Thursday, February 18, 2010

Slacking Off

Sometimes I can be such a slacker.

I've been letting all the time I have to work on stuff kind of float by me. Like I'm sitting on the beach, sipping a cocktail, waving at the passing sailboats. I've got a few excuses, though, such as being exhausted by this second pregnancy and the weird schedule that my family is on (Dearg works third shift). The sewing machine is in our bedroom, so when my hubby's asleep, sewing is kind of off limits unless I let him know ahead of time.
I cut out the sleeves and cut down the hem of the black linen dress this morning. I'm trying to get myself psyched up to go sew the sleeves on, which I'll then have to fit. Right now, they are straight sleeves. I'm going to do them as 3/4 length fitted sleeves with cuffs that I can fold up to show the lavender lining. It's not necessarily period in method, but the look it will achieve will be similar to a rolled up sleeve, just without the buttons and extra fabric.
I've been working on a new class that I'd like to teach at Coronation. It's much more involved than some of the other classes I've taught, but I'm really excited about it, especially because it utilizes all the research I've been doing over the past few years. I think I'll call the class "Demystifying 15th Century Female Garb", or something like that. It will be, basically, a concise, visual look at the clothing of French, Flemish and English women of all classes in the 15th century. I've identified the major steps of the evolution of garb through the century, and I've actually drawn pictures that show these steps. It's very fun! Of course, there is no real way to show all the styles of the century, as there were many combinations between and around each of the steps I've identified, but with 9 steps figured out, it's just barely going to be "concise". I may also try to develop a companion class that follows the same outline but focuses on the headdress, since there's just as much variation there, if not more.
In getting this class together, I've also started to identify the particular years within the 15th century that I'd like to focus for my own garb. I'm looking at the dates between 1440 and 1460. To date, I really only have one truly 15th cent. outfit- my teal dress with pin-on sleeves and black open hood- but for my persona, I need to have more middle class garb. Surcoats are a must. I wish I'd discovered that sooner, before starting my black dress, though. The types of outer gowns worn by the lower-middle class were not the front-laced kirtles they wore as underdresses. My black dress is a front-laced kirtle- just with fancier sleeves. Sooo, next time I make a dress, I need to whole-heartedly ask myself if it will be an outer surcoat first.
As if all that wasn't enough to chew on, I've also been thinking about underwear. I'd like to make a linen smock and a pair of linen hose (actually, I'd rather make a pair of wool hose, but I don't know that the climate here is best for those, especially because my feet tend to get overheated). I'm not going to add those to my project pile just yet, though, as I'm having a hard enough time getting through the projects that are already on there.