Pictures or it never happened

I ended up sewing together the hat and parts of the sleeves on the road-trip to Montana.. and after the wedding I ended up sewing on two more buttons before Coronet.. but it looked lovely.

At Nate and Dusty’s wedding 5/21/2011:

Continue reading Pictures or it never happened

Blue and Black Sleeves

Hunting near Hartenfels Castle, 1540, The Cleveland Museum of Art


What I see
Blue and black sleeves.
The blue matches the dress and the black appears to be the same as the guarding on the bodice.
The blue is slashed and bubbles along the arm.
White (probably linen) pokes out of the slashing in the blue.
The black is tight to the arm.
Right arm has 7 bubbles(4 below the elbow, 3 above). Left arm has 6 bubbles(3 below the elbow, 3 above).
Sleeves are tight at the wrist and end with a section of black the same width as the other sections of black. There are no cuffs over the hands.
There’s also something gold and round(?) at the front of the left shoulder. Maybe a pin or a button? It’s at about the place I’d expect it to be if the sleeves were removable and attached with loops/buttons.

My plan
I plan to do 6 bubbles per arm (the asymmetrical bubbles bug me and I’m going to just close my eyes and pretend that it’s an accident by the artist and do the same number of bubbles on each arm).

I’m making these sleeves removable and have them attach with a loop and button.

I’ll start with my normal sleeve pattern and make sure it fits tight to the arm below the elbow.

The black sections (except for the one at the shoulder) will be 5/8″+1″ (black velvet ribbons are 5/8″ wide and 2 1/2″ seam allowances).
The black section at the shoulder will be a bit wider as I want all of the rise/fall of the armseye to be black. So it will be wavy at the edge where it attaches to the dress and straight on the edge where the blue is attached. This will be slightly wider than my 1 5/8″ in order to make it easier to piece.

The sleeve pattern will then be into 6 sections for the blue.
The divisions will be placed as follows:
– At the armseye exactly
– At the wrist exactly
– At 5 places along the arm evenly (centered at remaining length of the arm / 6) making sure that a division falls close to above the elbow point.

For each blue section I’ll double the length of each section and cut this out along the grain of the blue wool.

I’ll leave the blue whole until it is initially attached to the sleeve. After it’s attached I’ll then split it into 1.5 inch wide strips or as close to that as I can come for the width and keep it even(I nip it with scissors and then tear the fabric to keep the cut on grain). I want to keep the blue splits along the grain of the fabric since I don’t plan to finish the edges (if it become an issue over the long term I may do singling on them).

The white inside each bubble will be 4x the original length and 2x the original width(ie, the white sections are twice the height and width of the blue sections). I’ll put a simple rolled edge on any raw edges and then these will be pleated into each black section with little tiny knife pleats which will be hidden on the inside.

Hidden Ribbon:
Inside the sleeve I’ll permanently attach white ribbons to hold the black sections at the correct intervals. I’m planning to run one ribbon along the inside of the elbow, one along the bottom of the arm and another along the top of the sleeve. I will NOT run a ribbon along the seam line (over the back of the elbow).

After fiddling with this for a while I decided the ribbon will be attached on the inside of the sleeve and will only be encased in the black sections for the wrist and the shoulder. On the rest of the sleeve the ribbon will be attached to the inner surface of the black section.

Continue reading Blue and Black Sleeves

Blue and Black ToDo List

[updating as progress occurs]
(done)6+ yards of material (outer fabric)(usually wool) Deep blue med/heavy weight wool
(done)2 yards of linen (to line the bodice and sleeves) Black Linen
(done)5 yards of light linen (to make the white poofs in the sleeves) White Linen
(done)2+ yards of guard fabric (or ribbons) Oodles of 5/8″ Black velvet ribbons


TODO list:

Skirt:(Started 4/14/2011 and finished 4/21/2011)
(done)Cut out the skirt fabric (170″ x 50″ for this one).
(done)Do a simple 1/2″ rolled hem at the top of the skirt fabric.
(done)Attach the cheater strip of gingham so it’s aligned just below the top of the 1/2″ rolled hem.
(done)Pleat the skirt by running two parallel buttonhole threads over/under 4 boxes on the cheater strip per stitch. Draw tight.
(done)Cut out a piece of the outer fabric 2″ wide by slightly longer than waist measurement (50″ long for me). Fold this to enclose all raw edges and sewed it down.
(done)Add marks to waist band 7/8 inches apart.

(done)Tack the top of each skirt pleat at each mark.
(done)After all pleats are tacked to the strip remove the cheater strip and pleating strings.
(done)Then work my way around the skirt band and attached the tops of each pleat to the skirt band.

