Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New challenge...

When talking to Lauren last night, she mentioned a long term project she wanted to work on, and today I thought of a way of encouraging her that also gained me something.

For a while Isolde has lacked clothing from her time period.  I have also been desiring a new late period outfit.  My persona being Roman means pretty much anything is late period for me, and the last thing I made that I would qualify as a "nice" late period dress was my Housebook and that was a year ago.  Right now I'm working on new sleeves for a dress I made three years ago, but I still have very few really nice dresses, and as the kingdom I'm in right now seems to either have camping events or high court events, I've been wearing my three year old dress more frequently than I ever planned.

So, the new challenge is to have Isolde do research into her period, and we'll both make dresses based off her research.  I know, it looks like I'm making her do most of the work, but she'll get both an outfit and documentation out of this challenge.  I get to be sounding board and motivation, and I can do hair research on a specific period, which works for me, as I don't quite have the vested interest in the period, but do like having a focused period for hairstyle work.  I might explore the cosmetics of the time, though I'm still just starting out with cosmetics, we'll see how that works out for me.

The goal is to have inspiration and research mostly decided by the end of January, and start shopping for fabrics in February and March when we get tax moneys back.  The hope is to have the garments done around July for An Tir/West war if I'm still on the west coast, or for Pennsic if I've moved to the east coast.  My husband's job is up in the air right now, so life's a bit uncertain.

We'll get a name for this challenge figured out in the next month or so....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A little late... but at least it's here?

Isolde came to visit me at the end of June, through the beginning of July, which meant that along with the requisite around town shenanigans, we got plenty of West-An Tir War Shenanigans.  It's been a long while since there were Petra and Isolde War Shenanigans.

We took a trip to the Pendleton wool outlet in Washougal Washington.  Cheap mill ends and Sir Wooliam cuteness.  We did various things the weekend before war, and packed up prepared for war.  Isolde brought her camping garb with her, cause we think ahead like that.

There was also much matchy-matchy in garb choices, because I figured it wouldn't hurt too much.  So, the pictures.  Norse by night and we had a Roman Day.

Isolde's favorite part of the event, aside from seeing folks on this coast, was the cook's playdate.  Or the whole cooks encampment I suppose.  The cooks were set up right across the "street" from our camp, (that's The Boy's tent on the right side of this pic) and they have a huge clearing set up with cooking fires and cool open fire cooking tools.  Saturday at war they have a huge dinner party made up of the foods they've cooked during the day, and they share the food with all those that cooked or helped.

Also, on the ride home, we stopped and got the obligatory DINASAR! picture.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Housebook Documentation is up...

Over at my personal blog: petracasta.blogspot.com

And because we haven't mentioned it, Both of us are now A&S champions for our respective Baronies!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures of the Housebook...

So I just realized it's been over a week, and I never posted the "finished" photos.  Oops... I have a few snagged off Facebook from various people, and somewhere in the realms of her camera are the photos my lovely wifey took of us posing and other silliness.  Those will surface eventually.

M. Amber Bayles hoc fecit
The photos that have shown up so far are mostly from M. Amber Bayles, and are of the dancing.  I had the whole skirt kilted up to dance, and look at how pretty the folds are on the front.  The skirt is about 6ish inches past the floor on the front in order to puddle properly when released from the belt, like in some of the seated images.  The back of the skirt had a lovely little train that I happily dragged allover the site, and every time I stopped to talk to someone, or merely to stand still, I'd turn just a half step so as to properly drape the train out behind me.  (And then I would look down and giggle like an idiot about my train.)  I never got around to lacing the sleeves closed though I put in 16 handmade eyelets the night before.  My excuse was the event was in 70+ degree weather, and I was in wool, but really I was just being lazy.  I appreciated having my hair braided, and sewn up for the warmth of the day, and there are several photos of the dancing wherein I'm bareheaded due to shucking the warm woolen hat.

M. Amber Bayles hoc fecit
I think the back turned out nice enough, though I'm not sure about the sleeves.  They gave me SO much trouble, and I still don't understand why.  I'm pretty sure I understand exactly how they work, but for the life of me, I couldn't get them to work right for me.  There are a few tweaks to the overall dress I'm thinking about doing before Midwinter's in January.  I'm not pleased with how narrow the front of the neckline seems to be.  I'm considering taking off the "silver" lacing pieces, cutting the neckline wider and reattaching them after.  All the images seem to have very wide necklines, without appearing to fall off the shoulders.  If I go ahead and change the neckline I'm tempted to reset the sleeves, and cut the armscyes just a little deeper in the fronts.  I have plenty of sleeve to go around a larger armscye, and had plenty of trouble trying to ease the sleeves in in the first place, so it might even go easier the second time around.  The other alteration I'm considering is picking out the hand stitching in the pleats on the front, and lowering the height of them.  I wouldn't cut anything off, but refold the height down so the pleats don't bend under my bust as can be seen in the last photo.  The extra fabric in the pleat would also pad the rolled pleats a little better, which was one of the original plans, but I didn't have enough fabric left over to pad the pleats!

