Elizabeth I – Construction Part 2 – Partlet

Once the dress was finished I got started on the accessories.
First up – the Partlet:

I decided right from the start that I would need something to ad a more “Historical” air to my costume, and what would better serve then a nice little shrug in a matching fabric (except some fabulous headgear – hold on, we will be getting to that – later).

Bildresultat för partlet elizabethQueen Elizabeth in a magnificent outfit, and what seems to be a blackworked partlet/shift.

I’ve one one of these pieces before a couple of years ago for my sister.CIMG3175Theater costume for the fictional play “The Tempest”

This time, like last time, I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”.
Bildresultat för partlet patternThis is not the pattern I used but, one I found during a quick google search.

I used the leftover golden brocade and cut the pieces.img_1320Unfortunately I didn’t manage to pattern match as good as I would have liked, but that something I can live with at this point.

The lining is made from regular white cotton and scraps of fake fur to get hat lux and cosy feeling I wanted.img_1318

Doing the whole thing using modern techniques I stitched the outer fabric and the lining together separately and then pinned them together all around.img_1322

In one long seam I stitched the whole thing together.img_1324

Sandwiching the ties at each lower corner.img_1325

Then I snipped all the curves to get them to lie flat.img_1328

I used an opening in the lining (which I left open when I stitched the lining together) to turn the whole thing right.img_1330

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I finished by stitching the opening shut, adding a hook and eye at the lower front edge and pressing the partlet into a nice crisp shape.

img_1380 The Inside 

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The Finished Partlet:
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The facts:

What: An 16th century Partlet

Pattern: Drafted from “The Tudor Tailor”, even though you can use several of the free patterns available online.

Fabric & Notions: Scraps (2 pieces about 30 x 50 cm) of brocade and white cotton sheets, 3 pieces of fake fur (about 30 x 20 cm) and thread.

Time & Cost: This was a real quick and cheap project which took les then 2 hours and cost almost nothing (since I used scraps)

Final Thoughts: I really like the way it came out (even though I didn’t had the fabric to pattern match the front. I love making these quick and small pieces and are actually thinking of making more of them in lots of different color, fabrics and styles.

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Elizabeth I – Construction Part 1

As mentioned in my previous post (Elizabeth I – costume analysis) I’ve wanted to make this dress for years, and now I finally have.

As usual I started the project looking at pictures trying to decide in which direction to go for the different elements of this costume. I already had the fabric (a golden/brown polyester furniture brocade) I got for a steal quite some time ago.14182251_10210265184327640_270599663_nInspiration and fabric

img_0440A quick conceptual drawing.

I used the pattern for the “Dorothea Body” from “The Tudor Tailor” for the bodice and cut a mock-up from a plain cotton sheet.img_0303

I added some bones and a plastic ruler down the front, and put it on.
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The it was really good (ignore the bad lacing at center back), and I felt it would give me the flat, conical shape I wanted.img_0329

Then I cut the fabric carefully placing the motifs in the perfect spots for each piece. img_0333 Cutting the sleeves, making sure the pattern placement matches on both left to right sleeve.

14247550_10210265180327540_1516791240_o All fabric cut and ready to go

As usual I started with the skirt, pinning and sewing the three widths of fabric together to a giant tube. Carefully matching the motifs at the seams.

img_1411Not perfect, but close enough.

Then I pleated and pinned the upper edge to my waist measurement, leaving an opening at center back.  img_0437

I then stitched a piece of cotton ribbon to the top as a waistband, sewed on a hook and eye and put the whole thing on my dress-form (over bumpad and several petticoats, of course) to pin the hem. img_0987 I cut and stitched the hem using 15 cm wide pieces of cotton fabric to the inside.

Then it was time for the bodice.
I started by marking and stitching the boning channels to the interlining and lining, after basting hem together.img_0400

img_0401Lots of channels to give the right shape to the bodice.

 I added the bones made from plastic zip ties. img_1024

Then I stitched the shoulder-straps together and pinned the wrong sided of the fashion fabric to the interning, and stitched the neckline together. img_1029

After turning and pressing the neckline, it was time to stitch the sides together.  img_1052 As you can see I did a small miscalculation and had to let it out a tad to get it to fit.

I continued by adding lacing grommets to the back. img_1054I choose the golden ones to match the fabric.

Once the bodice was “ready” I started on the sleeves.
After some experimenting with cover buttons I decided to skip the detail of placate and buttons on the sleeves and just stitched them together as they where.img_1057The sleeves stitched and ready (one is turned inside out).

