The Halloween themes continue:
Warning! There are some gruesome pics in this post…
It’s almost been a month since the yearly Medieval fair in Söderköping, and I just now gotten round to post about it, but better late then never right:-).
I’ve been attending this fair with my sister for a few years now (2014, 2015, 2016) and this year was no exception, only this year I didn’t joined the dance recital, but instead had my hand full taking care of my 1 year old son.
As always I had a bit of a trouble deciding on what to wear, but finally settled on the Elizabeth I dress l made last year.
My sister borrowed my red renaissance kirtle.
And baby Charlie wore the Henry VIII coat from last year, pared with an old red velvet hat to match.
I promised my fiancé I wouldn’t dress him to weird, and in my defence I can only say I (partially) held that promise. Besides from the coat and hat (which he needed for head covering), he wears a regular gray long sleeved t-shirt and pants pared with his autumn boots.
*Disclaimer: This post will be full of cute (faceless) “Henry VII” baby pics – so consider yourself warned;-)
**I’m sorry about the “Floating ruff”, but the partlet was simply to hot to wear, and I’ve forgotten to bring my necklace and/or black-worked smock, so I figured it was better then nothing…
Then we meet up with the dancing team and baby C got introduced to the whole gang for te first time.
My sister joined the dancing
And me and C watched(At least for a little while), then he was of agin… I do think we made for quite a sight.
Lots of people commented on how cute he looked, and some even wanted our picture.
After the dancing we went to get some food, and encountered the knights on our way to the restaurant.After lunch we stopped to take a break and to play a bit in the parks playground. The slide is by far his favourite.
The we did even more exploring the townHa ha, I love that my sister tries to play with him and how he’s much more interesting in the gravel:-D Trying to get some nice photos together… It’s harder then you’d think
Before we headed home we took another round of the market and listened to some music, Met a knight of the crusades and looked at some more pretty things (that we didn’t buy). Renaissance ladies.
It was such a fun day, and a perfect “first event” for C (who was in the best of moods during the day, and then slept the whole car ride home). What more could you wish for 🙂
I tend to think these “make-do/repair/re-make – challenges” are pretty boring. And I never know what to make and feel kind of uninspired by the whole thing.
But then something always happens.
I guess it’s due to my ever growing costume wardrobe, and my inpatients (often pressed by deadlines) to get stuff finished, that I always end up with several entry’s for the “re-make” HSM challenges.
The first one, this time, is the fixing up of my 16th century “Pair of bodice” (corset) that I made as one of my first historic pieces back in 2013.
Mighty proud back then
Since I’ve long been dreaming of expanding my 16th century wardrobe (and just recently got both patterns and a lovely black wool for a robe) I decided it was time to go through the existing pieces to make sure they where up to speed.
2013, and just starting to ventur into the world of historic costuming
February 2017, and still a novice (tough a bit more knowable)
The corset fit me almost the same as back in 2013, but that was not enough anymore.
It needed to be fixed.
The first thing I did was to take my measurements, and they tuned out (as I expected) to be the exact same with and without the corset on. I know that the 16th century silhouette don’t call for any sliming of the torso, but a column to get the right look of the garment. But despite that I wanted to minimize my “column” as much as possible – Oh the vanity…
One of the biggest problem in this was the thick (2-3mm) plastic zip-ties I used to completely bone the bodice.
They build on to the outside of the corset to give me the bigger/same size as un-laced.
So they had to go.
Or at least most of them.
After I unripped the bias tape covering the upper edge, I removed every other bone at the front, all bones at the sides and only left a few ones a the back. I also cut the remaining bones down a god cm to make them fit better into the channels.
Cutting down the plastic boning.
Once the bones was gone I faced another problem – now the whole thing was a bit to big…
So I grabbed my seam-ripper, and got to work removing the piecing I added for exactly the same (opposite?) reason when I made the bodice.
Once almost all the upper binding was removed, I also took the opportunity to shorten the shoulder straps.
Then all that was left was to stitch everything back again.
All the facts:
Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make
What: The re-make of my 16th century “Pair of bodice”
How It fit the challenge: I re-made the pair of bodice to better fit my current skill and body, making it a lot more likely I will actually wear them. I also got a lot leftover boning from the fix-up, that I can use for other projects down the line.
