Thursday, 3 August 2017

This dress has killed me

This damned dress.

   It took me ages to muster up the energy to fit everything together once I'd assembled both layers of the dress because hand stitching is death... so I redid a few things I'd made a mess of with an older dress. By hand. I'm stupid that way but refitting the arms by hand seemed easier than doing it by machine, especially since I just got a hang of how to refit them.



   It's not entirely historically correct to fit the layers together like I do with my dresses, but with a little help it is quite simple. All historical sources I've consulted point to there being linen undergarments and then a separate outer layer (and then another one after that), normally of wool with silk lining, except in some cases depending on wool fabric quality, but heeeeeeey! So what. I'm really not that strict on the details. This is more of an experimental hobby and even though the amount of money it costs is sometimes beyond absurd it remains only a hobby to me. I'm letting having fun be my first priority and money-worries my second. And I'm planning on having fun in my outfits. Also, I caught on to the idea to fit the layers together in an effort to have a way of not needing to use my modern bra underneath my medieval dresses (makes for a more historically correct silhouette). But that should obviously be something I solve with my linen underwear. It's much simpler (see: cheaper) to redo a linen garment than a wool one. I've done two dresses this way already but it's not quite working the way I want it to (in other words: I still need to wear a bra).

   Just like the people of the late 14th century I have a thing for buttons, and so I'm making my own buttons for the arms; nineteen on each arm in this case just up to my elbows.

   I took a short course on how to weave edges back in 2015 and have been wanting to try it since which of course is also an excellent excuse for buttons this time around. On the other hand this meant I needed a tape loom, something I don't own as of yet, so some improvising was at hand (it ended with me slaughtering a deck of cards, gluing cards together and then carving appropriate windows and holes in them). The books and history nerds I've consulted says the woven edge should be silk (or wool) so I invested in some real silk thread (I've used polyester thread on my previous dresses and didn't want to use wool this time).

   But before I could get to that I picked up on another project; a buttoned and lined liripipe hood. I don't have one and want one since there's nothing better to protect one's neck from the cold.
   My fingers hurt but as my mantra goes; "it'll look beautiful when it's done". So I picked up some old dresses that needed some loving and switched between projects as to not bore my restless mind with the hand sewing.








   And it did turn out beautiful! The hood looks much better than I expected, which is always a bonus (and deserves a friggin' gold star).

  Right! Back to the cotehardie! Weave edges. Yes. Good. Since I had already tried my simplified little tape loom on the liripipe hood (with worsted yarn) I had some idea of how to do it. I also knew that it was fiddly work but oh so worth it. At first I thought I'd use mixed colours but then decided against it (and regret nothing).

   IT LOOKS FUCKING FANTASTIC.
   Next step was to make lacing holes. Again, slow and tedious work, but it's the last piece of the dress I can fiddle together on my own. Just me, my bone needle, needle and silk thread. And then, THEN, turning up the skirt hemline and presto
    - a dress.
And I'm dead. Well, my fingers are.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Three days left...

Three work days left...
   ...and I have to go over references this week and go through the last check points before hiring our new colleague. I am very ready for my vacation.



...and the dress is almost done. Which is good because I'm leaving on Sunday morning.