City Cultural Festival with Dance Recital

By now it’s been two weeks ago the annual cultural festival in our town.
And just like last year me and my dance team was there to do a little performance.

This year the theme/time period on our dance was “Anything goes” or “All decades unite” to promote the upcoming Ball with the same theme.

I had some trouble deciding on what to wear (such a luxury problem, right), but in the end I decided to wear my new 17th century outfit. Mainly because I (correctly) guessed no one else would be wearing 17th century, and because I really wanted to try it out properly, to decide how I felt about it (stomacher and all)

20150822_121001_resizedMe and Maud

The weather was perfect (maybe even a bit to hot), and the stage had been set up in the perfect spot in the middle of the park, with lots of market booths and activities close by to help draw audience to us.

The performance went well, even though all our memorys was a bit rusty after the summer break.IMG_8204Lots of decdes in one dance: 1780s, Medieval, 1850s, regency and 1660s.

IMG_8205I used my thin fichu to cover my scooping decolletage from both uncomfortable eyes and the scorching sun.

Between the shows we had a short break to watch the other teams dance, and to take a short turn at the market (where we handed out information about our ball)

IMG_8186 IMG_8185Swedish folk dance team

IMG_8176Lindy hopp

IMG_8175The Swedish Polska dancing team.

IMG_8170The historic dance team’s resting in the shade.

IMG_8173Carl and Shakila from my sewing course, sporting medieval and 1850s evening wear.

IMG_8187Maud in er fabulous 18th century Anglaise.

IMG_8189We performed right beside the old cars exhition.

IMG_8191We also meet the mascot for our local Hockey team – I do not envy the poor hot person inside…

Before it was time to go home I got a few minutes to talk (and take some photos) with my childhood dance teacher Katarina.
I joined in her kids folk dance team at the age of 6, continued as assisting dance teacher at age 15, and still frequent the same summer dances, festivals, and barbecues. 11863477_951061591616540_6141235149920294569_n17th century meets Skedevi national costume (summer edition).

IMG_8197I totally adore this woman.

Once home again, my fiancé helped me by taking some photos of my outfit (sans the fichu).

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After the day ended I can truly say that I really love this costume.
I felt so pretty and stylish in it, the shape it gives me and the way it makes me feel really petite and like an Amazon at the same time is just so great (sorry, can’t describe the felling any better)
But I must admit it was quite a relief to get home, unlace and put on some sweats…
(I’m curently working on some big plans for this costume…)

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“Sew 17th century challenge” – The finished ensamble

And here it is at last, The finished “Sew 17th century challenge” ensemble:
800px-Gerard_ter_Borch_d._J._004Inspiration pic (like you don’t know by now…)

Skirt
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 + Coif (headwear)
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+ Cufs20150802_204328_resized

 + Fur shawl
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 + Bodice (part 1, 2 & 3)
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= the finished ensamble:
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The facts:

What: Reproduction of Gerard Ter Borch’s “The Concert”

Pieces: Skirt, cuffs, coif, fur shawl and bodice

Time: About 60-70 hours

Cost: About 400 Sek (60Usd)

Final thoughts: I think this challenge was great and I loved making all these pieces, and stepping away from my usual time periods.
I’m allready planing some new 17th century outfits.

Sneak a peak from the photoshoot:
IMG_8003Modell: Annica Siljat

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 3 – Finishing)

And here comes the final part of the making of my new 17th century bodice. (Part 1 & 2)

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 Once the outer fabric, lining and sleeves where set it was time to deal with the tabs.
(Every stay makers dread)

I started by cutting them open and then I pinned the three layers together, and basted 
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I ran into some problems when turning the front edges under, and no matter what I did they came out awfulIMG_7829This is seriously my third re-do, and unfortunately the best of my tries.

I had no idea how to fix i and the problem caused me to loose steam (and love) for the project.

After some nights to cool of and think, I figured to just hide it.
So I went trough my stash and found some lovely golden lace, to see if that would do the trick.IMG_7831 IMG_7827
In the end I decided not to use the lace, even though I still think it looks stunning (maybe something for a later date).

