Today I hemmed the front skirt edges of L's gown, then I pleated the skirt (this only took 5 tries to make it right) and sewed it to the bodice.
Pretty much everything is machine-sewn from here on out. I had big plans to do lots of hand sewing on L's gown, but 12 yards of ribbon ain't gonna be quick unless I cheat. I also changed the plan from hand sewn eyelets to some kind of internal lacing closure, not because of laziness or running short of time, but because the eyelets would interfere with the trim.
I tried to look up the Venetian lacing that jenthompson described in an article on her old website, but I cannot find it. Jen, do you still have this online somewhere?
I finished the eyelets on L's petticoat bodies and had her over for a fitting. It looked great and so did the gown mock, with a little length taken out at the back. The petticoat bodies now just need a hem. Machine blindstich FTW! I also made the gown bodice and now the next step is to cut & seam the skirt panels and pleat them to the bodice.
My HB's jerkin is nearly done. I gathered the skirting panels instead of pleating, and I hate the way it looks, but he insists he likes it better than the pleat examples I showed him. I don't buy it but I am being lazy. It's already lined so I don't want to re-do it. It just needs the armscyes finished and 3 buttonholes & buttons.
For F, I tried her 18th c gown on her and it still fits because she is such a shrimp. The skirts are short, but the bodice still comfortably goes around, so I can use the same basic pattern from that for her little ren fest gown.
The bodice is boned with 1/4" steel (I really need to give German plastic a try sometime, though). It's interlined with good-quality muslin and the front is also lined with a layer of twill. The twill doesn't extend into the straps or the side seams, but is secured to the muslin. I plan to line it in plain cotton.
The bodice is just pinned together and the skirt is pinned on. Aside from shortening the sleeve and of course the hem, I'm happy with how it's looking and I'm not making any more changes.
I fully lined the skirt in black cotton and tucked a 6” strip of cotton batting at the top to pad the pleats. The silk and cotton stick to each other to no end, but I’m trying to think of this as a good thing; once I get them where I want them to be, they'll stay.
For the front skirt curve, I measured how deep the CF point is, then I measured how much of the skirt would be stitched to the curved portion of the bodice, then eyeballed the exact curve while I cut.
I want to machine-stitch the other sleeve (since the first was machined) then I plan to insert the lining by hand and do the eyelets by hand as well. The skirt and bodice will be joined by hand, of course, since I have no idea how you could even try to machine stitch cartridge pleats.
I will probably cop out and machine blind-hem the skirt instead of hand-hemming, but who knows? I might get inspired.
* terminology footnote: I am really not sure if I am using the right terms for this garment, since I am not an expert in this period. It's a boned bodice, it's a petticoat, it has sleeves, it's meant to have a gown worn over it. . . it's a sleeved petticoat bodies and/or kirtle?
I forgot how much I love doing these. They are so much quicker than flat pleats and much more adjustable without taking the whole thing apart. And I love the way they look.
The fabric is silk noil (her choice) lined with plain cotton and padded out with cotton batting. Ever since the padded petticoat, this is my favorite method of adding fullness for this era. Plus reading so many period references to "skirts with wadding" has made me feel like I'm doing something right.
Progress: made 3 pairs of summer pants for The Girl, altered the pattern for L's kirtle and cut it out.
I decided there is no way around hand-sewing the eyelets for L's dress(es). I briefly toyed with the idea of using some kind of ribbon loops for lacing, but who am I kidding? It needs real eyelets. Plus I ought to brush up on hand-sewn buttonholes for HB's doublet.
Now, I haven't hand-sewn an eyelet since about 2002 (I really had to think about this one). I spent hours doing them and then the garment ended up not fitting at all, so I scrapped the whole thing and swore I'd never waste my time like that again.
That was a long time ago. I feel better now.
Anyway, I grabbed a scrap yesterday and tried to see if I still remember how to do it. I guess the answer is sort of?
( front and back )
It's oval, not round, but it would totally work and I think I could work the next ones rounder. I might make the real ones over a metal ring, but I'm not sure. I know I used rings last time, but I don't know how common that is/was and what difference it makes. I do know that I'd use button rings (like for making thread buttons) instead of jump rings like I used last time, because the split in the jump rings made them keep poking out from under the stitches.
Edit: I realize now that I made my buttonhole stitch go the other way round from what most people seem to do, so that the 'bar' part edges the opening. Since that's how buttonholes are done, I just assumed, but now I wonder, who do people reverse that on eyelets?
HB Tudor: I mulled over this while I was sewing the dress, and decided to scrap the current doublet and re-cut it from what I have left of the silk. Then I'll piece the lining to make it work. I was not ever going to do anything useful with that extra 3/4 yd of silk anyway, so I might as well use it up.*
Dress for L: I don't even have the fabrics yet, but she's going to come by Treadle tomorrow I think to pick them out. We already have a tentative plan involving a silk noil petticoat bodies and a linen gown. I realize textured silks were so not the thing in the 1500s, but it's cheap, it's pretty, it's exactly the color she wants, and it's for wearing to the ren faire, where people think hanging a fox tail from your belt, over your gypsy skirt, is historically accurate. So.
Jammies: It has turned unseasonably hot here and I really need some new ones for summer. Making jammies is like washing dishes; it is the task that does not end.
There are about 5 more projects that I need/want to be doing, but these should probably get done first. Sometimes I really wish I could mono-task.
* Tangent: when I first started sewing, I cherished every random scrap of silk and saved it like a precious gem, even when it was too tiny to ever do anything but miniature crazy patchwork with. Why? Because it was silk. Fancy-schmancy luxury! I am glad I no longer feel the need to do this.