th C?


Things to consider still:


1)      Regionalism of this garment; in order to better determine sleeve shape and trim details. Then again, I may just do some ‘standard frau’ sleeves and trim and takes the placards inspiration from these same original images.

a.       Donkey cuffs on the sleeves?

b.      Lots of slashing? A little?

c.       Multiple sets of guards on the skirt?

d.      Large solid bits of trim on the bodice top, or groupings of narrower trims?

2)      How to fix the ‘open’ side of the placard to the bodice while the dress is being worn. Pins? Hooks-n-eyes? Bueller?

3)      Stiffness of the collar; to stand or to flop, that is the question…  Probably to stand. Pad stitching, here I come!

4)      I am sure there are more, you tell me!



Comments, suggestions, non-flamey criticism welcome!

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

OK folks, now for that other project I mentioned in my last post about Schaube. The dress.

It is time for new garb; my old garb is lovely but no longer fits, and I am sort of itching to try out some sewing ideas with a new Rock. The first question, as always, is what dress to make. I love my ‘T-front’ camp dress…but technically I have one of those, and making another of the same dress isn’t really inspiring me at the moment.

So what to do?

Well, the idea of making a ‘pretty, pretty princess’ dress has been cooking in the back of my brain for some time now; but not one of the more common “Saxon Princess” designs with the lacing over the plastron/stomacher* (as [livejournal.com profile] femkederoas can attest, there are many other “SP” variations that are lovely and not so typically recreated). While I clearly have thoughts on those styles that I would like to explore (clicky, clicky…) I am still a bit loathe making one for me at this point.

But, I am in love with the high collars.

girlish sigh and much fluttering of hands

So…I am on the hunt for high collared styles that are not plastron/stomacher* based.  )

Regardless of the dress I choose, I think I am going to finally try out [livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel’s cartridge pleating method. Even though I will be working in wool, and not silk, I am excited to see what I get for results.

*coughthe historical German term is Brusttuck/Brustfleckcough
**coughthe historical German term is Gollarcough

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

The following two images are both from various “Kostüme der Männer und Frauen” books located on the BSB (original links here and here). They both appear to be images of women from Köln from around 1560-1570. As my character is from Köln (silver miners daughter ya’ll!) and I was considering making a ‘later period’ set of clothes for the Elizabethan events that I attend, I went looking for correct regional images.


Nice to see that they had a lot of variety of style in Köln….(*insert sarcasm here*)

Cut because Ray cares... ;) )
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

OK, having had a blast on this shirt I am finishing up for the hubby, I find myself seriously considering working on a new chemise project for myself. It's an illness. *head desk*

So, what project am I thinking of embarking on? This one. )
There must be something in the water this month...*chuckle*
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

 Working multiple projects at the same time seems to lead to prevent boredome and create a lot of project progress, but not much in the way of updating my journal! Despite the long silences, I have been working consistently on the following items;

“Museum of Bath” style shirt for hubby

Sock patterning (for[info]the_fin)

Bandoleer stringers for hubby & self

Mending (general gear up-keep)

Gardening (I really need to post an update on this – we have *lots* of seedlings now!)


I don’t have photos and info on all these projects online yet, but I did snap some shots of the patterning and the work done on the MoB shirt this weekend.


So here you go! )

Hubby spent the weekend cooking amazing food (filet minon au pouvre and chocolate ganache torte...*yum*) and keeping us all entertained (Gluckhaus after dinner was both cut-throat and fun!) while I was burrowed in with these projects. He *is* fabulous and totally deserves a flash new shirt, even if he's right about it being a little too nice for a regular soldier. He declared a half-dozen times, "You're trying to make an officer out of me!"  Now why would I do that to someone I love?!? *giggle*

The visit with [profile] the_fin  and M was a blast - he's got a nice girl there! We did a lot of BSing and just generally enjoyed each others company. [profile] the_fin  shared some new music from Idiot Stare that is going to keep our feet tapping for some time to come (when is the rest of the record coming out!?!). M was a lot of fun, great to chat with and didn't blanch when the three 'Ren Geeks' started going off about faire and reenactment. *chuckle* Now that takes tolerance! 

