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Kimiko Sews

A Gentlewoman's Creative Blog

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Creative But Slowly
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/07/creative-but-slowly/)

It has been a month since I posted last, but I have been slowly working on a few creative projects.


One project is a woodworking project. No, I’m not making it from wood, they are already made and purchased, from various sources. I am working on ideas on how to decorate the wooden items. One is a wooden narrow small box that I use for my sewing tools. Another is a set of 2 wooden poles that I need to finish so I can use them for my silk banner. And the final is a lovely, well crafted portable break-down chair I bought from Wildhare Woodworks last GWW, and finally got a couple of weeks ago. I started sanding the wooden items, and filling in minor holes with wood putty, but then we hit 100+ temps and so since I have to do that outside it has been put on hold until the temps come down a little. I still haven’t figured out which design I posted on FB best, so I’m just letting those ideas stew a bit longer.


I did start painting my device on a canvas banner. Not much to show there really, just a big blob of yellow on the white canvas. I will share more later. 


Last Sunday I worked on an illuminated letter that I’ve worked on and off since last year sometime. I added in the red squares this time, and started in on all the tiny little dots. I hope to get it turned in to the Kingdom soonish. I just hadn’t realized when I chose to do background diapering that all those tiny squares, and then all the white work dots, would take so long to do. I just thought it would be cool to add to make the illumination more period looking.


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(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/07/creative-but-slowly/)

<p>It has been a month since I posted last, but I have been slowly working on a few creative projects.</p>
<p>One project is a woodworking project. No, I&#8217;m not making it from wood, they are already made and purchased, from various sources. I am working on ideas on how to decorate the wooden items. One is a wooden narrow small box that I use for my sewing tools. Another is a set of 2 wooden poles that I need to finish so I can use them for my silk banner. And the final is a lovely, well crafted portable break-down chair I bought from Wildhare Woodworks last GWW, and finally got a couple of weeks ago. I started sanding the wooden items, and filling in minor holes with wood putty, but then we hit 100+ temps and so since I have to do that outside it has been put on hold until the temps come down a little. I still haven&#8217;t figured out which design I posted on FB best, so I&#8217;m just letting those ideas stew a bit longer.</p>
<p>I did start painting my device on a canvas banner. Not much to show there really, just a big blob of yellow on the white canvas. I will share more later.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Last Sunday I worked on an illuminated letter that I&#8217;ve worked on and off since last year sometime. I added in the red squares this time, and started in on all the tiny little dots. I hope to get it turned in to the Kingdom soonish. I just hadn&#8217;t realized when I chose to do background diapering that all those tiny squares, and then all the white work dots, would take so long to do. I just thought it would be cool to add to make the illumination more period looking.</p>
<p id="" align="alignnone" width="800"]<img title="illuminated L in Progress" src="http://kimiko1.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/illuminated_L_in_Progress.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="800" data-json="" /> illuminated L in Progress[/caption]</p>
<p>Sorry I didn&#8217;t add in something for scale. It is about 3.5 inches square, more or less. And don&#8217;t those dots really change the character of the background colors?<br />
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I have also been working nearly every day for the past couple of weeks on my current blackwork project, which I hadn&#8217;t touched in several months. I am trying to do at least 15 minutes, but often do an hour or so of stitching time which is getting me closer to done faster.&nbsp;</p>
<p>[caption id=&#8221;" align=&#8221;alignnone&#8221; width=&#8221;800&#8243;> <a href="http://kimiko1.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Blackwork_Shirt_Progress.jpg"><img title="Blackwork Shirt Progress" src="http://kimiko1.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Blackwork_Shirt_Progress.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="800" /></a> <snap class="wpimgcaption">Blackwork Shirt Progress</snap> </p>
<p>The above image (both done up courtesy of a new iPad app I am trying called InstaCollage) shows both the full overview on top, and a detailed image below where I last left off. You can see the scale for the detailed shot, which is not the same as the full overview.</p>
<p>This as I may have mentioned before is using cotton pearl thread so it can be machine washable. The narrow outlined path will be filled in with gold thread in a plaited braid design once all the blackwork is done. The design is called Murano, and was purchased from Practical Blackwork. When finished, the pieces will be cut and applied on top of the high necked shirt I plan to make to go with it.</p>
<p>I had finished off the portion that will go down the front slit, which is why it is a deep U shape that you can only see a part of. The newer part is the collar, which will go to nearly the other edge of the fabric for a full 17.5&#8243; for my neck (I want a tad extra just in case), and need about another 7&#8243; more to go. Then I do 2 pieces for the cuffs, although the pattern will shift to a narrower version. I am planning this for early Elizabethan, and for everyday wear, so the cuffs will be wider than in period just to accommodate the embroidery. I am hoping to finish this in the next few months, so slow and steady will get me there.</p>
<p>So, that&#8217;s the current state of my creative side. I have other ideas I need to work on soon for various reasons, which should keep me very busy this month. So hopefully more stuff to share with you all soon.</p>
<p>So, what have you been doing creatively lately?
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Blackwork, Embroidery, Other Arts, Scribal, Uncategorized, accessories, embroidery, modern_clothes, photos, scribal
(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/07/creative-but-slowly/. Comments can be posted here or there.)

