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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Always Keep Your Promises.....Yeah Right!!

So I promised my BFF's Daughter my niece a new spiffy Elizabethan....and that was last year and well now I am in the process of making her an entire outfit from the skin out in a week.  So this is STASH time, I have a huge amount of STASH, and as soon as we got home from Pennsylvania for a family wedding and I spent 1 day sick with a nasty cold, it was time to find all of the items I would need to create her gown!  I knew what she wanted-last year the Queen of the Southern California Renaissance Faire, was wearing a Red/Gold Damask outfit.  She wanted something similar, which I have in the STASH!  So Thursday April 12, 2012 by 4:00pm PST, I had gathered the fabrics needed to create the outfit, and placed them in a plastic bin for transport.

3 Yards if 3 oz Linen in White @ $4.00 per yard        $12.00
Black Embroidery Thread and Design                          $  2.00
Red Spanish Farthingale Linen @ $3.50                     $  7.00
4 Rolls 1" Red Grosgrain Ribbon  @ $1.50                 $  6.00
Pair of Bodyes Already Made!                                           Free
5.5 Yards of  Red/Gold Damask Whole eBay            $25.00
4 Yards Lining Linen for Gown Skirt @$2.00         $  8.00    
1.5 Yards Silk Damask parcel @ 10.00                       $10.00
1.5 Yards Canvas Linen parcel @ $6.50                    $  6.50
1.5 Yards Lining Linen Blue Bodice @$2.00             $  3.50   
10 Yards 1/4" Red Grosgrain    @ $.10                      $  1.00
 2 Gross Beads for Forepart and Hat @$5.25         $10.50
2 Skeins Floss for Lacing Holes @ $2.50                 $  5.00

                                                                        Total Cost? $191.00

However, not one of these things were purchased at this time, it has been picked up here and there for the past several years. So my expense? Is nill-Nada-nothing!!

Saturday- April 14, 2012~
It begins! We are in So Cali, because I promised my BFF's Daughter that she could have a real Elizabethan gown to rival the Maids of Honor at Faire. There will be a Competition for Historical Clothing Sunday 22, 2012.  This is a week away, Here is how we put together a complete outfit from the skin out!

So taking every measurement I could, I began to make a Pair of Bodies, and then I remembered her Mom has one that was too small for her back in the day, since I also know she does not throw out anything, a quick search (for us), and YES!  It is a little large but she has space to grow into, and it works!

Sunday April 15, 2012 Spanish Farthingale!  
We used Margo's Patterns an so the Farthingale did not give us much worry, we have to put the reeds into the channels and that is done,  Oh! Fastener I forgot them at home so I need to bring them down for Fridays session of sewing on closures!

Toile made for Bodice, bodice pieces cut out, Forepart pieces cut out, Sleeves pieces cutout, and hat pieces cut out! All will be assembled Friday and Saturday.

Monday April 16, 2012- Set up Linen for Smock and embroidered pieces for cuffs and neck pieces.  Spent the most part of the day sick and in the bathroom, really upset at that but what are you going to do?  On the left is linen embroidered by Myst, and waiting to become a smock.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012~
 Still really sick with this nasty cold! ARRGH!!  But I still tackled the skirts which are 42" and I am using 2 of the widths, which means 120" into 28". I also have some faux wool - otherwise known as fleece back in February, at 75% off,that I will band into the waistline as I cartridge pleat for nice fat pleats!  Not much done other than sleeping, cleaning the house, and well putting things into the bins so that it will go down to So Cali to put it all together.

Smock in 3 hours
Well I teach people how to make smocks easily and pretty! So it was fairly easy if you have 2 sewing machines, when you get bored of one project, you move to the other, I cut and pinned the smock and then zigzag'd (Oh the humanity) for quickness the linen. 

  • Smock done

Wednesday, April 18, 2012~
DayQuil is my new Goddess, it made me feel human again, so Off to the Races we go!

Bodice Making Day!

So there are three layers of this bodice, blue towards the body, a heavier canvas, and then Damask

I use Twill Tape channels and then the Zip tie pieces I make to fit them nice and sturdy.  I also placed them on the sides of the back so that when we make the eyelets, it will be sturdy as well.

Here is 2 of the laters sewn together and pressed, I can't stress enough the use of a good iron and pressing the pieces as you go.

Same as above, showing the seams being ironed down to make a smooth layering with the blue linen.

Here is the finished piece, I need to iron the blue lining and then sew it down and place and put the lacing eyelets in, then my Niece will cover them with floss.  This is 4 hours of work done!!!


  • Bodice ~ Done Grommets will be done on Saturday.
  • Sleeves~ Done  with grosgrain ribbons for tying.
  • Farthingale~ Channels done! Used reeds for boning

Thursday, April 20, 2012
Gown Skirt put together and marked for Cartridge pleating. Used the Simflex to make sure it was perfect, I have to pleat down 120" into a 28" waistband!  I use 3 lines of 40lb fishing line (same thins I use for my Ruffs) to make it simple to pull and gather.  I did not gather as it was already 1am when my son was doing the final dots, and so I folded and packed for Saturday.

  • Gown Skirt~ Done awaiting Cartridge Pleating

Friday April 21, 2012
~ Drive day, we got out at 1:30pm which put us into BFF's home by 8:30, 100 miles away from home, I figured out? I did not pack my Farthingale! So a quick stop to Joann's in So. Cali and I was putting together a quickie Farthingale for myself!!

Glued 140 gems to the forepart, added velveteen to the bottom to make sure it made the 42".  Glued Gems to Hat 

  • Forepart~ Gems Attached
  • Hat~ Gems Attached
  • Filigree Gems Attached for forepart

What you can't see? Is me cutting this too short 3" too short! This is what happens when you make something at 1:00AM!!

Saturday~ April 21, 2012 11:30pm
Began to attach Forepart to the rest of the skirting, it is 3 inches too short!!!!!  So I added another segment of Velveteen, and some more trim. I almost cried I was so sure I had the correct measurements, but it got fixed and we did not have to worry!

  • Forepart~ Complete
  • Hat~ Complete with Gems
  • Gown Skirt~ Complete
  • Fan~ Complete

Showed BFF and Daughter how to Cartridge pleat easily, however the chalk had faded so I got a deeper color and had Mina redo the dots.  I also had her learn how to make the sewing lines, with an awl and a doll needle.  We pulled the 3 lines together to form the pleats and she sewed the pleats to the waistband.

Final fitting~ It looks like I will need to futz with the forepart, we wanted to use as much of the lovely silk as we could but now I understand it should be a trapizoid (Yep using geometry terms yet again).

The entire gown is done it took all 7 days, because I was sick Monday and Tuesday, and here is the result of all of our efforts!

Sunday, April 22, 2012
At the end of the day or I should say? The beginning of  Sunday, we did not use the Pill box hat, because a coif I had made before just fit her better!

We were #4 in the competition, but alas we did not win, however?  The Queen did speak to her, while on progress to mouth to  Mina that her gown was "Most Splendid", that made her day.  So for me? It was a win win, I have never entered a competition at a Faire or in SCA with any of my pieces.  I am going to use this on for the Iron Dress Competition, as well as the Gown I am making for myself.

Remember? The only thing we did not create for this gown during the 7 days we had to make it? Was the Pair of Bodies (Corset), it was made by her Mother a while a go and the coif that I brought with me.  I still had to alter the PoB to make it fit Mina, much easier than making a whole PoB!!!


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