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July 31, 2006

Third verse, same as the first

So. Worked on bodice on Sunday. Learnings:

  • Temporary lacing strips are the bomb!
  • If gap between left and right-hand-side of front of dress is say 3 inches wide.. you need a horrendously long lace to tie it closed (longer than my normal 36" long silk lace)
  • When you have a gap, say 3 inches wide.. and there's no strong fabric under the laces... and you are.. lumpy.. then lumps press out around the laces. Not terribly attractive.

So back to the corset idea.. though it's evolved into more of a reinforced bodice than a corset. Using the corset pattern shown above I've iterated it to the point that it's fitting nicely and supporting in all the right places. The next step is to add fabric to the top of the back and around the shoulders to make sleeve caps(the strip that runs from the front of the dress to the back of the dress and is the sleeves attachment point). Need to find pictures of the backs of german ladies dresses. Hrm.

July 31, later that day

Found pictures of the backs of these dresses. They're very very low AND they seems to have chemise that goes plum up to their neck. This is a problem. Because Purg is going to be hot I definately don't want an up-to-the-neck chemise (or partlet). So I think I'm going to fudge that part. Maybe a somewhat low-square neckline in the back with no chemise showing. I know it's at least somewhat wrong.. but it will still give the impression of "German dress".

Oh, and FedEx says wool will arrive on Wednesday. Crossing my fingers and hoping the brown will be ok.

July 27, 2006

I added the sleeves 26x30 (30 is the length of the arm) and gusset (8.5"x8.5"). Because I started with 60" wide linen it's plenty roomy. No need to add gores.

The sleeves are about 10 inches longer than his arms. This is on purpose. I added cuffs and gathered (knife pleated) the sleeve into the cuff. This gives the shirt nice poofy sleeves. I'll add laces to the cuffs so they stay around his wrist.

I fingerloop braided a nice long 5-strand braid in white silk. I used this to make the ties at the collar.

The shirt is done except for the laces at the wrist and finishing the neck slit. I'll do the laces tonight. I want to wait until the Waffe is finished before I finish the neck-slit opening. Just to make sure it's long enough.

I wanted to get a picture of this last night.. but he insisted that he should shave before any pictures were taken. So no pictures yet.

July 27, later that evening

I attached lacing rings on one of the sleeves. Then Fearghus and I both decided that it'd be better if it used buttons. Removed lacing rings. Added buttons and loops. Much nicer. Don't you agree?

At this point I'm going to call the shirt 98% done and move on to the next project. I still need to do the following:

  • finish neck slit
  • open sleeves a little bit further so they an be rolled up
  • cut to final length and hem

I'll come back to the shirt and finish the above.. probably after I make the Waffe.

July 26, 2006

Last night I finished the outer band for the collar. It looks like a collar. It fits around his neck and does indeed look like it'll close without choking him. He's a little amused because at the moment the shirt resembles a poncho with a fancy collar. I'll fix that tonight by adding sleeves. Progress is good.

July 25, 2006

Last night I added the inner band to the collar. I really like the way it's looking. I cut out a strip of linen about 2 1/2 inches wide by 60 inches long. I ironed it flat and then ironed edge folds into it. I think it's about 1" wide once the folds were added. I cut off 23 inches of that strip for the inner band. That gave me about 1" to fold under at the ends (1/2" for each end) and left 22" for the finished band. His neck is 21" around and I wanted to make it roomy so it doesn't feel like it's choking him.

I attached it at each end of the inside of the collar and then pinned it at the center, and 1/4 marks. Then it was just a matter of pulling on the cartridge pleat strings and evenly distributing the pleats around the collar.

The band is attached to the pleats with a combination of blind-hem stitch and whip stitch. Most of the stitches are invisible.. and those that aren't, it's white thread against white linen. I'm OK with that.

In the picture, the blue dots were my guide for putting the cartridge pleating into place. They were made with a water soluable fabric pen so they should wash out the first time I throw it in the wash after it's finished.

July 24, 2006

After looking at lots and lots and lots of pictures I've finally started on this project. The first piece I'm making for him is the undershirt. I'm making a neckline as is seen in this woodcut.

I cut out two panels of linen 60"x60". At the center of one I cut the front neck slit. I then sewed these together at the shoulders. That is at the top-right and top-left of the fabric I flatfelled the outer 10 inches* (leaving ~40" at the neck opening). Then I went around and cartridge pleated the neck. I did three strands of thread and will cover this inside and out with bands that are about 1" wide (it's about 1/2" from the selvedge edge of the fabric and the first strand.. then it's about 3/4 inch from the top strand to the bottom strand). This leaves a nice finished ruffled edge (selvege) at the neckline.

* it's about 9" from his neck to the point of his shoulder. 9" plus ~1" for seam allowance.

I talked with Etaine this weekend. She said that instead of making a corset (which is probably wrong for this dress style) and then fitting a dress over that corset I should instead make the dress and bone the front opening. That makes the dress much easier. I'm thinking run bone along the front edges. Whip lacing rings directly under the boning. Add additional boning if necessary to keep boob-age from leaking into underarms. Use hook and eye to attach front decorated and re-inforced placket to support boobage. So this is essentially like my italian dresses except that the boob will be supported by the decorated placket and the black lacings will run across the stomach, holding the bottom of the dress tight (under the boobs). Much easier than previous plan.

I'm hoping the wool comes this week. I want to make the bodice out of two layers of linen and use that to hold the boning and lacing rings. Then the wool will attach to the outside sort of decoratively. All the strength will come from the linen. I'm pretty sure I have some lovely dark-chocolate linen that would be perfect for this.

I can't make the decorative placket until I receive the brown wool. I want to make sure that the colors work well together.

Hmmm.. option 2 is to make dress from linen and skip the wool part. That idea has potential. I have black velvet ribbons I used on italian dress. That would easily work on german dress. This idea bears thinking about.

July 18, 2006

Ran off to Discount Fabrics at lunch (long hike for a lunch hour). Scored 7 5/8 yards of cotton-with-a-linen-look ($2/yd) to line his German outfit and 3 yards of brushed cotton twill ($3.75/yd) to make another attempt at a corset.

July 17, 2006

Because I'm lumpy and have more breast than the 15-year-old models that Cranach used I need more support. I've decided to start with a corset. I'm following the pattern on the Sempstress.org site. The instructions seem fantasticly easy to follow and it results in a corset with laces positions along the edges of the front opening. Last night I made up my first attempt. Based on the final garment, it's obvious that I suck at taking my own measurements. I need to lengthen it by about 5 inches and to remove about 4 inches from the circumferance. Today I'll buy more fabric and make a second attempt tonight/tomorrow. Also need to buy more steel bones.

July 12, 2006


Free howto/patterns for henna: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/what/gallery/index.html

Good inspiration for embroidery.