Sunday, 8 January 2023

Making a pattern for 16th century joined hose

 In about two weeks our 16th century guild has one of its annual feasts and for the first time in a couple of years we can be inside! I felt that this would be a good reason to finally make David a proper pair of joined hose.

Joined hose is when the hose has taken a step towards being a pair of trousers, they are connected in the back and there is a crotch seam, but the the opening of the hose is covered by a codpiece instead of a closing fly.

A main instriped (and tight) joined hose

Now me and David had discussed if I should make a pair of peasant trousers, which are much more like modern trousers and do not have a cod piece, or a tight pair of hose. Well me being at home with access to the internet, but not the pattern for peasant trousers, decided to go for the joined hose.

Now there are lot of tutorials out there if you search for "landsknecht hosen" "joined hose" or similar terms. Most of them give a picture that is quite confusing, if you like me have never done hose before, and without any measurments or angles to go for. Another common theme to make hose is that you cut up an old pair of trousers and use that as a pattern. I asked and David was not willing to cut up any pair of trousers.

In the end I based my pattern on this instruction, which is in German but thankfully that's a language I know, the instruction was most helpful once I had a pattern to start off from though. In order to get a pattern I found Morgan Donner's Mens' stirrup hose tutorial. She has made it into both a video and written tutorial, which I like. She also uses an old pair of trousers, but she just traces them she doesn't cut them up.

I started off with one of David's pair of trousers. I couldn't trace them quite as Morgan Donner had done, but I manged to trace them enought that I got a paper pattern to start with.

The most important thing for me was to get the crotch seam, or the U-shape correct, so for that reason I have not made this pattern full length,it goes doen to midcalf, for the actual pairs I will need to lengthen them.

I transferred the paper pattern to fabric and added a lot of seam allowance. I made a quick fitting so that I could see what the pattern looked like. Since the fabric is very sheer and it involved David in his underwear I will not share any photos of that. As suspected the modern pair of trousers had a waist that was too low and they were generally too wide. I will lengthen the top of the pattern and I cut off the extra seam allowance, going back to the original seam line that I had made on the pattern.

I marked the pattern with the notes I will need to remember, and then I had a working pattern.

When cutting the main fabric I will still add seam allowance to the pattern, but so much, and it will need more fitting sessions to actually fit well. For David's sake I'm also not going for a very tight pair of hose, it will be ok if there are some wrinkles and loose fabric if that makes him more comfortable.


Sunday, 1 January 2023

Plans for 2023

 As I said in my last post, where I recapped 2022, I haven't really found a balance to fit creating things into my new life in a partnership, and I am not happy with my body anymore. Due to that I don't really have a lot of plans for the coming year, but there are two events that will probably be my focus.

First of all there is the Celebration Europe over Easter, so April. I don't plan on any new proper costumes, but I would like to do some fun fandom fashion thing. I fell in love with some Star Wars costumes, mainly from the TV series Andor and Kenobi, in 2023 but they are simply too complicated and the fabric would be too expensive for me to manage to finish them before April. So something fun and comfortable is the plan.

Then in June there are the big 500th anniversary of king Gustavus Vasa becoming king, and I am involved in the project group that will recreate is parade in Stockholm around Midsummer. That means that I and my husband need something suitable to wear. My plan is to either finish my pink gown, that I got into a wearable but not finished state in Visy in 2022, or see if I can remake my courtgown to fit me, since I have added a lot of weight since 2020 when I made it.

For my husband I will need to make him a proper pair of 16th century trousers or hose, we haven't agree on if he would accept wearing hose and codpiece yet, and he needs some nice headgear. I also want to remake the closure of his coat.

I think I will stop from doing any other great plans, and simply see if I get inspiration to make something else.

Saturday, 31 December 2022

The yearly recap - what did I do 2022?

 Looking back at 2022 my feeling is that I didn't do much, but what I did I was spectacular.

The honest reason why my productivity has gone down is simple - I'm in a partnership now and there simply aren't as many evenings by myself where I don't do anything but watch TV and sew costumes. I still haven't really found the balance, where I can get time to do make things, in my new life situation.