Once I excepted the less then perfect front, it was time to start covering the tabs.
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20150801_135414_resizedI used red cotton bias-tape cut to a smaller size.

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Starting to look like something….
But a lot of work remained.

The last thing to do on the bodice was to make all the lacing holes.IMG_7867I use pins to mark the distance before I use my chalk-pen
IMG_7916Practice makes perfect.
Ok, not yet perfect but pretty decent looking eyelets if I may say so myself.

Then the only thing left to do was to try it on a last time…20150804_224828 Crap…

Yup, that’s the sad truth – the bodice I to small, and not “If I lace a bit harder it might work” to small, but “There is no way in hell I can close this sucker” to small.

Luckily my inspiration painting’s only shows the back of the bodice, so hypothetical there is a chance the girls wear a open laced bodice over a stomacher – far fetched I know, but at his point there was no way I would redo it or try to ad to the sides. And logically they must have size shifting back then too, right?

So I will make a stomacher for this bodice before the next wearing, but for now I’m considering it done.

The finished bodice:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 6/HSM15 – Out of your comfort zone

What: A 1660s bodice

How it fit the challenge: This is my first venture into 17th century, and even though I made both bodices and stays before the way this garment combines the two was a new experience for me.

Pattern: “1660s bodice lining” from Waugh’s “Corset and Crinolines”, with some alterations.

Fabric: 1,5 m red polyester “silk”, 1,5m white cotton/linen blend for lining and 1 m un-bleached sturdy linen for interning and foundation.

Notions: Thread, button-hole thread, 15m plastic whalebone for boning,  5m cord for lacing, 60cm white bias-tape for edging the sleeves and 3 m red bias-tape for binding the tabs.

How historical accurate: So so, the bodice is made 50% on machine with all the outside seams made by hand. The fabric is modern but the shape and look of the garment is good for the time period. About 7/10

Time: A lot! probably about 60 hours – I worked on this for most of the summer.

Cost: About 300Sek (45Usd)

First worn: At old town beginning of August for photos, and I’m thinking on using it next weekend for a “all times” dance recital.

Final Thoughts: I’m so happy with the look and feel of it. My only concern is the size – Why do I keep making things to small? And no, I have not gained weight – I’m just constantly over estimate my “squeeze factor”, and underestimate the difference boning and extra fabric layers make to the size.
And if it ever is to be worn again I might have to redo the front, or just slap some trim over it…

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 2 – foundation)

Lets continue on with the bodice:
(read the previous posts in this series here: costume analysis, skirt, coif, fur shawl, bodice part 1)

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The first thing to do (once I had a working pattern) was to make the foundation for the bodice.IMG_7433So I cut two of every piece in a sturdy unbleached linen, and basted them togeter.

Then I penned the boning channels (using some of my books as guides).IMG_7435

I stitched all the channels and then attached the pieces to each-other.IMG_7488

Then it was time to ad the boning.IMG_7507I used synthetic whalebone, and cut each piece to match the channels.
The whalebone itself is not as strong as metal or reed, but it is lightweight and in a fully boned bodice like this the thin quality is to prefer (in my opinion)

The one thing that worried me most was the “shrinkage” almost always caused by adding boning.
The thinness of the whalebone was really necessary to keep the difference in size as small as possible (the thicker the bones the bigger the size difference).IMG_7508You can clearly see the difference from left side (boned) to right side (un-boned) in this picture.

Once all the bones was inserted, I put it on for a try.
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IMG_7524It looks awesome, and with some minor adjustments (like adding a few more bones to the front and back) I was good to go.

I love how beautiful the interior is before being covered up.  IMG_7786

Then it was time to start on the exterior fabric.

After keeping my eyes open in my local fabric store since January, in June, I finally decided to take the 1 hour trip to the next towns fabric store (which is awesome by the way).
And I did not regret it.