Then it was once more time to try it on.
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I’m so pleased with the fit and shape, and I love the placement of the big motif on he front.img_1062The sleeve looks pretty good to even though it’s just pinned on.

To get he full view of the dress I put the whole thing on the dressform.img_1049Starting to look like something 🙂

I finished the bodice by hand-stitching the lover edge, adding the sleeves and making a modesty placket to go behind the lacing.img_1336Last few stitches…

And lastly I want to acknowledge the different definition of Heroes I think of when making (and wearing) this costume:

* The first and foremost Hero must of course be the late queen Elizabeth I, who made a such big impression in history, and showing that women are just as capable as men at whatever they try their hands on. I love powerful and inspirational females.

* Then I want to thank the amazing people who dedicate their life and work at researching historical fashions and styles and who make their finds available to everyone who’s interested in re-creating these fabulous garments (of course I’m thinking of Waugh, Arnold, Friendship, Bradfield, Mikhaila/Malcolm-Davies and many many more).

* I also want to celebrate all the amazing teachers who inspire us all to learn and grow in what we do. For me I count my college sewing teacher Lillian (who I still refer to when life gets hard), my mentors and co-workers at the theater atelier who taught me to have fun sewing and don’t be so afraid of doing it wrong. I also thinking of all off you great seamstresses and bloggers out there who constantly inspires me to push myself skill-wise and to try new things. I

* An lastly I want to give a cheer to all the “new to this” sewists and costume enthusiasts, and to say that you don’t have to make everything perfect (or historical) cause sometimes you just want a pretty dress 🙂
It might take a few years, but someday you will make that dress you fantasied about for so long.

The finished dress:img_1397

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Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 10/2015 – Heroes

How does it fit into the challenge: This dress is a dedication to lots and lots of strong and capable women, and men, but most to the one and only Queen Elizabeth I.

What: a 1550s dress inspired by the movie “Elizabeth” (1998)

Pattern: Bodice pattern remade from “The Dorothea bodice” from “The Tudor Tailor”, the sleeves was copied from my previous mentor at the theater atelje, the skirt is basically just 3 pieces of fabric sewn together.

Fabric: 4,5 m of golden polyester furniture brocade/damast, 1 m white cotton for lining and interning the bodice.

Notions: Thread, grommets, 3 m of cotton cord for lacing, 20-30 zip-ties heavy for boning, hook and eye and 1 m cotton ribbon for the skirts waist.

How Historical Accurate: Not at all I’m afraid. The fabric is modern both in content and looks, the bodice pattern are okey for the period but the back lacing (bot back placement and the use of metal grommets) is all wrong and I think the sleeves are wrong to. And the fact that I stitched it all up by machine and using modern techniques don’t make it any better. I would say 2/10.

Time: About 15 hours (spread into countless short sessions over 2,5 months)

Cost: About 500 Sek (55 usd)

First worn: Late October for photos

Final Thoughts: I love this dress, even though its far from historical accurate I think it does look really good (especially with a more historical styling) and I liked wearing it. My only concern is that I need to make something about the way the bodice point wrinkles. and I definitely need to anchor the bodice and skirt together, with hooks and eyes, for my next wearing.

Elizabeth I – Costume analysis

One of the costumes I wanted to make since I first became interested in historical costumes is the yellow dress from the Movie “Elizabeth” (1998), and last year I decided it was time.
The October theme for HSM2015 was “Silver screen”,  and since I acquired the perfect fabric a couple of months before I made grand plans to make the dress during the fall.

Then life happened (Jupp, baby haze), so this summer,when I finally had the energy to once more dream of pretty dresses, the yellow dress was not far from my mid.
And then when the HSM16s theme “Hero”, lined up with an growing itch to sew and grand planes for Halloween, I knew that the time had come, at last.

So lets take a look at the Dress:

(Pictures from “Costumers guide“)
elizabeth-1It’s made in a yellow/golden brocade with a snakeskin feel to the fabric.
The bodice are stiff and ends in a deep point at center front.

ref5The skirt are worn over layers of petticoats and probably a big bumpad to get the hips really wide and rounded. It’s either parted at front over a identical petticoat or pleated to look like it’s open. I think its the later, which you can better see in other pics.

ref17The line of the dress are slim and soft with a flat bodice front and rounded hips.

ref19The skirt are pleated  to the waist all around and opens up at the back. Even though you can’t see it in this pic I’m fairly sure the bodice laces up the back (as most of the dresses in the move has this somewhat un-historical feature). You can however see the sleeves and the delicate buttons (which I later decided to leave of my version).

ref26The neckline is square with a slight angle.

ref31Behind the scenes worn with a neck-ruff.

ref23The dress is worn during the coronation styled with a massive coronation robe and beautiful regalia.

fidm1Here you can better see the pleating of the skirt and the impressive point on the bodice.

