Tag Archives: Accessories

Revitalizing My Garb

It’s been a long summer battling depression and anxiety, but I have my mojo back! This week, I’ve gone crazy working to revitalize my garb for St. Eligius. It all started when I had to borrow the earring loops from my pearls for a vintage outfit. Then I had to look at paintings to decide on a new earring loop to mount the pearls on. This got me thinking about all sorts of accessories until my brain was ready to burst. I made a few trips to the crafts stores to find all the parts for my vision, but found all the things I wanted…but in silver, not gold. Cue the spray paint!

Gild all the things!

I removed the center of the medallion and pearls before spray painting, then used a wooden circle thingie to fill in the hole. I secured the wooden circle with glue and white fabric puff paint, then gilded the medallion again.

Making the medallion

I glued pearls back in the orignal spots, then added a ring of pearls over the puff paint. More puff paint was used to paint the center of the medallion.

Pearled and initial painting

I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I added more pearls around the outer perimeter.

More pearls!

After the paint dried, I added another coat for more puff, and filled in the background. Two or three more coats later, it’s finished.

Finished medallion

Finished chain and hair ornament

The hair ornament was made at the same time and features pearlescent nail polish over white puff paint for the giant pearl look. These will be worn along with my usual necklace and earrings. I replaced the medallion on the necklace with an oblong pearl, and added decorative eyepins and bead caps to my pearls before threading them onto these earring loops. The earring loops were inspired by the painting below.

Necklace and Earrings

Jacopo Zucchi, Portrait of a Lady, 1560s, Indianapolis Museum of Art

After I finished all the jewelry modifications, I decided to dye a length of white silk habotai for a gold veil. The first attempt was too yellow. I added some orange and then it was too orange. I used color remover and the new veil was again too yellow. I threw a lighter gold silk chiffon veil into the dye bath and that one came out perfect!

Veils next to gold cord embellishment

The chiffon veil was washed and hung to dry, while I gave the habotai veil another dye bath. This time, it came out close to perfect. Again, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I decided to add lace to the edges before sewing a comb onto the back to attach to my hair.

Finished veil

In addition to all this, I also sewed some new lacing rings onto my gown to tie the sleeves to, and repaired my petticoat hem. Hopefully the final look is as impactful as I envision it.



Pink Cotton Sottana

From April to June 2017, I participated in the 7th Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge, hosted by The Realm of Venus, one of the best Italian costuming resources on the web. My entries and the results can be found at the link above, but for reference, here’s photos from about the competition and the outfit I made. The competition required monthly progress updates, as well as a final update with the results of your entry.

I made a pair of white linen drawers based on the bara system and completely hand sewn. I wove the ties (my first weaving!) and flat felled the seams (also a first!).

Bara Tape

Drawers in progress

Finished drawers

The bodice is also based on the bara system, where I tried my best to interpret The Modern Maker‘s notes and drawings to design a bodice that fit well. I’m reasonably satisfied with the attempt, but it could be better.

Toile front

Toile back

Toile side

The bodice interlining was made up of a layer of cotton duck and heavy weight muslin, which was roll-pinned, then stitched together. The fashion fabric was basted to the outside, then folded inwards and stitched in place with a running stitch.

Close up of basting

Exterior sewn to interlining

The lining was basted, then the edges turned in and blind stitched in place. The bottom edge was left open to put in the hide glue “cardboard” insert.

Lining shoulder seam

Bodice front

Bodice back

Hide glue “cardboard”

Wool-covered “cardboard”

The skirt was gathered and attached, but there are no exciting pictures of the process. I also made an over skirt from some random polyester satin I had laying around. I made a pair of orange pockets lined in cashmere, also from stash fabric. The cashmere lining was the only fabric that looked good with the orange, but turns out to be a great place to warm my hands on cold days. Lastly, I threw together a pair of sleeves, with the intention of re-doing them later with proper trim additions.

Assembled gown

Over skirt

Pockets front

Pockets back

 

Pocket close-up

Pocket close-up

Sleeve interior

Sleeve exterior

The gown ended up being way too long, but I later added a tuck so I could wear it. We took quick pictures for the competition end at an event where it was bloody hot and sunny and I was quick to divest myself of this many layers. Later, we took a posed picture, but I forgot to iron the over skirt!

Gown front

Gown side

Gown back

Gown other side

Over skirt front

Over skirt back

Final photo

Girdle Book Phone Case

I’m a part of a local embroidery group, the Keepers of Athena’s Thimble, though I don’t typically do much embroidery. I do rather enjoy openwork, however. As celebration for Athena’s Thimble 30th anniversary, some of the senior members have issued challenges for others to complete. I’m a sucker for a challenge, but I didn’t get around to what I had planned originally.

But recently, I bought the latest and greatest phone and remembered that I have long wanted a girdle book phone case to hide my phone at events. Since I am locked into this phone lease for the next two years, now is the perfect time to make one! It coincidentally lines up well with one of the challenges, listed below:

Elizabet Marshall’s Challenge: Documenting your steps.

