Friday, June 19, 2009

Carrysack and Project Adjustments

Sat down after work yesterday and whipped out the carrysack. It's a bit smaller than I intended, but it was a lot of fun to make and it looks great. There are a few things I'll do differently the next time, but overall I like it.

Today, I picked up some fabric for a new banner, a steuchlein veil and a new dress.

That's my ferret, Ellie, by the way.

Blue fabric wasn't on the list for projects, but I really liked it. So, I've switched things up a bit. Instead of doing the Durer dress in a wine color, I'll do that in the green. Then, I'll do the V-neck gown with the blue and the gold. I'll post more on that soon- I'm still trying to formulate the whole plan.

My heraldic colors are azure, argent and or- hence the repeated color-scheme in the fabric. I've always wanted to do a heraldic dress, but I like the idea of doing it subtly in a 15th century style, instead of the more obvious 14th century style.

Finally, I'm rethinking doing a smocked apron. I'm going to investigate some other apron options- whatever is more appropriate for 15th century. Something like this one (via Myra).

I'm hoping to make it over to my mom's to get the fitted pattern complete. I'll need it to make any new dresses, so the sooner I have it, the better!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The New and Improved Project Pile

I'm sure you are all very much aware that it's easy to get carried away with your wish list. When you have the DIY tendency, this is especially dangerous! The phrase "I can do that" is too often uttered, and the next thing you know, you've got waaaay too many projects for your time and money to handle. Hence the necessary re-thinking of my project pile.

So, I've done some purging, some re-thinking, and some re-arranging, Instead of allowing my pile to grow in an amoeba-like manner, I've split it up into three categories. Items that will a) use materials I already have (primary), b) require materials that are inexpensive/easily obtainable (secondary), and c) require materials that more expensive/harder to obtain (tertiary). This doesn't convey an order to their completion, necessarily, though they are in order within their classification. Anything new is added to the bottom of the appropriate category. Precedence will be given to the primary and secondary categories, but the pile is flexible.

Primary Projects:
Teal Wool Fitted Dress:
I have the material, and if I continue to wait until I've lost weight, the dress will never be made. I will wait, however, until the end of summer- July and August are too hot in Southern Ohio to wear wool.
Bloomers: I have a linen/cotton blend that I can make into a pair of bloomers to wear under my dresses. I hit a stumbling block with how to construct them, but I think I've sorted that out. I just need some help to figure out how to make pants.
Embroidered Pin Case: I took this with me this past weekend to work on, but never touched it. It's not a difficult pattern, I just need to devote some time to it.
Bourelette (Horn) Headdress: I've been putting this off, mainly because I'm just not sure how to go about doing it, but I've got plenty of fabric laying around to at least experiment.
Carrysack: I'd like to modify this carrysack a little bit by making it smaller and giving it more of a shape (something that feels a bit more 15th century). I have a heavy light-mossy green fabric that should hold up well. I plan to use it for Owen's things. I may go ahead and make two- one for Owen and one for baby #2 when (s)he comes along. I could then embroider their initials or some other design onto them.
Smocked Apron: I'm daft for wanting to do a project that I know will suck out all my energy, but I really want to have a smocked apron. Plus, now that I've done the trial apron, I know how to do it better. I have an oatmeal-colored linen-look material that will look nice as an apron.

Secondary Projects:
Pleated German Veil:
A small veil with decorative pleating along the front edge (like this one via Jazwiec) would be a nice addition to my headdress collection. I need to buy a medium weight linen for it.
Buttoned Hood: I'm in love with Cristina Stoltes' hood. I've got a piece of brown wool that should be enough to make one. I need the white linen to line it.
New Open Hood: I also have some black wool that I'd like to make a new 15th Century open hood with. I need to do a better job with the fit, though, than I did with my blue one (which I never wear 'cause it just isn't right).

Tertiary Projects:
Silk Over Gown:
See this post. I'm re-thinking the colors a little. Whatever colors, though, I need the silk and the linen lining.
Silk Cardwoven Belt: A wide belt for V-neck gowns. I want to do it with a tone-on-tone checkerboard pattern in black (or maybe a dark brown). Would like to get this buckle. Need the silk too.
Wulsthaube: There are several ways to make the wulsthaube, but I'm thinking this one makes the most sense. I'm thinking of using wool felt and muslin, then getting a gauze linen with a subtle thick stripe in it for the steuchlein.
Black Gown: I'm still in debate about what kind of gown I want, but I've been wanting a black dress for some time. The main contender right now is a long-sleeve, fitted gown, like this one (via Medioevale Cibo Lotta). I'd like to get either a 100% linen or 100% light-weight wool for this one.
Durer Dress: I'm still wanting to do something like Myra's Durer Dress, but I'm not going to do it with the pink linen like I planned. I'd like to do a dark wine colored tropical weight wool, lined a blueish-purple linen.
V-Neck Gown: I've always liked Matilda la Zouche's simple Burgundian gown. I'd like to do one in green - Hex #636D39, for those who know what that means (medium sage green for those who don't!).

As you can see, all but one of the dresses are in the Tertiary pile. That's mainly because they require a lot of fabric, and I'd like to get natural, authentic materials (like linen and wool). It's part of my effort to be more authentic.

I've also established a percentage scale for the purposes of this blog (see the Project Pile sidebar). Once I know what I'm going to do, it hits 5%. Once I have the materials on hand, it's 25%. When I've got half the sewing of the project completed, it hits 50%. When the major construction is done, it will be 75%. After the finishing details and when it's ready to wear/use, it's 100% complete.

Finally, I updated the labels throughout this blog to steamline them, and to be able to find the most common items a bit better.

Alright? Time to get to it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Events

Well, my dear readers, the summer event season is now upon us. There haven't been any local events for about a month now, so there hasn't really been much to do to share with you. Now that there are a few events coming up, however, I've got more on my plate.

First, I'll be teaching a new class next weekend at Push for Pennsic, called "What to do with a Veil". It will be a hands-on style class where I'll demonstrate and discuss some of the things you can do with a veil. It will include not just traditional veil styles, but headwraps as well.

Push is the first camping event of the season, and will be the first time we'll camp with Owen. I've got some work to do to get his garb ready. What I have for him doesn't quite fit anymore. I've also got to make a new shirt for Dearg. I think I'll use what I have left over from that to make a pair of pants for Owen. I've got to look at the fabric I've got and figure out what more I can do.

For myself, I'll be making a linen veil - partly for my class, but mainly because I don't already have one. That should be a pretty easy project. (Of course I probably just jinxed myself.) I'm working on a modern item at the moment- a hand bag- and if I can finish that and have it look the way I intended it to, that will give me a big boost of confidence in the sewing department.

I also need to fix the botched seam on my rust-colored dress. You may recall that I tried to take it in in a hurry before the last event and ended up getting a fold in the seam? Well, I haven't touched it since then. I'll need two outfits, one for Friday and one for Saturday, so, in addition to the rust dress, I'm thinking of doing some minor tailoring to my brown dress (old faithful). Despite having worn that one all last summer, it's still in good shape, it just needs a little help. And since the South Beach Diet didn't work for me :( I know it won't need to be taken in dramatically.

So, at the moment, here's what my project pile looks like:

Tunic for Dearg
Two new (or modified) outfits for Owen
Linen Veil
Fix rust dress
Take in brown dress

All before next weekend.