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Penannular Brooches

Penannular Brooches: From Thorthor's HammerPenannular Brooches: From Thorthor's Hammer
Alright, well here's a belated post.
Ever since I made the cloak-ish looking big cozy sweater cloak last year, I've been browsing the internet for penannular brooches.

So after I finished my velvet-and-wool cloak I decided it was time to finally buy one! I found this lovely little site called Thorthor's Hammer that has a nice section of penannular brooches.
I actually ended up buying two, because the really simple ones were nice and cheap and it occurred to me that they'd work well for fastening a medieval belt as well.

I'm impressed. They're quite nice, and the shipping was inexpensive and quick.

Cloak -- Finished? (With Snaps)

Cloak -- Done?Cloak -- Done?
My velvet-and-wool cloak might be finished.
After picking up some more of the Dritz snaps that work with the snap pliers while I was out at Joann today, I finished with the snap-tabs between the cloak layers. I'm not totally sure how I feel about it.

The snaps do the job of keeping the bottom edge of the cloak off the ground when needed, while allowing me to let it fall to floor-length when I want it all the way down.

Pinning it up certainly changes the silhouette, but I kinda like it, I think.

I'm still somewhat considering just making it a bit shorter, but it was such a pain to hem in the first place that I just don't want to.

Of course, given that I'm considering making it shorter, it wouldn't be the end of the world if the bottom edge got raggedy and I just trimmed it down to hem it shorter at that point.

So, my velvet-and-wool cloak is done.

Cloak In-Progress (Almost Done!)

Velvet and Wool CloakVelvet and Wool Cloak
So, I've made progress on my cloak! Actually I think all that's left at this point is hemming it. I haven't decided exactly how long it needs to be, though. I'm actually having some thoughts of trying to make it floor length or almost floor length, but with some way to fasten it up at least another several inches to keep it off the ground, especially when it's icky out.

Dfr thought that the wool should be on the outside and I thought that the velvet should be on the outside.. But who says it should have an outside at all? I decided it should be reversible.

I haven't decided if that ribbon closure is permanent or not. A tie closure certainly is the easiest way to close a reversible cloak. I might go with a less conspicuous ribbon, though. Or a Chinese frog closure, maybe on both sides? ...or I'll just keep the ribbon.

Of course, eventually I'll get a penannular brooch, which will make closure on most capes moot.

It wouldn't have worked to make it reversible via the directions, but I wasn't fond of the directions anyways, so I scrapped them. They were just wrong anyways. They wanted the outside to be sewn to the lining at the bottom! And they wanted the lining to be sewn to the outside at the bottom too, before sewing on the hood! Even if I weren't making it reversible I wouldn't have gone for that.

I haven't pressed it at all yet, besides pressing open the seams on the wool part. Pressing velvet is a PITA. I haven't decided just how much pressing actually needs to be done.

Velvet side out vs. wool side out is certainly a very different look.

Velvet and Tricotine

Burgandy Velvet and Dark Olive TricotineBurgandy Velvet and Dark Olive Tricotine
I'm thinking using the dark olive tricotine might be my best bet. It's darker than it looks in the picture.

(Yes dfr, I have unearthed the wool. There is now some blue gabardine in your box on my coffee table.)

Still Working on Mesh Garb

French Hood on Aditi (SL Beta Grid)French Hood on Aditi (SL Beta Grid)
Yea, I'm still lost in SL. Working on garb! Yes, I know it's not physically real garb. Except to the physics engine, but that not real physics.

But anyways, I've been working on a French hood. It's not rigged, I think it'll probably work out better as a normal attachment.
French Hood in BlenderFrench Hood in Blender
It still needs some work, but it's getting there. I tweaked it some more in Blender, and now I'm having trouble uploading it again. I'm not sure if it's because of the mesh or because Aditi is being really really really slooowww. So the second picture is just from Blender.

