Monday, February 12, 2018

A quick short cape for Carnivale

One of my co-workers wanted to come with me to Venice. I told her, if she came, I would make her a quick cape or surcote - something that wasn't very difficult to put together but would look carnivalish. We bought 2 meters of poly/rayon white moire and 6 meters of orange cotton trim. She wanted orange because her mask is orange. :-)

The cape itself is pretty simple. I did a basic circle cape with a rectangle for the hood that was then gathered in the 18th C style. Really, since she wanted a short cape, I drew out the circle from the center of the fold of the fabric to 32", using my marker and my measuring table like a compass. Once it was cut out, I cut a small circle at the neckline area to give it a neckline and I cut the front opening because the fabric was a huge circle of fabric. With the leftover piece of fabric, I cut out a long enough rectangle to fit over the head. I think it was about 19" by 23" just so I'd have enough of a seam allowance. With the hood, I sewed one long side of the rectangle first by rolling the fabric over a couple of times so that the edges would be enclosed by I could get a ribbon through it. I put the ribbon through, gathering a lot of the material towards the middle but leaving the last 3" on either side ungathered. I then sewed up these 3~4" so there is just a small hole in the back where all the fabric is gathered. I then stitched the front so there were no raw edges as well.

I pleated the hood to the neckline and used some of the leftover fabric from around where the cape was cut as bias tape for the neckline. Again, no raw edges showing. I then hemmed the rest of the cape and added the orange trim. I had just enough to go down the front and along the hem line. I was hoping to have enough for the hood as well but, eh, whatever. She was very pleased with her little cape. :-)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

1510s/Early 1520's Venetian gown with velvet sleeves

First, a few of the inspiration images:
Lucrezia di Baccio del Fede, the Artist's Wife - Andrea del Sarto, 1513

1510's Photo Taken in Padua

The volumonous sleeve that tapered to the wrist was common in both the Venice and Florentine regions. The sleeve is so easy to make as well. I love making them - seriously, the ones in the pictures below took maybe 25 minutes from cut to sewing up on the machine to handsewing the cuff. I like the idea of having sleeves that I can change or even take off completely - particularly in the summer when it can be cool in the morning and burning in the afternoon.

At this point, the bodice waistline is still pretty high. This makes it easy to change out the style with just some sleeve changes and maybe a few other accessories. Add an overdress and it's 20 years earlier. Add gauntles instead and an apron front and back, it's 10 year earlier. The high waistline style is also pretty easy to make and it looks pretty decent as well.

I'll eventually add additional ties to the back but this gown is out of strawberry pink brocade. I got it from either Pennsic or Fabricmart, I'm not too sure. I made gown for 12th Night and didn't have enough scraps yet to make sleeves. A day or two ago, the fabric I ordered from SyFabrics came in. I ordered an assorted lot of cotton velvet with the idea of either trims or sleeves depending on the pieces. Some of the pieces were actually surprisingly large - as in 3 yards! The sleeves came from a little under a yard piece that was 60" wide, I believe.

Pattern: For the dress, I used the McCall's pattern as a base.

I only used the bodice back and front. To make it more accurate, I drafted out the darts and then lifted the front of the dress because ummm...the neckline of the original is super low. Because I originally cut out a much larger pattern size than I am now, I also resized the pattern down. I ended up having to cut a few inches off but, eh, at least I didn't have to figure out the whole underarm drawing thing because I really, truly suck at that when it comes to drafting your own patterns.

The sleeves are my own pattern, however. Really, it's a super simple design. I made a trapezoid that looked like it swallowed a pomegranate.

I apologize for my poor paint skills. I started with a basic trapezoid - the length is the length of your arm from your wrist to the shoulder joint. The wrist length is actually the circumference of the widest part of your hand plus at least an inch for seam allowance and some movement. Typically, this is the base of the thumb part of your hand. The top of the sleeve is the measurement of the bicep area right around to the armpit. Once the trapezoid was drawn, I just "ballooned" the trapezoid from the 3/4 length area of a normal sleeve to the top of the sleeve. In order to make sure both sides were cut exactly the same, I cut one side first, folded the cut side over, and then cut along the same line.

This is what I wore to Venice for Carnival. :-)