Söderköpings Medieval Fair 2017

It’s almost been a month since the yearly Medieval fair in Söderköping, and I just now gotten round to post about it, but better late then never right:-).

I’ve been attending this fair with my sister for a few years now (2014, 2015, 2016) and this year was no exception, only this year I didn’t joined the dance recital, but instead had my hand full taking care of my 1 year old son.

As always I had a bit of a trouble deciding on what to wear, but finally settled on the Elizabeth I dress l made last year.

My sister borrowed my red renaissance kirtle.

And baby Charlie wore the Henry VIII coat from last year, pared with an old red velvet hat to match.

I promised my fiancé I wouldn’t dress him to weird, and in my defence I can only say I (partially) held that promise. Besides from the coat and hat (which he needed for head covering), he wears a regular gray long sleeved t-shirt and pants pared with his autumn boots. 

*Disclaimer: This post will be full of cute (faceless) “Henry VII” baby pics – so consider yourself warned;-)

**I’m sorry about the “Floating ruff”, but the partlet was simply to hot to wear, and I’ve forgotten to bring my necklace and/or black-worked smock, so I figured it was better then nothing… :-/

We begun the day by touring the market place.
And I got a beautiful feather fan, and a book about medieval clothing that I’ve never seen before.

Then we walked the 500m or so to the camp and Medieval playground.
 There was a lot of “follow the toddler” happening.

Then we meet up with the dancing team and baby C got introduced to the whole gang for te first time.

My sister joined the dancing

And me and C watched(At least for a little while), then he was of agin… I do think we made for quite a sight.
Lots of people commented on how cute he looked, and some even wanted our picture.

After the dancing we went to get some food, and encountered the knights on our way to the restaurant.After lunch we stopped to take a break and to play a bit in the parks playground.  The slide is by far his favourite.
The we did even more exploring the townHa ha, I love that my sister tries to play with him and how he’s much more interesting in the gravel:-D  Trying to get some nice photos together… It’s harder then you’d think
Before we headed home we took another round of the market and listened to some music, Met a knight of the crusades  and looked at some more pretty things (that we didn’t buy). Renaissance ladies.
 It was such a fun day, and a perfect “first event” for C (who was in the best of moods during the day, and then slept the whole car ride home). What more could you wish for 🙂

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Re-make a pair of bodice (HSM 2/2017)

I tend to think these “make-do/repair/re-make – challenges” are pretty boring. And I never know what to make and feel kind of uninspired by the whole thing.

But then something always happens.

I guess it’s due to my ever growing costume wardrobe, and my inpatients (often pressed by deadlines) to get stuff finished, that I always end up with several entry’s for the “re-make” HSM challenges.

The first one, this time, is the fixing up of my 16th century “Pair of bodice” (corset) that I made as one of my first historic pieces back in 2013.
2013-03-01 14.33.57Mighty proud back then

Since I’ve long been dreaming of expanding my 16th century wardrobe (and just recently got both patterns and a lovely black wool for a robe) I decided it was time to go through the existing pieces to make sure they where up to speed.

2013-02-09 15.45.57 2013, and just starting to ventur into the world of historic costuming

 
February 2017, and still a novice (tough a bit more knowable)
The corset fit me almost the same as back in 2013, but that was not enough anymore.
It needed to be fixed.

Here is how it looked before I dug my seam-ripper into it.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements, and they tuned out (as I expected) to be the exact same with and without the corset on. I know that the 16th century silhouette don’t call for any sliming of the torso, but a column to get the right look of the garment. But despite that I wanted to minimize my “column” as much as possible – Oh the vanity…

One of the biggest problem in this was the thick (2-3mm) plastic zip-ties I used to completely bone the bodice.
They build on to the outside of the corset to give me the bigger/same size as un-laced.

So they had to go.

Or at least most of them.
After I unripped the bias tape covering the upper edge, I removed every other bone at the front, all bones at the sides and only left a few ones a the back. I also cut the remaining bones down a god cm to make them fit better into the channels.
Cutting down the plastic boning.

Once the bones was gone I faced another problem – now the whole thing was a bit to big…

So I grabbed my seam-ripper, and got to work removing the piecing I added for exactly the same (opposite?) reason when I made the bodice.

Once almost all the upper binding was removed, I also took the opportunity to shorten the shoulder straps.