(no guards on this skirt)

Sleeves (started 4/22/2011 finished 5/19/2011)
(done) Figure out sleeves. Full to-do posted here.
(done)Fit sleeve.
(done)Mark black vs blue sections and ribbon path on pattern.
(done)Cut out black vs blue pattern pieces with seam allowance.
(done)Sew together sleeves (See full sleeve to-do post for details).

(done)Sew black velvet ribbons on top of the black linen strips.

(done)In white thread, do a tiny french seam to seal each of the white linen into tubes.
(done)In black thread, stitch along the seam line of the black pieces. (Seam is on the inside of the sleeve)

(done)Attach inner ribbons for holding sections at correct length.
(done)Attach loops to the shoulder end of the sleeve (for attaching to the buttons on the bodice).

Bodice(started 5/4/2011 finished 5/19/2011)
(done)Pattern the bodice.
(done)Cut the bodice out in the outer fabric and lining.

(done)Sew the bottom of all of the outer bodice pieces and the center front seams and neck openings of all the bodice pices. For this dress, because it will have a finished armseye, seam the armseye as well.
(done)Flip the bodice pieces around so there’s a finished seam around what will be the bottom of the bodice and the front opening (and the armseye). Iron this flat.

(done)Line up the sleeve caps with the outer fabric on the inside. Flip one piece of linen around to the other side. Sew the sleeve cap (1/2″ seam)(when you pull it straight the sleeve cap seam should be enclosed between the layers of linen and outer fabric).
Because this dress will have a finished edge on both sides of the sleeve cap I’ll have to finish the sleeve cap a little bit differently. With the front outside-out, and the back inside out, put the front sleeve cap inside of the back sleeve cap and sew them with a 1/2″ seam. (when you pull it straight so everything is right side out the seam for the sleeve cap should be enclosed between the layers of linen and outer fabric).

(done)Sew scant 1/4″ around the side seams of the bodice pieces (side seam) (flatlining) (makes the linen and the outer fabric act as one piece of fabric).
(done)Seam the bodice pieces together at the sides(1/2″ seams). The raw edges will be inside the bodice.

(done)Ideally the seams for the hook and eye for the center front opening will end up under guarding on the bodice. If so, sew through both the lining and the outer fabric to attach the hook/eye. If not.. I suppose you could attach it to only the lining.. I’m not sure how that’d work.

(done)Cut out the bodice guards.
(done)Line them up on the bodice, miter the corners and pin generously.
(done)Sew the guards down by hand.

Bringing it all together
(done)Attach the waist band to the bottom of the bodice. The band is completely hidden inside the bodice.. but this way if I ever need to pull the skirt off the bodice I can do that without having to completely re-pleat the whole thing.

(done)Attach sleeve to bodice. Attach buttons to bodice for attaching the (removable) sleeves.

(done) Close the dress opening of the skirt with a french seam. Up to 5″ below the bodice.
(if needed) Hand finish the front opening with a rolled hem
(done) Add a hook/eye to the front opening.

(done)Put temp machine hem on the dress.
Hand hem the bottom of the dress.

(in progress) Bind the black seams on the inside of the sleeve.
Bind the side seams of the bodice.

Tellerbarret and Goldhaube


What I see:
Blue hat, the outer edge is round. I can’t really see what’s going on the with crown but I plan to do a square crown that folds inwards.
Two curled white feathers. Feathers have gold bits at the end possibly beads(?).

I want the square points to extend almost all the way to the outside of the circle. Will add more to this as it progresses.


What I see:
Red/gold with decorated band.
Some hair showing at temples (means the haube is set further back on the head than I expected).
Body seems to be a basket weave.. possibly of a ribbon which compliments the band.
Shape is rounded but wider at the sides than at the top. Probably half circle which is gathered at the nape of the neck into the band.

April 6, 2011: After browsing my JoAnne’s I purchased black cotton velveteen and gold ribbons to cover the body of the haube. Given the selection, these seemed like the best options. Even though the Empress velvet was more luxurious, I finally settled on the cotton velveteen because 1) the body of the haube will be completely covered by the ribbons. so it hardly matters what I use for the under fabric and 2) cotton will breath better than polyestre.. and I have to wear this on my head. We’ll see if I have time to assemble the haube. I would have preferred to get a rust or deep red velvet.. but these colors weren’t available and I don’t plan to experiment with dying velvet.

See also:
GottfriedKilianu’s Pattern from Flickr.