How historical accurate: Not at all except the shape. The whole thing is made with machine, in synthetic brocade using both plastic boning and metal eyelets (so sorry you guys…). But it is a clear example of how my knowledge and skill have grown and since they will never be seen, it don’t bother me as much as it probably should. about 3/10.
Time/Cost: About 3 hours and it didn’t cost me a thing (of one thing I gained a few cents with the opportunity to re-use the left over bones).
First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos
Finished thoughts: I’m happy that I now might finally wear them 🙂
2 (or 3 months) ago, when deciding on projects for Halloween (Elizabeth I for me) I realizes that this would be the first (of many?) costumes I would make for my baby, and that I really wanted it to be special.
So what would I dress my chubby redheaded infant as for his first Halloween…?
The answer came to me pretty fast:
Hernry VIII – of course
Since this was to be a costume worn (once) by an infant I decided to make it as easy and wearable (read soft/comfy) as possible, using Jersey fabrics and omitting anything complicated (like slashes) or small/sharp (like beading and pearls).
I also decided it was totally acceptabel to cheat as much as possible 🙂
Then it was time for the actual sewing.
Then it was time for the main piece – the cape
The sleeves was made from rectangles stitched together, decorated and gathered at top and bottom. Ignore the wonkyness – I stitched this with my baby sleeping in the carrier on my belly, so not the best attention to detail.
This was such a fun project and I really love how the little coat/cape came out.
Before the first snow fell last week I manage to get some nice autumn photos of my new “Elizabeth I” Dress.
I’m wearing the Tudor/Elizabethian dress, on top of several layers of petticoats, bumpad and shift, and accessorized with the new partlet, french hood, an old neckruff and the amazing jewelry from “Evil and og“(link to blogpost). (Excuse the modern hair but its just impossible to get a nice center part with a short side bangs.)
The next thing that I needed to make to complete the Elizabethan look was some kick as headwear.
And what is more associated with this time period then the french hood.
Elizabeth I in “power suit” and crazy perm – and some kind of french(isch) hood.
I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”, and “A Damsel in this Dress” great tutorial for the construction.
Starting by cutting the fabric from the (by now VERY limited) scraps of the golden brocade I used for the dress, cotton sheet for lining and buckram.
I used the version with the pointed font edge, to make it a it later in style then the regular ones you often see.
Despite careful measuring and testing of the pattern it ended up a bit to small, causing me to eliminate the seam allowance and stitching the the back seam edge to edge. Which I then covered with another scrap piece of fabric.
Then I added the cresent to the base
and stitched the lining/bag to the back. Here you can also see covering of the piecing at the back.
From the side.
The last thing to do was to make and attach the veil.
I used some nice black velvet cut almost in the shape of a sleeve, and attached to the back of the hood. In case you wonder, <= This is how I made almost the whole hood (carrying my baby on my body)
What: A 1550s French Hood
Pattern: French Hood from “The Tudor Tailor”.
Fabric & Notions: Scraps of golden brocade, cotton lining, and buckram, 1 m satin ivory ribbon, thread, 0,5 m black velvet, 2 m millinery wire, ivory and golden pearls.
Time & Cost: About 5 hours (its almost completely made by hand) and about 100 Sek (10 Usd)
Final Thoughts: I LOOOVE it! 🙂
I think this is one of my best millinery work so far. It look so nice and authentic and I had so much fun making it.
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).
Queen 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.Theater costume for the fictional play “The Tempest”
This time, like last time, I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”.
This 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.Unfortunately I didn’t manage to pattern match as good as I would have liked, but that something I can live with at this point.
I used an opening in the lining (which I left open when I stitched the lining together) to turn the whole thing right.
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.
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.
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.Inspiration and fabric
Then I cut the fabric carefully placing the motifs in the perfect spots for each piece. Cutting the sleeves, making sure the pattern placement matches on both left to right sleeve.
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.
Not perfect, but close enough.
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. I cut and stitched the hem using 15 cm wide pieces of cotton fabric to the inside.
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.The sleeves stitched and ready (one is turned inside out).
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.
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.
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:
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!
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…
Lets take a closer look:
It 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.
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 🙂
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an exploration of historical costume
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