The other thing is that I do have issues with my weight. I am not happy with how I look right now, and I don't feel inspired to make new costumes for my body at the moment. I am very grateful that I have been referred to a medical investigation on why I am just gaining weight all the time. It is really nice to be with a medical team that doesn't judge or simply say that I need to eat less and move myself more, considering that I eat healthier and excercise more than a lot of people that don't have weight issues. I am really hoping that we will find something to help me take control over my body again in the coming year.

Anyway, on a more positive note here is what I did get done:

The first part of the year was spent making sure that my lovely David would be able to join the feasts with our 16th century guild.

It started with me remaking one of my old shifts into a smocked man's shirt.

Then our first guild feast of the year was in January, and with restrictions back in force he needed something to survive a Swedish winter evening outside. I made a quite generic wool jacket. It's reversible so he can wear either the black or red side out. It isn't based on any particular year or painting, but works well for late medieval.


Later in the year his mother gave me a gorgeous sand coloured wool that I turned into an early 16th century coat for him.


Between his two jackets I turned 40 and made an 18th century pair of stays and a jacket for my birthday party.



Then it was time to turn my attention to the main object of the year - my wedding attire. I started with making a full new set of 1910s underwear.


And then it was the wedding gown itself, made from 6 m of duchesse silk satin, purple/gold silk brocade and a full set of handmade buttons of the same fabric as the dress. I was really happy with the result, and the day was just wonderful.






So maybe it wasn't such an unproductive year anyway, even if I didn't get any cosplay projects done.


Friday, 11 November 2022

my wedding attire - part two the gown

 So for the gown it took me some time to decide on what I wanted. Being an older bride I didn't want anything that was too much of a princess-style, but I still like a serious amount of fabric. I also wanted to make a gown that was flattering for my figure (of course) but also a gown where I could use my strengths as a seamstress, and minimize techniques that I am know I'm worse with using.



Pattern

In the end the gown was a frankenpatterned version where the skirt, mostly, came from Wearing History's 1916 Eloise dress. It is basically a big piece of fabric that was pleated to the waist. As detailing it has two deep pleats, and the hem is just as deep as the pleats. This made something happen with the skirt, instead of just being plain, and since the hem was to look like a third pleat I didn't have to worry about doing an invisible hem, but could have the seam be visible. In the instructions it is said that the skirt is too long and that it is necessary to adjust it. For me that meant that I also adjusted the pleats by moving them upwards.



For the belt I used the stay pieces of the Butterick belt, but skipped the pleated parts of the belt.

For the bodice I had to change the closure from a side closure to a back closure. I simply did that by not cutting the back piece on fold and add a seam allowance. I also added straight strips of self fabric as facings for the back opening.

The main thing I liked with the Butterick pattern were the dolman sleeves, that are cut in one with the bodice so I didn't have to struggle with set in sleeves. I hate setting sleeves. This kind of sleeves are more limited in how much you can move, but I wasn't going to to do a any handstands or cartwheels anyway.

Fabric

For the fabric I decided to splurge. After all this is a once in a life time dress. Since the gown was going to be quite simple I wanted the fabric to stand out as luxurious and wonderful. I ended up buying 6 meters of duchesse silk satin from Sartor. It was expensive, but so wonderful to work with. It was stiff and didn't slide around. I tried to use as few pins as possible, and I hardly needed to. As long as the seams were straight I could just hold the fabrice and feed it into my machine. It took ironing really well as well. For the belt I used a gold and purple 16th century reproduction brocade, also from Sartor. I had bought it as a remnant even before I met my husband, but I hadn't dared to use it for anything. With our common interested in the 16th century I felt that it was a good way of giving a nod to that in my gown, without making an historical gown. It was also this fabric that decided that our theme colours were purple and gold.

The process

I started with making a complete mockup of the bodice. Now there were definitely issues here, since I was going to fit a 1950s style bodice over a 1910s corset. This is also where I got really nervous. I had my (then future) husband help me with measurements when I was in the corset, but to be honest I was worried that he hadn't done them correctly. The bodice has pleats in the front and darts in the back, and those had to be adjusted quite a lot to get a good fit. I then used the mock up pieces as my pattern pieces.


In the end I don't think the thick duchesse satin was the best choice of fabric for the bodice, the pleats looked better in the thinner cotton I used for the mock up, but the fabric was perfect for the skirt instead.