Post by Tarlwen on Hobby Schneiderin
Post by Dragon Princess on N&S Forum

1540 Blue&Black Swiss Gown

Diary started April 6, 2011
Finished: May 21, 2011


My brother is getting married in May and I’m in the wedding party. My instructions are to make “a blue dress I’ll wear again in the future” and that “SCA clothes are fine”. With that in mind I determined to make a version of the dress pictured here:

Hunting near Hartenfels Castle, 1540, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Link to Zoomifier

As I’m rapidly changing sizes I need to wait to fit the bodice until closer to the wedding (I’m thinking end of April) but as I was reminded by Ms. Etaine, I can make the sleeves, hat, skirt, etc beforehand and only worry about the bodice at the last minute.

Wool for this project was acquired at the LA fabric district last October.

Details to include:

  • Dress made of wool lined in linen
  • Simple front-closing bodice that uses hook/eye in the front.
  • Simple guards on the bodice. May add guards to the skirt depending on time. I’m planning to use black velvet ribbons for the guarding.
  • Fantasticly over-the-top sleeves.
  • Fancy hat with feathers.
  • Gold Haube.

Skirt Math
I’m cutting the skirt at 170″x50″. It will have a rolled hem at the top which will be cartridge pleated to the bodice(3″ per pleat), use a french seam at the front closure and use a rolled hem at the hemline.

I don’t have the bodice done so I don’t know the measurement of the bottom of it. That said, my last two bodices were 45.5″ and 46.5″ around the bottom(and I’ve been losing weight…). I expect this one to be right around there or smaller. For each of the previous I used 4 gingham blocks per side of my pleats for a total of 52-53 pleats. I plan to repeat this as it give me a nice sized pleat and a skirt with a nice amount of flair.

My gingham squares are 3/8″ each.
I expect the bodice bottom to be pret’near 46.5″ around.

I want the tops of each cartridge pleat to be at about 2 squares on the gingam which ends up at about 3/4″(3/8″+3/8″=6/8″). When this is attached to the bottom of the bodice I’ll need to add another 1/8″ to that to account for the bulk between the tops of each pleat. This give me a total of about 7/8″ for each pleat (6/8″+1/8″).

This gives me around 53 pleats (46.5 divided by 7/8″ ) around the bottom of the bodice.

Each side of my pleat will be 4 blocks of my gingham with a total of 8 blocks for each pleat. That means that my pleats will each be 3 inches (3/8 x 8 = 3).
Since I want 53 pleats that means I need a minimum of 159″ of fabric for my skirt. I want to add 4 inches to this to allow room for the french seam which will hold the skirt closed. So I need a total of 163 inches of fabric for the skirt (159 + 4). Rounding up to 170 because I’m nervous and want to be sure to have enough.

On my last two skirts they measure ~45 inches from the bottom of the bodice to the hem. Adding 1 inch to that for the rolled hem at the top and 1 inch to the bottom of that for the hem at the bottom I get ~47 inches. I’m rounding this up to 50″ because I’m nervous and want to be sure to have enough.

Hemd II

My original Hemd was a good first attempt.. but after several months of wearing it I’ve decided it could do with a little improvement. Since I’m deathly allergic to altering garments that I need to wear I instead decided to make a new hemd.

Here’s my new pattern:

Here’s the reasoning for my new pattern:

Problem: Neckline was cut out to be 2x my neck measurements and then smocked to “take up the excess” unfortunately it didn’t really take up the excess.. so it’s sitting WAY too loose compared to what I want. Original was cut at 40 inches, smocking drew this down to 34 inches.
FIX: The new one’s neckline is cut at 20 inches. I’m afraid that may be a bit tight.. but I’ll try it out.

Problem: On the original the collar cut at 3.5 inches is too tall.
FIX: New one will be cut at 2 inches.

Problem: On the original the seam between the sleeve and the body falls several inches down my upper arm. It’s not an issue when I have closed sleeves but in my sleeveless dress or with loopy sleeves I dislike the way it fits.
FIX: I nipped off triangles at the corner to pull the sleeves in Triangles are 10″ (at the shoulder) x 18″ (at the side). This does bring the seam more in line with the top of my shoulder. When I did this I left out the gusset. I will consider carefully for the next hemd whether I put a gusset in or not.

Problem: On the original the sleeves at 30″ long are too long. Add to that the extra fabric at the shoulders.. they’re -way- too long.
FIX: New ones are cut down to 24″ long. With the triangles removed these may still be a bit too long. I’ll have to fiddle with them or possibly hem them.

Problem: Original was cut at 60 inches long which puts it just about floor length. I worry that it will show when I kirtle my dress.
FIX: New one is cut at 40 inches long. About knee length.

