Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Magenta Faux-Silk Sottana

This gown began around June 2018 and is technically incomplete still (until I finish sewing the bodice lining in…someday). I used The Modern Maker 2 to design the pattern and as a basis for the padstitching methods, but it took me a long time to get through the padstitching. The back is pretty loosely padstitched, just to hold the layers together. I demonstrated the padstitching of the bodice as part of my A&S display at Pennsic 2018, which was surprisingly well received, despite the lameness of my “display” overall. It may not have caught the eye, but many people were happy to see exactly how padstitching worked

After the padstitching, I basted the outer fabric to the interlining and turned the edges to the inside and basted the edges down to the interlining. Next came decoration, which was the lacy looking gold trim, edged by gold cord on either side of the trim. I basted the lace trim, then whipstitched the cord onto the edge of the lace, attaching both at once. The basting thread was later removed.

The skirt was assembled next, also using TMM2 bara-based patterns. The skirt turned out a little long after I finished the padded hem and trim by machine, so I later added a tuck by hand.

And finally, here’s a bunch of pictures of the finished gown at Known World Costuming and Fiber Arts 2019. Photos by Kristen Hammock.

 

A few pictures from St. Eligius 2019:

And one more picture of the back of the gown at Castle Wars 2019 while presenting TRM Meridies with a gift from HRM East. I love this picture!



Woodcuts

A few years ago, I took up woodcutting and block printing, but I don’t seem to have shared that here. I was inspired by Cesare Vecellio’s fashion woodcuts in Habiti Antichi et Moderni to make a personal token depicting Florentine fashion. Many artisans give out a token at A&S competitions and displays to encourage and reward work well done. Oftentimes, these are buttons, beads, cabochons or other small items. My favorites have the name attached so I can remember who inspired me to try harder.

My Laurel’s token is such a perfect representation of her and her art, that I wanted to come up with something that really related to mine. My mind kept coming back to the woodcuts and finally I mentioned it to my Laurel, who directed me to someone with experience in woodcutting.

My first token was based on Alessandro Allori’s Maria de Medici, approx 1555, located in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. (‘’m not going to discuss whether or not Maria or Isabella are the true sitter, or if this is from the master himself or his studio.) I began by tracing the painting, then cleaning it up and re-drawing parts to better define the woodcut. I added a border, traced the drawing onto the block and began cutting. A test print enabled me to see where additional cutting was required, and the final token was cut to size. I wrote a personal note on the back of the token.

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Maria de Medici

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Line Drawing

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Woodcut in Progress

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Test Print

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Token

These tokens were first presented at St. Elegius 2014, while the token below was first used for St. Elegius 2015.

The second token was based on Allori’s Bianca Capello de Medici, at the Dallas Museum of Art. The same process was used as the above token, however details of the print were first machine printed on the back, before the image was printed.

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Bianca Capello de Medici

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Line Drawing

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Tracing on Block

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Token

I also did a print this year for a friend’s elevation to Laurel. I traced & drew the image based on multiple photos in the same outfit. This was only my third carving and the first based on a photograph. I also tried coloring my first print, using watercolors applied thickly.

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Drawing

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Tracing

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Cutting in Process

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Final Print

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As Gifted!



The Pet Fox Costume

For Halloween this year, I was plumb out of good ideas. Inspiration struck and I decided to be me (Kit). I searched the web for (kit) fox costumes and they were primarily what I imagine a fox hooker might look like.

Sexy Fox Costume

Sexy Fox Costume

Since this outfit was so cheap, I *did* order it, because I wanted to see if the tail was decent enough to be reused. It was not. Now I can say I own a sexy fox costume….

My vision of an awesome fox costume was a fitted onesie, with a glorious tail, to complement a leather fox mask I already owned (but had never worn).

In addition, it would need bling, because I’m like that. The tail would be worn like a fancy fur stole, elegantly draped over my arm.

To begin, I wandered the aisles of my local fabric store, looking for inspiration. I found a luscious white fur, the best faux fur I had ever seen in this store! I picked up a half yard, and a package or two of iDye Poly, with plans to dye it perfectly orange. I also found a nice, but too bright, orange cotton corduroy that I figured I could dye with the fur for a matching color.

Fast forward about 6 dye tests later, I ended up with a tolerable enough orange fur. It lost the glossy silkiness that was its selling point, but it was good enough for Halloween.

On dyeing: I typically machine dye, but that was insufficient, even at the sanitize setting. I tried stove top dying with the iDye Poly and it still barely took the color. I switched to Rit DyeMore (for polyester) and had much better results in color, but required temperatures resulted in the poor texture. I must have wasted about 3 yards of $20/yard fur (I used coupons, though), and about 6 bottles of dye (plus a few packets of iDye).

I had purchased a onesie pattern for adults, teens and children (Simplicity 1731) and decided to make the child’s L for my mockup. The child’s L was very similar to adult S, but shorter in height. I ended up having to make the child’s M, which I modified extensively to give it curves, cap sleeves and narrower legs.

I used snaps for the closure, and to attach all of the parts. I wanted it to be modular for cleaning, in case the dye ran onto the white parts. This way, I can also bleach the white, in case of dirt.

I covered the snaps with iron-on rhinestones, to hide them, and because, bling! I also made a jeweled collar, painted my arms with colored hairspray, and added elbow length gloves. The hairspray had all flaked off by my arrival to the party, so I’d skip this step next time.

Here’s how it looked:

Pet Fox Costume

Pet Fox Costume

I want to make a couple of improvements for next time. I would like to try dyeing the fur with ink (the same way one would dye a synthetic wig), and re-dye the bottom of the corduroy black (possibly also with ink). The cords on the mask could be replaced for a better hold, and the collar has scratchy ends that I will trim.

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