The pattern was easy to follow. I added a lining, which also made it possible for me to sew the bias binding of the edges to the lining and not to the main fabric. One thing I would have done differiently today was that I would have made the bias binding wider. With the thick satin and the lining it was tricky to bind the edges properly and get all the raw edges within the binding. With the adjustment I did the neckline also ended up a bit wider than I had planned, but it was still ok.


The gown was constructed with the bodice and the belt in the same fabric as the boddice. Then I attached the skirt to the bodice and belt, and then I finished by sewing the brocade belt over the satin belt. The brocade belt was handsewn on, which also made it easier to pattern match the fabric.

Throughout the process I had my old dressform, which has fallen apart below the waist and has never been a good fit for my body when wearing a corset. Still what I did was that I adjusted it to its smallest size, then I put the corset on over it and I used fabric to stuff the gap between the dressform and the corset. I then draped the gown over the dressform. I was really nervous when it was time to try everything on, but in the end it fit like a glove. I am so happy that well made corset makes dress fitting so much easier.

The closure

The one hickup I had was the closure of the gown. I used an invisble zipper for the skirt, but I only had a fairly short one, and I didn't feel like buying a new one when I had an invisible zipper in cream in my stash. When I sewed it on something got wrong and I ended up with stitches over the zipper. It's not visible, but the zipper lost a few cm. This made it just about possible for me to get in and out of the skirt. The original plan had been to let the zipper go up through the belt as well. The belt was closed with hook and eye. 

I have always liked to look of cloth buttons. I ordered a set to make my own cloth buttons, but it never arrived. (well it arrived three weeks after the wedding). After having stressed about it I decided to make my own cloth buttons, like I have done medieval wool buttons. They really took their time, and I found it hard to get them even in satin, which is a lot less forgiving than wool. I used thread loops, made with silk thread, to fasten the buttons. This was my one panic before the wedding, and I actually finished the last thread loop 30 minutes before I was due at my hairdresser on my wedding day.

Personally I only see how uneven in shape and size the buttons are, but to be honest they are hardly visible in any of the photos, due to my hair and veil. And the mass effect of a long row of buttons still look good.

I must say that I am impressed with how good my husband was in helping me undress when we got home, considering that we were both dead tired and he had to navigate between  zippers, buttons, hook and eye and a laced up corset before I was out of my gown completely.




The jewellry was all family pieces. The earrings are from my paternal grandmother, the pearl necklace is a gift from my aunt that wanted me to have something from my maternal grandmother some years ago. I had it restrung ahead of the wedding though. The brooch was a gift from my father, and since he is not among us any more it was important for me to wear it on my wedding day. Finally my mother has had a tradition to give her daughters something just before going into church. My sisters have gotten brooched, but since I already had one I got a gold bracelet with a pearl that is from her great aunt. I felt very honoured to be able to wear so much family history on my big day.




Finally I must say I wasn't alone in getting married, and my husband looked so handsome in his white tie.







Thursday, 10 November 2022

My wedding attire - part one

 It has taken me quite a while to write about my wedding gown, but I just got the photos from the photographer, so here is the rundown of what I wore on my wedding gown.

Underwear

For the underwear I used my new set of 1916 underwear, I have a whole blog post about them here. The petticoat was starched so stiff that it could basically stand on its own, and it got a wonderful volume and ruffling sound from the starch.



When doing the 1917 combinations I had been worrying about the crotch flap, and if it would protect my thighs from chafing. I had to move the buttons, when I realized that I would not be able to close the buttons myself in the position that they were. Well on the wedding day the buttons came undone anyway, so now I am thinking about simply removing the crotch flap and use it as s simple chemise instead. I didn't get chafing though, or maybe I didn't notice because I was so happy.

Shoes

My favorite shoe brand is Irregular Choice and as soon as I got engaged I knew that I wanted to get married in a pair of Irregular Choice shoes. I had my eyes out for their wedding shoes, but in the end I they didn't feel quite right. In the end I was happy to find a a pair of Razzle Dazzle in gold and with rainbow accents. Those where not in the current collection, but I found them at a Swedish retailer that apparently had older collections still on sale.


