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I have a friend who lives in the wilds of Oklahoma, her local medieval fair runs for only three days. She has needed a costume to attend just for fun but being a fellow history nerd wanted something that would work. Her fair set in 1360, it has a different flavor than my local fair that tends toward the 1540’s which means my go to comfy bodice and skirt kirtle wouldn’t really fit.

A few years before we got some lightweight wool suiting in plum color from Fabricmart and then I sat on it like an egg as we went back and forth over what style of dress she wanted.

  • Bliaut? (which we started to call a blablahblu because we were never sure of how to pronounce it..) It is earlier than the fair timeframe, but she liked the look of them (Possibly watching too much Brother Cadfael at a young age.) Buuuut large flappy sleeves can get in the way and being able to get dressed by yourself is a good thing.
  • Go for an Elizabethan kirtle anyways cause I can make those in my sleep? Fashion forward!

We pinned a lot of photos, used historical doll makers to share ideas and when she came down in 2014 for my wedding I got her measurements, drafted a block, and fitted a mock-up.

The best-laid plans…

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Originally published at Centuries-Sewing. You can comment here or there.

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A very very old project (6+ years maybe?) has found a new home. It is based on the circle cloaks found in Patterns of Fashion, made from many scraps of black cotton velvet and a scarlet linen/cotton/rayon blend for the lining. It is a bit shorter than the ones in PoF, in part because as it sat in my closet and the outer fabric grew, the lining grew. I ended up hand-basting all around the outside of the cloak and trimming everything as even as I could make it. Which left me with an uneven lining in some areas.

So I took the extra fabric I had from the lining (still had some!) and cut a very wide 4 1/2 yard long section of bias tape, sewed that through both the velvet and the lining, flipped it up, and hand sewed the folded edge down to the inner lining. (Phew!) That done I make a collar from the off cuts of the shortened cloak, lined it with more of the lining fabric and stitched it on.

But I was going through several layers of fabric, thankfully the whip stitch works great there, but it looked a bit messy and I didn’t want the stitched to rub. So I took more scraps of the lining fabric and made a narrow band to cover the join and hand sewed them on. Finally I bound the collar top with scraps of black silk taffeta, snipped along the edge to give it some texture.

But then the hem of the cloak did not match the collar edge (and I wanted a stop gap in case the cloak lining decided to grow again). This meant more silk taffeta! I cut 4 strips of it about 4 inches wide, folded them horizontally and machine sewed them together. Then I hand sewed the strips down along the hem of the cloak twice. Once to the red lining and the second time through the velvet to keep the taffeta band from rolling up.

More edge snipping to match the collar, a set of twill tape ties and it was finally done.

 

cloakfull copy cloakedge collarcloseup collarbias

Originally published at Centuries-Sewing. You can comment here or there.

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D-PB1-2015 D-PB2-2015 D-PB3-2015

 

“I wanted to send a couple pics from the con….we were a HUGE hit!  We got so many compliments on our costumes and we had a lot of fun!!

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Worn at Wizard World Comic Con.

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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PB finished dress PB belt with pearl drops close up PB belt with pearl drops Lacing tip end back and hand sewn eyelets Lacing tip end sleeves

 

Seven yards of crimson linen, 32 eyelets hand sewn with red buttonhole silk, and lots of sparkly bits. commissions

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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Debra-PB-mockupfrontshot

 

Full mock-up of the “red riding gown” for a client, to be made in a medium weight scarlet linen.

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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It’s done, it’s done!

I finished the full Elizabethan ensemble (it does need some ruffs but that is for another day) for my friend’s birthday/Gift-mas/every other holiday in the world for the next 300 years. I am now going to sleep the sleep of the dead.

So starting with the bottom layers:

linen cotton blend shirt and cranberry wool petticoat

Linen/cotton blend shirt with reinforced french seams. Cranberry wool skirt with tucked hem, a pocket and fingerloop braided closing.

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Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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