Not only did I find lots of delicious taffeta’s and viscose, I also found this perfect dark red synthetic silk. 20150808_121343_resizedIt’s a bit darker in real life

Since the fabric was a bit slippery and thin, I decided to stitch it together using my sewing machine before adding the strengthening and decoration hand finishing on top.
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Then it was time to cover the foundation in red faux silk.
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I’d accidentally made the outer layer a bit to big at the side seam, and tried to pin it down to fit.
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After some fiddling I decided to let it be for now, and to take the excess in later if needs be – better to big then to small.
(a very wise choice as it proves later on)

The linen lining was a bit easier to fit into the bodice.
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Once the main bodice pieces was basted down I started working on the sleeves.
Drafting the pattern using my books as a guide.
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Then I just basted the red fabric to the interning (aka lining), stitched the seam together  and pinned the pleats.
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I pleated the sleeves by hand, and sewed chains of thread to keep the pleats in place.
And finished them of by folding some self fabric trim round the lower edge. IMG_7815The sleeves ready to be set.

Then I set the sleeves to the bodice and finished by binding the arm holes using bias tape.IMG_7833

Next up – the finishing touches

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 1 – The pattern)

The last piece I needed to complete the “Sew 17th century challenge” was also the main piece – the bodice.
Read about the other garments here: Skirt, Cufs,Coif, Fur Shawl
And to make this post a bit lighter I’ve cut it up in a few manageable pieces.
First up – The Pattern

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When researching the bodice I found several different patterns*, and after some narrowing things down, I ended up with two finalists to make into mock-ups. Both from Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”

The first pattern I picked was “1660s bodice lining”
It has the perfect neck scope and shoulders, and the much need lacing down the front.
The only thing I’m missing is the tabs down the hips.1650 waugh

I scanned the pattern, opened it in Paint and changed the printer settings to 400%
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Then I cut all the pieces and taped them together. IMG_7342

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I traced the pieces and made some alteration to my measurements.IMG_7354

Then it was time to bring out the cotton sheeting to cut the mock-ups.IMG_7356

I added boning at some vital places, and my pre-made lacing strip to the font, to get a more accurate fitting.
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IMG_7396I really liked how the pattern fitted my body – both comfortable and strong.
I also like the look of the off-the-shoulder sleeves, even though I can hardly lift my arms.

The next pattern to try was the “1680s court bodice”.
1680 waugh

I printed, attached and sewed the pieces in the same way as before.
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IMG_7378I love the shape it gives me, but It’s not nearly as comfortable as the previous one.
I’ll have to move the lacing to the front on this one, and to do some serious editing to the sleeves and neckline.

Hm, which one to choose…

In the end I opted for the “1660s bodice lining.

IMG_7406Creative mess, right?

So then it was back to the drawing table to ad some tabs to the otherwise perfect pattern.
IMG_7390I even tried it on with my (at the time) almost finished skirt.
Pretty rough, but you get the idea if the shape.

*I found patterns for 17th century stays and bodices in almost every book covering this period: Waugh’s “Cut of Womens Clothes”, Arnold’s “Pattern of fashion” and “Seventeen-Century Women’s Dress Patterns” by North & Tiramani.

Next up – making the foundation…

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – Fur Shawl

The next thing to be made after the skirt, cuffs and coifs (not exactly but I’m twisting the order of things in my attempt to postpone the unpreventable showing of the bodice) was the fur shawl .

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I drafted the shawl pattern using the bodice pieces as a guide.IMG_7404Drafting from the bodice neckline

The only tricky part about the pattern was trying to get the scale right.IMG_7408

I tried the paper pattern over my bodice mock-up.  IMG_7417(Spoiler alert 1 . bodice mock-up)

When I was happy with the size I cut the piece in my favorite faux fur fabric
(previously used in my brown velvet cape and 19th century fur hat)
IMG_7419I also used some leftover linen for interlining and a small piece of lightly brow woolIMG_7418

I started by basting the linen to the fur to get a bit more stability.IMG_7424

Then I pinned and stitched the wool to the fur by hand.
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Trying the almost finished shawl on my dresform. IMG_7452(Spoiler alert 2 – bodice foundation)

The last thing to do was to make some ties form scraps of the skirt material.

