Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kentwell: Planning

Last winter, my cast at Dickens Fair hosted four of the participants from the Reenactments at Kentwell Hall in Sudbury, England. The story of how this came to be is long, and better told by they who did it, but suffice to say there are More Of Us in Europe. :)  I applied to be one of the several participants brought over this year for the Great Tudor Reenactments, and to my delight, I was accepted!

So now I have a huge costuming challenge before me, which I was putting off hoping I'd be able to churn out an Edwardian gown. (Ohwell.)

Here's the kit I plan for this event:
  1. 2 smocks 
  2. 2 pairs of drawers
  3. 2 coifs
  4. Woolen petticoat with supportive linen bodice
  5. Woolen kirtle
  6. Woolen gown
  7. At least three, and maybe more than three aprons
  8. Possibly an extra partlet
  9. Maaaaybe a waistcoat if there's time

So far I've made the two coifs but for some small hand sewing (shortening the tabs on one, and putting the ties in another), and I've got a nice calf-length linen smock cut and sewn, but not finished.  I started in on the petticoat last night.

Amazingly, most of this is able to come from my stash. 
  • The coifs were made of an anonymous linen that I had laying around, that used to have black linen embroidered flowers sewn to it until I snipped them off. This is the same stuff I made my maid apron from for Dickens. (Somewhere in the Stash, I have a plastic baggie full of black linen embroidered flowers.) 
  • The smocks come from a giant length of gorgeous white linen that I *think* I must've gotten from FabMo.  I have about 4 yards, which is enough for two nice full smocks. There's a second length of a different make that will be drawers and aprons.
  • I have a length of black linen, and a length of green. The black will be a "fancy" apron and another partlet if needed, the green will be the rough aprons. I need to make at least one white one too, but I'm going to wait until I have the rest of my things cut first.
  • The fabric for the body of the petticoat is a lightweight rusty red woolen suiting that I got from, and washed until it couldn't shrink anymore.  I believe I started out with ten yards, and ended up with nine or so.  I've only ripped the skirting from it so far, but it's already a dream to work with, and it steams up beautifully.
  • The kirtle and gown will be made from the Woolrich woolens I bought last year for use in my St. George household kit, but that I never got around to.
The petticoat is the only thing I've bought for so far, and that was to buy two yards of the "flax" color linen canvas from Fabrics-Store. Ironically, "natural" colored linen is actually bleached white and they dyed an unbleachable tan, so they have to give the *actually* natural linen a different color. 

My plan for tonight is to get the petticoat bodies stitched and possibly reeded, and begin work on some of the hand sewing on the smock.  All of our visible seams are to be hand-sewn, so that also means the hem will be hand-stitched.

And as I know that I can either work and blog, or work and sew, I'm off!  A post on accessories, later!

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