tudor ensemble 1

Kimiko Sews

A Gentlewoman's Creative Blog

Entries by tag: fabric

Laurel Fabric Combos
tudor ensemble 1
(Cross posted from my main blog: http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=286)

I did find one more silk fabric that I had enough to use, but it is such a raspberry color that I'll pass for this project. Bess has also been willing to look this weekend for some special fabrics in the UK that may work, as she's close to a special fabric store/mill place.

So, while I wait for those samples to arrive, I took a couple more photos that show fabric combos, and thought I'd share those here. Of course, the photos are not quite the same in color as what I see with my eyes, but close.

Dark blue & gold silk damask, with changeable blue silk taffeta (purple-blue and aqua).
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Laurel gown fabric options
tudor ensemble 1
(Cross posted from my main blog: http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=264)

For those of you just reading along, you may want to read my last post, where I explain what direction I'm going towards, and what options are in front of me, and yeah, that laurel thing. :-P

For those who are wondering why I talked more about the C.Parr gown, it was because I've been discussing the short gown far more in my blog in the past in my original prep for coronation. The sleeves I will be using is based on this image from the same tapestry, and was used in my wool gown mockup.

So, earlier this afternoon, I went hunting through my book of stash fabrics, which told me where I stuck the fabrics I am wanting to use (it is useful to have fabrics organized) ... oh dear, I just realized I've other fabrics that are not yet in the stash book, so I will look at those later.Read more...Collapse )

All About Silk [Book Review]
book research
Today is another book review. I decided to cover a book on silk fabrics, since this kind of fabric comes with all sorts of questions that are often repeated in the various mailing lists and FB groups I am in. In fact, when I first got involved with silk, I had lots of questions of my own, and this book really helped to make heads or tails on silk.

The book is All About Silk: A Fabric Dictionary & Swatchbook (Fabric Reference Series, Volume 1) (ISBN 0-9637612-0-X) (or buy direct from publisher here for cheaper). It is volume one in a series of books Fabric Reference Series, by Julie Parker, who both wrote and illustrated the book. There are two other books in the series, one on cotton and another on wool. The book is 92 pages long, and my copy was it's sixth printing from 2000.

The book is a soft cover, with a covered spiral comb binding. The front cover is handy as you can use it as a book marker, although I haven't done so.
(Click on photos twice to view larger image)

AAS01-All About Silk cover
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Fabric.com fabrics
tudor ensemble 1
I bought some wool from the sale at Fabric.com last week, and it finally arrived on Friday. I didn't open the box until today. I could have gone crazy with the wool stash with all the colors they had, with prices at $4.99/yd, but I kept it sane and only ordered what I needed for one project, along with vinyl for another project. The crimson was popular with friends, but I've already got 2 large pieces that color, and wool in other colors. The wool I bought is planned for a simple Tudor gown to wear to overnight events where I need something light to keep me warm, as I've got warmer gowns already. I also bought 1.5 yards of clear vinyl for a traveling makeup/jewelry bag - the rest of this project will come from stash fabrics.

I ordered the cornflower blue herringbone twill wool, and it would seem that Cornflower Blue = Indigo blue, at least for the wool that arrived on Friday. I was hoping for a slightly lighter color, like the cornflower blue linen I had made into a kirtle, but it will still do nicely for my plans. It was thread dyed so there are subtle shades going on that is really rather pretty. I will bleach test to make sure it is 100% wool, as I don't want odd surprises. It is a lightweight wool which would make a nice skirt, so if I have extra, I can make a modern skirt, too.

And because I bought vinyl, the fabric arrived in a long box, with the vinyl on a roll, with a paper protection. Nice! I didn't want the vinyl to have creases, and on a roll already means no worries there. So far, buying from fabric.com was a nice experience, and the shipping was free since I ordered just at their minimum for free shipping, so I didn't have to pay extra for that oversized long box.

Now to actually sew up these and other items.