John P Van Domelen hoc fecit
 I love the red hats that inspired this challenge.  I had to show documentation to some friends to prove that they were in fact a historical style, they looked too much like modern ski hats to believe me.  Unfortunately, the fringed hat style doesn't go with the 3/4 sleeves, and when I get the time, I'm making a Wulsthaube to go with it.  I would also love, love, love to find a decent fabric to make a checky petticoat or underdress for it.  Though on that one I should probably do a little research to see which item is the appropriate under... thing  for the style.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Score is Lorien 1, Lauren 0

Because I'm a responsible student, I've spent most of the last couple of weeks working on studying and projects and preparing for finals. This is good, except it also means that my time for working on the Red Dress Project has been limited. Had my pattern cooperated from day 1, I might have been okay, but alas, it has been giving me fits, and at this point, to finish the dress in time for Yule, I would literally have to work all day and night, Lori and I both, and probably rush some things I'd rather not rush. So, instead of doing that, I'm merely getting Lori to help me with the pattern, and wearing my red hat with a different dress on saturday. Eventually, I will finish the dress (soonish I hope, actually) and hopefully our hats can be reunited at an An Tir event, but for now? My sanity and qualiy time with my BFF are waaay more important. Also, not spending today slaving away on a dress means I actually have time to cook my A&S entry--w00t!

In other news, even though it's been giving me fits, I still love and adore the Herjolfsnes method of making a gown. The basic idea is that the center front and center back panels of a dress are more or less straight cut, with little to no flare or shaping, and that all of the shaping is achieved by a series of gores. Some of these are the normal (to me) triangles that are inserted at the waist, but the Herjolsnes gowns also include a number (4-8, depending on the specific garment) of elongated gores that extend all the way into the armpit, forming the sides of the dress and the bottom of the armsceye. My major issue came with the fact that I am much, much squishier than most women (hooray plus-sized!), and keeping 4 very narrow panels all on grain while trying to fit myself was seeming kind of impossible. Insert the clue-by-four, and I went back and examined the research (http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/herjback.html) and found that, contrary to what I'd been told, the rule that women's gowns always had four side gores and men's always had two is just totally fallacious. Specifically, check out #39 (woman's gown, 2 side gores) and #41 (man's garment, 4 side gores).

So, secure in that knowledge I cut a new starting-place mockup and adjusted the seams to match the straight-cut fronts and backs, then combined my four side gores into two. Already, I like the shape much, much better, and Lorien's tweaks were going much smoother last night.

I'll hopefully update with progress photos soon, but I've got a sleepy BFF to go have adventures with and documentation to write.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Well, this is it...

It's about six hours till we leave to drop me off in Portland, 10ish hours till I hop on the plane.  The dress is almost done, save for the eyelets on the sleeves.  Had to keep part of the dress to do with my Wifey, cause it isn't a project with her if we aren't sewing till at least the day before the event.

It looks pretty good.  I need to bring some kind of belt though, as I deliberately left the skirts long like they are in the pictures.  I debated bringing the sky blue petticoat from my Italians, but I don't have any room to pack it.  I try to pack light, even for a 2 1/2 week trip, so there's only my small rolling luggage, the dufflebag that goes with it, and my purse.  I packed the dress in the duffle for a carry on, because after this much work, I don't want to risk the dress not making it on time.  My regular clothes can get lost for all I care, but I would have a crying fit if the dress didn't make it to Houston.  Nearly couldn't find the red hat that started it all.

I have packed a few things from the braid box, just in case.  Not the full box, but the few necessities that would be harder to justify replacing.

I'm excited!  I really should sleep, but I'm not sure I want to.  Less than 15 hours till Lauren and Lorien are reunited, this could be disastrous...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nearly there...

 Not the best photos, but the dress is coming along!  I think moving all the eyes will help with the gaping in the front, but I'm not sure.  Still to do: Make lacing cord, eyelets in the sleeves, move the blasted eyes or figure out lacing strips somehow, hem the dress, and shorten the sleeves on the hemd.