I did some more shaping around the part that goes over the ears, widened the bottom of the outer part, and pulled the veil back a bit to help with the clipping. Maybe I should shorten the veil a bit, because there will probably be clipping either way if it's not rigged and it's that long.. but I kinda like the way it looks. If I can eliminate most of the clipping and get it to look decent, I'll probably leave it this length.
It probably needs some kind of other trim besides the pearls, too.

Hand-Pleating for my Venetian Camicia

Hand Pleating for CamiciaHand Pleating for CamiciaI've been hand-sewing! Hand pleating! I wanted something that would come off a bit more orderly than standard machine gathering stitches, so I'm doing it by hand. And watching Star Trek, of course.

I ran three gathering stitches across the edge as evenly as possible, but more importantly, made each row of stitches stitches as close as possible to being directly underneath the one above it. I'll most likely sew them down by machine. G'MIC Deconvolution Filter: (click to enlarge)G'MIC Deconvolution Filter: (click to enlarge)
I already did the back, but it wasn't quite as well-planned. Well actually, I did one edge and then decided to make that one the back since I figured my second try would be better! There's not actually a pattern difference between the front and back.

I was a bit concerned about how I'd show a picture of this, given that it's pale pink top-stitching thread gathering white fabric, which makes a well-defined image difficult. Just upping the contrast was not cutting it, so I ended up using the deconvolution filter in the G'MIC Gimp plug-in. Very useful.

Renaissance Venetian Camicia In-Progress

Renaissance Camicia In-ProgressRenaissance Camicia In-Progress
I actually sewed something! Even though it's hot and humid and I don't want to do anything. Well, I got started, anyways. I'm following the Realm of Venus instructions for how to make a Venetian camicia. Yesterday I prewashed the white broadcloth (and typoed that to "prewished" in chat..) tore the fabric (the way it was supposed to be torn-- the instructions say so!) and sewed up the sleeves.

Then today I did the rest of the basic assembly. Put in the gussets, sewed the pieces together, ran a gathering stitch around the neck for some preliminary shaping.

Yes, I know it looks like the Simplicity 2777 night gown I made back during the stash contest. And even more like the off-white one I'd made awhile before that. But this one had no seam shaping; the shaping at the neck is done with gathering and the sleeves are rectangles with gussets.
Nightgown From Stash ContestNightgown From Stash Contest
I haven't done any finishing on the neckline, just used pulled up gathering stitches to get it looking like what it's supposed to start looking like. I'll use one of the pleating methods described on Realm of Venus for the neckline. And of course I have to hem it.

But dfr has been pesting me to sew something and put up pictures, so here's a picture of something I've sewn! Yes, I do know she's right that I should put up more sewing pictures!

Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot With Mom

Green Medieval DressGreen Medieval Dress

Medieval Green Dress -- Halo Effect: Some of the back-lit images came out with a really neat halo effect.Medieval Green Dress -- Halo Effect: Some of the back-lit images came out with a really neat halo effect.

Medieval Green DressMedieval Green Dress

Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot -- Without Veil: Most of the pictures of this dress ended up looking goofy without a veil.. just not right. I liked the way this one turned out, rather fierce looking, but I ended up making quick veil so we could get some with a more period feel. Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot -- Without Veil: Most of the pictures of this dress ended up looking goofy without a veil.. just not right. I liked the way this one turned out, rather fierce looking, but I ended up making quick veil so we could get some with a more period feel.