Staying the same:
Smocking pattern: Gather stitches at 1cm each and each line is 1.5 cm apart. The honeycomb pleat stitches will follow the same line at the gather stitches. This should give me a very nice set of diamonds for the neck line.

[Edited to add:
After a year of planning to smock this I finally sat down last night and started to smock this.. and found out that with smocking the neck will be too small. So I’ve changed my mind. This hemd will not have smocking I may embroider it in the future. Instead I’m adding some beads to act as buttons and allow this to close. I will, of course, be adding a Hemd III (hopefully with smocking) in the future.

Pictures or it never happened

Photo by Duchess Megan

Photo by Duchess Megan

Photo by Sylvie

From the back, picture by Sylvie

Ari’s Dress ToDo

[updating as progress occurs]
(done) The placket is two layers of white linen (the colored part will be appliqued on the top part later). Sew all along the outside edge of the placket and turn it inside out. Press it flat and then hand finish the last bit.

(done) Sew the bottom of all of the outer bodice pieces and flip the bodice pieces around so there’s a finished seam around what will be the bottom of the bodice.

(done) Line up the sleeve caps with the wool on the inside. Flip one piece of linen around to the other side. Sew the sleeve cap (1/2″ seam)(when you pull it straight the sleeve cap seam should be enclosed between the layers of linen and wool).

(done) Sew 1/4″ around the outside of all the outer bodice pieces (flatlining) (make the linen and the wool act as one piece of fabric).

(done) Seam the bodice pieces together at the sides(1/2″ seams).

(done) Attach the placket to one side of the bodice. (1″ offset)(I prefer this on the left-side as you’re wearing the garment).

(done)Attach the lacing strip Add grommets near one edge of the white placket (I prefer the right-side as you’re wearing the garment).
(done) Attach a strip of grommets to the other side of the bodice (leave room for the 1″ offset)(I prefer right-side as you’re wearing the garment).

Progress pics 8/31/2010:

The bodice is coming together nicely. It's looking decidedly bodice-like.

Look ma, grommets. These will be laced to hold the front of the dress closed.

Look ma, no grommets. The bodice laces on one side of the front. The other side is permanently attached.

The bodice opened up. The side seam will be sewn flat later.

Pleating the skirt onto the band. The 'cheater' gingham will be removed after I'm finished tacking.

(done) Cut out the bodice guards. The guards are folded in half with both raw edges together(widthOfGuardFabric = 2 * (Desired Width + 1/2″ flip/seam allowance) ). Normally I double up the guards. I think this time, instead I’ll just hem one edge and economize on fabric usage (widthOfGuard Fabric = Desired Width + 1″ seam/flip allowance).
(done)Line up the raw edges of the guards with the raw edges on inside of the bodice and attach the guards (generous 1/4″ seam allowance). Flip guards around the outside of the edge and pin in place.
(done) Miter the corners and pin generously.
(done) Finish the guards by attaching with a hidden (appliqué) stitch.

(done) Do a rolled hem on the colored placket on all sides (it should exactly match up with the left/right sides of the white placket). Applique the colored placket onto the top of the white placket.

(done) Attach the lacing rings below the colored placket (4 per side).

Bind the seams.


Each gingham block is 3/8″
8 gingham blocks per pleat (4 per side). 3″ /pleat
2 blocks at the top of each pleat+ 1/8″ will attache to the bodice… so 7/8″ / pleat around the waist band

Waist is 34 inches. (includes some overlap).

That gives me 39-ish pleats(34 / 7/8) for a total of 117″ (39 * 3″) of skirt. I’ll fudge this and cut out 120″ just to be on the safe side. I’ll probably end up trimming down to 117″.

The guards on the skirt will be attached on top of the wool, tacked and then appliqued down.

(done) Cut out the skirt fabric (120″ x fabric width). I’ll hem it to length later.
(done) Do a simple 1/2″ rolled hem at the top of the skirt fabric.

(done) Just below the rolled hem, attach a cheater strip of gingham.
(done) Pleat the skirt by running a single thread over/under 4 boxes per stitch.

(done) Cut out a piece of wool linen 3″ wide by 38″ long (slightly longer than waist measurement). Fold this to enclose all raw edges and sewed it down. (Ari’s worried about wool on her skin so I’ll do the band out of linen instead. It should be totally hidden on the inside of the bodice when the dress is done)
(done) Add marks 7/8 inches apart.

(done) Tack the top of each skirt pleat at each mark.

(done) After all pleats are tacked to the strip remove pleating string and the cheater strip.
(done)Then work my way around the skirt band and attached the tops of each pleat to the skirt band.

