tudor ensemble 1

Kimiko Sews

A Gentlewoman's Creative Blog

Entries by tag: ideas

Teaching Henrician/Tudor & my short gown.
tudor ensemble 1
One of the things that was firmed up this past weekend, is the planning for having Henrician/Tudor costuming classes for our Kingdom. You see, our future Queen has plans to step down from their reign in November wearing Henricians, roughly 1530 to 1540. Right up my costuming alley. They will be stepping up in Venetians, which tempted me for awhile, but I have things I need to create/work on before their reign starts in June (like garb for the kids), so while I thought about it, instead I will be finishing up an outfit that has been sitting in its box for some time waiting for the final details.

I won't be teaching Henrician costuming alone (I couldn't do all that traveling down south). It will be a group effort with the Clothiers guild, and with Baroness Ceara, who recently did her own Catherine Parr court gown. Both Baroness Ceara and myself were asked to run this effort, and I am looking forward to doing what I can, which will include more online research information when this gets active.

So, the long term focus for this year is making an Henrician outfit. I had already planned on doing so, the fancy short gown, but for 12th Night next January, not early November. Yes, it is normally plenty of time for me to make such an outfit, but this time I want embroidery, hand sewn embroidery, and that will take lots of time to do up.
[eta: This is the inspiration for the short gown | this is the sleeve inspiration. I plan on wearing my new English bonnet (aka gable).]

Thankfully, I had already been planning this for awhile in my head, and collecting various images and drawings, trying to figure out a pattern that would be interesting, but not too difficult to embroider. I do not want to spend a few years in the embroidery, so as I mentioned before (here), I will be twisting my own cords and couching those into a nice pattern. Hopefully doing that will only take several months.

But one difficulty I was finding is that often, the pretty (and woodcut accurate) period patterns require several cords being used at once. And they often were not continuous, but started and stopped often. But looking at images of Henry VIII and Francois of France, the embroidery usually done on them appears to be one cord doing dips and curves, which is easier to control. And they were repeating motifs. But without repeating those exact patterns, I wasn't finding an interlace that was continuous and only used one cord among the period woodcuts. (sigh).

Then a friend posted a link to this image of Girolamo di Benvenuto, Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1508. Yes, she is lovely, but what caught my eye was the edge design of the panel, the interlace, and in tracking each design it only uses 2 separate cords, for the most part. And it offers corner designs, which I will have to use on the gown I've got planned. Here's a detailed shot of that interlace pattern.

Interlace from GBenvenuto painting
Yes, the pattern is most likely Italian in origin. But like the period embroidery books, the patterns ended up spreading far and wide, and interlacing itself is a very old art form reaching to the Roman times. And since this pattern seems to fulfill my objectives, I shall be using it - once I work up the pattern tracing, and make up a test sample.

My only concerns is that even with this embroidery the outfit as a short gown may not be "impressive" enough compared to the typical French gown/court Tudor style. I've also got to find an appropriate fabric to use as the kirtle. I did decide that the kirtle will have a train, depending on how much fabric I find. I'm leaning towards making it in a dark orange or golden orange color, which should pop against the teal blue/green of the velvet and silk. The embroidery will be on black silk and applied as a guard along the gown edges, both skirts and sleeves. I may even add pearls, maybe. I've still got some hunting to do, but starting the embroidery will be a big help.

Thinking of the New Year.
handsewing, tailor sewing
It is in just a few days, and why not come up with direction for next year - especially since I've been floundering a bit directionless for far too long. This is why I've not posted anything in over a month, as I've done very very little creative this past month.

A friend asked on the Eliz. Costume FB group "New Year's Sewinultion~ What will 2013 bring to your wardrobe?"

I thought about it for a bit this afternoon, and it hit me as I was putting on another ratty old t-shirt on, before heading out to see The Hobbit, I don't want any more costumes at this point, what I really want is real clothing for me, that looks nice, that fits nice, but is as comfy as the old t-shirts I own, but far nicer looking.

I've said it before elsewhere, and each year I think about what I might want to wear, but each year it remains on that back burner, and that is getting cold and old and moldy back there. So, other than the bit of stuff I will be working on this week for 12th Night (if I get working on it), it is time for a change in direction, and that back burner of ME clothing will move front and center. If I get inspired, I'll also do other costumes but they will not be my focus.

It will have to include (in no particular order since I'm just getting my thoughts down)
  • pants, comfy ones
  • shirts, semi-fitted if possible, maybe a few that are tunics and loose, and since most are for around the house working, they will have to be comfy and not get in my way.
  • skirts, long for winter, short for summer
  • vests, long and short, to spruce up those basic outfits when I leave the house - and a place to embellish more.
  • new bras - those are a must
  • shorts for the summer.
  • Maybe a light jacket or two for more business or dressy occasions
  • A dress? Is there anything I might need a dress for? My eldest son's wedding, maybe, if not a pant suit or something.
But more than just the list of the basics, as I need a lot of basics, I would like them to reflect a bit more of me. Some will be plain, but I have trims of all sorts just sitting around waiting to be used, and I rarely use them in my historical costumes. So why not use them on my not-so-mundane clothing, yes? And I've a lot of fabric of all sorts that are waiting to be made into something - about time they get to speak for themselves for modern clothing.