The finished shawl:
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The facts:

What: A faux fur shawl, which work for pretty much every era from 1500-1950s

Pattern: I drafted my own using my bodice neckline as a guide.

Fabric & Notions: 20 cm faux fur, 20 cm linen for interning, 20 cm soft wool for lining, thread, hook and eyes and scraps of fabric for ties.

How historical accurate: Not really. Its pretty obvious the fur is fake, but I did look at originals to copie and used materials (except the fur) and construction techniques. Maybe 5/10

Time: 3 hours – completely hand stitched.

Cost: Nothing, since everything came from stash scraps.

Final Thoughts: I love how simple and fast the whole process went an dhow extremely versatile the shawl is.
It will fit almost anybody in any given timeperiod. Such a perfect garment/accessorie.

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – Coif (much needed head-wear)

The one thing I felt would be the hardest to replicate in my chosen painting was not one of the clothing pieces, but the girls beautiful hairdo.

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My short red modern hairstyle do not lend itself well to even the easiest of historical hairdos.
I’ve tried hairpieces and wigs but never been totally happy with it – try to blend or attach hairpieces to a non existing do, or wear a wig when the small red hair at your sideburns take every opportunity to escape.

No, the only time I feel I actually can get away (barley) with my modern hairdo is while wearing a fully covered head-cloth, hat, bonnet, turban etc.

So what to do?

I needed to find an appropriate head coverage to make.
So on to the ever knowing Pinterest I went.

And found two alternatives that I really liked:

The simple head-cloth with its adorable turned up brim.The Glass of Wine (detail), c.1661, Johannes Vermeer.

Vermeer coif

And the smaller Coif, which may not cover all of the hair, but probably would work better together with my bodice and fur collar and still giving me some neck. 1662_lacemaker_netscherI almost wish I’ve found this painting earlier, so to make this as my 17th century project instead…

This example is worn with a forhead cloth – perfect for taming my short and flying bangs. a4693bed8c066a9777bbe705b7d6accf_resized

Patterns for this kind of coif can be found in almost every book covering this period in time.
But I choose to use the great pattern/tutorial from “The pragmatic costumer
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So this weekend I drafted the pattern – following the awesomely easy instructions.IMG_7925

While drafting I decide to not make a mock-up but a kind of working toile instead.
So I dug through my fabrics and found this lovely patterned golden polyester fabric, I’ve bought with 17th century doublet, dress or waistcoat in mind.
IMG_7926Yep, it’s really that narrow.

So I cut the pieces in golden polyester and white left over linen fabric.
I also added some pieces for the forehead-cloth. IMG_7929

As a “mock-up” I didn’t wanted to wast any time making it up, so I stitched the whole coif on the sewing machine.IMG_7931First seams ready, time to turn and press.

Then I folded the channel for the gathering cord.IMG_7933

I sigzaged the back seam and basted around the opening to get a nice closed top.
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The technique was almost the same as in the hood on my 18th century red riding hood.

And lastly I put in the gathering cord.IMG_7953

IMG_7952They look so small and cute – and actually quite good in this fabric.

Finished forehead cloth:IMG_7951

Finished gold patterned Coif:
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***

Then it was on to the real deal.

IMG_7928Nice linen /cotton blend ready for the linen thread and needle.

This time I only cut one of each piece (omitting the lining) to reduce the stiffness and bulky feeling I got from the patterned one.

I just whinged it on the size of the forehead cloth, and it seemed to work nicely on the test run, so I use the same size on the linen one.IMG_7956

One thing I changed on this one was hemming the center back opening before gathering it – this way makes for a much nicer finish.IMG_7940

I also added some scrap lace to the outer edge.IMG_7938

IMG_7937Getting the gathering cord ready.

IMG_7954like a baby’s cap…

Finished linen coif:IMG_7957

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The Facts:

Challenge: nr 7-2015 Accessorize

What: Two 1550-1650s Coif

Pattern: Based on “The pragmatic Costumer”s pattern tutorial (which was awesome)

Fabric & Notions: (for both coifs) 30 cm linen fabric, 30 cm patterned gold polyester fabric, thread, 50 cm (x 2) thin cord and 60 cm small lace.