By now the corset looked like some kind of roadkill, with everything hanging lose and the big pile of boning sticking out. 

 Quality control by my tiny “helper”

Then all that was left was to stitch everything back again.

The finished Pair of bodice:


All the facts:

Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make

What: The re-make of my 16th century “Pair of bodice”

How It fit the challenge: I re-made the pair of bodice to better fit my current skill and body, making it a lot more likely I will actually wear them. I also got a lot leftover boning from the fix-up, that I can use for other projects down the line.

Pattern: None

Fabric/Notions: Thread

How historical accurate: Not at all except the shape. The whole thing is made with machine, in synthetic brocade using both plastic boning and metal eyelets (so sorry you guys…). But it is a clear example of how my knowledge and skill have grown and since they will never be seen, it don’t bother me as much as it probably should. about 3/10.

Time/Cost: About 3 hours and it didn’t cost me a thing (of one thing I gained a few cents with the opportunity to re-use the left over bones).

First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos

Finished thoughts: I’m happy that I now might finally wear them 🙂

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And here’s a complimentary “striptease” 🙂

photos by: Elin Evaldsdotter

2016 in Review

2016 is one of those years we will always remember for it’s tragic events, raising lack of humanity/ compassion for the most vulnerable in our society (and world).

But for me, 2016 will always be one of the mot important years in my life – it’s the year my son was born.

Thus a big change in my priority’s (and time/energy) leaving my sewing somewhat on the backwater.
And taking into account that I had a 6 months hiatus from sewing last winter(Oct 2015 – April 2016) there is a miracle I managed anything at all. But I did actually finish a few items both before and after my delivery in June.

And here they are:

1790s printed Roundgown:
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Viscose 1790s Roundgown (both with and without baby-bump)IMG_9669

Regency Petticoat IMG_9661

Babyclothes:
Modern:
Jackets, bodys, pants, hats and rompers several of each.IMG_9732 IMG_9915

Historical:
A hat and shirt for a newborn IMG_0282

Halloween:
Henry VIII Costumeimg_1718

Menswear:
(not yet posted about)

Medieval shirt:img_0416

Regency Shirt:img_0861

1950s turquoise viscose dress:IMG_0842

1450s Italian Gown:img_0524

1400s Chemise IMG_0334

1450s Italian Court Gown img_0442

1550s Elizabethan gown:img_1581

Brocade gown img_1480

  Quilted petticoatimg_1033

I’ve also finished a few minor projects like, hemming skirts/pants, sewing curtains/pillows, adjusting dresses etc.

And as always I have a few things on their way which I didn’t manged to finish before the new year (but which hopefully will be completed in he following months).

Al in all I think I did pretty well with my 3 mayor project, which all has been on my wishlist for quite some time.

Henry the Eight – Don’t be such a baby

2 (or 3 months) ago, when deciding on projects for Halloween (Elizabeth I for me) I realizes that this would be the first (of many?) costumes I would make for my baby, and that I really wanted it to be special.

So what would I dress my chubby redheaded infant as for his first Halloween…?

The answer came to me pretty fast:
Hernry VIII – of course

workshop_of_hans_holbein_the_younger_-_portrait_of_henry_viii_-_google_art_projectPortrait by Holbein d.y. and the one I used as reference for my baby costume.

I started by taking a close look at the inspiration/reference pic, and flipping through the pages of “The Tudor Tailor” I found what I needed.
img_1287Male Tudor outfit.

Then I hit the fabric store in search for some suitable fabrics.15451386_10211259297419846_1297395615_nLeft to right: Brown fake fur (stash), burgundy/red singel Jersey, grey/silver printed Jersey, white knitted leggings and golden trim.

Since this was to be a costume worn (once) by an infant I decided to make it as easy and wearable (read soft/comfy) as possible, using Jersey fabrics and omitting anything complicated (like slashes) or small/sharp (like beading and pearls).
I also decided it was totally acceptabel to cheat as much as possible 🙂

My first move vas to get a pair of white leggings/tights from a well known clothing store. img_1271

Then it was time for the actual sewing.

I started with the body using a baby pattern I used previous and knew and liked. img_1266I stitched it up using my serger and a double needle on the edges.

The finished Body:img_2180I like that it is usable as a modern/regular piece on its own.

