Friday, October 23, 2015

Pattern layout for my Embroidered Shift

Here's the pattern and layout for the embroidered shift. I'm very excited to have gotten this done!
 I learn more about Adobe Illustrator each time I use it.

(for reference, I'm a size 12/14, with a 42" bust measurement. 
Yeah, I totally just put that on the internet. See what I do for you?)
Enjoy :) 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New Blackwork stuff!

I have finally made some actual garments out of the replica embroidered linen that I had made!
 Up till now, I've made coifs out of it 
but that doesn't really tell you much about how it will wear against the skin, or how it will drape.

I was going to wait till I was all done with my new white satin corset to take these photos, but I'm waiting for the nice wooden busk to arrive in the mail, and that could take forever, and the corset is really mostly almost done and anyways I have the patience of a gnat.
So - without decent lighting or further ado, I present: my new blackwork linen shift and partlet:
Ta-Daa! Ok - don't look at the busk part - cause I've totally just stuck a paint stir stick down there. It's the wrong shape, and all bumpy edged and....just look at the pretty embroidered linen!
I was going for this sortof neckline effect:
pretty groovy, no? I think this also made me want black lace on the edges.

The embroidered linen has a beautiful drape once it's all washed and ironed, and is very comfortable to wear! I was concerned that it might be too stiff or too scratchy. It's neither. :)
I am also pleased with the way the pattern shapes ended up (after some ado with directional patterns and nap...) It is both comfortable under a corset and flattering to lounge about in. Sorry - no photos of the lounging about.

Sadly, you can't see the pretty lace on the edge in the shot above since my dress form is covered in black fabric. Plus - that red silk  in the background totally steals the show. I think it wants to be a dress that goes over this, don't you?
Here's a better view of the lace:
I'm pretty pleased with it. I think it was an eBay find.
It started out white, so I used some ancient union Tintex dye that I've had for like, ten years.  I had no idea if it would still work, but it did!
Here is a closeup of just the lace, before and after I dyed it. 

And here's the lace I used on the partlet, which is less exciting, but got the job done. I dyed this one too.
This is a nice angle that shows the way the partlet lies over the shift. It forms the ultimate in the peek-a-boo neckline, no?

I'll work on adding my pattern layout to this post later, so you can try it out yourself.

The shift is 48" long, and took exactly three yards of the embroidered linen. (And I'm a size 12/14) The partlet took exactly 1/2 yard, but that was really squeezing it on there and lining the collar with plain, white, non-embroidered linen. It worked though. I'll try to share that pattern too.

Anyway - I'm pretty jazzed and could not wait to show it off!
Love to hear what you think!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Middle class adjustable feathers! (And hello again)

Hello hat people!!

I'm back! I'm back! I'm up and running (ok, mostly up and running) after the big move to Ontario! My kiddo has started school, all the essentials are unpacked, and I FINALLY have something to post for you to look at.

I got a request this week from a lady who was interested in this hat on my website:

The only issue with it is that she's playing a middle class lady at a faire and the sumptuary guidelines find the ostrich plumes too uppityfancy for her station. Valid point, really. She asked if I could replace them with more middling feathers, so I've mocked up something that I really like:
The dark feathers are dyed iridescent coque (rooster), the pale ones are guinea fringe, the speckled one is partridge and the green ones are dyed ringneck pheasant. The pheasant ones are not so electric in real life. Photography, eh? What can you do. Ok, I guess I could color correct, but I didn't. I'll just say that they are brighter in the photo than in my hand and hope that is sufficient.

Back view of same, showing the sweep of the coque feathers. I love the little brown tips.

She also asked if I could make the wonderful ostrich plumes addable for when she goes to other faires and is not constrained by the character she is portraying at this one. I said sure:
I'm just a teensy bit enamoured with the guinea fringe, so I added a touch of it there too.

If she pins the ostrich plumes on top of the other feathers, she'll get something fabulous like this:

Well - only not held on, yannow, with my hand. BOY I can't wait to get my photo studio set up again!  I wonder where the heck all the pieces are. Garage, probably.
Anyway - I need to show her these pictures, and get her OK before I sew them on, but I thought some of you might be interested too!

I've missed doing this SO much. Moving is such total chaos, even when you label everything like I do. (My son loves to tell people that I labeled my labeler. I also labeled the shelf where it goes. I did that to be funny...but that doesn't mean I won't do it again.)

