Friday, October 30, 2020

Calontir Clothing Challenge - October Update (Post 3)


  I haven’t been able to give the Challenge as much time as I may have liked in this first month as I have had other SCA commitments. My plan has been to make a mid-sixteenth century Italian noble lady’s ensemble. I had real difficulty deciding on a specific gown to base my outfit around, and I have already had to change my plans once as a dye job did not turn out quite as I had hoped.

My sleeve fabrics and possible alternative gown fabric.

These factors have made me feel less enthusiastic than I otherwise might be about the project, and have caused a lot of doubt and second-guessing.

To help overcome this, I cut out and sewed a partlet.

While a partlet is not one of the main 4 items required for the Challenge, I feel that it is very important for the mid-sixteenth century Italian aesthetic.


I have an existing pattern that I used for the partlet. I cut it out of linen fabric and then used the sewing machine to do a small zig zag stitch around all the edges of the cut fabric. Then I machine sewed the shoulder and side seams, enclosing the seam.

Next I flattened the seam and used a small whip stitch to secure it. Then I hemmed all the edges with a small folded hem. I prefer the folded hem to a rolled hem because it tends to sit flatter under the other layers. 

I haven’t decorated the partlet yet. The decoration style and whether or not a collar will be added depends on which style I eventually decide to do.


I also managed to get a pair of sleeves cut out of fashion fabric. I could not find a nice lining fabric to suit it, so that part will have to wait. I will decide what decoration (if any) will be added when I make a final decision on the dress style that I want to do.  I'm not sure I want to do a recreation of a specific gown - more a blending of design elements from several similar portraits – but there are two main Italian styles that I like, and that I need to choose between.

I've also adapted a bodice pattern in preparation for cutting out a gown, and adapted a coat pattern and cut out the fashion fabric.










Again, I haven’t cut the lining out yet. There are two reasons unlined for warmer weather, and b) I don’t have anything light and suitable that doesn’t have synthetics in it. (The outer ‘fashion’ fabric has some synthetic in it, but I am trying not to add to it. Synthetics are a fire risk, make you sweat more, make you warmer and are not authentic for the sixteenth century. Since I have a tiny budget, I have to make do with what I can afford, but I’d prefer not to have more synthetics than absolutely necessary.)

I have to decide which side of the coat fabric will work better.

Next month I plan to focus on making up the coat and deciding whether or not to add sleeves. I'd like to work on the gown in December.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Calontir Clothing Challenge (Post 2)

Amusingly (after being very excited and enthusiastic in the lead up to the start date), this Challenge seems to have me paralysed with doubt and uncertainty. I haven't been feeling very well either, which doesn't help, and I have a lot of other SCA commitments. All combing to be the Perfect Storm of Getting Nothing Done.

I did manage to get a pair of sleeves cut out (just the fashion fabric part), and a linen partlet cut out. Ive sewed up and enclosed the side seams but haven't hemmed it yet. I need to decide how to decorate it (the fun part!) but the design I go with will depend on the final design I pick for the dress. I'm not sure I want to do a recreation of a specific gown, more a blending of design elements from several similar portraits.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Calontir Clothing Challenge (Post 1)


Today is the first day of the Calontir Clothing Challenge, and I have decided to have a go. I can't really give it a lot of attention until I hand over an SCA Officer position later in the month, but I have been working out what I am planning to do.

My plan is to make a mid-sixteenth century Italian noblewoman's ensemble. Making a decision on exactly which gown to make has been difficult. I will post some inspiration pictures later on.

I've already changed my plans for fabric as my original fabric did not take dye well. I have a nice patterned cotton for the main gown and some linen blend fabric for sleeves. The sleeve fabric was purchased for the previous (darker) fabric. Hopefully it will work! I usually wear darker colours, so this will be a departure from the norm for me.