Next piece was the “skirt”, which was made from a lenght of fabric which I hemed and pleated to a elastic waistband.img_1291

The finished skirt:img_2171

Then it was time for the main piece – the cape

I cut a rektangel from the red fabric, folded it over cut it open at the front and pleated it at the shoulders. Then I stitched on some decoration.img_1261

The sleeves was made from rectangles stitched together, decorated and gathered at top and bottom. img_1264Ignore the wonkyness – I stitched this with my baby sleeping in the carrier on my belly, so not the best attention to detail.

Then I cut the fur collar from a piece of stash fabric.img_1269

img_1284Pining and stitching the fake fur to the cape.

The finished Cape:img_2182

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Lastly I made a small hat/beret from a circle and a strip of black jersey. img_1310

The finished hat:img_2179

This was such a fun project and I really love how the little coat/cape came out.

and finaly

Here’s some photos of my own prince wearing the outfit:img_1718

img_1721“Eat all the things…”

And some pics with the two of us together (Elizabeth I and Henry VIII)img_1762

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img_1827Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Elizabeth I – Photoshoot (Movie inspired)

Once everything for my “Elizabeth I” was finished I dressed up for the photoshoot – which just happened to be on Halloween 🙂

I’m wearing my Elizabeth gown accessoriced with my fake ermine cape, Tudor jewelry, neckruff and plastic crown and septer (and a hideus plastic wig).

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Then I removed the regalia to try to resemble the cleaner, more innocent (?) look earlier in the movie, and the edgy cover photo.

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img_2016This pic would be perfect for any historic harlequin novel – don’t you think

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img_2141Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter

A Royal Cape – Fake it ’til you make it

To turn my Elizabeth I dress into something a bit more royal, I decided to make an ermine cape.

I originally wanted to make a coronation robe like the one my inspiration painting (below), but since I only got scraps left from the dress fabric, I opted for a simpler (and more theatrical/fake) style.

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I used my old cape pattern, and a soft white fake fur I bought a few years back to made a short cape.img_1313

Then I cut small pieces of a black fur trim I had in my stash and placed them on the cape to get the ermine look.img_1345Testing the spaces of the black “tails”.

Once I decided their placement I stitched them on by hand.img_1394

An hour later the cape was finished.img_1391

The finished cape:
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The facts:

What: A fake Ermine cape

Pattern: I drafted my own.

Fabric & Notions: 0,5 m white fake fur, 30 cm black fur trim, thread, hook and eye.

Time & Cost: 2 hours (1 hours to attach the black fur pieces), about 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final Thoughts: Not one of my finest works, but it will do for its theatrical purpose.

Elizabeth I – Photoshoot (Historic)

Before the first snow fell last week I manage to get some nice autumn photos of my new “Elizabeth I” Dress.

I’m wearing the Tudor/Elizabethian dress, on top of several layers of petticoats, bumpad and shift, and accessorized with  the new partlet,  french hood, an old neckruff and the amazing jewelry from “Evil and og“(link to blogpost). (Excuse the modern hair but its just impossible to get a nice center part with a short side bangs.)

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img_1676 Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter

Elizabeth I – Construction part 3 – French Hood

The next thing that I needed to make to complete the Elizabethan look was some kick as headwear.
And what is more associated with this time period then the french hood.

Bildresultat för elizabeth french hoodElizabeth I in “power suit” and crazy perm – and some kind of french(isch) hood.

I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”, and “A Damsel in this Dress” great tutorial for the construction.

Starting by cutting the fabric from the (by now VERY limited) scraps of the golden brocade I used for the dress, cotton sheet for lining and buckram.
img_0996 I used the version with the pointed font edge, to make it a it later in style then the regular ones you often see.

Then I stitched the millinery wire to the buckram and the brocade to the now even stiffer pieces. 14215737_10210265177447468_1049756619_oAttaching the outer fabric by stitching over the piece again and again.

Then I added the lining.img_1004

And steamed the pieces into shape. img_1025Side piece/headband seen form the side.

Despite careful measuring and testing of the pattern it ended up a bit to small, causing me to eliminate the seam allowance and stitching the the back seam edge to edge. img_1026Which I then covered with another scrap piece of fabric.

Then it was time to make the billiment, using plastic and golden pearls. img_1085

img_1087Attaching the string of pearls to the edge of the cresent.

