Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hooray Headdress!

In addition to getting some chores done around the house, I spent this past weekend diligently getting some overdue headdress projects done. I starched my frilled (fretwork) veil and I completed my first huvet attempt. Since the veil is older, we'll start with that one.

I used Elina's method almost exactly, except that my starch was made from barley (more on that in a moment) and instead of heat-setting in a sauna, I used a blow dryer. It turned out well, and thus far is holding up. The ultimate test, however, will be when I wear it on Saturday. I Linkthink I rushed the heating in the middle, so it's not as stiff as I'd like. I may go ahead a re-starch that section just to be thorough.


I made the starch from 1.5 cups of whole quick barley. I used 2 cups of water and boiled according to the directions on the box. I did end up putting 1 more cup of water in about halfway through. When the directions called to remove heat and let sit, I strained out the barely at that point, before the water could soak in. Then I let the liquid cool in the fridge for about an hour. I ended up with a liquid about the consistency of runny snot, and it left a viscous coating on my fingers. Though it was sort of off white in the bowl it did not leave a stain on the veil.

Before dipping the front of the veil into the starch, I got it wet with regular water. Then I pinned the frets open and worked the starch in with my fingers to the places it didn't go when I simply dipped. Then a blow dryer on high heat dried it and set the starch.


I expect that it will stay stiff for most of the morning, but any humidity in the air will start to take its toll by the afternoon. I think re-starching, paying more attention to how thick the starch is on the fabric, would help. Hopefully I can work that in this week.

And now, the huvet:

I already discovered that the huvet's curve was shifted back, causing ugly bumping, and preventing me from using it for my garb quest. It took a little mental persuasion to get myself to actually finish it, but ultimately I decided that I couldn't use my 15-minute version forever, especially since I tout the benefits of the Saint Birgitta's Cap in almost every single class I teach. A finished huvet, even one that isn't quite right, is definitely in order.

All I really needed to do this weekend was cut out and sew the band that formed the loop and the front edge of the cap, but since I wanted to continue hand sewing, it took a bit of effort. I decided not to continue to use my linen thread (which I'd used on the rest of it) since I need to save that for the garb quest. I used silk thread instead.


It's a good thing that this ended up not being an A&S entry. I thought the linen I used for the band was the same as what I'd used for the cap itself, but when I started to pin it on, I realized that they were not at all the same. You can't tell in the pictures above, but the band is white, the cap is off-white! Though, they did find that the band and the cap were not cut from the same linen on the extant SBC, so I guess I'm not all that far off!

I'm glad this one is done. It's comfy, and a bit larger than my 15-minute version, which will take a little getting used to. I got a good number of tips out of it that will help me on my second (hopefully for-real) try. The major ones being to pay more attention to the angle of the curve, and to use linen embroidery thread instead of the stretchy crewel wool.

I'm still playing around with hose patterns, as I would really like to take my black wool garb quest hose to work on this weekend. I'm also toying with the idea of throwing a new, non-fitted dress together for this weekend. Maybe a sideless gown? Something kind of Lutrell Psaltery?Link

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