Saturday, September 21, 2013

French Hoods are like fine wine.....

I've now made two 1540s French hoods, and I'm having an absolute blast.
I must have been a raccoon in a past life, since I think the thing that is really pleasing me is the amount of sparkly bling that goes on these. I adore them
Here are some big shots of the first one.
 The frill (accepted costuming term being crispinette, though I haven't been able to tell from wardrobe accounts that that word really refers to these, so I've been going with "frill" as it is simply descriptive) is wonky on this first one.  It's not supposed to ruffle, and the pleats are supposed to be much tighter together.
 I think the ruffle effect is very pretty, actually, but as it isn't in any of the portraits, it's something I need to work on.

And here is the frillistically improved hood #2

As I said on a FB post, I am moved by how different these can look with only a few changes. I feel like describing them in wine tasting terminology:
While the top hood comes across as shy and feminine, with flirtatious undertones the red one is sophisticated and elegant, with distinct notes of orderly self assurance.
See - That's how I think the frill should look. As soon as I steam it to set the folds, I can pull out that basting thread. I sure love the way that metallic silk organza looks and handles. And after a remarkably restrained trip to the Orange Bag Store in Toronto, I now have it in FIVE colors!! (Gold, lighter gold, blacker gold, redder gold, and, weirdly, purple/blue gold - which is on the bottom in the picture.)

(sorry - above shot is fuzzy)

I really like the lower billiment beads on this one.

And that's it for now - they are swimming right along. The next one is almost ready for its close-up.
It's a black satin paste on a white cap, and I haven't decided on the upper billiment yet. 
I can't wait to see what I think it tastes like.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Searches for Ouches

I've spent way too many late-night-in-the-dark iPad internet hours searching for the right bling for these French hood billiments.
These are apparently called Ouches, (which are pronounced Oooo-tchiz)
I do this for all you BYOB folks. You know who you are.
There may be only three of you - but you know who you are :)

I ran across these pretty fabulously awesome buttons.

 I wrote to the company and asked if I could change almost everything about them:
  • - the finish needs to be antique gold
  • - the rhinestones should be black, or black and red
  • - they needed to be 50% bigger
  • - they needed to be a two-hole-slider bead instead of a shank button.
So far -the answer is yes, sure, and great, and we'll send you a sample.
The only NO I got was about changing the stones to be square cut stones. They didn't actually say NO to that; they said "it will cost a lot, but we could do it." I said no thanks.
Still - they look pretty fabulously Tudorishly French Hoodish to me :)
Very jazzed!
Then...THEN! I found these!
Which look much MORE like the close-ups I've managed to get for the billi-bling I need:

Those are on their way already :) Well, 60 pairs of them are, anyway.
Course now, THESE are what I really want:
They are from, and they are only $7.41 USD each, not including overseas shipping. Sadly - that's a no-go due to cost. The other thing is - they are gold-plated pewter, which is probably much closer to the weight that these hoods would have had with the real jewelry on them as opposed to the lightweight, hollow, or plated bling I'm using. (Though the glass pearls I'm using get pretty heavy on their own, and some of my small beads are plated brass, which are not light.) Makes me understand the chin strap that I've never felt the need for on my nice, lightweight ones.
So - my search continues, but I'm excited about the options I've found so far.
In my future-pipe dream imaginings, I'll get my overseas company to custom make some lightweight, plated ones that are very similar to the pewter ones, with awesome square jet rhinestones.
I need to see if people actually WANT these hoods first, though.
(Always nervous about new styles.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Three day weekend....of HATS!

The three day weekend for me was absolutely, morning-to-night-full of hats!
First, the Cavalier bride order: I love this top view So hard. It's pretty stunning.

I haven't heard yet what she thinks, but I wanted to share it with you just because it's so lovely

 I added a fancy cockade as a wedding prezzie. (It's not every day that two of your friend marry one another)
It looked like it was born there

 Straight on front view:

And another lovely order. in the almost-completed stage. The design is approved, so I'll finish her off tonight and mail her out tomorrow.

 Check out the awesome jeweled hatband! (closeup below) This one is too long for the hat, since I made it to be a billiment on a French Hood, so I'll be reproducing it for this hat.  This whole jewelry making thing is AWESOME!! I've started to look into local classes. My abilities in the jewelry department pretty much amount to stringing beads onto wire and using a crimp bead and glue to keep it all in place. I'd love to have a few more skillz....

But Ain't she sweet?

The peacock sweep wanted to live here too. I LOVE peacock sword feathers.

An our Mr Joe-the-awesome-shopper's hat is done and mailed! First pleated hat of mine - out in the world. I'm very pleased with it.

And in preparation for a whole month far away from my workshop. (Yes, you heard that right - all new orders will need to take the whole month of September out of the picture.)  I am preparing 16 French hoods to take with me since they are so heavy on the hand-sewing. To that end, here is a pile of Billiments, ready to be attached to the black, drapey, hoody-veily-thingies. I've never seen a whole pile of Billiments before, and I've Certainly never made one myself.
 Here's that uber-spiffy band that ended up on the little black hat.

And here's a shot or two of the pleated frill for the earlier French hood style:

I use a smocking pleater to make the folds, and I use the fabric I always think of as "Cloth of Gold" which is metallic silk organza. I should do a whole blog post on those frills....

Here is a shot of the earlier style French hood - with no center point, and a low, curly side ear piece.
(The front billiment is not attached yet.) But you can see how it will look.  It needs the frill on it too. I've got the wrong hairstyle on the wig - this "do" should be pouf-less and flat. Methinks I may need a second black wig so that I can display one of each. Anybody got a decent, cheap wig source??
 Top view of same

And finally, a particularly nice feather spray on a flatcap. Ended up changing out the gold bling for silver bling, so just ignore that bit. I'm showing off the feathers here.

Also got two more custom order hats "Mostly Done" and the sixteen hood bases all cut out wired, and partially mulled.

It was a full, hatty three days, for sure.