Monday, March 31, 2008

More Changes!

Another upgrade to last year's dress. I took the ties off from the sleeves and switched to buttons and loops.

A Couple of Cards

A couple of cards created for the Freaky Friday challenges at ScrapFreak.

Photo-a-Day 3/31

Adding Labels and Links

So I'm a lazy blogger and never labeled any of my posts as I posted them. Since this blog is a mish-mash of my photo-a-day project, papercrafting, and garb sewing projects I thought I'd make it a little easier on my visitors and add some labels. I've only done the 2008 posts so far and will get to older posts as I have time. I am labeling my costume sewing and accessories as "garb projects" for those who are primarily interested in that and labeling my "scrapping and stamping" projects (of which there are woefully few so far for 2008) for those interested in papercrafts. I did NOT label the photo-a-day posts because, well, there should be too many of them if I actually keep it up!LOL I will also be adding to my link lists as time allows. I've found so much useful information out there in cyberspace that it just isn't fair not to share it!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's Done!

I finished up the sleeves this morning so the loose gown/zimarra is ready to be worn. I opted to go with elbow length sleeves and trimmed them with strips of the gold embroidered trim. I am very pleased with how they came out considering that I had no idea what I was doing! LOL The Tudor Tailor book just told me to put the sleeves in without really explaining how to do it. So I finished the armholes, finished the tops of the sleeves, gathered the sleeves as best I could in bewtween the stiff trim, pinned the sleves into the holes, and whipstitched them together. I don't know if that was the correct way or not but it worked.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Trial and error. Learn as you go. Learn things the hard way. Yup! That's me! This loose gown coat thingy is finally starting to look like something but, um, that something is crap! I thought I was being so clever and saving myself some time. I pinned all the trim to the black shell last night and machine stitched it all down along the inside edge. Then I folded in the edges of both the shell and the lining and machine stitched them together catching the outer edge of the trim at the same time. What may (or may not) have been a good idea in theory doesn't look so good in practice. I need to pick it all loose, hem the shell and lining seperately, and sew the front edges together by hand. It is good enough to wear in Frankenmuth if I run out of time to redo it before we go but I know I'll not be happy with it until I fix these things. For now I'm going to move on to the sleeves so it will actually be wearable.

ETA: While it still would have looked better if I had taken the time to handstitch it, it does look much better and the hem hangs correctly after a pressing. Yes I am my own worst critic.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 28

The sun came out and melted yesterday's snow. This afternoon I spotted these growing in the far corner of the yard. :)

Photo-a-Day March 27

What's up with this crap?!? I thought it was supposed to be spring now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photos for March 26

I'm really going to make an effort to get back on track with the photo-a-day thing. So today's photos pose the question "How do you you get a flat ribbon to fit a curved surface when you are much too lazy to sew it all on by hand?" (One of the benefits of velveteen is that machine stitching disappears into the pile of the velvet.:D) I ended up putting a gazillion pins in it and let the upper edge bunch up ever so slightly while I pulled the bottom edge a taught as I could. I don't think it turned out too bad especially since this is my bumming around dress for those hot and/or lazy days when all I do is throw this on over a chemise and pop my straw hat on my head and call it good. I put a band of the ribbon at the hem of the gown as well.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The A.D.D. Costumer!

Okay, so I keep changing my mind. Remember that pink satin I was going to turn into a "medieval fantasy gown"? It became the lining of a zimarra/loose gown/ren coat instead. Since FrankenFeast is only a week-and-a-half away and we are still getting snow I thought it might be a good idea to have some kind of coat to wear while traipsing through the streets of Frankenmuth. (That and I got to wondering of I really wanted to sweat to death in a poly satin gown in the July heat at Silverleaf. It got to be nearly 100 degrees the weekend of the jousting tournament last year.)

I really like the look of Kat's Zimarra over her Florentine gown so I used that as my inspiration. Not finding any brocade that I like locally, and not having the patience to search online, I ended up buying some inexpensive pinwhale cotton corduroy that looks like velvet 'til you get right up on it. Following Signora Katrina's example I used the loose gown pattern from the Tudor Tailor book and sketched it out on some interfacing I had on hand. This was my first experience with scaling up a pattern drawing and it went rather well because luckily the scaled drawing fits my size 12 shoulders and is loose enough that I didn't need to make any adjustments for my size 18 chest. I cut and assembled the corduroy shell and satin lining yesterday and, only pinning them together at the shoulder, I put them on Bertha to wait for the hems to drop. After only being there overnight I can see that the sides of the stin have dropped a good two inches longer than the corduroy. I am waiting for today's mail to see if the trims I ordered will be delivered. I've ordered some 1 3/8" wide gold on black trim that I want to run across the outside of the collar, down the fronts, and around the hem.

I haven't cut the sleeves yet because I am still not sure what I want to do. Kat has short paned puffed sleeves on her zimarra but, looking at several paintings for reference, it seemes to me that the loose gowns generally have long sleeves while the short puff sleeves are generally found on more fitted gowns. I do like the idea of having part of the sleeve of the gown show, though, so I am leaning toward a compromise of elbow length sleeves with a few bands of trim running down them instead of doing slashes or panes. I guess I will wait until I actually have the trim in hand before I make a decision and cut the sleeve fabric.

