So, I am going to share photographic evidence if my misspent youth on the Internet. Please, take this as a cautionary tale. Also remember I have grown as a person since then, and please be kind.
Here is Jenn, wearing not just the first historical costume I ever made, but the first garment I ever made:
It's an ostensibly Tudor ensemble, made from a Simplicity pattern. Yes, it has visible lacing in the front. Yes, the stomacher has darts. No, there is no skirt attached to the bodice. But the sleeves are surprisingly accurate, even though I held the turn backs with buttons because I had not yet watched Six Wives of Henry VIII on a huge hi-def tv and seen that they were pinned.
I tried to make the gable hood from the pattern, failed miserably, and ended up covering a Juliet cap from the bridal aisle at joann fabrics. And yes, it's a completely non-period synthetic brocade, there is no shift or under sleeves, and it's trimmed with Venetian lace!
I told you I had a misspent youth.
The thing fit like a dream when I made it though. The back of the bodice in particular was serendipitous. There's no way it should have fit that perfectly on my first try. I was so skinny we had to overlap the grommets in the front and flat lace it! (Jenn is a different shape up top than me, and she's not wearing stays under it, so it's not a perfect fit on her. I also had a bum roll that she refuses to wear, but it gave the skirt a great shape.)
And there are a few redeeming factors. One, it is not burgundy! Back in the early oughts, every Ren Faire dress one saw was burgundy. In the costume contest that year there were five burgundy dresses, a purple velvet Elizabethan (which won, deservedly so), and my blue bodice. I think I came in second because of the colors. That and Bruce had a very nice waffenrock that coordinated. Second, the bodice trim is rather nice. It's gold net layered with gold and rose flat braid.
Here we both are with a lovely young lady who reproduced a dress from The Birgias. It's not often one gets to walk up to a stranger and say "I'm dressed like your mother!"
I just noticed my pendant is flipped over. Oh well. Also note the period-appropriate grease stain on my stomacher. I'd like to point out the two dresses on the right are from the same pattern, Period Patterns 42, which lets you know how versatile it is. I'd highly recommend it.
The turquoise dress is all one piece, no separate sleeves or chemise, though the lower sleeves were either leotard or I think legs cut off tights. And she was wearing a separate corset under. The skirt is gathered, like the costumes from the show, which, from doing my research, I'm not convinced was nearly as common as pleats of one sort or another.
So, I actually had grown-up time today. Important grown-up time to go play dress up.
I was up until midnight sewing, but I think it was worth it.
I need to make the bodice close more tightly in front, the fabric gave a lot more than I had expected, what with all the interlining a, including the bias-cut ones. When I put it on in the parking lot it fit without wrinkling, after two hours you can see some bunching at the waist. :-(
Here is the back, including my lovely camicia sleeve poofs. I'm considering detaching the pleats in the back, turning the bodice under half an inch, and reattaching. It's a smidgen too long in the bodice.
The snood is from eclecticclaire on etsy. It's brown crochet with pearl beads. In this pic I'm wearing two cheapo pearl headbands spaced to look like a caul, but I ended up getting a very nice headband with three bead drops at the festival for 15 dollars.
Here I am attempting a selfie like all the cool kids. You can see the headband a bit. It has that lovely v shape over the forehead. I also lost the pun for the top of my right sleeve by the end of the day.
We're planning on going to the South Ohio faire next Saturday, and I want to fix some things up before then. Move the stomacher eyes in, made the forepart wider, and turn the awl holes in the sleeves to actual eyelets. And pearl beads. Gold couchwork and pearl beads everywhere. I want to clank when I walk.
I am really proud of this one. It's a new style for me, a new pattern company, and a completely new style of bodice making. For having no support underneath, I think it did a very good job keeping things in and up. Plus I made in in less than two weeks, and it was a job of work.
So posting shamed me into getting some work done. I finished stitching up the gown lining, so the underside of the cartridge pleats and I are protected from each other, I cut, gathered, and sewed the forepart to a ribbon waistband and sewed the fixed side to the gown, I sewed the fixed side of the stomacher in, and I pinned the gown hem.