After our company left, the weekend ended with some gun cleaning ("I love the smell of blackpowder in the morning - HooRaa!"), TV catch-up and a nice cuddle. We missed the presence of [livejournal.com profile] shadowd1  who was waylaid by a bad back, but we are hoping to catch up with her soon!

I wish I had another two days off! *grin*

Mail Call

Apr. 16th, 2009 08:15 am
hsifeng: (Bouncy)
Two packets expected in the mail today; one from Jas Townsend, full of their lovely woolen socks (I really need to learn to knit!) and the other from our friend [livejournal.com profile] amatilda and her hubby (of  Legendary Costume Works) with our leather bandoleers/shot pouches...I have been forwarned that the leather bits are highly '*squeee* worthy' and that I may wish to don a spare set of undies before opening the package....


I finalized the embroidery on the hubby's new shirt last night - he's really worried that it is "too fancy" for a soldier and I had to point out that the embroidery stitch and drawn work were a very simple pattern and didn't scream money. I know he'll be happy to wear it; I just don't want him to be self-conscious about it since he is very concerned with maintaining a 'simple soldier' image. I think the shirt is simple by the standards of the worked shirts of the period, but fancy by the standards of most landsknecht reeneactors. *herm....*

Anywho, once the embroidery was complete I stayed up (until around 1:15 AM) putting the loops on our lean-to/tent tarp for this weekend. It's more of a wind-and-sun block than a tent - but that is all we need!  Hubby had made up the necessary stakes and will be finalizing the uprights today. The whole bundle (including ground cloth and three wool blankets) will be packed into a rough 'back-pack' to be hiked in.

I am really happy with how portable our overall set-up for SRS will be this year!


But I am getting too old for this "no sleep" shit....*grin*

Edit: Peeectures! )
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Not much to report on this front and only one *new* picture (so no cut). I finished off sleeve number one at 12:46 AM last night. One sleeve down, one to go! This morning, I got up before my alarm, did the garden and house chores that are my normal AM routine and then sat down to rework the red thread detail on the updated shirt front.

Got it finished at 7:33 AM - just enough time to throw on some clothes and head to work.

Yes, I showered!

Updated shirt front:

I think it looks much nicer with the double row of drawn thread/stitching on the sides than it did as a singe row...

I have to get the other sleeve done tonight, as well as the roping on my packbasket. That means I will be spending *all* my spare time today and tonight working on these projects...and not studying...for the German test...that is Monday.

*head desk*

EDT: As of 11:47 PM the shirt embroidery is done. Now to assemble the pieces tomorrow and to work on the handsewing over the weekend!

It's OK, I get to drop one score...*le sigh*
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Well, I did say I got a lot done this weekend. With the School of the Renaissance Soldier coming up next weekend, I knew that hubby could use a second high collared shirt for the event. His breast plate strap digs into his neck too much for his open necked shirt to work well at any event where his armor is going to see use.

So, I started out with a plan to make a simple version of the JA 'Museum of Bath' shirt. I have made this sort of shirt before for the hubby and he likes them. I already planned to hand-sew the shirt (OK, OK, I am going to machine the straight seams and then french seam by hand). At any rate, this was going to be a very simple linen shirt.

And then something in my brain went *snap*...be careful, there are a *lot* of photos under here... )
So, the shirt is not so simple anymore - but I am going to be much happier with the results. It should easily be done by Sunday of the event, and gives me something to sew on while we are there. I will have to make him another, simple shirt later...*chuckle*

EDT: Damnitalltohell. I just took another look at the shirt front on my lunch break. I need to pull the stitches on the pulled thread pieces and make another row to match up properly with the collar. Obviously I was running on fumes when I did this part the first time. Thankfully, it is an easy fix and will only set me back abou 30 minutes of work!

EDT2 (4/14/09): Shirt front re-prepped and ready for embroidery tonight!


hsifeng: (Default)

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