14 September 2007

18th c. strapless stays: instant gratification

The more I thought about this project, the more I realized that it was an 'instant gratification' project. Not that any sewing project is truly instant gratification, but in the sense that I was much more interested in finishing the object quickly rather than devoting months to the process. To that end, I've gone entirely with machine sewing, for both assembly and topstitching for the channels. (The channels are half done in the photo, I finished the rest of them this evening.) I am so much more happy with the project now, and excited about finishing it up, so I know I made the right call. I've gone with white stitching over the light blue fabric for a little contrast, and I'm hoping to get white kidskin leather for the binding to match. First, comes boning, though. I've got 1/4" half-round reed starting to uncoil, and I'll probably start on that in the next couple of days.

12 September 2007

18th c. strapless stays: (lack of) progress

I've not gotten much done on this project in the past two weeks. Basting the layers together was quick and easy, but the pieces have pretty much remained in that state ever since. I had been thinking that I would do all handsewing for this, and I started assembly with a fairly small, precise backstitch. Having done only the first seam (center front) and an inch of the second, though, the primary feeling I get when I think about picking it up again is one of dread. The thickness of the six layers combined with the strength of the seam that I think will be necessary slowed my speed to a painful crawl. So, given how I'm now feeling about this project, my inclination is to switch over to machine sewing for the main assembly. I'll probably re-visit the question of hand sewing when I get to the boning channels, since they'll be more visible (and perhaps easier, since there are fewer layers at a time).

03 September 2007

16th c. Persian ensemble, with finished hat

Persian garb
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
This is my 16th c. Persian ensemble, with the previously blogged hat. I've got a deceptive amount of clothing on here: both visible coats are fully lined, plus the chemise-type layer and pants beneath. So it's not well suited to hot weather, yet somehow I always seem to wear it in the summertime anyway. I do like this outfit a lot; it feels very comfortable and relaxed.

My pirahan (chemise) is white lightweight linen, and the salwar (pants) are a soft, drapey linen in pale yellow. (At least, it was supposed to be linen; it feels suspiciously like a blend, though.) My inner coat is white cotton lined with a purple linen/cotton blend. The outer coat is definitely the nicest piece - peach silk twill, lined with a turquoise linen/cotton blend. All of these are based on the patterns at Roxane Farabi's website. The tiara secures a small, rectangular linen veil. I frequently also drape a my largest linen veil as a chador, but the heat and wind on this particular day made it beyond impractical.