Reality check, while still making the outfit
tudor ensemble 1
Earlier this week, we had to pay the car repair bill, and ouch, that really hurt. But we needed the car fixed especially if I plan to go anywhere outside of walking distance. Thankfully, our IRS refund, which had been delayed, also came in, so we aren't hurting, but we are also not flush with cash either. My original plans sorta hinged on having some of that money to buy fabrics, period appropriate interlinings, and whatever else I needed. I wanted the outfit to be as period authentic as I could, and am now finding that I will just have to make do with what I have in my stash, which thankfully is pretty decent with only a few minor things missing, like muslin. But the stash is not flush with period fabrics and interlinings, sadly. Read more...Collapse )

Red Damask Kirtle, the fabrics & decisions
tudor ensemble 1
Back to costume work. I finally got off my rear and got the red damask fabric into the wash, which sounds like it is ready for the dryer. I didn't test sample the fabric as I should have, so I hope it wasn't badly damaged. It's all cotton, it should be fine, and hopefully a bit tighter in the weave now. I'll test wash the wool a bit later. pics and thoughts beyond...Collapse )

ArtEvDaMo 2010 - Day 1
Day 1 starts with a whimper. Mainly because I've been cleaning several loads of laundry, as the cat marked my daughter's blankets and those take time to get through all those blankets, along with the regular loads that were washed, dried, folded & put away.

But I did find some time between laundry to prep my four fabrics. I serged their raw edges so I could wash them. I'm not sure if I needed to do that for the two knit fabrics, but better safe than sorry. I did learn pretty quickly that if I stretch out the knit fabric while I'm serging them, I get that lettuce ripple effect I've seen in one of my daughter's knit dresses. Ok, so now I know how that's done.

New project fabrics New project fabrics From left to right: nightgown cotton fleece, Cam's cotton knit sweat pants (x2), and 1950s style apron in damask soft cotton duck.

I haven't worked with knit fabrics since I was in jr. high sewing class, 7th or 8th grade - can't remember which. I remember it being a light powder blue knit dress that I made up almost all the way, except the hem. I hated how it fit me, and hated the color on me, and just balled it up and threw it to the back of my closet after it hung for several months waiting for that hem. I don't think I ever wore it, and have no idea what my parents did with it once I left for college.

I was hoping to do some blackwork tonight, but my eyes were glued to Dancing with the Stars and Hawaii-5-0 since we put the kids to bed. Tomorrow, I will do more.

Planning ahead & fabric/pattern shopping!
Yesterday I wanted to do some fabric shopping, but for various reasons, I ended up with too little time to drive to the fabric stores and have enough time to actually do more than pick up a couple of items. I wanted time to just shop a bit, wander through and enjoy the fabric experience - something I've not done in a very long time.

Today, after dropping off the kids at school, and overdue library books, I got to do just that at Hancock Fabrics, and it was very very nice. Wandering through the fabrics, touching and touching, checking to see fiber content, getting disappointed that the soft fabric was really 100% polyester (at least poly fabrics are nicer now then when I was a kid), finding some nice linens that would make a great outfit - only to realize that I had stuff like it already and it wasn't as lightweight or as smooth as I want for a smock. Found diddly squat in the wools. Realized that their definition of "wool flannel" is not the same as the nice wool flannel I already have. Found their silks is pretty much limited to dupioni and a few pastel sheers, and then found a purple velveteen that I could have used on my Phyllis kirtle - except it is a light purple, not the rich red-wine purple my silk damask was.

Yes, I did eventually spent some money on some nice fabrics, patterns (woohoo! for the Simplicity sale), threads, and bias tape - (sarcasm/on) wow, what a haul (sarcasm/off). what fabrics I bought...Collapse )

On the patterns, I bought...list under the cut...Collapse )

While I was looking at the pattern books, I was listening to the ladies around me chattering while looking for patterns. Three ladies were looking for patterns suitable for a themed wedding party. One lady did not want to wear a skirt, preferring comfortable pants and boots, but it was for her sister so she would, begrudgingly, wear a skirt for the wedding. I'm not sure the theme of the wedding, but they were looking at LOTR style patterns, but were stymied because the patterns only went up to 20 or 24, and they were a bit larger than that. Personally, I think they needed to find someone to drape their garments on them to enhance their assets, and not look at a pattern designed for elven ladies with no curves, but for once decided not to get too involved, other than suggesting maybe the sister should just wear a nice pants suit if that is what would make her happiest. I think the sister getting married wants all the ladies in skirts for her wedding album, which is something I don't understand the need to do. But then, I eloped and didn't have a full church wedding.