(done) Attach the band to the bottom of the bodice. The band is completely hidden inside the bodice.. but this way if I ever need to pull the skirt off the bodice I can do that without having to completely re-pleat the whole thing.

(done) Figure out guard width and placement.
(done) Cut out skirt guards.
(done) Line up the fabric pattern and use a hidden applique stitch to make the guards the right length.
(done) Attach the top of the guards to the skirt.
(done) Tack down the bottom of the guards.
(done) Appliqué to finish the guards.
(done) Remove the tack stitch from the bottom of the guards.

(done)Close the dress opening with a french seam.
(not needed) Hand finish the front opening with a rolled hem(???)(waiting on final fitting, see if hem is needed)(it’s highly fulled wool so may not need the opening hemmed).
Add a hook/eye to the front opening.(waiting on final fitting, see if hook/eye is needed)
(done) Hem the bottom of the dress.

(done) Fit Ari for her sleeves.
(done) Make upper part of sleeves.
(done) Make straps.
(done) Make “puffs” and attach to sleeves
(done) Make lower part of sleeves. (including cuff)
(done) Attach sleeves together.
(done) Bind the seams.

Patterning done

A few weeks ago I patterned Ari in some scrap linen.

Tonight I traced Ari’s pattern onto poster board and added seam allowance. All pieces got seam allowance of 1/2 inch on all sides and the placket also got an addition 1 inch on each side to accommodate the overlap.

Now I’ll wash all the dress fabric (which I should have done last week but obviously I never think of that until I’m ready to use the fabric) and measure the front right side of the pattern to find out how long of a lacing strip I need to get. I’ll try to leave work early tomorrow to get the lacing strips.

The goal is to have something for Ari to try on this weekend at Purg (and cross my fingers that she’ll have time to try it on).

HRM Arianwen’s Saxony Dress

Photo by Duchess Megan

Diary started July 28, 2010
Dress Finished: September 30, 2010


Her Royal Highness Arianwen (soon to be Majesty) has expressed Her desire to wear a dress of the court of Saxony at the Tournament to determine Their Heirs. I am please to have been asked to work on this dress for Her.

Details to include:

  • Saxony dress
  • 6 yards of Red Wool. Not sure of guarding/brustflect fabric yet
  • Tight sleeves on the forearms
  • Beaded brustflect and guards
  • Gold Haube (esp to accomodate West Kingdom crown)
  • Schmuckt (the thingy around the neck)
  • Simple high-necked Hemd (it seems to be hidden by the schmuckt)(In discussing the hemd with Ari we decided to go without. The “white” portions of the dress will be linen but will not be a separate garment.)

Inspirational Pictures

Cranach, Lucas the Elder, Portraits of Henry the Pious, Duke of Saxony and his wife Katharina von Mecklenburg c. 1514 Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 184 x 82,5 cm each Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

The Plan

Calling it a plan is too formal. Really it’s a things I’m thinking about list.
– Bodice. On my brown and yellow Saxony dress the false front is sewn into one side of the bodice and laces into the other side. I’m kind of partial to that (since I’ve done it and I know it works).
– False front and Brustflect. Again I’m going to attach the brustflect to the top of a white linen false front. Given how thin the Hemd will be I seriously doubt that’s what’s behind the black stomach lace. This also nicely attaches to the top of the skirt with a short opening on the side for getting in/out of the dress.
– Since I don’t do embroidery/beading I may ask HRM to farm the embellishment of the brustflect/guards out to another interested party. She/They will need to decide on the embroidery style for the frontpiece.
– Black lace below the brustflect. Again I’ll use gold metal rings for this lace. It worked out very well. I may contemplate a different way of tying off the lace though.
– Skirt. My skirts have all be straight. I’m tempted to do a gored skirt for Ari. I’m scared of gored guards though. I’m just not sure how to attach them and get them to line up correctly. Must consider more.
– Goldhaube. Again beads and embroidery. I may ask for this piece to be farmed out as well.
– Schmuckt. I’ve seen these made of femo.. or out of fake metal clay. We’ll need to consider how we want to do this.


– Make sure we have the fabric (outer wool, inner linen, guard fabric) and findings (1 pr lacing strips, gold metal rings, a few hook/eye, 1 white lace, 1 LONG black lace)
– (Done 7/31/2010) Fit Bodice on Ari. (3 piece pattern with square neck and shoulder straps, should end at bottom of her ribs (true waist))
– (Done 8/22/2010) Adjust pattern for Saxony Dress
– (done) Make bodice
– (done) Make skirt
– (done) Make sleeves
Make accessories Their Majesties decided to wear the collars of state with the outfit and Her Majesty decided against wearing a goldhaube.