Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cappotto begun

I drafted the pattern for my cappotto and got the cloak itself cut out. I have a basic sleeve drafted as well, but still haven't decided for certain if I want to do a functional sleeve or a hanging one so haven't cut that out yet. As you can see by my sleeve, I'm a lazy drafter. The reason I pointed it out though is because I wanted to share my favorite drafting material, especially for large/full projects like this one. I use a medium weight plastic drop cloth. They are nigh unto indestructible and great for tracing things on to because they are clear. Sharpies work great with them. They also have some drape so you can see at least part of how the garment will hang as opposed to butcher paper. I ran across this mural by Nicolo dell'Abbato
while looking for bonnets. The matching bonnets, particularly the lady in orange with her back to us, convinced me I needed to do the bonnet to go along with the outer layer. There should be extra of the blue-grey feathers I got for my fan to trim it.
Buttons and frogs are finished for this, so that is out of the way. I did the same raised rib type of button as those for my loose gown, but with 6 ribs instead of 8. I happened to have a ball of DMC Senso wool/cotton/metallic in a spice color that was a really near match to the fabric. I made 14 buttons and matching braided frogs. The loops themselves are knotted/buttonhole. I had thought to braid enough cord to use to couch the guards on, but I only had one ball and Senso has been discontinued. I'm going to use a basic gold cording instead. I cut the guards from a blue cotton brocade that is the same fabric as the cloak, just in a different colorway. I've been alternating ironing bias and sanding my tournament shield throughout the day.


  1. Dear Mrs. Sanderson,
    I am wondering if there is pictoral proof of (surface?) couching as an embellishment in Renaissance Italian bodices?
    I am looking at Eleonora's red gown (Bronzini portrait), and that curly gold embellishments...
    Is that couched, would you say..?
    Many thanks,

  2. As it is gold and surface couching was the manner in which gold threads were handled, I would assume it was couched,yes. The trim on the Pisa gown is almost identical to the pattern on the red gown portrait, and you can easily see the couching stitches. (photo from Anea's women'a extant clothing gallery.)

  3. Thank you so much for your speedy and on-point response! Wonderful proof-- THE PISA GOWN! Not even a portrait but an extant dress!! Couldn't be better!!
    Now since I've never couched before, what YouTube, DVD, book do you recommend for this beginner?
    How did you learn to couch?
    A very cheerful "hello" from New York city! :-)