Select a period embroidery of your preference. Design and execute either a copy or an embroidery in the same style.

The specific challenge is to document your process, from selecting the original embroidery, through all aspects of design and execution. I want to know how you chose your original piece (“I’ve always admired this” or “I need a cushion to take to events”, etc.), your steps in designing the piece (search clip art, trace the original, happen to be a decent artist and drew it, had an artist friend draw it), all materials considered (including the ones rejected, and why) and reasons for selecting the ones chosen. Good things to include would be any sampling/swatching done, original sketches during design phase, original drawing if you don’t draw directly to your fabric, photos of the piece in progress. The documentation does not need to be a formally written document; use a notebook and present that — the idea is to show your process. Your project notebook should have doodles, thoughts, taped-in swatches of fabrics and threads, etc.

So as I begin this project, I will attempt to document the entire thing, in real time (instead of my usual hindsight summary post).

I started with a collection of links I saved of openwork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I looked through about three before I saw the one I knew I would use. It was a “this is it” moment, so I looked no further. Unfortunately, the resolution isn’t great, so I put out a call to the other group members to see if anyone had a clearer image.

IMAGE

16th Century Italian Lace Fragment

In the meantime, I couldn’t stop my momentum. Though I can’t determine every stitch, I can tell that there is a base grid of what looks like woven bars with picots, so I graphed out the basic design on 1/4″ graph paper. I made some mistakes, but was able to correct them decently. However, after I finished the primary design, I decided I didn’t like the way the it looked at the edges. I took a break, then redid the graph with no mistakes and a much better design.

IMAGE

Left=Sucky, Right=Much Better

Since most of the work will be drawing the threads and wrapping the bars, I don’t need a better image just yet.

Now to figure out materials…



A Fur-Lined Muff

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I have completed an embroidered and fur lined muff. My inspiration for a muff comes from Venice, Italy, 1590. Cesare Vecellio’s woodcuts include a Venetian noblewoman in winter dress holding a muff. “Clothing of the Renaissance World” by Jones and Rosenthal contains a translation of his description, indicating that the noblewomen wore a fur-lined muff to keep their hands warm. They were frequently made of black velvet or silk with marten or sable lining and closed with buttons of crystal or gold.

From the description and image above, we can discern that the Venetian muff was not sewn in a closed tube, but rather a flat envelope with button closure. This is how I chose to make my muff. I started with a piece of grey wool-like polyester, cut large enough to fit both of my hands comfortably inside. I stitched down the gold trim and embroidered my SCA badge. This is my first time doing free embroidery, so the tree is a satin stitch and the monogram is a back stitch.

After I completed the embroidery, I cut a layer of cotton batting to give the muff some fluff and then I cut my fur, a brown faux mink that is super soft and not at all like most faux furs. The fur was cut an inch and a half bigger than the wool. I then folded the edges of the fur over the wool layer and whipstitched it down. I then sewed the buttons on the front (embroidered) side of the envelope.

Lastly, I fingerloop braided some perle cotton and sewed the loop onto the opposite edge of the muff. Finished and warm!



Florentine Partlet

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I decided to make a new partlet with the handkerchief weight linen I purchased recently. This was my second foray into using this fabric, the first being a little handkerchief. Searching for inspiration, I found a portrait of a Florentine Noblewoman located at the San Diego Muesum of Art. The style was perfect for the pattern I have, Margo Anderson’s free partlet pattern, and I wanted to try out the whitework embroidery.

Florentine Noblewoman

Florentine Noblewoman

I handstitched the partlet, using polyester thread (oh my!) because that’s all I owned. I have since remedied the thread situation for my next project. I followed the instructions of this GREAT tutorial on sewing a rolled hem and successfully hemmed the edges of the partlet. I then used a french seam for the shoulder seam, gathered the ruffle and put the collar together, all according to Margo’s instructions. My first trial showed that the partlet did not sit open as in the above portrait, so I cut off an inch from the front opening and re-hemmed those sides. A slight adjustment to the shoulder seam angle and I had the look I wanted.

I reached out to my teacher, Vienna de la Mer, for help with the embroidery pattern. She drafted a simple pattern similar to the inspiration portrait for my first embroidery project. For the past two days, I have been hard at work on the embroidery and have completed almost TWO lines of the many, many lines required.



Zibellino

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In my idle viewing of other crafter’s awesomeness, I decided it was time to make my zibellino. I bought two weasel furs off of etsy for $20, used some sculpey I had on hand and a bunch of crystals and voila!

In order to shape the head, I wrapped plastic wrap around the head of the weasel, then tightly wrapped a layer or two of masking tape. I then added sculpey clay directly over the :mask” and molded the basic shape. A cooking in the oven hardened the clay (and melted the plastic wrap). I then pulled the masking tape and melted plastic out of the sculpey shell. At this point, I had a head that fits over the head of my weasel and a base to shape and design the head with. I added more sculpey and added some features, including the bridge of the snout and the ears. I picked up a bunch of swarovski crystals and beads and bejeweled the heck out of the head using Quickhold craft glue.The head is glued permanently in place on the fur.