And as inspired while I watched the Hobbit, trimmings and embroideries are a must in some fashion. Both elves and dwarves used some form of interlacings; the dwarves had angular ones, the elves more freeflowing natural ones. I like interlacings of all sorts, so that I look forward to using/making.

Maybe, in doing this and focusing on my own every day wear, I may break through this wall blocking my creativity elsewhere.

My next big project
So, I am finally getting the urge to really sew again. Not just small projects like I've been doing (will post next week on one of those) but a project that will take time - mostly in embroidery before construction.

Because of the embroidery and embellishments I've long wanted to do onto a garment, I know it will take time. And if I want to be able to wear this at 12th Night next winter (hopefully), and enter it into Pentathalon (my kingdom's big A&S competition) next spring, it not only has to look good, it has to be documentable, and it has to be started soonish - like after Anniversary (mid-June) once my other small projects are done.

Thankfully I have two possible projects - I'm just not sure which one to actually work on. Do I go with the identifiably English Catherine Parr, a Henrician outfit (but she is wearing a French gown). Or do I go, once again, with the French with a project taken from a tapestry, which I would call the Short Gown since I've no good name for it at the moment. I do plan on writing a paper on this sort of fashion as well.

(eta) There is also an English effigy that has a short gown, c. 1535, as seen in this set of images.
"The top layer (the gown) is shorter than the under layer (the kirtle). This was described as characteristic of Englishwomen's dress by the Venetian ambassador in 1554 (quoted in Carter, A [1984] “Mary Tudor’s Wardrobe” in Costume, 18, 20)."

As a reminder, here are at least two of each style, to give visual info.

Oenone taking the letter from Paris Oenone taking the letter from Paris
Français 874, fol. 141. Image #29 of 46. The sleeves are more Italian style but the short gown is what I'm focused on.
David & Bathsheba, plate VI.5 David & Bathsheba, plate VI.5
Focused more on the woman wearing a short gown over a long kirtle. This is what I would reproduce - tho not sure about the hat. The embellishments on the gown would be easy to do, but I would not follow the design exactly - since I've no idea what the design really is. I'd follow a period embroidery modelbook.
Briseis writing Briseis writing
Français 874, fol. 23v. Image #7 of 46. French gown sans farthingale.
Catherine Parr, by Master John, 1545. Catherine Parr, by Master John, 1545.
I think my skills are up to reproduce this, with embroidery & embellishments on forepart and foresleeves (it will take time). The fabric colors may end up different.

So, which one should I recreate? The garment would be from the skin out - I need a new smock most likely, fitted kirtle, possible forepart, gown, and appropriate headwear. Any thoughts??

What to do with metal bobbin lace?
So, I've gotten about 25" or so, and debating if I want to do a whole yard or more of it, or just end it soonish.

I originally had this idea on edging a linen hankie that I've got in my stash, but that is a nice sized hankie at 11" to a side, which would need 44" of lace to cover. And then I realized that if I put the pretty metal lace onto said hankie, it might not be that easy to wash afterwards. Uhm, no. Hankies get used, and they need to be washable.

Sooooo... then I thought maybe a cup cover would be nice, but same washability factor is required from time to time. So, again a no.

So now I'm not sure what to do with this lace that isn't a full fledged garment or gloves or night cap or ... what to do with the pretty metal lace?

Will this stuff actually wash up decently without distorting or snagging? I may have to make a test piece to find out with one of my sample pieces.

So, anyone have suggestions on small gift like items I could make with it?

The Italian Challenge II, maybe??
book research
ETA: Nevermind. I went into the bedroom to lay down, after I took a quick look at all the little items I had on my to do list, from a proper English bonnet, to the drapes, to other half-finished items in my sewing room, and no, I do not need to do this challenge. I need to focus on finishing those items on my to do list. Like Bella notes in her challenge, it would only be one item a month. So, I will do my own private challenge, and finish one project a month - more if I have the time. I will otherwise keep this post around for future inspirations, or if anyone else wants to use my links as a starting point for their own works.

Ok, I've been in the blahs about costuming lately, not sure what I really want to focus on or work on. I've pondered doing up the Catherine Parr gown that I've long wanted to do. I've pondered doing something steampunk, I've pondered lots of ideas, and now I'm pondering doing Italian, an actual Italian outfit, not a French gown in the Italian fashion as my silk gown was. This would be a first for Italian.

