Another Neat Site

I literally stumbled upon Medieval Garb and Such tonight looking for substance to back a Valentine’s idea.  I know I’ll be able to use her tips for sewing fur.

Can’t wait to see what comes next! As to the Valentine’s surprise, my husband reads this so you’ll have to wait a few weeks!

Dressmaking Basics

Thanks to Mathilde Bourette for her wonderful site!  Costly Thy Habit guides the novice seamstress through the steps of drafting and creating a passably period dress.  Plus, she shares her keen insights on wool 😉

Cotehardie Conundrums

 I’ve been mulling making new outfits for Mark and I for 12th Night.  A too-small rabbit fur cloak* bargained down from the Boutique needed a home.  (Don’t ever let them tell you you can’t dicker down prices at Goodwill!) A fur-edged sideless surcoat and matching tunic for my Love seemed just the ticket.

The tunic will be straightforward, as will the surcoat.  I have some fabric in the stash that will make beautiful embellishments for the tunic sleeves, adding length as well as spiffness.  It will also become an underdress for the surcoat. Both will be bunny-cuffed.

Thus begin the Cotehardie Conundrums.   I’m seeking simple, speedy, period and pretty.

Here are some links I’m finding helpful: (this site also has some great quick-n-dirty basics clearly described)

…and a really nifty way to handle lacing using ribbon:

*I realize fur is contoversial-  you’d have to be a wookie straight off the Milenium Falcon to walk into this one blindly.  I am as much if not more an animal lover than anyone denouncing fur.  The bunnies were already dead before this project was even a twinkle in my eye–at least twice dead if you count the fact they’d been thrown into the Goodwill pile.  I like to consider this a celebration of the bunnies’ wonderfulness.  It’s a way to make sure they didn’t die in vain but will in fact continue on.  Immortality, feasts and faires…sounds like a good deal to me 😉

…..Mmmmm, and soooo soft….

Quest for Italian Renn

One of my scavenged successes from Holiday Faire’s Silent Auction was a purple overdress. I fell in love with the color and figured it was worth the whopping 50 cents, despite being several sizes too small.

Whopee! The previous wearer had sewn the shoulder straps tighter. 3 sets of existing grommets per sleeve opened the armholes right up. They also fueled a thought: a little research and sewing machine love could yield a respectable Italian Renn.

I would need MUCH added length to avoid the medieval miniskirt look. I could close the bodice all the way at the expense of breathing and mobility so that needed to be addressed. But the shoulder grommets begged for detachable sleeves, and if I used the same fabric in the sleeves as the additional hem, the disparate elements would harmonize. I could also use that same fabric for a modesty panel, thus enabling breathing (a pastime of which I’m exceedingly fond.)

I also decided I would actually pursue a measure of authenticity with this one.

Thus I hit Google. Here are some sites I found useful and concise in the vast sea of costuming and reenacting information:

As I read around ideas flowed. During the Italian renaissance, sleeves became an expression of the wearer’s wealth and downright extravagance. My mind flowed to my findings drawer, and thoughts of trim and piping and pearls flowed freely. The findings will bring additional unity to the mix-n-match pieces of my franken-garb.

My garb closet is full of scavenged linens, muckabout garb, and a few modestly nice dressed. Now I’m looking forward to a hoity toity lady dress! Our shire’s Twelfth Night Party is close enough to provide a deadline and far enough out to keep things low pressure.

This is gonna be fun!