tudor ensemble 1

Kimiko Sews

A Gentlewoman's Creative Blog

Entries by tag: handsewing

Hand Sewn Loose Kirtle from 2007
handsewing, tailor sewing
(Cross posted from my main blog: http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=178)

Remember how a few posts ago I mentioned that I am horrible sometimes with getting photos posted? Well, back in the summer of 2007, when I just joined with the SCA and was also very involved with the local Renfaires, I worked on and finished my one, and so far only, completely hand sewn garment, a loose kirtle from Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Comfort pattern set, which is based on the loose kirtle and gown that is in Janet Arnold's Pattern of Fashion book.

So, today while I had the dummy in that corner, I put the loose kirtle on my dress dummy, took photos, made the photo album, and present here the first photos I've ever shared of this outfit, six years later.

I've worn this kirtle several times now. It is easy for me to get into, pull the lace closed, and later get out of it. I have a very old wool gown I usually wear over it. There are some issues (which I'll discuss in another post), but it is a pretty good workhorse outfit, especially when I don't want something tight on me.

The gown from the Comfort pattern set is still being worked on, well, most of it is done, and needs to be put together, closures added and finished. It is the closures that are slowing me down.

But now if you are curious, you can see what I did for the hand sewing, and the details of the kirtle in the photo album. Click on the photo above, or click here. I'll be adding the proper description page to my web site dress diary section soon.

A Tudor Doll project
handsewing, tailor sewing
(Crossposted from my blog: http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=143)

So, another project has been started, since I have one final baronial entry required for our A&S Championship, and it has to be a spiffy one, as this entry will help to determine who is the winner. While I thought about not entering, and would be fine not being champion, I think it would be a disservice to the other contender to simply walk away from this. And I wouldn't like myself for not at least giving it my best shot.

So, it took me a long time to consider what in the world I wanted to enter. Do I create another embroidery piece? Do I try to make some piece of costume? How- when it takes me a long time to make suits of garments (I rarely start off with plans to make just one item). Do I create something else? Bobbin lace? Scribal? what???

And then it finally came to me, as I was drifting off to sleep one night, make a Tudor doll, and show off the fashion of the period in small scale. And after a bit of discussion on FB, I may eventually make a series of them, showing the garments of each decade or something. Just not the wives of Henry VIII - so many folks have done those. But I digress.

So I started by going through The Tudor Child book, and figured out how the patterns worked for the doll, then printed it out at the right scale using Photoshop. I was a bit stuck for the pattern scale for the gown, so I asked Ninya for help, and she sent me the right files to print out in Photoshop (Thank you Ninya). I do plan to make a mockup bodice to make sure I have the right scaling, but the book noted 160% and that's what I went with. They were printed onto cardstock to make tracing easier.

This weekend I spent Saturday cutting out the cardstock pattern pieces. Then traced onto the muslin scrap I am using for the doll body. It will be all fabric, as I don't have time to order the nice doll kit that is available for sale by the TT ladies. I decided on cotton muslin instead of linen, as the linens I have are either bright white, or a very dark natural color, and the muslin had a better natural skintone look to it. The base fabric is a cotton canvas scrap.

After tracing, I cut the pieces out with about a 3/8" seam allowance, as I found some time ago I really have a hard time hand sewing on a 1/4" allowance. Then I hand sewed all of the pieces as directed in the book, using a backstitch for strength. After all those pieces will be stuffed and will need to not come apart or let the fluffy bits come through (another reason for firm muslin even if not period). The sewing took me through last night's game session, and was finished off this afternoon before dinner.

Then it was a good pressing (especially on the one arm that I started a running stitch and found it ended up wrinkling the fabric when I made that into a double running stitch), some snipping into curves, and trimming the seam down to 1/4" or less. I took a photo of the pieces, sitting on the proposed gown fabrics, and thought I'd share the unturned, unstuffed doll pics before I got to work putting the parts together.

