Thursday, October 5, 2017

Another project Roundup? About time!

It's been a couple months since the last time posted a Project roundup of what I've been working on....I have been working on projects, just not a whole lot which is particularly interesting, since there was a lot of repeating.

Mainly, I've had two primary projects, and one secondary; the Patchwork Paletot, which is a fur lined overcoat matching my Franken-frockcoat; the trunkhose for the Hasting's Suit; and a not particularly historical waistcoat (secondary).  I haven't done any writing, and little researching, except for tidbits as needed on current or dreamed up projects.  Bad me, I know....I've been busy with other things.

But wait!!  There's apparently more...those are just the projects most recently to mind.  I had one or two other research lines in there somewhere, and I forgot that I made a good portion of my openwork shirt during the month post Coronet.

As always, these photos are in chronological order, and bounce around a bit, since I like to work on multiple projects at a time.

First project up is an Elizabethan shirt, which I was attempting to get done in time for my Vigil last August.  I ran two lines of gathering stitches at the collar and cuffs, using heavy linen thread, and freehanding it (rather than marking each stitch).  At this point, I learned something important about calculating maximum width for these heavily gathered shirts...the width of the shirt (half total circumference) needs to be able to gather into 1/3rd of the collar measurement, rather than into half as I calculated.  Eventually, I managed to work through it.

I decided on a blocky insertion stitch based on an Example in Patterns of Fashion 4, and did some experiments first; as I thought, it is essentially an alternating buttonhole stitch.  I did film a tutorial, but haven't gotten around to editing or publishing it yet.

And switching projects....I also still held out hope to sew--start to finish--my Hasting's suit in the month or so before Purgatorio.  Needless to say, I did not remotely succeed.  But here are all the fabrics I laid out when it was time to cut the trunkhose.  Bottom to top, right to left;
Silk canvas (the green I dyed it turned out to be ruined, so I eventually decided to use the original base fabric).
Silk charmeuse in silver grey, which underlines the silk canvas and is pinked in one with it.
Black silk habotai, to cover the lining of the panes.
Medium weight fustian, to interline bits and pieces of the garment.
Heavy weight fustian to interline the lining.
Wool broadcloth as an interlining to help with the "waist spring" of the trunkhose.
Lightish weight white linen, as the lining of the panes
Black linen (same weight) to cover the fustian interlining, and show through the pinked silk.

Cutting.  The first day, I only cut the lining layer...both the fustian and silk habotai had to be pieced together.

Practicing my Carolingian Miniscule hand...writing out the names of various hop varieties as practice

When it came time to cut, I took the base pattern of the lining, recut it in muslin, and divided it evenly into 14 panes.  The number 14 was based on the desired width of each pane...3 inches seemed too narrow, requiring exponentially more work, but 5 inches seemed like it would to be too wide.  So I compromised with 4 inch wide panes.

After marking it out, I cut the pattern into all those pieces.

Beginning to lay the pieces out on the canvas....I left the extra at the bottom because at the time, I thought I needed that to bind the layers together when I eventually went to do the cartridge pleats.

 All the pieces cut out.  That was an utterly exhausting experience, as you can see below.

....something like five hours straight of cutting out fabric.

Back to the shirt!  At some point, I got both sleeves on...the shoulder seam is at the top here, and the underarm gusset to the right.

And decided to make a couple of new work shirts.  In silk noil.  Which was to be dyed.

My everyday shirt pattern is pretty generic, based on poofy shirts from late Elizabethan to Early Victorian.  The first one /was/ an Elizabethan pattern, based on THIS one, then I decided to eliminate the shoulder gore (because it's such a pain in the neck to do), and just cut slanted shoulders instead.  In this photo, I'm applying the shoulder-strap, which keeps the partial-bias cut from stretching.

The sleevehead is gathered--rather more than I anticipated, but it worked and does look goodish.  As you can see, I do utilize the integral underarm gussets from the pattern linked above, since I find they work extremely well to give me freedom of movement.

Back to the trunkhose.  After basting every set of layers together (the silks together, and the linen/fustians together), I had to sew them prior to turning.  Because I am self sewing (using thread pulled from the weft of the silk canvas), and the position I settled on sewing in, a backstitch was used.