How historical Accurate: The linen coif are pretty straight on – accurate pattern, material and stitches. About 8/10
The patterned one are completely modern – polyester fabric and machine construction. More like 5/10

Time: 3 hours total for both (linen 2,5 hours, patterned 0,5 hours).

Cost: About 80 Sek (10 Usd) total.

First Worn: hopefully someday soon for photos.

Final Thoughts: I really like the way they both came out. So simple and fast – I even consider the possibility to make and sell these in a near future.

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – Linnen accessories

The next thing to tackle after the skirt was the body linens, or the smock.
(Actually the next thing I made was the bodice, but since that would be considered the “head piece” I’m keeping the suspense by holding on to it a bit longer).

The only thing you see of the smock in the picture is the folded-up sleeve.266914_originalHowever, after some looking through books for patterns, I decided to not make a new smock for this costume after all.

reason 1: All patterns showed long sleeves – which for me would be a bit to bulky to fold like in the picture.
(since I accidentally made my the bodice sleeves above elbow length, ops.)

reason 2: I already have several chemises and smocks (Yeah I know – “You can never have to many chemises…” But I honestly just wanted to finish this outfit at that time).

reason 3:  I found the perfect alternative – loose linen cuffs – Perfect!

Using no patterns but looking at Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion” for reference,I cut and stitched a pair of linen cuffs, later to be basted onto the bodice sleeves.

The construction method was so simple there is no reason to get into detail, so here they are:20150802_204819_resizedPared with the sleeve

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Facts:

What: A pair of separate cuffs

Fabric & Notions: 20 cm of ivory linen and thread.

Time & Cost: 0,5 hour (completely hand sewn) and about 20 Sek.

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – the Skirt

My well known love of fast progress made me decide to start the “Sew 17th century challenge” with one of the faster pieces – the skirt.

800px-Gerard_ter_Borch_d._J._004Close-up of the skirt.

Staying true to my promise to avoid new fabric purchases, I choose a golden/beige satin from my stash. I’m not sure of the fabrics content but I would guess on a cotton/polyester blend. The fabric was gifted to me a few years ago and I saved it for something special – and I think this outfit more then qualify. IMG_7306I even got enough left (after the skirt) to piece out a 17th century bodice at a later date.

Without pattern, and with no particular help from the painting, I decided to copie the look of an extant 17th century skirt I’ve studied pictures of.9f04d1519def01b735f28ef4570f7589

I started by cutting two skirt lengths of the fabric and stitched them together.

Then I hand basted three rows of spaced running stitch through the top edge, and pulled to create nice cartrige pleats.IMG_7304 IMG_7309

Then I cut a piece of bias tape and stitched it on over the gathers to create a waist band.IMG_7311

I also made sure to secure the gathers by stitching the pleats to the next one the inside.IMG_7325the cartrige pleats from the outside…IMG_7328..and from the inside

I had some debate on how to make the waistband and thous treat the bias tape. my first thought was to simply fold it over and tack it down to create a regular waistband. But then I started thinking – a visible waistband would work for this outfit since he bodice sits on the outside, but if I ever wanted to make a matching beige evening bodice the tabs needed to be tucked inside and thous show the waistband.20150620_211500_resized Not so good.

So instead I decided to fold the bias tape all the way over and tack it down to the pleats on the inside. This technique created a nice and smooth look. IMG_7324IMG_7323From the outside

Then I added hooks and bars at the waist, and hemmed the skirt after measuring and folding the bottom edge.IMG_7334 Back view on hanger 

The finished skirt:IMG_7852

IMG_7853 IMG_7858 IMG_7856 IMG_7855 Facts:

What: A 17th century skirt

Pattern: None – just two rectangles gathered a the waist.

Fabric & Notions: 2,5 m of cream polyester satin, thread, 1 m bias tape, hook and eye.

Time: about 4 hours

Cost: Free – the fabric was gifted to me

Final thoughts: I’m not sure the bias-tape waistband was such a good idea – the waist seems to be growing for each try on.