Warning, naked inside out doll photos ahead (and fabric p0rn).Read more...Collapse )

Wrist ruffs, and a gable hood
handsewing, tailor sewing
I've been sewing a lot this weekend. Yesterday at our Baronial A&S day, I spent it hand sewing the wrist ruffs, which I had started the weekend before, got stuck when I realized the one strip was twice as long as it should be and ignored it until yesterday. Both wrist ruffs got finished right before I headed home for game night yesterday afternoon.

Today, I finally got out the old gable hood that I had started in 2009, mulled in 2010, and sorta worked on jeweling the front whatsits last summer, is finally getting worked on again with the intention of finishing for Pentathlon. This afternoon I cut out the linen linings for the front portion that frames the face, and the back little box with the two hanging black veils. I spent the afternoon and this evening, while my husband has been playing Lego LotR, and the kids playing other things or with friends, hand sewing the linings into place. Tonight the two linings are done, and so are my hands. Tomorrow, I put the darn thing all together in the back, which scares me as I have no idea how well that will work.

I haven't had to insert a lining to an already shaped hat before, and that was interesting to deal with. The back box required a few pleats for the corners, since I made the lining as a larger square instead of shaping it the same as the box. The head framing portion I had to carefully maintain tension, without pulling the linen too far or it would hang lower than it should. I didn't want to add more contact cement this time as it actually can yellow when it is too thick in an area (as I am seeing happened to the silk in a few spots). I also should NOT have put on the jeweled portion before I put on the lining, as it got in my way and my stitches along the front is rather large, not as small as I would have preferred. Lesson learned (I hope).

Again, as I'm working on this, I keep thinking there had to be a better way. I've got ideas, but not sure when I want to tackle another gable hood once this one is done. But it will look nice when it is all together, and not as gaudy as I feared it would.

Oh, wait, I still have the striped silk I need to create - and I will need to buy a fabric pen since I'm faking the stripes. Still, photos of the main bonnet when it is done tomorrow.

ETA: Seems I didn't blog about putting on the silk satin with contact cement, hand stab sewing on the chenille cotton lappets, or trimming & pearling the front whatsits by hand sewing it through the mulled and semi-covered buckram. I recall then finishing off the hand sewing of the whatsits (gotta find the right name for that piece again), before I sewed it onto the edge of the front bonnet. I don't recall when I did most of that except the trim & pearling which I carried with me to the beach last summer, got it sandy from the kids shoes, and didn't work on it there at all. I was bad on recording all that, sorry.

Return to hand sewing!
handsewing, tailor sewing
It really isn't until your hands are sore that you realize just how much you use them. Especially the off hand, for me my left hand, that was the injured one. I had pinched a nerve, and had to stay off the hand and minimize its use for awhile - over two months now. I have only recently been doing hand exercises to help improve it since the left hand is still weak. The hand still has twinges of soreness, but not the sharp pains I was getting, which is good.

This did mean that the wool short gown had to be put aside, as I couldn't do more than a couple of eyelets at Great Western War before the left hand complained again, and that was in early October. But yesterday I tried another eyelet and was able to continue and finish up the whole set. I am taking breaks to let the hand rest.

I also did something different for me. I had read in Seventeenth-Century Women's Dress Patterns: Book 1 about how eyelets were sewn with one very long thread, linking each eyelet under the fabric. Well, I normally use short lengths of thread, so I tried to see how many eyelets I could do with a whip stitch of linen thread (50/3 Londonderry). I used a length of thread roughly a yard long or a little more. I was able to sew up 5 eyelets spaced 3/4" apart. Not bad! I did a couple of backstitches before and after each eyelet to keep the tension from pulling on already completed eyelets.
5 eyelets, 1 thread.
Read more...Collapse )

Actually hand sewing
handsewing, tailor sewing
Yeah, I actually am. I've been doing this for a few days now, which is why I haven't posted much about it except for brief comments on my FB page.