Another piece of billiment was pleated using satin ribbon and attached o the front edge of the hood.img_1303

Then I added the cresent to the baseimg_1305

and stitched the lining/bag to the back.img_1309 Here you can also see covering of the piecing at the back.

img_1306The hood from the inside

img_1300From the side.

The last thing to do was to make and attach the veil.
I used some nice black velvet cut almost in the shape of a sleeve, and attached to the back of the hood. img_1273In case you wonder, <= This is how I made almost the whole hood (carrying my baby on my body)

The Finished Hood:
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(Worn with Elizabethan dress, partlet, jewelry and neck ruff)
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Facts:

What: A 1550s French Hood

Pattern: French Hood from “The Tudor Tailor”.

Fabric & Notions: Scraps of golden brocade, cotton lining, and buckram, 1 m satin ivory ribbon, thread, 0,5 m black velvet, 2 m millinery wire, ivory and golden pearls.

Time & Cost: About 5 hours (its almost completely made by hand) and about 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final Thoughts: I LOOOVE it! 🙂
I think this is one of my best millinery work so far. It look so nice and authentic and I had so much fun making it.

Elizabeth I – Construction Part 2 – Partlet

Once the dress was finished I got started on the accessories.
First up – the Partlet:

I decided right from the start that I would need something to ad a more “Historical” air to my costume, and what would better serve then a nice little shrug in a matching fabric (except some fabulous headgear – hold on, we will be getting to that – later).

Bildresultat för partlet elizabethQueen Elizabeth in a magnificent outfit, and what seems to be a blackworked partlet/shift.

I’ve one one of these pieces before a couple of years ago for my sister.CIMG3175Theater costume for the fictional play “The Tempest”

This time, like last time, I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”.
Bildresultat för partlet patternThis is not the pattern I used but, one I found during a quick google search.

I used the leftover golden brocade and cut the pieces.img_1320Unfortunately I didn’t manage to pattern match as good as I would have liked, but that something I can live with at this point.

The lining is made from regular white cotton and scraps of fake fur to get hat lux and cosy feeling I wanted.img_1318

Doing the whole thing using modern techniques I stitched the outer fabric and the lining together separately and then pinned them together all around.img_1322

In one long seam I stitched the whole thing together.img_1324

Sandwiching the ties at each lower corner.img_1325

Then I snipped all the curves to get them to lie flat.img_1328

I used an opening in the lining (which I left open when I stitched the lining together) to turn the whole thing right.img_1330

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I finished by stitching the opening shut, adding a hook and eye at the lower front edge and pressing the partlet into a nice crisp shape.

img_1380 The Inside 

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The Finished Partlet:
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The facts:

What: An 16th century Partlet

Pattern: Drafted from “The Tudor Tailor”, even though you can use several of the free patterns available online.

Fabric & Notions: Scraps (2 pieces about 30 x 50 cm) of brocade and white cotton sheets, 3 pieces of fake fur (about 30 x 20 cm) and thread.

Time & Cost: This was a real quick and cheap project which took les then 2 hours and cost almost nothing (since I used scraps)

Final Thoughts: I really like the way it came out (even though I didn’t had the fabric to pattern match the front. I love making these quick and small pieces and are actually thinking of making more of them in lots of different color, fabrics and styles.

Elizabeth I – Construction Part 1

As mentioned in my previous post (Elizabeth I – costume analysis) I’ve wanted to make this dress for years, and now I finally have.

As usual I started the project looking at pictures trying to decide in which direction to go for the different elements of this costume. I already had the fabric (a golden/brown polyester furniture brocade) I got for a steal quite some time ago.14182251_10210265184327640_270599663_nInspiration and fabric

img_0440A quick conceptual drawing.

I used the pattern for the “Dorothea Body” from “The Tudor Tailor” for the bodice and cut a mock-up from a plain cotton sheet.img_0303

I added some bones and a plastic ruler down the front, and put it on.
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The it was really good (ignore the bad lacing at center back), and I felt it would give me the flat, conical shape I wanted.img_0329

Then I cut the fabric carefully placing the motifs in the perfect spots for each piece. img_0333 Cutting the sleeves, making sure the pattern placement matches on both left to right sleeve.

14247550_10210265180327540_1516791240_o All fabric cut and ready to go

As usual I started with the skirt, pinning and sewing the three widths of fabric together to a giant tube. Carefully matching the motifs at the seams.

img_1411Not perfect, but close enough.

