Wednesday, August 31, 2016

IRCC: Final Update

I made it! The results are still not in yet but I'm super excited with the amount of things I finished in the last four months.

Layer 1: Camicia

Made from 100% linen mostly by machine. The sleeve and bottom hems were sewn by hand. The seams were finished by serging so I can wash it by machine.

Extra layer: Petticoat

Made from 100% linen entirely handsewn a combination of backstitch, running stitch and slip stich. The seams were flat felled. I used a gored pattern instead of my usual rectangular one and it definitely gave the skirt a nice swoosh.

Layer 2: Gamurra

Made from 100% linen and a cotton canvas interlining for the bodice. This layer is mostly handsewn including the eyelets. The outer fabric and lining of the bodice were sewn to the interlining by hand. Both the bodice and skirt were assembled by hand. The skirt was hemmed and sewn to the bodice by hand. The sleeves were constructed entirely by hand. The only steps that were completed on the machine are the boning channels and assembling and attaching the skirt facing. It is lightly boned with 6 steel bones.

I have to say that while the slitted sleeves with camicia poofs looks very pretty, they are a pain to get on and get situated. Next time, I’d definitely pleat the camicia sleeve to a band or make one with a slim sleeve and add faux poofs to the dress sleeves.

Layer 3: Giornea

Made from a cotton blend mostly by machine. Some of the seam finishes were done by hand.

Layer 4: Accessories

The pocket is made from 100% wool and some poly velvet ribbon from my stash. This piece was constructed by machine. The trim and velvet ties were attached by hand.

The earrings were made from faux pearls and some jewelry making bits.

 The pearl necklace is made from the same faux pearls and was hand knotted.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how this challenge turned out! Completing this challenge has been on my costuming bucket list and it feels amazing to have completed it. I’m glad I pushed myself to do more handsewing in the beginning of the challenge. I really do love the look and feel of handsewn pieces even if I don’t have the time or energy to do them all the time. I was able to try some new things including jewelry making and I’m very inspired to try some drawn threadwork after seeing quite a few other entrants use this technique.

Now I just have to wait for it to be cool enough to wear this whole ensemble to an event!

Monday, August 29, 2016

IRCC6: Update #4

There were quite a few loose ends to wrap up this month. First up, I need to finish the sleeves on my camicia. A quick hand stitched hem did the trick. It pretty much looks the same as my last photo except it is hemmed.

Next up, I buckled down to finish my giornea. Getting an even hem turned out to be a bit difficult without a dress form or hemming buddy! I also ran out of matching bias tape so I finished the hem with a bit of black bias tape from the stash. To finish it off, I added a hook and eye closure to the bottom of the v neck to keep the front closed. It also looks very similar to the last update.

After going back and forth on sleeve design for a bit, I decided on a one piece sleeve that had a slit up the arm from the wrist to elbow. I really wanted that poofy camicia peaking out look and I thought this design would be do able to draft from my existing sleeve pattern.

I ended up making a 3 inch opening for the slit that narrowed to a point at the elbow. I decided to sew down both ends of the ribbon rather than opting for loose ties that could be done up in bows. Bows are a bit fiddly for my taste and my husband hates having to tie up a bunch of bows for me.

I made up the sleeves very similar to the way I made the bodice except they did not need an inner foundation layer. I handstitched the layers together and attached the ribbons to the lining layer. Then I whipstiched the back seam closed from shoulder to elbow. The sleeves are entirely hand sewn and I will be attaching them with pins. Since the climate I live in is quite warm for most of the year, I’ll be wearing the dress without sleeves most of the time so pin on sleeves work really well for me.

That left me with just accessories to finish. I really wanted to take a stab at making my own jewelry. I’d never made jewelry before but Italians sure have some great jewelry! I had a bunch of faux pearls in my stash so I decided to make pearl earrings and a necklace.

Most of the portraits from the 1490s show a hairstyle that covers the ear but simple pearl drop earrings were popular throughout the Italian Renaissance so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with those. Plus I don’t have long enough hair to do the cover the ear style. I picked up a few bits to make the earrings plus some jewelry pliers and got started.

It was so easy to make these earrings! And they turned out so pretty that I may just have to wear them with my everyday wardrobe too.

I also wanted to make a matching pearl necklace. I have other pearl necklaces already but none that quite matched the color of the pearl earrings. I wanted to hand knot the necklace because I thought it’d add to the authentic feel even though I’m using faux pearls. There’s definitely a bit of technique getting the knots to cooperate and turn out nicely but it was pretty easy to finish while watching tv. Then I added a toggle clasp to finish it off.