I'm working on the kirtle first, using the pattern I had made up for my French/Italian court dress, with curved front seam (with a little adjustment to make it higher in front, for weight, and to thin out the armstrap). I had thought of using a straight front, and make it all pretty with no seam in the middle - but decided I wanted the support of the curved front, so I'll be sewing up the center front seam and make it back lacing instead. But what I didn't like about the last kirtle or it's companion fitted petticoat bodies, is that it had obvious stress and underbust wrinkles, even with the layers of linen collar canvas I had used on both. So I thought and I pondered, and started reading around for various ideas on how to deal with this, without making a full-on corset/pair of bodies to wear under it. Read more...Collapse )

The smock is done! (w/pics)
handsewing, tailor sewing
I did work little by little and finally pushed through the last of it a few days ago (Sunday). description and photos behind the cut...Collapse )

Next up... the red silk petticoat.

Bodice near complete.
handsewing, tailor sewing
The batteries are still charging so no pics tonight, sorry.

The bodice is mostly done. It was almost completely hand sewn with lots of whip stitching, except for the boning channels, which is partly why it took so long. I also procrastinated in part because of some dissatisfaction. But I finally hand sewed all of the tabs, and the stiff little collar piece; it just needs a lining, the straps sewn on, and lacing rings on one side (which I will put in later). I've put it on the dress form, pinned the side shut and pinned the straps snugly into place. I am surprised at how happy I am with how it looks so far, even with the problems I had. I really should reserve judgements until I am done, and not let it stall me as much as this one did.

And the problem area of the waist and lower, the five bones seem to keep it smooth and sticks it away from the dipped in waist, so there seems to be minimal issues below the waist. I won't know until I wear it for a day as to how well that will hold up.

Tomorrow I tackle the sleeves. Those should go a lot quicker, as I am machine sewing it up for the most part. Then the simple skirts, hanging sleeves, a ruff and a supportasse. I feel far behind, and yet it must be done in less than two weeks. Wish me well!

Eyelets are DONE!
tudor ensemble 1
All of the eyelets down the front, on both sides, are done, done, DONE! 20 each side, plus the four for the straps.

Tomorrow I will take pics to post, probably on the dress dummy, before I get started on the next part, which is farthingale, and maybe (probably) the bodice, at least so I can get that marked out on the silk, so I can then mark the lines for the couched cord, and get that part going. Seems like when one part is done, it really is just a beginning.

More than halfway!
tudor ensemble 1
Taking a small break from the handsewing of eyelets because my fingers are very sore. Why I do them, when I dislike making them, I don't know. But they continue. So far, 24 of them have been sewn on the effigy bodies. This means 20 more to go, unless I add in the ones around the waistline, which are marked and can be done. But... I think I will hold off on those until I get other parts done, including the French farthingale which I haven't even started on.

I need to find a new thimble, as the leather quilters one keeps sliding off, and the hardened tip is pulling away. I want a metal tailors thimble, but have no idea where to look for one. Ok, found one of sterling silver for $70! I think that's a bit much for me. And then there is a medieval thimble or renaissance thimble found here, but I know my fingers are small, so I don't know how well they fit. No idea where they sell their wares, so I could maybe try them on. eBay only has one, in a size 8, and I have no idea of sizing. I guess I will just have to deal with the thimbles at a local store, sometime this week.

Silk and linen fabrics.
tudor ensemble 1
I opened my fabric package from B.R. Exports/exclusive_silks that finally arrived today (I ordered at the end of January). list under cut...Collapse )

This means I have to work on finishing the corset, so I can lace it onto the body and drape the bodice onto it. So, I've been slowly working on hand sewing the eyelets. I am so not into doing that tonight, so I've only got three done, but I will do one more before heading to bed.

I also have to finalize ideas on how to lace the bodice closed. I am thinking of front lacing it, with a stomacher pinned/hooked into place to completely cover the front. I could go the easy way and make it back lacing, but I need to be able to dress myself, so this I think will be a better choice (I hope). It also means I don't have to embroider the entire front, just the stomacher piece, and the back and sleeves, of course.

Well, back to the eyelets.

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