Since our colours were purple and gold I felt that the purple in the rainbow was close enough and the shoes were definitely gold.

Flowers

My sister did all the flowers. I basically gave her very free hands, but said that I wanted the flowers to go in purple and lilac with maybe some burgundy accents and I didn't want white. I also wanted a drop shaped bouquet.

Hair, tiara and veil

It took me a really long time to decide what I wanted in my hair. For a while I thought about borrowing the church's wedding crown, which is a traditional Swedish thing to do, but the crown in the church where we were getting married is too much of a fairytale princess crown. To be honest it reminded me too much of the crown I use for my Princess Daisy cosplay. In the end I found a tiara on Nordic Wedding Outlet that wasn't too blingy, and that I felt would look good. I didn't want a tiara with a lot of crystals or rhine stones. I also found my veil there. I could probably have made the veil myself, but decided that was worth it to buy it, so I didn't have to struggle with binding the edges. I found one veil that was just down to my feet, actually few cm of train, and that was what I wanted. Since it wasn't a long train I kept the veil on until it was time to dance, because it wasn't in the way at all.




I kept the hair simple, with just a mass of tight curls that stayed together, and just a bit of teasing to have something to attach the tiara and the veil to.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

I am a married woman

 Yesterday I got married. And I will try and write about the wedding gown, but until I have better photos this is a first look.




Friday, 5 August 2022

Finally my pink gown!

 So many years ago I bought pink wool to make a pink 16th century gown. It's been in my stash for a long time by now. Last year at medieval week in Visby I decided that I really wanted a new gown for the next year, since I don't feel pretty in my old dresses, especially compred to all the pinked and slashed gowns.


This is my main inspiration for the gown. It's a woman that can be seen in large painting "the triumph of emperor Maximilian". It is a rather plain main gown, but the sleeves gives it a bit more interest. Of course I would have to improvise the front, but there are so many images of fronts that it's not a problem.

I cut out the main pieces with the plan of sewing it together at the Medieval Fair in Leksand, well I didn't sew a stitch.

In the middle of the summer I sewed the bodice together - and had a breakdown. It didn't fit at all, it was full of wrinkles and I just felt fat and ugly in it. I have a lot of issues with my weight, since I have gained a lot over the last few years, and I can't really say why.

Anyway after a couple of weeks I took up the failed bodice again and ripped it apart. I decided to start over. I cut out another layer of lining to make it sturdier. I also decided to construct the bodice the 18th century way where you first make the lining, and then mount the other fabric on the lining. I figured that some of the wrinkles were probably because the lining and the outer fabric weren't perfectly matched to each other. I also decided to baste it all together on the machine before handsewing it. So I basted the two lining layers together and sewed them up, now with very small seam allowances to make it bigger and reduce the stress on the fabric.

mounting the outer fabric to the lining

Now I had a bodice that fit a lot better. I was also running out of time before medieval week. I had to reset the goal of finishing before medieval week. Instead I decided to aim for having it finished for Wednesday, when there is a big landsknecht march. I also decided that I needed to compartmentalize the project and break it down into smaller parts so that I get the big things done at home, and only have the smaller things left when I arrive in Visby.


This is the current state of the gown. The skirt, to the left, has been sewn together and the seams are felled. I have done gathering stitches on the maching so I can just gather and attach the skirt to the bodice. The olive fabric is a courser fabric that I have cut out a strip of to use as a hem guard. I made the gathering stitches on the machine since it's so much faster. I also had a discussion with myself on why I do things the way I do, and realized that since I'm not making this to dwelve deeper into the craft, I just want a pretty dress, then I'm fine with doing basting and gathering on the machine. Those are stitches that will be removed anyway.

The bodice is done except for the decorations that will go around the neckline and down the front. My original plan was to make eyelets to close it, and work on those on the ferry. I got a lot less stressed when I instead decided to go for lacing rings, which were used as well in the 16th century. I just need to go down to the medieval market and buy them.

The sleeves have been cut out, I was a bit stressed so unfortunately the top part is a tiny bit too short, but that's the way it is. I'm hoping to sew them together on the ferry, so I just have to attach lacing rings and sew them to the bodice when I arrive in Visby.

Will I have a new gown on Wednesday in Visby? We will see...