June 2015

Considering starting the blog back up ?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

1470-ish Pink Wool Kirtle

There is a story behind this wool- if you are a re-enactor and live where I do you will recognise this wool and where it came from. I live in "no-wool-land", wool is very hard to find, if you go into a fabric shop and ask for wool you may just be shown to the acrylic yarn or poly knit fabric. It is becoming harder and harder to come by, making hard for people without a pre-established stash. I have seen op-shop blankets and horse blankets sacrificed for clothing, and I have heard the phrase "bring me back some wool from your holiday" uttered more than a few times.

This wool was being sold in a little fabric shop, they have sold out now, but the word got around and so "hey, I know that wool... *chuckle*" is actually the most common comment I have received in real life about this dress!

But a Kirtle is a very comfy dress, perfect for sitting around the encampment and you can remove the sleeves if you are doing anything mucky. Sleeves are a great way to use small pieces of fabric you get for half price from the remnants bin too.

This photo is after I have taken in the dress once (weight loss, not bad pattern drafting)

Yes, a headless photo, but you will notice the spiral lacing. My pet anoyance is people not spiral lacing when they should. I mean, how easy is it to just spiral lace? easy easy easy. Its a tiny detail, takes no more work than cross lacing, and helps turn something from a 'crappy costume thingy' to a 'medieval dress'. Of course, there are a few instances when other forms of lacing were done, but if you SHOULD spiral, DO.

Another annoyance, grommets, big metal ones. If you use them, cover them. But if you are going to all the bother, just make hand bound eyelets, they are stronger than grommets as you don't cut the fabric and they can't pull out.

Notice an improvement in this photo? Its not just the addition of a head either. I have taken in the dress a second time, and it did fit me, but it no longer fits in this photo because I lost more. It is hard to see but the bodice isn't fitted and supportive enough. Must take it in a third time. I am also fully dressed in this photo, and I've changed the synthetic sleeves for linen ones. See the difference a few accessories can make? Remember, you are never fully dressed without something on your head (there are some exceptions, but no, I am not married, and yes, I should be wearing something on my head with this dress). Also I have my pouch and apron and hose (you can't see those).

Yes, I hand sew, the shift, pink dress, sleeves, veil, apron, pouch and hose are all hand sewn. People think I'm crazy, but hand sewing is easier, more portable and more authentic than machine. Hand sewing means I get finished sooner, as I can't take a sewing machine on the bus to uni everyday.

Also, if you think my bum looks smaller in the second photo- then you are right. With the exception of hose, headwear and sleeves I am wearing the exact same outfit in both photos. Loosing weight is good, but does require constant alteration of fitted clothing

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