2f65df3f3eea3f0f56e60e15cd347accI’m actually not sure if this picture are of the movie original or if its a great copy but i’s beautiful on the les.

english-school-koenigin-elisabeth-i-in-kroenungskleidern-123215The painting the movie based everything of.

Jewelry fit for a Queen

Earlier this year, when planing one of the major costumes (If you follow me on Instagram you already know of which costume I speak) I wanted to attempt this year, I stumbled upon the perfect accessories in an Etsy shop:
Evil-Ogis-GarbRecycled-Rockstah*

Namely this set of Tudor jewelry.
14191863_10210265175087409_1931442235_oPhoto from “Evil-Ogis-GarbRecycled-Rockstah”

Not only did it include all the pieces I ever dreamed of (ok, minus a ginormous tiara ;-)), but you was also to chose the color of the pearls, metal and chokade pieces. Yay!

14215307_10210265175567421_107739505_oPhoto from “Evil-Ogis-GarbRecycled-Rockstah”

There was Sooo many colors I wanted (imagine Ruby red, Smaragd green or beautiful Amathyst), but I finally settled for a ivory pearl, gold metal with a auburn chockade.

In my hurry to order I accidentally hit the “Buy” button twice. Ops!
But before I had time to send an email explaining my mistake, I got a message asking if I indeed meant to buy two sets or if they should cancel one of the orders. Talk about costumer service 🙂

Then all there was to wait…

14203439_10210265181327565_285637099_o …for the package.

It arrived in a lovely box14233846_10210265177007457_1855676599_o

with all my Tudor goodies insideimg_0734

img_0737Pretty!

Lets take a closer look:

Bust piece:img_0722This was the piece that I coveted most of them all. And it looks exactly as I imaged.

img_0725Lovely pendant at the center.

Girdle:
img_0727It have a chain in back for size adjustments which is really smart. My only wish is for the hanging front piece to be a little bit longer, like you see in portraits of the time, but I get that that would give it another price.

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Necklace:img_0717

Earings:img_0712

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The complete set:
img_0707You could never wear to much jewelry, right?

I’m so pleased with the set and love the color and quality of all the pieces. And think hey look great and really authentic for the period.
And just the other day I took them for a real test drive…

*I don’t get any financial (or other) gain for promoting this site or its products, but are simply a happy customer, who like to show things I like on my blog 🙂

Medieval Fair Söderköping 2016

A few days after I finished my “Borgia dress” it was time for it’s first outing – To the yearly medieval fair in Söderköping.

This year I had a hard time deciding whether or not I should go, and if I did, then in what way would I attend.
Because of the new baby…
The first thing I needed to decide was If I should go at all, and should I then take him with me?
And If I took him, should I breastfeed or give him the bottle (this is the million dollar question when it comes to clothing decision), and would it be better to wear something old and easy to wash (because, baby spit) instead of my new princess gown?

I had three dresses that I could wear to the event:

1. Italian renaissance
img_0504Pros:
New dress!
Never worn
Soo pretty

Cons:
“Booberella”
Difficult to wash and thous breastfeed in
Never worn….

2. Medieval Cote
IMG_3663Pros:
Comfortable and opportunity to wear a whimple
Perfect for the Fairs time period
Easy to breastfeed in
Well tested and trusted

Cons:
Thick wool = super hot
Difficult to wash
Worn a lot

3. Tudor Peasantsidan-solPros:
Easy to wear
Easy to wash and to breastfeed in
Cons:
Simple on the verge to boring

In the end the choosing was made easy by my boyfriend insisting he take the baby for the day and I go alone (well not alone, my sister was to come to).
This was to be the longest time away from Charlie I ever been, so lets just say I was les then focused when dressing in my gown (New Borgia gown for the win, because – New dress :-)) and kissing my boys goodbye.

img_0919The familiar scenery of Söderköping.

We meet up with the dance team and participated in the show (with only a handful of on-lookers)img_0890

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img_0900I really need to do something about that neckline (or work a bit more on my posture)…

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img_0913Ha ha, love this picture.
Some people do take the dancing a lot more serious 😀

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After the dance recital me and my sister took a walk around the market.

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img_0922Mmmm fabric….

