Thursday, August 24, 2017

Things are afoot at the Circle K

First, I made an INCREDIBLY satisfying donation to my local Gold Key, last week, ostensibly as part of the general purging of The Penthouse in preparation for The Great Move, but also to rid myself of a few garments that just made me angry. Buy me a drink, sometime, and maybe I'll tell you about that, but the upshot is, I have some serious impetus to get my kit together, because - until the end of this post - I was down to...a dress and a half.

The blue dress still needs the inside waistband done, a hem, and the sleeves and closures sorted out. I may get to that before Crown, I may not. MORE IMPORTANTLY, however, I zoomed over to Beloved Peer's house, last Saturday, and had her help me cut out and construct most of a new coat. and by "help" I mean I contributed to the cutting and the ironing, but she did all of the constructing. It seemed well-balanced, and I helped her cut something out for herself, and there was wine, so not completely lopsided I guess.

But, coat. The one I've been wearing (which she also did most of the work on, back in the day) has really seen better days, and - frankly - wasn't all that protective against the elements. It's a gorgeous color, though, so there's that. Meanwhile, I've had an AMAZING piece of cashmere/wool blend fleece aging in my stash for probably fifteen years. Its time had finally come. Using some dark olive wool left from Etienne's fire sale a few years ago, and Margo Anderson's Comfort Gown and Mod Pack*, we did the needful, and put that bad boy together. The next day, still high from the progress, company, and maybe the wine, I carried on with the embellishment and finishing.

It went a little something like this:

Eleanora, of course, was the inspiration, sort of. I mean, if I need one.

SO! Constructed coat and lining, before their perfect marriage:

You guys. That fleece. IT'S SO FLUFFY.

And the trim. So glorious!

The trim: in situ. I might have squeed at this point. Yes. There was squeeing.

The trim: Applied. That shit's iron-on, yo. I'm not even kidding.

I put a bit on the collar, too, to give it a bit of heft when I want it fully buttoned, and some body when it's folded down. know...visual interest.

And then there was the bias binding. Miles and miles of bias binding...

So here's where it at the moment. I need to finish the bottom hem, and get the cuffs sorted out. I have some black frog closures coming my way, and that will finish it up.

It went together like a hot damn, really. I'm now feeling very confident that the super fancy brocade version that is on the list of Future Garments will go together just as easily. I'm also looking very forward to not freezing at events.

ETA: OMG! OMG! OMG! Like, two months ago, a friend wanted to order some stuff from a place and was looking for some others to help round out the order for free shipping, or something, so I got in on that. She dropped off my purchases, tonight (which - I'd totally forgotten what I'd ordered) and a bag of 50 of these bad boys was in it. They are PERFECT! Thanks, Past Me!!

*I get no kickback, but seriously...her patterns are great, and VERY well put together. Huge fan.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The war has come and gone, and I was not naked.

I managed, however, to cleverly not pack my yellow dress, but was happy to have remembered to throw in the burgundy dress at the last minute, or I certainly would have been.

The cunning plan for production sewing never really manifested, for all that I'm nearly to another complete dress, this time in light blue wool with yellow guarding:

I'm happy with how it's looking. I just need to finish the inside waist seam, hem it, then do the closures and sleeves.

In the mean time, this little ditty from the "Been Gonna Do" list went and got done did, today. I found - after an unnecessarily long search - some white wool challis, with the intention of making myself a kerchief to wear when it's chilly, but not cold.

The inspiration artwork is from these delightful ladies:

I didn't do process photos since I busted this out on my sewing machine because real blackwork wasn't something that was going to happen. But I am pleased with the result, as mechanical as it is. I may add to it, over time, I may not. But meanwhile, I will no longer look quite so disheveled when tucking this thing around my neck. My machine did not like sewing on this fabric, so the lovely patterned stitch that was supposed to happen...didn't. But it looks OK, so I'm-a run with it.

It's the accessories, you know, that really tie an outfit together...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Holy crap! There's a war in about a month. I need to step up production, because I can't just wear aprons.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Suddenly it's nearly May

So, here it is two weeks after Easter, and I realized that I never did get around to the Lenten recipes, this year. ::sadness:: One of these days...

In other news, though, I wore the mustard dress to our Baronial Banquet, and it was great! Only a couple of things to adjust, and I need to get the lacing rings on the sleeves, but otherwise, I'm very happy with it. The side-back lacing + front hook & eye closure is FUCKING GENIUS. Now I need to get a move on the blue wool, and bust out a coat. None of this will happen before Crown, because I'm off to London in a week, or so, and get back the day before.

I am optimistic that the Renaissance room at the V&A will be open, this time, so hopefully there will be interesting things to photograph. I'll see if I can find my *real* camera...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

We nearly have dress!

