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...