Medieval Green Dress -- Face ProfileMedieval Green Dress -- Face Profile

Medieval Green Dress -- Behind TreeMedieval Green Dress -- Behind Tree

So--mom to the rescue!--I've finally got some pictures of me in my green medieval dress. I hadn't originally made a veil to go with it, but after we got a bunch of pictures, I realized the outfit just looked incomplete without it. So I made a makeshift veil out of a circle of a cheap polyester crepe ("crepe" is what it says in my spreadsheet, although I'm starting to think that "crepe" isn't a particularly descriptive word; it seems like a great variety of fabrics are crepes, the defining feature of which is very twisted threads that create the uneven texture. But I have other fabrics that seem to have that feature as well. Some of my chiffons feel like they may actually be lightweight crepes, and this particular fabric is almost as lightweight as a chiffon. I'm learning more and more that fabric categories aren't particularly well-defined.) I still haven't finished the edges of the veil, although I do plan on it; at the time, I just needed something to put on my head. I also secured it with elastic. Totally non-period, but I'm not generally concerned keeping things period, only trying to make them look somewhat period. And besides, with a princess-seamed medieval-style dress, some elastic was the least of the non-period-ness!

Green Shantung Medival Gown.. Finished!

Green Shantung Gown -- Done!: And finally..  It's finished!Green Shantung Gown -- Done!: And finally.. It's finished!I'm sure everyone is sick of all the little fiddly updates about the green shantung medieval gown.. so here it is, finished! Yea, I know it doesn't look much different than the last picture. However, now the top edge of the sleeve lining is sewn in (it was just pinned before,) the raw edges on the inside are serged, the facing is sewn to the main body at the shoulders, and the bottom is hemmed, with horsehair braid sewn into the hem. I didn't end up putting inner sleeves onto it-- if I wear them, they'll be separate. I'm not sure that the maybe-linen I was going to use for the inner sleeves and underdress would work with the grey satin trumpet sleeve lining. I'm happy with it as it is, so any possible coordinated tight-fitting sleeves will be a separate project. The front of the dress isn't quite floor-length. On me, there's maybe an inch or inch and a half between the hem and the floor. I'm considering some kind of trim on the bottom so that it will be floor length, but then again, there are advantages to the hem of your skirt NOT touching the floor. It's wearable as it is, so therefore, it's done, and any future alterations will be alterations rather than finishing touches. I'll wear it with one of the belts I used with my first medieval dress-- probably the wrap one.
Of course, if you look at the enlarged, picture, it still doesn't look right.. but there seems to be nothing I can do about that; there's no way to communicate to the automatic focusing mechanism what the shantung is supposed to look like when it's properly focused. For all I know, the noise on the fabric in the picture is the way the light from the flash reflects off the fabric, and is actually "correct." I guess I'd need a manual camera to find out for sure. Maybe a film camera would feel about it. For that matter, I wonder if places still sell and develop film. Hey mom, can I borrow your manual film camera next time you come down here? (Maybe I should put a wanted ad on craigslist for darkroom equipment. I bet there are people who have darkroom equipment they haven't used in ages, sitting around taking up space.)

Lining for the Sleeves of the Green Medieval Dress

Progress on Green Shantung Medieval Dress, again: I decided to go with the silver-grey satin for the lining of the lower sleeves.Progress on Green Shantung Medieval Dress, again.: I decided to go with the silver-grey satin for the lining of the lower sleeves.I finally settled on the silver-grey satin for the trumpet sleeve lining. The gold could have been very neat, but I thought maybe a bit too eye-popping, and the darker fabrics wouldn't be "enough." The light-colored floral rayon seemed like it was just too much of a contrast. So, silver-grey satin.
I still have to make a few adjustments to the fit, but other than that the only other thing left to do is hem it. I'm thinking of either weighting the hem a bit, or using "horsehair" braid; it definitely doesn't hang right. Just hemming it may help with that somewhat, but I don't think it'll be enough. I'll probably go with the horsehair braid.

I really, really think that cameras should come with a "dupioni/shantung" setting. I think it's a combination of the slubs and the shininess that make it seemingly impossible to get a decent picture; there's always blurriness and noise in the photo. Photos of anything else are fine, but I just can't get shantung to look right. (Shantung is apparently just a type of dupioni. I'd thought that there were technical differences, but apparently shantung is just dupioni made in the Shandong province of China. I don't believe that it actually has to be made there to be called shantung, though.) The automatic focusing must not have any idea how to handle the texture and sheen of dupioni.

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