Friday, May 9, 2014

Incompletes, Impulsiveness, and Meticulous Frugality

Well, great. So this post probably shows up in your feed twice, because apparently hitting tab and then typing posts the thing on Blogger. Whoops.

I owe so many posts at this point it's not even funny. The awesome thing I alluded to in the last post is an amazing 1894ish tea or graduation gown that I got at the Vintage Expo. But unless I hear clamoring for it, I'm probably not going to get around to posting about it much.

Instead, I've been doing a lot of what I can only call "impulse costuming".  And it's been all from stash, which is AWESOME, zomg I cannot TELL you how awesome.

This post started as a Facebook status that just kept going, and now I'm going to unload a whole 'nother post's worth of impulse before I even get to what I set out to post about. Right.

Awhile back I decided I was attending the final yearly Actions of the Lowe Countries, and that dagnabbit, I wanted a German dress. So I pulled out some patterning supplies and my Tudor block, and went through three iterations of the front curve before I got it right. I then pulled out a 80"x90" old olive-drab woolen (military? boyscout?) blanket from the stash. It took some careful patterning, but I managed to get an entire dress with half sleeves out of it. The skirt isn't very wide, but hey, isn't that about right for a camp follower anyway? The guarding came from a roll of navy blue scrap woolen I bought from another GBACG costumer when I visited Casa de Fruita last - it was slated for just this sort of purpose. I've still got enough that I think I'll make an Elizabethan fitted jacked out of it.  Anyway, the German dress: I finished the last bits of handsewing onsite before dark!  And I fitted a panel of helper lacing into the lining so I could get the hooks and eyes closed. I also made a sort of crappy wulst and conned Cherylynn into pinning it to a wobbly, but reasonable Wulsthaube. When I find my wire, I'm going to remake the wulst and try that again.

It seems that none of the amazing photographers actually took my picture this year, so I have one shot I had a friend take, and a selfie that I took from just before I took down my (plastic) tent.
Drei Schwestern - courtesy Shelley Monson (me on the right)

Plasticamp selfie - I threw the English partlet over it for sun protection. Next I need to make a gollar.
Okay!  So! 

Impulse costuming strikes again!  Last week I took a pattern that Laurie had fitted to me *literally* years ago (possibly four?) and took a piece of thrift-store linen, and cut out a cotehardie pattern. There were some shoulder issues. That's okay. I was able to put a dart in the first draft, then pivot it out and splice the paper patterns together, then move the pattern just far down enough on the original fitting toile/lining to recut the armscyes. (Thankfully it'd been long to start with - needlessly so since there'll be a skirting gore in the middle at some point.)  So then I stalled. 

The reason I started the cotehardie was actually a bit of - you may gasp - medieval fantasy costuming (Winter is coming, y'all). But I would hate to make a full set of underwear and gown out just for fantasy stuff. I have this great bolt of *insanely* slubby dupioni in a quite interesting silver, but it'd be too warm to wear over wool. But I have this great woolen dress-length I got at the thrift store for a song. So, that's two overgowns - one historical, one fantasy - but what to do for the actual cote? 

Years ago, I bought a random length of blue linen, and a random length of pink linen. God knows what I thought I was going to do with them. At some point I made a pair of rather larger than anticipated pocket hoops out of some of the pink. But the blue sat, forgotten. Until I went spelunking into the Fabric Closet of DOOM (requires a headlamp, not even kidding), and dragged it out.

Well, this stuff is bizarre. It's at least partly linen. I think it's got... ramie? in it too. The selvedges are GOREGOUS.  And I've got just under two yards of it, 70", post-washing. (It had clearly been washed.)

"70 inches?" I hear you muttering. "That's not nearly enough to make ANYTHING for an adult sized human."

Yeah, normally, that would be right. But this stuff is bizarre, did I mention? Because it is also 83" wide from selvedge to selvedge.  Just like in the German dress, I grabbed the graph paper and plotted the gown pieces. I can make this work, but I'm going to have to cut the sleeves slim and flip the trimmings into gores to round out the underside of the biceps. And the skirting gores might not be all that wide. Oh, and I will have one strip 2"x10" long, left unused. It'll probably be facings for sleeve buttoning parts. I'm okay with this for a cote though, especially since I patterned in enough room for a lacing stand into the front. This will be the undergown!

And I've got two beautiful gowns planned that can go over it for various occasions. :)

With that, goodnight!