Sunday, March 25, 2007

Don't panic - 10 days til Festival

Wow, what a productive weekend. In additional to the plentiful going out and socialising, I also got a reasonable amount of sewing done. First cab off the rank was the red wool roman cloak for Maximus to keep him protected from the elements at Festival. I had cut and pinned it last weekend so it just a matter of a few straight stitches, then cutting and attaching the hood. The cloak is now all in one piece and is hanging in the bathroom so it can ‘drop’ before I hem it. It’s looks really impressive, like there was a lot more involved than sewing 3 panels together.

Next project was the burgundy dress that is supposed to be a cotehardie. I made it for 1st Coronation and have worn it maybe once or twice since, I was never really happy with it, and it serves me right for trying to do it all myself instead of asking for help with the trick bits. Having come to the realisation that I don’t have time to make a new dress for festival (which is now literally 2 weeks away), and feeling anxious that I don’t have enough to wear, I decided that a remodel was in order.

I have unpicked the sleeves to the elbow, cut off the 2 ½ inches excess length, and was thinking about putting on buttons or lacings to close them again. However, when I put it on it it’s unpicked state, I quite liked the effect of the sleeves hanging open – sort of like over grown tippets. So now I think I will leave it this way.

It looks little bit like the pale blue dress to the left of this picture, taken from

The description is “ 1338-44, French. From the Romance of Alexander; fol 138rLeft to right: 1) dark blue long-sleeved undergown, buttoned sleeves. Paler blue short-sleeved overgown with fichets and tippets. “

Next to address the overall fit and comfort. The front never fitted properly – I think I put the curve in the wrong place. And the back lacings were just impractical. So I unpicked the front seams to about navel level, and plan to fit lacing rings so that the dress laces up the front (meaning I can dress myself). Once I had opened up the front seams I then sewed up the back seam, relegating my beautiful ribbon loops for lacing to the inside back seam. I still know they are there, even if no-one else will see them. So all that is left is to finish the front opening with the lacing rings. I will re-shape the neckline at the same time. The current neckline is a bit high and awkward to wear. I have come to the conclusion that, unless I am wearing a tabard or surcoat, I look better in a lower cut dress. High cut dresses with no top layer tend to hide my shape and make me look too sack like – hardly the elegant lady about Festival look I am going for. Rather than cutting it and re-stitching it, I think I might just fold the excess fabric under and tack it down.

I have also cut and ½ sewn a basic smock/chemise for under the Moy, which is still waiting to be hemmed. The smock is cut from a white sheet bought at an op-shop, which means that is has been washed a number of times and is pre-softened and snuggley.

I am SO looking forward to Festival.

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