Being sick has its advantages. I've managed to hand-finish the long skirt seams, and the binding, and am nearly done with the guarding on the yellow Florentine dress:

One more side to do, and then it's hooks, eyes, lacing rings, and a hem. I should have it done to wear next weekend at Baronial Banquet.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Checking in

Things have been a little slow on the project front, there at Tomyris's House for Busy Schedules. HOWEVER! Dear friend Helewise took time out of two weekends to help me get a couple of dresses - gold linen and blue wool, respectively - sorted out for Camping Seasontm. I am now tasked with doing all of the hand work to get them ready to wear. To wit:

I'm finishing the long skirt seams so I can then bind the seam where the skirt is attached to the bodice. Then it's just a few other fiddly bits, lacing rings and hooks/eyes. I took the advice of Morgan Donner and did both a side-back lacing and a front hook and eye arrangement so I can dress myself and easily adjust the fit as needed. She is very smart. The other dress needs the skirt attached, still, and then it will get the same treatment. Hopefully I won't embarrass my Laurel any more by looking like a complete schlep, and I won't feel angry every time I get dressed.

Retail Therapy has been the name of the game, lately. Picked up some glorious yellow silk from Renaissance Fabrics to line the brocade I picked up at 12th Night, that will also serve as the guarding on the blue wool dress, and a few yards of white linen to make another chemise to replace the Ripped Chemise of Blessed Memory. (A thought...I wonder if I can patch that?)

The apron and the hood are still out there, too, and I'll get back to them - they're my "portable" projects.

As luck would have it, next Friday is the first chance I'll get to do any Lenten recipe fun...and the Archbishop has granted everyone leave to eat meat because it's St. Patrick's Day. I'm-a do the tuna anyway, I think, since Gods know I won't be going out for Amateur Night. So, watch this space...

This weekend was our Kingdom's Arts and Sciences and Bardic Championships. I didn't go. I don't regret that for a moment. I am thrilled by and for the next Champions, though! It's not an easy task to achieve.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Woops! Lost track of time...


So, I've now got two camp dresses cut out and in varying stages of completion. Helewise is helping, for which I am grateful. I need to park my ass on the sofa, this week, and get some serious hand-sewing done before we can move on, in a couple of weeks. It's very exciting. I also expect to cut out/put together at least one coat. It's a frustrating experience, because I have to do it on my kitchen floor, but I'm optimistic that I'll figure out how to make it work. I'm looking very forward to finally using the glorious iron-on trim of subtle bling on it. It will be perfect. I need to get some frogs, too, now that I think about it.

Still on the go are the hood, chemise, and lacy apron. I see some Sir David Attenborough documentaries in my future. They're great for just turning on and then not really paying a lot of attention to.

I took some time, the other night, to find a few recipes from Scappi to attempt during the Great Lenten Food Experiment of 2017. Two fish, and one squash soup. I'll be posting the original (translated), plus my actual redaction, as well as a trip report, in case any of you loyal reader(s) want to try it yourself at home.

Pictures soon, of various and sundry. And hopefully more progress up on which to report. And an attempt to not take on any more projects until I cross some of these off my list as done.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

I am much excite

The patterns to create a couple of zimarra have arrived. I am a-squee. I probably won't get to to it for a bit, but I'm glad to have it at the ready. Camping season will happen before I know it!

Meanwhile, play date with Beloved Laurel, today, wherein I will probably just work on the hand-stitching on the apron, and review potential recipes for the Great Lenten Experiment of '17. I still haven't decided on English, Italian, or French...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We interrupt this program...

...for a brief announcement.

I've been needing/wanting a coat/zimarra for both fancy and cold. I even went so far as to purchase Margo Anderson's Comfort gown package with Italian mod pack in preparation, then spent a bunch of time on the internet trying to find suitable fabric.

That last bit was silly.

Turns out, I probably have enough of the green/gold brocade I got off Dagmaer's Buy Nothing list for the fancy one, and some silk to line it with. This is great. I also realized that I not only have enough lightweight olive wool (from Etienne's fire sale a few years ago) but it's THE PERFECT GARMENT to use the cashmere-blend fleece - that has been aging for far too long in my stash - as a lining. PERFECT. Also, the wide antique gold, iron-on trim I got a million years ago will be perfect. PERFECT.

I am most pleased.

Right, then.

As you were.

Maybe I'm sublimating, but I've been thinking about all of this a lot, lately

So, I ordered a bunch of lace off of eBay, last night, because I feel that my apron needs SuperFancy lace at the bottom, and then there were 10 yards of this other lace that I like to use on chemise collars and cuffs - but in ivory not white, which I prefer - and I think I need to be done with eBay for a while before this gets out of hand because then I started to go down the rabbit hole of fabric, and you see where this is going.


But still...fancy daggy lace for my apron.

