Friday, May 23, 2014

The Derby Day That Wasn't

A couple of weekends ago, a friend of mine invited me to a Cinco de Mayo/Derby Day party at the Elks Lodge 1444. "They're going to have a Derby Hat contest!", she said. I thought, "Awesome! It will give me an opportunity to make that big, fabulous Edwardian hat I've been wanting to make, AND I'll have somewhere to wear it to!"

Now, where I live, about the only fabric and crafts stores we have are JoAnn, Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE these places, and I am pretty sure that my paycheck alone helps keep them in business; however, they are generally lacking in "specialty" items like heavy weight buckram and millinery wire.  Since I only had a few days to create this Edwardian confection, I didn't really have time to order online. So, I had to get truly creative. After a trip to JoAnn, I came home with this:

Panacea Products Box Wire Wreath Frame Green, , hi-res
and the heaviest interfacing I could find, and these became the framework for my hat. The fabric was some that I had in my stash; an aqua satiny fabric, light green silk for the inside pleating, dark purple silk for the drape, and a pre-wired purple ribbon.  I added a few silk flowers and some purple and white ostrich feathers and viola!
I don't have any pictures of the step-by-step process, but here is the finished hat:

But...and here's the big but...I got sick that weekend, wouldn't have had the hat finished anyway because it took longer than I anticipated, and I never made it to the Derby party.  I finished the hat anyway, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I suppose now I'll have to make an outfit to go with the hat at some point!

Summer is coming and so are the Renaissance Fairs! Part II

It's been a while since I posted last. I have been busy sewing almost nightly, but now that the nicer weather is here, I have other projects around the house and yard that I need to work on. I ended up making two different Elizabethan shifts - one with a low, square neck and one with a high neck and ruffled collar. I used the Elizabethan Smock Pattern Generator for the first shift which is here...and the smock pattern from The Tudor Tailor for the second one, although I'm sure I could have made the second type using the smock pattern generator as well. I also made a partlet. I attempted a little blackwork embroidery on the first shift and on the partlet, but I wasn't overly thrilled with the way it turned out.

I then made a coif, also from The Tudor Tailor, from linen and millinery wire, then I made a little Italian bonnet-type hat. I can either wear the coif alone or with the hat. The hat was pretty easy to make, and I drafted my own pattern.

Now I have to work on the outerwear! I can't decide if I want to make a doublet and skirt, or if I want to make a kirtle...I love all of the fancy court dresses, but I think I want to go for something more middling class.