Laurel Gown Goldwork Process
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/05/laurel-gown-goldwork-process/)

Yes, I’ve been quiet, but I’ve also been slowly plugging away on a few projects. I now have time to update and share what I’ve been doing on two of them.


First up is progress on my Laurel gown that I am continuing to work on, even tho the main occasion occurred last fall. I still want to finish and eventually wear the fully realized embroidered gown, I hope by Costume College. But it may not be finished until 12th Night at the slow pace I’m going. Either way, it will get done.


I posted a photo of my last panel on FB, which I will share here as well. I know, I forgot to add in a ruler for scale, but roughly the lacing on one side is spaced about an inch apart.


1st bias panel for curved edge is complete. 1st bias panel for curved edge is complete.


When I posted this image, it brought up a variety of questions that I’ve attempted to answer, but really I do need to share more of the process in photos, so this blog post hopefully will cover that.


I did set up the slate frame with the silk organza, as I mentioned in this post. Also mentioned in that post was that I marked a guideline and traced my pattern directly onto the silk. But I forgot to mention what that looked like, or what I used. So this next photo has a little more details on that aspect, although the pattern is from the design I put onto the front of my gown bodice, not the simpler pattern I’m now working on.


Marvy white gel pen and yellow Clover pencil marks the pattern. Marvy white gel pen and yellow Clover pencil marks the pattern.


The above main motif is drawn onto the black silk organza. I marked the main motif with a Marvy white gel pen (archival safe) and Clover yellow fabric pencil. On the current project, I only used the white gel pen. These gel pens can be found at office stores, or the local craft store in the scrapbook section as they are used to decorate paper. But they do a darn fine job of marking the silk organza as well. I do put the pattern under the fabric to follow, but that is not shown in this photo.


With the pattern drawn directly to the fabric, and all the fabric on the slate frame properly, I put the frame into its floor stand holder. Then the fun, if sometimes long and tedious part of couching all the cord into place. For the gold cord twist, I bought 2 rolls of May Arts 1mm Wide Metallic Gold Cord, which was quite cheap (I do prefer quality trims, but could not justify the cost of far more costly embroidery twist for the garment and the hundreds of yards I knew I would need). This image shows part of the beginning section.


Beginning stage of couching gold twist Beginning stage of couching gold twist


The pattern remember is on the bias, so in this case I’m starting at the bottom left corner. I have one strand of the gold twist going along the first path of my pattern. The bit of tape is holding the twist so it doesn’t unravel until I’m ready to remove it. If you click on the image and look at the closer view, you can see that the beginning area has been couched closely for a short bit. This will hold the embroidery in place. The back is NOT plunged, as when I did a sample piece and did that, it distorted the fabric, was hard to tame on the back where it wouldn’t be visible, and caused a lump when the edge was folded under. This way it is clean and neat, even if it is a little visible. Once the whole thing is put into place, with each section butted to the next, it will be hard to see at any distance.