And remember the sage/seafoam green wool? I bought that with the intention of making a simple side-lacing gown from it but, now that it has been announced that the new Mid Michigan Renaissance Festival set to debut this October has an English/German theme, I am thinking that I might use the green wool along with some very dark green velveteen in my stash to make a German Kampfrau gown. Then again..... that blue skirt with the navy velveteen welts that I made last year could pass as German with the addition of a suitable bodice and sleeves and I do have yards and yards of the blue wool/silk twill left............. Ah...the possibilities.......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Aaaaah! Accessories! [:D] I've completed a few things to go with my remodeled gown.
I made a girdle by combining a jeweled chain belt found at Marshalls with part of a pearl lariat necklace I found at an estate sale years ago.

To tie the pearl drop with the chain belt I found similar beads to add in between secrions of chain.

I also used parts from the pearl lariat to make a "leash" for the ebay mink collar to transform it into a zibellino.

I also made a girdle from some antiqued gold beads that DH found for me. I still need to find a tassel or pomander for it. For now it has the dangly from the other end of the lariat.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 13: Zibellini

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I received a little critter in the mail.
For some reason, it doesn't bother me to look at it's little face but the little feet with claws do creep me out!

I bought it as a zibellini to accessorize the Italian Renaissance gown. Several portraits from the 16th century show the ladies carrying these "flea furs".

The following links show many examples as well as offering the explaination that they were carried as a symbol of wealth and fertility contrary to the popular belief that they were carried to attract fleas from the wearer's body.
LarsDatter zibellini
The Muff in 16th Century Dress

In my research I came across this site Sable Greyhound zibellini where the owner made a gilded jeweled head and feet from gold clay, something I might attempt in the future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Florentine Gown- Version B

This is what I've been up to the last couple of days:

(Bertha's waist and hips are still a bit larger than mine and her waist is higher so the dress doesn't sit exactly right on her and doesn't close all of the way. It does fit me but I was too lazy to put it all on myself.)

I remade the bodice cutting a new front with a lower curved waistline and removed all of the black piping. The change in the bodice waistline meant redoing the skirt as well. Fortunately, I got away with only having to repleat the front panel and rehemming. I still need to find some ribbon in the color of the dress to replace the black lacing. And I'm still thinking about replacing the ties for the sleeves with buttons and loops.

All of the underpinnings are things I made myself as well. The camecia/smock, corset, and partlet are things I made last year. Bertha is also wearing the gold and purple petticoat I just made.

My mail carrier just deliver the mink collar I bought off ebay to make a zibellini. (His little face doesn't bother me but the feet creep me out!) I have a necklace and earrings to go with this but I still have to figure out what I am making for the jeweled girdle/belt to complete this outfit.

Here is what it originally looked like with the higher straight waistline:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Garb 2008: First Project

Some better photos of my first finished project for the 2008 season. My plan is to be able to use this as a petticoat with both my gold/beige Florentine gown from last year and the pink "middle ages fantasy" on my to-do list for Silverleaf as well as wear it on it's own when I go pirate. Now back to remaking the bodice on that beige/gold gown.... sigh

Photos for March 8

My little visitors give my new skirt the princess seal of approval. Taylor even told me that her Mommy would be very proud of me! LOL

Friday, March 07, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 7

This fabric is replacing that raspberry pink fabric that I posted a few days ago. When I took the pink fabric out to use it I discovered that it had been cut so crooked that I didn't have the yardage I had paid for. They didn't give me any trouble about returning it but there wasn't enough left on the bolt so I had to choose another fabric. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I found this gold and purple fabric. The skirt will actually be reversible but I am making the band with the gold side out because, even though it is supposed to be the "wrong" side, it like it better. I am working on the pleats tonight so tune in in a day or two to see the finished skirt.

Photo-a-Day March 6

Two of my favorite things: chocolate and blue & white Spode. I spotted this little dish at TJ Maxx and knew it had to be mine. :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 5

I got a package today from Cherie. She had purchased the Crocs maryjanes but didn't like the way they fit her so she sent them to me. Thanks, sweetie! (And I put the Mickey & Minnie Jibbitz in them to annoy Kim becasue she HATES Crocs in general and I'm sure she'll think I'm a big dork when she sees the Jibbitz!)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 4

I took my rings off to put some hancream on and like the way they were catching the light from my reading lamp. Unfortunately I couldn't quite capture it. I guess I need to do some experimenting with the camera. Maybe I should clean my rings, too. LOL

Monday, March 03, 2008

Photo-a-Day March 2

Isn't he handsome? One of the challenges for the cybercrop was to post a photo of the most meaningful gift you've ever received. Bear was a surprise birthday gift 13 years ago. When I went to take his photo I found him napping on the couch in the livingroom. As soon as he opened his eyes and saw the camera he lifted his head and posed so pretty! This photo is unedited!

Photo-a-Day March 1

I spent some quality time with the new washing machine this weekend. I know it seems a bit silly to get excited about a new washer but I am just amazed how quiet it is, how clean things are, and how much faster the clothes dry after having most of the water spun out.

Photo-a-Day Feb 29

Told you I was gonna do it. I bought the raspberry pink sari fabric to make an underskirt for the "middle ages fantasy" gown. It'll drive the garb snarks crazy. Bwaaahahaha!