Still need to:
Hook and eye for forepart
Hooks and eyes for stomacher (this is the make it or break it step)
SLEEVES (sweet Mother of God, sleeves...with lacing capabilities)
Some way to lace sleeves to gown (eyelets are most period, but damn time consuming. I may make do with lacing rings for Saturday and then fine tune for next year)
'Cause I'm tired and pukey, that's why.
In non-sartorial news, I had an ultrasound today. According to measurements I'm a week ahead of the math, but I'm already twelve weeks, so it's not super reliable this late in the game. Little critter was jumping about, and had a steady heartbeat of 169.
Here is the gown as of now. Overdress is done except for blind stitching half the lining at the waist and the hem. Stomacher is pinned in, I need to stitch one side and put the hooks and eyes on the other.
Pinning myself into this to fit was not easy. I'm frankly amazed it did it without skewering a finger or a nipple.
The fabulous clasp I got on etsy. It has gorgon's heads!
Detail of cartridge pleating.
My camicia is all done but for the hemming. The binding is not a great success, which makes me sad. It's supposed to be square in the front, but is rather droopy. And I'm not completely thrilled with the sleeve set.
Still need to make a forepart and sleeves.
Okay, my dream is to not have to wear a separate set of stays under my Italian Ren gown. To this end I am possibly overdosing on interlining.
The main bodice, which is sleeveless and a very low v that covers maybe half my breasts and clasps at the center waist, is made out of fashion fabric, one canvas interlining cut on the grain, one canvas interlining cut on the bias, and the lining. I thought the bias cut interlining was pretty genius, since it will hopefully prevent stretching along the forty degree neckline.
It fits pretty well, but does nothing to give me a period bust. I plan on attaching the stomacher permanently on the left inside bodice, and using hooks and eyes on the right side.
To make it flatten appropriately, I'm thinking of doing fashion fabric, buckram, bias cut canvas, buckram, grain cut canvas, lining. I figured the buckram would add a lot of stiffness without adding much thickness.
Does this sound reasonable, or have the pregnancy hormones taken over?
Also, can I use Venetian lace on the neckline of a Florentine gown, or is that a no-no?
(I feel like this should be tagged "help me starlightmasque, you're my only hope.)
I have a history of impulsive decisions while pregnant. It's the hormones or something.
In completely unrelated news, I have started making an italian renaissance gown, circa 1470. Because I really, really need one, obviously. And there were pretty curtains on clearance.
The main fabric is nutmeg brown curtain panels with a darker brown brocade pattern. I'm making a sleeveless open-front gown that clasps under the bust.
The stomached and underskirt are going to be a nice crispy coral colored faux silk. It's very flattering to my skin tone in small amounts, and looks very rich next to the brown.
If I have time, I'm going to make two part sleeves out of the coral as well. But I have to finish the gown and make a camicia first. My linen for that is in the washer right now.
Ideally I'd like to be able to nurse in this next summer. So I'm trying to make the stomacher tough enough to coral my breasts. I'm hoping one layer of fake silk, a bias cut canvas interlining, a buckram interlining, and a cut on the grain canvas interlining will be enough to do it. I'll permanently attach the stomacher on one side, and either lace or hook and eye on the other.
Today I fulfilled a long-held dream, and ordered a pair of custom boots from Turtle Island Moccasins.
Long-held as in I first tried a pair of their boots on eighteen years ago. They weren't custom, and they were shearling-lined, which was way too warm for summer, but they were amazing. I was in high school, so the 325 may as well have been 3000. But today, I am an adult, with 300 in birthday money from my mommy and my auntie.
So I made a down payment, and got fitted for a pair of calf-length boots. Apparently I'm one of the 8-10% of the population whose feet are actually the same size. The gentleman looked like he heard angels when the two little paper footprints lined up perfectly. It was kind of funny. Then he made a 3D form, using the same duct tape method I use for dress bodices.
They are going to be tobacco-colored leather with matching trim and leather buttons on the side. I'm super excited. It will take about four months.
Here's Robs' garb for this year. I'm sad there wasn't enough turquoise for the hat, because I think it would have made his eyes even bluer.
He is very taken with the hat, though. He was peering in mirrors and petting the feather and laughing delightedly. So glad that hasn't changed from last year!
Please excuse the awful mess.