I hope she loves the feathers!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Google and Blogger, I apologize

I just spent the last few hours maligning you to the world for deleting all my older blog photos, which you absolutely, totally did not do.

I will NOT currently be switching blog platforms.

Apparently I have two different google accounts (I think I knew this?) and both of them are allowed to post on this blog. (Cause that makes sense)

Then apparently someone tried to hack one of them and you locked the account to protect me, which locked all my photos too. Which made them disappear.
So now they are back, and I'm relieved and a bit of a shmuck.

In the grateful department though - i realized that I really value this archive of my hat work, and I need to maybe pay a little more attention to it.

Also - I've tried to add the "like" box to posts (Very slick, that feature. Thanks)
so let's see if that works.


The no-longer-panicky-hat-lady

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fun with Elizabethan coif embroidery

That's a misleading title cause I don't embroider, like, at all. But I do LOVE me a good embroidered Elizabethan coif. (you see my problem, here)

To make it all much worse, I'm almost out of  the machine embroidered linen I've been using for my embroidered coifs that I sell at and I can find more of it  NOWHERE.

So - I've decided to have some fabric custom embroidered just for me! Sounds like a great plan, yes?
The issue has been that I lacked an awesome, clean vector art file of the pattern I want, and I'm an Adobe Illustrator beginner. Not even an advanced beginner. I know enough Adobe Illustrator to spend over fifty hours tweaking a file, looking at YouTube for how-tos, moving little points and lines around till 3:00 AM, and then totally screw it all up by grouping a compound path all wrong or something. (Not that this happened, or anything.) (This totally happened.)

This is why it's taken a year for me to get to this point.

I finally decide on a design with this awesome blackwork pattern that I yoinked from the cover of this embroidery book:

Since I don't actually OWN this book, I've no idea what this embroidery is ON (Coif? Pillow? Sleeve?)
but it looked just like I wanted, so I'm not going to worry about it.

ANYWAY - Today I finally got it made, cleaned up, and printed out full scale to look at!!!!! Trouble was - It looked just like it did on the screen and it's really hard to say "yup - the scale is just right" unless you are looking at something in its final form.

SO. Since I'm likely to have to order 80 yards of this fabric (which will last me for EVER unless I decide to try to sell the yardage) I had better be for SURE fer shur about the scale, pattern and size. 

Naturally, the only thing to do was to make a mockup coif with the pattern drawn on.

So this afternoon, there I was, with paper and fabric all taped to the glass of my back door (otherwise known as the poorman's lightbox) tracing the design onto some linen with a Sharpie marker.

Results: I love it.

Admit it - You're totally jealous of my SharpieCoif™
I placed it next to my current one to check out the difference, and I really think the new pattern will offer lots of advantages.

Biggest design difference seems to be the lack of white space present in the actual Elizabethan pattern.

Also - I found it fascinating how different the same exact coif pattern looks on two different heads. Hairs. Hairdos. Whatevers. You get it.
Another groovy composite montage thing. I'm an advanced beginner with Photoshop :)
 Now I just need to get back in touch with my fabric person in India to see if the estimate she gave me last January still stands.  Fingers crossed!  I sure hope this works out. As enamored as I am with the SharpieCoif, I cannot WAIT to see yards and yards of it all machine embroidered!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Progress on a replica custom order

Finishing up my existing orders, I finally came to one I've been really looking forward to.
It's made of a fabulous long-haired (napped) cashmere/wool blend, which reads like beaver fur, and it's got a wonderful combination feather cockade made from dyed,burnt peacock herl and  curled ostrich plume tips around a centered pin. 

This is the first attempt at the shapes, and it's just placeholder bling. We're really only at the patterning stage.

But try #1 is totally viable!

I really like this shot. Shows the nice angle and curve I got in the brim.
Same hat - different, wigless, head :)


back view
 I'm trying to decide if the brim wants to be narrower. I already reduced the size down from my standard brim size, and made it a slight cone shape, rather than a flat oval.
It's very pretty the way it is, but the one in the portrait we're emulating does seem to be even smaller.

 We'll see what the customer says. I'm game either way. Yay progress, though!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Custom orders on pause

Just thought I'd post a note to let you all know that I can't take any new custom orders at this time due to a new job (yay!) and some family health issues.(boo!) 

If I've already accepted your order, we are still on track, so no worries there. Just need a pause- likely till Dec. I'll be sure to post the "all clear."

Thank you all for understanding.