I thankfully do have the skill to fit patterns, one that I need to practice some more and improve upon. But for those reading this far, if you are still working with patterns and are not happy with how they fit you, it really is worth learning how to modify patterns to make them fit you - whatever size you are, whatever curves you have, or don't have. That really can make the difference between making a garment that fits and looks good on you, and making part of a garment that doesn't fit well and ends up on the floor at the back of the closet. Yeah, I've been there - the frustration stopped me from sewing for several years. I didn't really learn how to make a pattern fit me well until it came time to make my own wedding dress. Thankfully, I had my mom to help me at that time. Getting a proper dress form that replicates your actual body, and making mockups, really helps improve that fit. (If you want to know what fitting books I use now, let me know and I can post about them.)

Well, off to clean up my living room, and put my new stash items away until I can create them, which will be soon. I am looking forward to November!

Collar canvas
tudor ensemble 1
Ok, I thought I had pooched it hard when I machine washed the new linen collar canvas fabric. It came out a soggy mass, and even tho I had serged the cut edges, I didn't look to see that the piece only had one selvedge edge, so the other side became tangled with the ends of the serger threads. Thankfully, that was only one minor issue and only 1 or 2 warp threads lost. Then I pondered if maybe I should just use the heavy linen canvas I have large scraps of, as this soggy mass could not really support the body, could it?

Well, I untangled the threads, unfolded the lump into fabric again, and laid it across my sewing chair to partly dry while I ate dinner and did the bath thing with the kids.

Now the kids are tucked into bed, so I went in to check on the condition of the fabric. It was dry! Ok, not super bone dry, as their was moisture on the chair, but it felt dry & cool to the touch (as wonderful linen does), and it was stiff again!!! No, not as super stiff & crisp as it was before I washed it, but better than any cotton canvas I've ever washed. So I just ironed it as best I could, spraying extra water mists to help out the deeper wrinkles, and man, it looks nice, and feels stiff again, and pretty firm. No wonder they use this stuff on collars.

I'm still debating if I want to use the heavy linen canvas, but I do remember that this early time frame of the 16th century, the soft look is in. I may as well give this collar canvas a shot at supporting my chest by itself. After all, the cotton drill did ok, and it never felt this firm as the linen.

Just need to finish washing and double rinsing the red silk, and see how that irons up. I'm not fond of dupioni for a reason, but didn't want to spend $$ on nicer looking fabric when most folks will never see this garment. And while I wait for that to finish, I will go hunting for my pattern pieces.

Edit: Not happy with the dupioni, as I can see waves of off-coloring in the damp fabric. It's hanging up to dry right now. Well, good thing most folks won't see this portion of the outfit, and hopefully that wave of off-color will fade when dry. And the damask sample I machine washed? It came out mostly lint. I will have to try a larger sample tomorrow, for now I head to bed.

Up next...
tudor ensemble 1
Now I need to start work on the fitted petticoat bodies and skirt. It will be made of red silk dupioni, bought for cheap on eBay (because I had no red silk, and wool would have been too warm for October in a hall).

The new linen collar canvas I bought at B.Black & Sons is currently in the wash (I did a test on a swatch, and it remained pretty firm - besides, I wash most of my garb, so I better wash this before I make it). The collar canvas will be used to interline the bodice portion as recommended by myladyswardrobe . It really is a lot stiffer, without being thicker, than regular cotton canvas or drill and I like that! And it is 100% linen!

The silk dupioni will go in to its own wash after that. I'm planning on flatlining the silk with muslin for body, as that stuff is thin! It will make the garment warmer a little, but the plan is to wear it in October, so that's ok. I want the body, and I don't want the silk coming apart at the seams.

For the outer kirtle, I am debating if I should wash the silk brocades or not. I guess that needs a test swatch as well to see how well it holds up in the water. It will be cold water washed if I do, I just don't want microwrinkles again like the taffeta did. Only one way to find out so I better cut the swatches asap to wash them with the red silk. And I am going to line it in my linen/cotton fabric - but not flatlined, as there are going to be a lot of panels to cut & sew together. I don't want to double my work when I don't have to.

Well, back to the laundry.

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