I also learned a new technique...on particularly finicky threads, use leatherworking code, which is much stickier; a heat activated resin.  My thread breakage went down by a considerable amount when I switched to that instead of beeswax (which I still use on linen).

The collar receiving its row of prick stitches on the outside.

 A dye day!  This is the silk work shirt I was making, being dyed a lovely rich black..I'm wearing it right now, actually.  Also on top is 25 yards of silk ribbon for to trim the Hasting's doublet...coloured ribbon is several times more expensive than white.

I use an immersion heater to heat my water, since I was dealing with larger quantities, and have no desire to buy a 20+ gallon stainless pot.

New (ish) project!  I say "ish" because it's related to the 14th century girdle purse I was working on...period black dyes.  Specifically, iron oxide/tannin based black dyes.  I did some experimenting and research and finally found the references I needed.:
Plictho of Gioanventura Rosetti: Instructions in the Art of the Dyers Which Teaches the Dyeing of Woolen Cloths, Linens, Cottons, and Silk by the Great Art as Well as By the Common. Translation of the First Edition of 1548.
On page 163 there is a black dye that met my goals.  However, it essentially has you dip or rub the leather with a oak gall solution (strong tannin solution), then rub the leather with the iron infused vinegar.  I still need to do more testing.

This here was a side experiment; I ran across a buckskinner (18-19th century mountain men group) reference about needed to neutralize the acid in the iron oxide/vinegar to keep the leather from getting brittle.  On the left is the plain solution of iron/vinegar/tannin, and on the right, I dosed the solution with baking soda until the pH was raised to almost 7.  I found it fascinating that doing so yielded a much darker dye.

Back to playing with the silk waistcoat, doing bar tacks on the ends of the welts.  I hate sewing single welt pockets.

 A sneak preview of a project which I put up a long time ago...the faux fur lined overcoat to match my franken-frock.  This is the lining, obviously turned inside out to show the fluffiness. 

Decisions, took many tries to figure out which fabrics I would actually use, and put them into the order I wanted.  This was not--quite--it.

Eventually, I figured that out, ending with a pattern...and 400+ small pieces of fabric...that looks like this.  Unlike last time I had to cut that many pieces, this time I used a roller don't know how much easier it made things (unless you've tried quilting without one).

 That waistcoat I've been working on for months had been frustrating me, so I decided to bag-line it because I didn't have enough of the silk to do facings and wanted to get it done...but I couldn't bring myself to do so.  I've never done a bag lining before, and don't want to start now.

In the end, I ended up using some terrible velvet stuff in my stash to sew facings, with some showing as a narrow piping.  I rather like how it looks.

 One of the trunkhose panes, all pinked and assembled.  I was working on it at the same time as the waistcoat (and the paletot).

Resuming on the waistcoat, topstitching the front opening to make sure all those layers stayed in place.

 The shell and interlinings of the waistcoat were turned under and catch-stitched into place.  Then the linen lining slip-stitched down over it.

 The last piece of the trunkhose panes, all assembled!  You have no idea how excited I was about that, since it meant I can work on a new step.

And all of the pieces for each leg laid out in place...something like 62 pieces of fabric.  There actually was a reason to lay them out, other than the satisfaction of seeing it...I needed to mark the pocket location, since that should be hidden behind a pane slightly towards the front.

 As you can see, I made progress on this, getting all the pieces together.  First I sewed it up in columns, pressed the seams open, then worked my way from the center front to put the gore in (working both left and right at the same time).  As of this morning, I have both sides of the front assembled.

One of the last bits on the waistcoat...buttonholes.  I ended up using 4 buttons, since it was going to be double breasted with two rows.  I decided to leave off the second row, and now wish I had used 5 buttons down the front since there is a bit more pickering than I would like.  But I don't think going up to 7 buttons would look good.

After finishing putting together the panes, I get to bast the lining layers together, and make the pockets!  Sadly...the didn't happen yesterday, since I realized that before basting, the fabric needs to be ironed into submission (I have my iron with me today, and it is on the list).

That's all, folks!  I have some other plans I want to do, but those will be discussed in the next "dress diary".  Hopefully you found my rambles interesting.

© John Frey, 2017. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

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