Requisite justification for my choices: I cannot be bothered, at the moment, to actually tat my own damn lace. I understand the principle, and could describe the process to someone well enough, but it isn't where my interests lie, and I ain't got that kind of time, and my Renaissance Counterparttm wouldn't have been likely to do it herself, either. So. I purposefully seek out modern laces that mimic period patterns, techniques, and materials, like this stuff. It meets the 10 foot rule, and isn't horribly modern (read: optic white rayon, impossible patterns, obviously machine-made). And it means I may see the end of this project in a reasonable time-frame, which is important to my motivation. <--- KEY CONSIDERATION Unrelated: I'm thinking this might be the year for another run at the Historic Cookbook Lenten Recipes during actual Lent. It was Scappi, last time, which I might try again, but I've since picked up a couple of other useful tomes (Early French Cooking, a Neapolitan thing, and maybe an English one, IIRC), so I might veer toward something new. It was kind of fun, and did get me eating more fish, which is just a good idea in general. It will be interesting to see how the nutritional content stacks up against my commitment to Paleo/Keto/Low Carb. It's also kind of fun, in an "understanding my Renaissance Counterparttm" kind of way.

Monday, January 23, 2017

About aprons and lace

There's something kind of cathartic about starting a project you've had in your head - and for which you have had the supplies - for years.

My cunning plan is this: get a few projects to the hand-finish stage on the weekend, and spend the weeknights doing the hand stitching. So, the hood is there, and yesterday I set up a lace-inset apron in the Italian style, but a bit more utilitarian.

Lame-assed me didn't take any process photos, but here's how it went down:

28"x 29" piece of ivory linen, a frillion yards of ivory cotton eyelet lace.

1. Marked the center of the linen with a fabric pen, then centered the lace over the line and pinned it in place.
2. Machine stitched both edges of the lace to the fabric.
3. Repeated this process twice more, centered in each remaining half.
4. On the back, cut the fabric (NOT THE LACE!) down the lines in the center of the lace.
5. Pressed the resulting fabric flaps out.
6. Sprained my arm patting myself on the back for following the genius tip I found on the internet for inserting lace, and having it turn out EXACTLY like I wanted it.

The next steps for this bad boy are to a) stitch down the flaps on the back, b) add lace around the outside edge, c) gather it a bit, then d) affix it to the waist tie. So, tonight it will be me and a) in front of Wolf Hall. Actually, it might be me and the inside of the hood that is also in the "stitch down seams" phase. We'll see where I end up.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Allright. So, here's the plan...

I've been considering, since it's resurrection, how I want to use this blog. It will be SCA-project specific, for sure, and that's about as far as I've gotten. I'll probably be uploading a bunch of historical entries from LJ, and digging out photos of things I've done in the last 25 years, or so, just to have them all in one place (and show what I hope is progression). It might be costume stuff, scribal stuff, cooking stuff, music stuff, knitting stuff...I'm a bit of a dilettante, and that will quickly be reflected here. It might be process photos, finished photos, redactions, random thoughts on relevant topics, new or new-to-me research and resources. My brain is kind of all over the map, so this blog is likely to follow suit.

So, that's your fair warning.

Anyway, I've taken my vow to myself to get my wardrobe sorted out a bit to heart, and am currently working on a wool hood. It's from about 150 years earlier than my professed persona, but I got this bycocket, you see, and needed to have an outfit to go with it, and I live in An Tir, and I don't want to freeze. You know how it is. It's a delicious sort of dark turquoise heathery tweed from a vintage skirt and sweater kit, lined with a beautiful rust colored silk tabby. There will be fur, before all is said and done, which will be a fun and interesting challenge. It's currently put together, and I'm in the process of stitching down the inside seams (I treated the inner and outer as one piece because the silk was so delicate and slippery). Thankfully, the skirt and sweater kit also has lightweight wool yarn in EXACTLY THE SAME COLOR as the fabric, so the stitches are nearly invisible on the outside, which is fabulous. There aren't process photos for this one, because I got all fired up, last weekend, and just dove in without bothering to document.

I'm also about to fire up some of the embroidery stitches on my sewing machine to make a "blackworked" wool wrap with a chunk of gorgeous wool challis. If I tried to do actual blackwork on it, I would never finish it, and then I'd get frustrated and depressed, and who wants that?

ETA: Update - just tested this theory, and it looks like ass. Will re-think my approach...

And an apron with lace insets. Because I need aprons from a functional standpoint, and the Italians seemed to like pretty ones, so why the hell not?

ETA: Oh! And a linen chemise, because my favorite one ripped. It's constructed, just finishing the seams and hems. It's stripey. I like it.

I'm going to start with these four things, because they're small and finishable and useful.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Holy Crap! It's still here!

I have not updated this in four years. I am filled with wonder at its continued existence. Maybe I'll turn it into a project blog. Watch this space...