I do not pin my cord into place. I don’t glue it or anything, I just let the threads hold the cord in place as I stitch. I keep one hand under the frame, and one hand above to work the couching stitches. The cord is not placed on any sort of holder, except the spool it came on. My friends rigged up a chopstick system where the chopstick is in one of my holes in the frame. It is wrapped at one end with some duct tape to thicken it so it won’t fall through the hole. The spool is placed on the chopstick holder and allowed to unroll cord as I need it. I do the work in a near vertical position while sitting on my couch or chair, which is why you can see my knees in the above photo. The couching is done with golden yellow silk Gutterman sewing thread (CA02776) that I purchased at my local Joann’s store (a fabric and craft store for those who don’t know).


Progress showing 2 cords being couched into place. Progress showing 2 cords being couched into place.


In this next photo, I have completed two motifs with the first cord, and started using my second cord, following the second trail. I do not interlace them, meaning they do not go over and under the other cord. That would have been too difficult to do. The second cord is simply couched into place on top of the other cord at the intersections. My stitches are from 1/4″ to 3/8″ apart, depending on distance between intersections. I make sure to couch diagonally across each intersection to hold the cords together.


You can see that the beginning area has been trimmed. I have one cord slightly shorter than the other cord, both wrapped carefully for about 1/4″ at the beginning. If you click the image above you should be able to see the wraps. I will finish the same way.


You can also see in the closeup that I start or end the couching threads from the top, starting with a waste knot from the front, then taking 3-4 tiny back stitches along an empty pattern trail to hold the thread before cutting the knot off (which I do when I’m about to go over the area with another cord). This way the couching stitches are not visible, as they are under the cord. I do the same tiny back stitches when near the end of the couching thread. I will end the complete pattern with the last bit of couching thread by running them under the stitches on the backside, as I no longer have an area to hide them with back stitches. But that’s usually the only time I flip my frame, at the end of each section.


One motif repeat is finished. One motif repeat is finished.


This photo shows the end of one repeating motif section. Both starting and ending sections have been carefully wrapped and the cords are trimmed. When all is complete, I add in freshwater pearls and a single garnet to the center of the square shaped motifs, as you can see in the first photo above. Before I remove the fabric from the frame, I will finish the backside by applying a bit of fabric glue to seal the couching threads. The Japanese do this with a starch paste, but the fabric glue is pH neutral and acid free, and isn’t likely to attract insects. Then it will be on to the next frame full of fabric, for the next panel. I will take more photos of the process as I can, hopefully with detailed shots from my good camera as I hope to upgrade my computer soon and won’t have to rely on my iPad for photos.


If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.





Embroidery, Goldwork, laurel_gown, photos
(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/05/laurel-gown-goldwork-process/. Comments can be posted here or there.)

Slate Frame Prep
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(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/03/slate-frame-prep/)

Today, in order to jump start my creative spirit, which has been slowly returning (I did sketch a banner idea last weekend), I decided to just go into my sewing room and do something, anything, and after standing there with music playing, and staring at my mostly cleared table top (that had some before-mentioned banner sketches on it), I realized that banners was just not on my mind today, but I had been staring at something every day for the past few months and really it was time to do something with it.


I’m speaking about the goldwork embroidery project from the Laurel gown project, that has been mostly finished for a long time. It is the section that goes around the neck. It just needed the proper pearls – but sadly, those are MIA right now. So, instead of letting that grind me to a halt, I decided it could get pearls later, then removed it from the frame, ripping the stitches with an X-acto knife, since my seam rippers are also MIA.


I had more fabric still on the frame, so I cut off the neck section, and tried to cut it off on the straight of grain. Then I sewed the edge to the frame piece trim, put on the side frame bars, and realized that it really was off grain, as you can see here.


This frame is set up crooked! This frame is set up crooked!


The two white arrows show the straight of grain (well, as well as it could be photographed), and the red arrow shows how the one side was angling off grain. This is not good, as it will have problems when fully laced up and tension applied. I could feel it torquing in my hands. So, that new seam had to be ripped out.