We also took a few minutes to take some pictures by the big church (while trying our best to ignore the other visitors taking our picture).

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14689770_10210697130606027_928742329_oMedieval selfie 🙂

Before heading hoe we did a pit-stop at the fabulous fabric store, where I got lots and lots of cute baby fabrics.

1450s Borgia Headwear

I also needed something on my head to go with my new “Borgia” dress.
So I decided to make a simple headband (kind of a stripped down french hood) with a hair net to hide my hair, or lack thereof.

For the construction I used ” A Damsel in this Dress” great tutorial on hoods.
(www.adamselindisdress.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/how-to-make-french-hoods)

The materialsimg_0393I used the same striped brocade as n the dress, on top of buckram and lined with cotton scraps.

Cutting the outer fabricimg_0394

Using the machine to attach the milliner wire to the Buckramimg_0397

Pinning and stitching the fabric to the frame
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Adding lace to the edgeimg_0404

And a velvet strip to be decorated with pearls. img_0407

Then I attached the lining img_0408

I used a bought, blue hairnet to pick up the colors from the dress. img_0384

I really wanted to add beads to the hairnet as seen in paintings of the time (and in “The Borgias” series) but it didn’t work at all. img_0392 So after a few tries I decided to go on without them.

I finished the headband by stitching the hairnet to the cresent and adding wig snaps to the inside to keep it on my head.

Finished headdress (and a sneak a peak of the dress being worn)
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Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 5/2016 Holes

What: a 1490s Italian headwear – Cresent with hairnet.

Pattern: I made my own.

Fabric/notions: Thread, Scraps of striped brocade, cotton, buckram, lace ribbon, velvet ribbon, some pearls and about 60 cm of millinery wire. And of course a hairnet.

How historical accurate: Not sure., Since I didn’t really did any research for this one, but just wanted a pretty headress to go with my dress (Sorry). maybe 3/10.

Time: Most of it are hand made, so I guestimate about 2-3 hours.

Cost: Slim to none since it all was scraps, but lets say 50 Sek (8 Usd) for everything (including the hairnet*).

First worn: Late august for photos, and a few days later on he yearly Medieval fair.

Final thoughts: I think it looks pretty and works well with the dress. It does also do the job of (togheter with some lose hair ringlets) hiding my own short hair.

*Gott’a love Ebay 🙂

1490s Borgia dress – Construction part 2 – Finishing

And here comes the second part on the construction of my “Borgia” dress (part 1)

tumblr_mc079qPab21r4sg4ao2_250The Main inspiration

As a new mom the time for sewing is a bit more restricted then before, but when the urge to create gets to overwhelming you sometimes need to do what ever needed to get the itch satisfied.  
14203599_10210265181927580_1854767540_o#multitaskingmom
He actually falls right asleep once carried, whether I’m handsewing or using the machine.

Starting where we left of, finished the skirt, sleeves and assembled the bodice I hated the dress. I was so frustrated I left it on the dressform several days before I got the energy to tackle it again.14191394_10210265180927555_1142277737_oBy then I’ve convinced myself that once finished it would look much better then limp and sad on my dressform. I also hoped the proportions would look much better on me then on the form.

So carry on I did, marking the lacing holes.
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14215727_10210265181247563_2038233614_oHm, what color to use…

img_0345Right side finished with lacing holes and trim.

Once the lacing was finished I stitched the sides of the bodice together and then it was time to put it on to14191493_10210265181287564_429470907_o img_0350
The fit is almost perfect (if you ignore the ridiculous low neckline).

The small lacing holes I’ve made needed a thin and delicate lace – one which would not hold the preasure of my not so small bust. So I added some lacing rings and a cotton cord (to be hidden beneath the stomacher) to take the stress of the pretty golden laces.img_0377

Then I added the lining to the bodice, fixed the front clouser, finished the edges of all the little laces (sooo many laces and lacing holes) and hemmed the skirt.img_0382

And that was that 🙂

The finished Dress
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Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 1/2016 Procrastination – I’ve been wanted to make this dress for  long time, but only now (summer 2016) got around to make it.

What: A 1490s Italian Dress inspired by the TV-series “The Borgias”

Pattern: I drafted my own, using “The tudor tailor” for reference on the bodice.

Fabric: 4 m light blue satin (1 m wide) 1,5 m striped brocade, 0,5 m white cotton for lining and interlining.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, 6 m silvery ribbon, 3 m golden ribbon for front lacing, 3 m cotton lacing for internal lacing, 12 lacing rings, 2 m plastic boning, 0,5 m steel boning, 4 m blue furniture braid for decoration.

