Thursday, March 22, 2012

Immersed in doll research, but the IRCC is at the back of my brain.

I'll post again soon, I swear. Right now I've got just over a week until the event I'm stewarding happens and I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by that. AS soon as that is over (March 31) I have to prep for the 3 classes I'm teaching at Southern Regional/Spring Collegium on April 14th. Bella just announced the IRCC will start the next day on the 15th of April. My first month is going to be a little hairy, because I've still got a ways to go to have my entries for Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship on May 5th. Whew-- it's going to be quite a ride.

I do plan to start posting with some information on my classes and my projects for Kingdom A&S and of course IRCC progress. Here's my class topics
1)Poetry and Pageantry: The Tournament Impresa

A type of heraldry that came to the forefront in the 14th century, imprese were suited to the occasion. Composed of a "body" and a "soul," tournament impresa was about the interaction between symbol and verse. They add flourish and ceremony to any heraldic display. We'll survey some used in period and learn how to create our own.

2)Perfectly Period Applique

Applique was perhaps the most prevalent type of textile decoration in period. It was quick and easy. We'll learn how applique in period differs from modern quilting techniques and do some hands on work. No turned under edges, no satin stitch, but lots of convenience.

3) Research Techniques for Using Portraits for Clothing Design

That about sums it up.

I have a tournament shirld in the works and some applique projects I need to get pictures of and I'll start babbling about them soon.

My plan for Kingdom A&S is loosely centered around maternity and childhood. Championship requires that you enter a minimum of 5 entries in at least 3 different categories. I hope to finish my loose gown and enter it as maternity clothing, I have 2 different types of dolls I'm just finishing documentation for, I've got some teething corals (rattles) and a wolf's tooth teething necklace in the works as well. I'm putting the finishing touches on a research paper on the history of the podalic version obstetrical maneuver (yes, I am very odd in my interests,) and then I'm going to enter some of my chardequince since it is technically a medicine for upset stomach sometimes given to children and the ill.

Hope to have something nifty to see and fun to read to offer up to y'all by the weekend. Assuming I'm not still buried under site tokens. . .

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I just spent a week on an embroidery project

And then, of course, forgot to get pictures before giving it to the recipient. Because I'm a little dopey like that. I think it turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself and its part of my A&S 50 challenge. It's not the first time I haven't gotten pictures of something for that. In fact I pretty much have completely forgotten to get pictures of any of them.

It's a padded silver brocade dragonfly with needlelace tracery in the wings. Tucked in to the wings are 2 thistles. I learned a new stitch, rya stitch, in order to make a fuzzy pile for the thistles. The bulb parts of the thistles are laid and couched. I had originally hoped to make a shaped bag like this 17th century
frog bag in the Museum of London

I padded two cardboard shapes of the dragonfly from cardboard with 2 layers of wool felt and then covered it with the silver and then made a mostly triangularly shaped bag of green silk to sort of accordion fold in between the frames.

It didn't work at all. The shape of the dragonfly is just not condusive to this sort of thing. Then I added the thistles curled in between the wings and the body to make the entire shape a much more solid triangle. Better, but it wasn't really what I wanted. Also, to make the top of the bag able to take a drawstring and draw in, I needed to flip the dragonfly so its head was pointing down and thus the widest part, the wings, was at the bottom of the bag. I continued fussing with that for a few days and adding more and more detail to the embroidery to try to get it to be a recognizable insect. Finally, at the 11th hour, I finished one side and felt pretty okay with how it looked, but there was still the second side to do and I was running out of time. The entire shaped bag concept still wasn't working. I'm pretty certain I now know why the two shaped needlework bags we see from the late 16th-17th century are frogs. Its the shape. The roundish/ovalish center body with non integral appendages is pretty much required. The recipient's heraldic dragonfly just didn't work shapewise. So, late Friday night I cut the entire side lose, making it into a heavily padded slip.

The changeable green to red silk I had intended to use was no longer viable as it couldn't support the heavy applique. Instead, I opted for a maroon colored pig suede I had kicking around. Using period applique methods, I stabilized the edges of the slip with a little glue and placed it on top of the suede and couched two lines of gold thread around the edges. I braided a quick green wool drawstring, cut some slits in the top for threading and then stitched around the edges of the suede with a saddle stitch. I considered lining with the green silk, but really didn't want to make the eyelets that would have been needed for threading the drawstring if I had done so.

Hoping to get pictures at some point and I'll update when I do.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Trying not to cheat and over plan, but I'm getting excited about April and the IRCC

I swear, I wasn't going to participate in the Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge again this year. I told myself 2 Italian dresses was enough and I should work on Rus court garb and camping gear. That line of reasoning is not working whatsoever. I love having a deadline and, more than that, I adore looking at blogs and participating in 4 months of craziness.

So, why mention this now? Well, I'm sort of extending my IRCC by a little over a month because I need to take off a few pounds in order for me to feel comfy in the U dress style I want. After changing shape drastically after making my red bodice last year, I don't want to have that happen again with a dress I put a lot of time in to. I figured if I started now and put some serious work into it (and made the bodice as basically the last thing I did) I could drop enough by August to be comfortable in my own skin again. I'm event stewarding an event this month and prepping for Kingdom Arts and Sciences in May, but I'm making this my other big focus. I won't bore you with further reporting, I'll put that on my personal fitness blog instead, but I needed to announce it in order to make myself accountable and start the clock running on my personal challenge.

Now, back to buttons and frogs.