So, this reminded me, as I’m ripping the seam out again, that in January, I was privileged to go to Mathew Gnagy’s tailoring class in L.A.. During the class, Mathew talked about sewing in the period way, as a tailor would sew – which simply put was ‘quickly, but efficiently’. I thought about the same as I was putting in the stitches, again, that while before I would put in my whip stitches rather close together, I realized that really, it wasn’t necessary. After all the lacing stitches on the side are about an inch apart, and they still worked out fine for tension. So, I relaxed a little and only focused on keeping the stitches relatively close to the edge, trying to keep the straight grain relatively straight. It does make it easier to rip out when needed, fyi. Oh, and I have a pic of this, too.


Showing new (left) and old stitch spacing. Showing new looser (left) and old, tighter stitch spacing.


I do think maybe I could space out the stiches even farther apart, but it will take awhile to let loose with any of my stitches.


So, with all of this going on in my head, I sewed it all back together, put in the side bars, and woohoo! tension was good! Then it was lacing the sides frames into place, which had some snags with broken or knotted strings, but I made it work, and it all came together very nicely.


I just realized that I was so busy with all the Laurel prep-work, I’ve not really discussed how I went about doing it all. Well, hopefully this helps in understanding the embroidery part, at least.


After a short break, I got down to marking out my guidelines in white chalk. The guidelines were mostly for the center line of the pattern, since the embroidery on this panel will be done on the bias in order to make the embroidery fit the hem curves easier.


I made sure to mark my pattern copy with a line down the center, trying to hit all the crossed lines in the middle – as the pattern comes from a painting that’s been blown up (as seen in here), that is a bit more difficult, so I just made sure the line was straight and hoped it would line up. Using my acid-free white gel pen, I marked the pattern down on the silk. The final panel looks like this.


Slate frame ready to go. Slate frame ready to go.


I enhanced the photo to better show the pattern. But here’s the slate frame, all ready to start on the next set of interlacing for the Laurel gown. Which I do have a photo of that dress, somewhere. Oh, and the pattern repeats, so the empty spot could have been fit with another of the repeat, but I’d rather keep the four motifs together on the panel, and have even marked the end of one, and the beginning of the next, so I don’t forget how they go together.


Oh, and that banner I mentioned, I’ll have more on it next month after the local workshop on making them.





Embroidery, Goldwork, Prep &amp; Other, embroidery, laurel_gown, photos
(Cross posted from A Gentlewoman's Blog: http://kimiko1.com/blog/2014/03/slate-frame-prep/. Comments can be posted here or there.)

Tudor Doll Completed
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
I was hoping to show more of a nightly progress on the doll, but time constraints stopped me from doing so.

But I did take photos of much of my work, tho not all the details. Instead of giving a dry run-through of what I did, I’ll leave it to the photos instead, and provide here a place for the whole gallery.

(More of the entry at my blog, because it has a photo gallery that I can't easily replicate here.)
http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=198

Merchant's Wife costume photos
tudor ensemble 1
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(Crossposted from my main blog: http://www.kimiko1.com/blog/?p=162)

I am horrible sometimes about getting photos taken of my work. And then trying to get those photos uploaded takes even longer.

This past weekend I dressed up in my completed MAAS Embroidery/ Wealthy Merchant's Wife outfit, as I finally had a place to wear it. It was at Caid's Coronation event. Most went Italian (so many pretty Italians it was a feast for the late period costume lover), but as I am not that into Italian, had already worn my French/Italianate style at a previous Coronation, and mainly because I never got to wear my completed Merchant's Wife outfit for Pentathlon (our kingdom's A&S big event), I decided I'd stick to that for the day.

It was a hot day (I was happy to be wearing wool instead of silks). It was a busy day meeting many people, and admiring many fine costumes. And while I had a camera and took photos of other folks and things, I just plain forgot to ask someone to take a photo of me.

So today I set up a space in the corner of the hallway, put up my dress dummy Bessie Blunt, dressed her in my outfit (and padding her blunted chest a bit), and finally took photos of the whole thing. Well, except for the coif & hat, but I'll do photos of the new coif later.



Click on the photo above, or click here, to view the photo album that has all the new outfit images including the kirtle. Just please excuse the wilted ruff. It needs a cleaning, proper starch (the store bought bottled stuff barely lasts the one day), and resetting.

Tonight I will fiddle with the coif to improve it a bit, and try to get photos of that as well. I'll post those when I can.