Then I pleated and pinned the upper edge to my waist measurement, leaving an opening at center back.  img_0437

I then stitched a piece of cotton ribbon to the top as a waistband, sewed on a hook and eye and put the whole thing on my dress-form (over bumpad and several petticoats, of course) to pin the hem. img_0987 I cut and stitched the hem using 15 cm wide pieces of cotton fabric to the inside.

Then it was time for the bodice.
I started by marking and stitching the boning channels to the interlining and lining, after basting hem together.img_0400

img_0401Lots of channels to give the right shape to the bodice.

 I added the bones made from plastic zip ties. img_1024

Then I stitched the shoulder-straps together and pinned the wrong sided of the fashion fabric to the interning, and stitched the neckline together. img_1029

After turning and pressing the neckline, it was time to stitch the sides together.  img_1052 As you can see I did a small miscalculation and had to let it out a tad to get it to fit.

I continued by adding lacing grommets to the back. img_1054I choose the golden ones to match the fabric.

Once the bodice was “ready” I started on the sleeves.
After some experimenting with cover buttons I decided to skip the detail of placate and buttons on the sleeves and just stitched them together as they where.img_1057The sleeves stitched and ready (one is turned inside out).

Then it was once more time to try it on.
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I’m so pleased with the fit and shape, and I love the placement of the big motif on he front.img_1062The sleeve looks pretty good to even though it’s just pinned on.

To get he full view of the dress I put the whole thing on the dressform.img_1049Starting to look like something 🙂

I finished the bodice by hand-stitching the lover edge, adding the sleeves and making a modesty placket to go behind the lacing.img_1336Last few stitches…

And lastly I want to acknowledge the different definition of Heroes I think of when making (and wearing) this costume:

* The first and foremost Hero must of course be the late queen Elizabeth I, who made a such big impression in history, and showing that women are just as capable as men at whatever they try their hands on. I love powerful and inspirational females.

* Then I want to thank the amazing people who dedicate their life and work at researching historical fashions and styles and who make their finds available to everyone who’s interested in re-creating these fabulous garments (of course I’m thinking of Waugh, Arnold, Friendship, Bradfield, Mikhaila/Malcolm-Davies and many many more).

* I also want to celebrate all the amazing teachers who inspire us all to learn and grow in what we do. For me I count my college sewing teacher Lillian (who I still refer to when life gets hard), my mentors and co-workers at the theater atelier who taught me to have fun sewing and don’t be so afraid of doing it wrong. I also thinking of all off you great seamstresses and bloggers out there who constantly inspires me to push myself skill-wise and to try new things. I

* An lastly I want to give a cheer to all the “new to this” sewists and costume enthusiasts, and to say that you don’t have to make everything perfect (or historical) cause sometimes you just want a pretty dress 🙂
It might take a few years, but someday you will make that dress you fantasied about for so long.

The finished dress:img_1397

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Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 10/2015 – Heroes

How does it fit into the challenge: This dress is a dedication to lots and lots of strong and capable women, and men, but most to the one and only Queen Elizabeth I.

What: a 1550s dress inspired by the movie “Elizabeth” (1998)

Pattern: Bodice pattern remade from “The Dorothea bodice” from “The Tudor Tailor”, the sleeves was copied from my previous mentor at the theater atelje, the skirt is basically just 3 pieces of fabric sewn together.

Fabric: 4,5 m of golden polyester furniture brocade/damast, 1 m white cotton for lining and interning the bodice.

Notions: Thread, grommets, 3 m of cotton cord for lacing, 20-30 zip-ties heavy for boning, hook and eye and 1 m cotton ribbon for the skirts waist.

How Historical Accurate: Not at all I’m afraid. The fabric is modern both in content and looks, the bodice pattern are okey for the period but the back lacing (bot back placement and the use of metal grommets) is all wrong and I think the sleeves are wrong to. And the fact that I stitched it all up by machine and using modern techniques don’t make it any better. I would say 2/10.

Time: About 15 hours (spread into countless short sessions over 2,5 months)

Cost: About 500 Sek (55 usd)

First worn: Late October for photos

Final Thoughts: I love this dress, even though its far from historical accurate I think it does look really good (especially with a more historical styling) and I liked wearing it. My only concern is that I need to make something about the way the bodice point wrinkles. and I definitely need to anchor the bodice and skirt together, with hooks and eyes, for my next wearing.