02 October 2015

September challenge: Brown

Persian salwar
Persian salwar
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
For the brown challenge, I made a pair of salwar to wear with my 16th c. Persian clothes. They are made of a lightweight, block-printed cotton from India that was originally cream with black, which I then overdyed to brown. The pattern is incredibly simple: two tapered tubes. They're held up by a separate cord or thin belt. The cut is the same as the closest extant items I'm aware of, which are Ottoman Turkish pants from the same time period. Those ones were very high status, and made from brocades that look fairly stiff. Persian silhouettes are generally softer and more fluid that Turkish ones, and cotton and block printing were both available. I choose this print because it preserves at large scale the design aesthetic - large individual motifs, well separated by blank space, and largely symmetrical. The motif itself is probably a bit too complex, but is not glaringly bad.

The Challenge: September - Brown
Fabric: 2.5 yds block-printed cotton
Pattern: none
Year: 16th c. Persian
How historically accurate is it:Matches (limited) information - materials speculative.
Total cost: $40.

18 August 2015

Running to stand still

I have been making things, but none of it has really felt ... blog-worthy? I made a wool hood for myself, very basic. I felted another hat - this one went a lot more smoothly than the first one. Both of those were tied to the HSM July challenge (accessories). The brick stitch pouch is death by a thousand stitches (and then another thousand, and another...). It's halfway through August, and the only ideas I've had for the HSM challenge would be multi-month projects. Unless inspiration strikes, I'll be skipping this one. I do have a plan for September, though, and I've even ordered fabric.

22 July 2015

Historical Sew Monthly: not going as planned

Still too small embroidered pouch
Still too small embroidered pouch
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
I think I'm falling off the HSM wagon. I did make an entry for the June challenge - men's 14th c. braies and hose, but they didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Usable, yes, and they look decent (although late in the day I had a *lot* of sag in the hose), but there are definitely things I'll change when I attempt this again. Minor adjustments on the hose, but I'll probably start from scratch with different construction for the braies.

For the July Accessories challenge, I wanted to finish my brick-stitch pouch. I knew that was going to be a stretch goal, and it's not going to happen. If I had left it the size I originally started with, it would be done by now. If I could leave it at the size after the first enlargement, I could probably still finish, although it'd be tight. And in both cases I would have a pouch that wouldn't hold my new phone (at all, or comfortably, respectively). And so I need to embark on a second round of enlargement. My heart sinks at the thought of it. I am tired of this project.

I may see about doing something else smaller for the July challenge, but my energy for working on projects has been pretty low. I did start a hat (felted, not sewn), but I'll need to borrow some of the tools to finish it, which isn't going to happen in the next week.

28 May 2015

Practical sometimes means boring

Early period under-tunics
Early period under-tunics
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
Practicality is ... replacing basics that don't fit even when you'd much rather sew something interesting. Since I normally hang out in the 15th century, anything before the mid-14th c. is "early period" to me. I use those eras a lot, though, especially when camping, because they are simple and fairly uncomplicated. My undertunics are cut pretty much identically to my tunics, with two exceptions: shorter hem and snug underbust. The width of the body panels at the bottom of the sleeve gussets is only slightly bigger than my rib cage measurement. It's a little tricky to squeeze in and out of, but it provides enough support for light to medium activities. (Pinning the neckline closed also helps.) The downside is, while the nice loose tunics are accommodating of weight fluctuation, the more fitted layer not so much.

The Challenge: May - Practicality
Fabric: 2 yds handkerchief linen
Pattern: none
Year: 8th-13th c. Ish.
How historically accurate is it:Eh. Not a lot of solid details on underwear from this time period, but undyed linen in a rectangular tunic cut is consistent with what we know. Construction is modern (machine, French seams).
Total cost: $15-20 each.

05 May 2015

Next time: remember to take pictures

Originally uploaded by Verla Herschell.
I didn't get any pictures of it?

The red 1490s gown is done. It's fabulous, if I do say so myself. And every time I want to post about, I go looking through my photos for which one captures the overall result, and I can't find any. I have no photos of myself wearing this gown. I don't know how that slipped my mind. I guess I'm going to have to do a photo session at some point.

Since the last set of progress photos, it's all been finishing work. Strips of wool flannel around all the edges to mimic a lining, and larger sections pieced into the lower sleeves where it might show. Stitching down and/or whipping seam allowances and raw edges. The lacing rings for the front opening are set between the lining and the outer fabric, and the lining extends a bit such that it covers the gap I would otherwise get. This works well and provides a really nice look.

In other news, the April HSM challenge totally didn't happen for me. I went into the month without any ideas of what to do, and inspiration struck really, really late in the month, when I no longer had any time to work on it. I'll be cutting my losses and moving straight on to the next challenge.