How historical accurate: Not that much I’m afraid. The fabric are all modern (polyester) and the sewing and construction was made using modern techniques and sewing machine. the style of dress itself are plausible but probably borderline fantasy. I must admit I’m not that knowing on this specific period. Maybe 5/10

Time: Way to long – I would guess about 20 hours over the course of 1,5 month, working in small batches of maximum 1 hour at the time.

Cost: About 200 Sek (16 Usd) – A real bargain! It should probably be more like 1000 sek (160 Usd)

First worn: For photos mid August and at a Medieval Fair late August.

Final Thoughts: I actually like it even though I feel like Booberella in it. The neckline ended up to low, and the way it closes in the front are not the best solution.
But I think this is one of the most decorated pieces I’ve ever made, and think it looks great.

1490s Borgia dress – Construction

I’ve long wanted o make an early Italian Renaissance dress inspired by the series “The Borgias”

tumblr_lt0cgyMJUB1qiu1coo3_400Main inspiration

But it wasn’t until I remembered these two fabrics in my stash the design really took shape.20160719_085353_resizedA beautiful striped brocade I bought a whole bolt of for a steal about a year ago, and a dove grey/blue satin acquired on a fabric sale for about 5 Sek/m (it’, only 1,20 wide but for that price I could live whit that)

20150810_181826_resized Isn’t it gorgeous!

Playing around with the design I decided to use the design on the brocade for stripes and trim..img_9962Three different sizes of “trim”

once all the pieces was cut I started working on the skirt. I stitched the panels together, leaving the center back open. Then I pinned and basted two different kinds of brocade trim to the front and along the lower edge. img_9965 I also added some blue furniture band along the center front decoration.

Then I stitched the back shut and pleated the waist to the right measurement.

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The wide stripe looked a bit strange at the top, so I folded some of it under to create an adjustable pleat.

Then it was time for the sleeves.

img_9961Cutting the sleeves on the bias.

After some hesitation I decided to cut the sleeves into two pieces each and to make them tied on, like the ones in my inspiration. img_0300experimenting with trimimg_0342All the pieces of the sleeves ready for decoration.

Then it was time for the bodice.img_9588Drafting the pattern

I cut the pieces in blue satin with un-bleached cotton for lining and interlining which I basted to the satin after drawing on the boning channels. img_9968

I used plastic zip-ties for boning img_0148

14202793_10210265179247513_1883118307_oin and outside of the bodice

Before stitching it together I needed to figure out and ad the decoration.14191392_10210265185047658_269194987_oOne line of brocade pinned on.

14171877_10210265181127560_570766475_ndifferent ways of trimming the bodice

It was around this point I put it on the dressform to get a grip on the over all look.
14215695_10210265177087459_2004703130_oAnd unfortunately I hated it 😦

1400-1600s Chemise

The first thing I needed for my Borgia dress was a new chemise.

I wanted one with lots of floowy fabrics and huge sleeves to pouf through the holes in the outer dress.

Bildresultat för the borgias chemise
Not as fancy as this one, but in the same style.

And since a chemise is basically made out of squares, I didn’t use any pattern but used sketches like this one and the one in “The Tudor Tailor” for reference.

Bildresultat för chemise pattern

I used a thin cotton voile, and sewed the whole thing on machine using the french seam as a seam finish.

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The whole thing went together pretty fast, and I would have made it in one night if I hadn’t messed up and inserted one of the sleeves inside out.

Damn!

And not only had I set it inside out, I only noticed it after I french seamed the heck out of it.

Double Damn!

IMG_0330that seam should really be on the inside…

I briefly considering leaving it that way (it’s underwear after all, No one is going to see it), but then I decided to fix it right away to be able to finish that same night.

 After some hesitation and trying to unpick the tiny stitching, I decided to just cut the whole thing of and start over again. IMG_0331 Cutting the seam allowance, to re-set the sleeve.

Said and done. I re-set the sleeve, finished the neckline (with a cord for gathering) and started to steam the finished chemise for photos.

Then I realized I re-set the sleeve in the exact same way as before – INSIDE OUT!

What the f-ck!

I almost burst into tears right then and there.
But after I managed to collect myself (a process involving frenetic searching through the kitchen for chocolate and getting some hugs and toothless smiles from my baby) I decided to put the project on hold for the night.

It took a few days but when I once more got some time for sewing I bit the bullet and re-set the sleeve once more, thus finally finishing it of. (And you can’t even tell that the shoulders now uneven)

The finished Chemise:
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