Not dead, or missing. Just pregnant (I knew it), and I get motion sick on the computer. It's funny and miserable all at the same time! Pregnancy is pretty much a cosmic joke, though.
I feel pukey most of the time, and it's a struggle to stay awake past two in the afternoon, but otherwise I'm all breasts and hair and looking pretty great.
In other news, spent ten days at my aunt's in Minneapolis, had a great time, took the kids swimming in Lake Harriet, did some great second-hand shopping (orange bulky tweed winter coat!!), napped every afternoon, and ate great food.
My 33rd birthday passed with very little notice, as usual, which makes me a little sad. It'd be nice to have someone fuss some year. Otherwise, great to be home, though I'm feeling pretty unmotivated due to the fatigue and nausea.
I did most of a step class this morning. I love step, my knee does not. So I try to compromise with my knee, but said knee is a whiny bitch.
I put down eight bags of mulch just now, which covers about half the area I thought it would. Mulch always covers half of what one anticipates. You'd think I'd remember this an double supplies accordingly, but I never do.
I just purposely woke Robby up during a routine diaper change so I could hold him and rock him. He's getting so damn big, I feel the need to get all the baby(ish) snuggles I still can.
One of the nicest things about having a second child is I know to anticipate the "last times". For about two weeks before he stopped nursing I would always think that this could be the last time. Same with the rocking and lullabies, and him wanting to be held during church, and snuggling my hand to his cheek when we hold hands to walk.
I need another baby. Seriously.
Robs is sometimes painfully cute. He's at that age where every day there's something new. He's under the table right now, kicking his feet and singing a recognizable version of "Twinkle, twinkle".
He continues to use pronouns for himself, rather than saying his name. If you ask who he is, he answers "me!"
He also likes to say "I'm a quack quack" and then make duckie faces at me in the car. On walks he'll pretend to eat grass and then declare "I'm a little tow(cow)!"
Robs invented a little game where he open shut them hands and says "I have bees! Bzzzzzz!" Not sure where that came from, but he thinks its hysterical to have his bees tickle people.
Of course, there are less endearing things, like throwing everything, and this week's kiss embargo, but overall he is a joy to be around.
Up the hill
Down the hill
Rock rock chair
I/she uh-oh the ______ (when someone breaks something)
I feed the kitty/woof woof/hee-hee (horse)
I cook for mama
I want see daddy
Daddy get me up from night
Sissy/mama/daddy share to me
Dad asked if he could come to church this morning. When no one was being baptized, married, or buried. He hasn't done that since I was about fifteen.
I cantored Divine Liturgy all by my ownsome for the first time. It was an adventure. I think it was just fine except when Father kept changing key on me. He goes so low that I can't match him, and the men in the congregation who sing harmony can't sing their part that low either, because its damn low to begin with.
Plus we apparently don't have hymnals in the pews? The choir has big blue books with the Liturgy and changeable parts and hymns, but the congregation just has the words for the Liturgy and nothing else. Kind of counterproductive when you want to encourage participation.
Back in town after the wedding in Gloucester, the week in Williamsburg/VA Beach, and the week in Myrtle Beach.
The urge to kill was slowly falling after the 14-hour car ride, then I had to spend two hours in the AT&T store with my dad and my kids today. I'm trying to collect myself before I have to take both of them with me to Ukrainian dancing tonight. It's going to be bad, but I can't miss rehearsal.
Bruce just calked from work to ask what day we are leaving.
We leave tomorrow morning.
So now Bruce is suddenly full of wonderful ideas that would involve me redoing things and changing plans I made two weeks ago. This last-minute shit of his is nothing new, and generally I can deal with it, but when it involves big trips like this it really triggers all my "you don't think I actually do any work" issues. Because I've been building up to this for weeks. And them Mr. Knows Best prances in at the last minute to tell me how things should be done, because I haven't done shit.
In less abstract annoyances, I've been trying to pack his clothes for a week, but he still hasn't chosen what he wants to bring. Apparently he plans on going clothes shopping tonight after work. Friends of lj, feel my :-/
I had to unexpectedly go bathing suit shopping today, with Robby. It was super fun, let me tell you. I brought the finalists home to try again tonight.