Playing with hair to fit the English bonnet.
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
Today I spent a bit of time braiding up my hair, and taking photos of what I look like with the hair up and braided, then with the front braids taped (using a blunt needle), and then with the English bonnet being worn. The first few tries were not as good, but the final two photos seems to have done the trick.

The photo album is now here on FB (public album), and I put in all the photos, and the inspirational images (and a photo of my cat, just because).

So, while the taped hair braids seems to have worked in front, the hair in back must be on top of my head in a bun, unbraided, or it won't fit right. Also the front taped hair braids are definitely not enough to match what I am seeing in the historical portraits. Especially since the taped braids disappeared once I got the bonnet to fit my face properly. So tomorrow I'll be buying a fabric pen and making a striped silk front hair casing (or more like curtain or hair cover), and will add to that photo album.

English gable bonnet photo links
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
I'm not feeling like it is worth posting this directly here right now. But if you haven't seen the photos of the mostly done English gable bonnet, I posted them to FB here and here. If those don't show up, it is in this small public photo album here.

As a reminder, they are based on these two portraits (links given). Jane Seymour for the general shape and proportion (the bonnet ends around the mouth area by c.1536, and I wanted this bonnet originally for my 1530s outfit), and because I couldn't afford buying that many pearls, I went with Mary Guildford for the decoration using gold trim that was in my stash. This also makes the bonnet more appropriate for the lower station court ladies I usually ended up portraying at faire, ie Baroness or maybe Countess, but usually not Queen.

Still working to get a photo of me wearing it, but again, need to fully finish it with the hair wrap piece. I keep debating, paint stripes or just leave it as plain silk?

Finished Wool Shortgown
tudor ensemble 1
kimikosews
Yep, finished! It's been finished since before I went to West Kingdom's Collegium a couple of weekends ago, but I've been sitting on the photos until now, mostly to focus on house cleaning.

The photos I have also includes another little tool I used to mark out the pattern, both cutting and sewing lines, since the pattern was made without a seam allowance. It is called a Double Tracing Wheel, and I think it was made by Clover (my package was different than what I see online). I bought mine a few years ago during a trip to L.A.'s Garment District, and only now gave it a whirl. I'll be using it more often.

The gown is seen worn over my red damask kirtle, which it was not designed to cover, so there are parts that do peek through. But it really shows the difference between the two garments which I rather like. I may have to make a red linen kirtle just for the contrast with this gown.

I'm not sure what else I can write up about this project, that wasn't covered already. So I'll just give you the link to the progress photos, which include those I took after a day at WK's Collegium, taken at the hotel. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

1510 Wool Short Gown


Mockups of Sleeves (with photo link)
handsewing, tailor sewing
kimikosews
Summer is coming to an end for the kids, so I've been busy spending time with them. This means less time working on my own projects, so the short gown was put on the back burner for a bit.

But I have been able to spend a little amount of time in the past few days working a pattern and mockup of the essential parts of the gown, the bodice and sleeves. The bodice was pretty easy, as I had the original blue linen kirtle pattern to work from (once I figured out I hadn't added any seam allowance which I forgot to note on the pattern).

The somewhat harder part has been the sleeves. I wasn't sure how full to make the drape of the sleeves, so I asked folks on the Elizabethan Costume page, and wonderful Margo Anderson helped me out by draping her half-form and came up with an initial pattern which she shared on the group here.rest of the details...Collapse )

More bobbin lace
sca
kimikosews
So, I've not been doing a whole lot lately, as I've not been in the mood to be all that creative. But I've been in the mood to play with the bobbin lace some, which isn't so much creative, as it is simple and kinda zen in the doing. And that's ok.

There isn't a whole lot to share on step by step processes, as it is just cross and twist, pin, repeat a few times, tighten up the tension, and hope it all stays together when the pins are removed. Sometimes it isn't all right, but most times it is fine. Some I think will be fine once it is sewn into place.

So, here are a few photos to share with you what I'm doing. The silver is a test piece. The gold & silver will be my first major length of lace, which I've a small plan for if all goes well.

Pattern 18, Silver sample Pattern 18, Silver sample
A test piece in silver DMC metallic thread. Width ~ 3/8", about 6" long.
rest of the photos underneath the cut...Collapse )

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