If so, it would be for the Realm of Venus' (RoV) Italian Challenge II that is set to start on the 15th of this month, in little more than a week from now. I'm not allowed to do the Iron Dress challenge as I'm one of the judges, but I want to do something. I'm just not sure I'm up for doing Italians on this short a notice, when I've not really done anything truly Italian before, or much research beyond looking at pretty pictures. And if I did the challenge, it would be 4 complete items. more thoughts including pic links behind here...Collapse )

Hello, is this creative thing on?
Yes, it has been awhile since I posted here last. No, I've not been doing much of anything on my usual creative ideas, other than to think about what I want to do next.

I did finish the pjs for Relle, although it is rather large on her. She loves it, and it should last her for at least another year, maybe two or three with all the extra stuff I added to the seam allowances and hems.

I also will be working with a few members of our Barony on a Baronial regalia project, which I will be offering up some fabrics, and working on an embroidered phoenix for it. Once we get started on things I will do some posting on it.

Margo's Patterns has just started an Iron Dress competition (starting today), and I will be one of the judges. So I will not be reading any Iron Dress entries for the next few months in order to remain as impartial as possible.

But since I'm not involved in that, I may take up Bella's Italian Costume Challenge instead, but only if I can find something Italian that inspires me. I've been pondering what costume project will be next. I am not currently inspired, so I am looking for inspirations. I've not done anything Italian, and the ones that I've been drawn to are rather on the simpler side - and I don't want to do simple right now, I want something with more bling, or visual interest, or something that will be worth putting time into.

Before Bella made her announcement, I'd been pondering another Tudor, of the 1540s farthingale time frame. This has some bling, but only in limited areas - mainly the forepart, the foresleeves, and the square around the neck area. I want to do embroidery more than jewels, so I am trying to come up with period images that support this idea. There are some for women, but not a whole lot. They really do seem to either be plain, or heavy on the gold and jeweled ouches. But I am still working on the ideas for this.

Meanwhile I've got other simpler projects I need to work on in the next couple of weeks, mostly for other people. I just got to get off my rear and do them. I also have a couple of items I need to practice with, or get the basics cut out for, so that I can be ready for my Kingdom's Collegium Caidis/IKINS in a couple of weeks. One is bobbin lace, the other is an Elizabethan glove. I will talk more about the bobbin lace in the next post, and the glove... well I've made one hand of a pair several years ago, so I plan on doing up the basic glove stuff in another week.

And that's about it on what my left brain has been doing for the past few weeks. I hope to post more on actual creations soon. I just need to kick things into gear.
Tags: ,

Not-so-creative musings.
embroidery blackwork
I've got lots to do really, but I really want to embroider. I've actually got a few embroidery plans for small items, including a piece needed for our Baronial regalia that we haven't started yet (or I'd be working on it now). I've ideas for a blackwork smock that needs to be started. But why is it that among all these projects, I'd rather ponder about doing another large piece of embroidery - a garment with embroidery Read more...Collapse )

Blackwork ideas, and things to make up soon.
book research
So now that the big embroidery project is done, there are things I need to turn my attention to. Some are going to only take a few days, but one thing I really need is a new shirt, well, actually a new high necked smock to replace the one I'm currently wearing to death. Read more...Collapse )

Short over long gowns (David & Bethsabée)
tudor ensemble 1
Before I work on that list, there is something that has made me excited about early Tudor stuff, well, besides the latest new book.

I went and ILL'd the French book "la tenture de David & Bethsabée" by Guy Delmarcel which I picked up this afternoon. It is a book on the recently restored tapestry series David & Bathsheba done in one of the museums in France. The book is in French but I'm mostly interested in the images. more including pics...Collapse )

Scheduling for the new year
tudor ensemble 1
I'm taking the evening off from housework, and decided to do a little thinking about what I want to possibly work creatively on for 2012.

I've a rather long list of items I've had on my want-to-do plate for awhile, from curtains to regular clothes. I just don't make the time to actually make them, leaving them to blow in the winds of ideas, so to speak. This needs to change. I mean, I've got flannel nightgown from last winter still not done, and I'm cold! It's only the sleeves, so that will get finished this weekend.

So, for 2012, instead of the big ticket items I tend to work on, I'm going to go with (hopefully) simpler items on the docket, while maybe working on one or two larger items over a longer period of time - which will be nice for things that are going to need embroidery on them.

I'm not sure, other than the nightgown, what it is that needs/wants to be worked on next. Once 12th Night is done, I've nothing pressing outside of finishing my nearly done embroidery piece by the end of January. I am thinking I will make a spreadsheet or something simple with the project names and how long I expect to take to work on them, then just do them one at a time. I need to just schedule them into my calendar and quit putting them off to "whenever" since "whenever" just gets shoved later and later. Will this work? I hope so. I know I only answer to myself on this, but... well, no "but" is not going to cut it anymore.

Anyone got ideas on improving scheduling of projects? Or do you do like I do of having some set event you need X by, then work that way hoping to get it all done? Can creative things not for pay really be scheduled in? Should I just try to make one new thing every two weeks? Every week? {sigh}


Log in