Monday, November 29, 2010

I am forgetting the giornea...

In order to maximize the amount of gowns that I can get from my fabric stash, I am going to forget the giornea for now. Instead, I will make gowns and bodices, as well as a few extra sets of sleeves. I think this will help save a bit of money while I am trying to build up a wardrobe for the four of us.

From what I have researched, any synthetic gowns I make will need to be left at home when we go to Pennsic, so needless to say, I will need to make some simple gowns from cotton broadcloth or a lightweight linen (if finances allow) to wear specifically in the hot weather.

Although I have an Italian persona, I am seriously thinking about making simple tunics with shorter and wider sleeves that I can use a simple tie-belt with. Although not period without the under tunic, I think this might be a good way to have more wardrobe for less and be a bit cooler as well, especially if I can get some lighter weight linen or cotton. I am still hoping to have the majority of my garb fit the persona, however.

I am still researching the area for my persona and have found a few portraits, and although they are helpful, I am still needing to do more research. Until I have all I need, I am making basic Italian ren-type gowns to do "for now."

I did find a portrait that is PERFECT for my blue velvet, though and will have to make a simple cotton trial run for the gown. I will get to it as my sewing skills improve as well as my pattern-making skills. They are improving, not as fast as I would like, but I am getting there.

Well, back to the sewing table....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Slow going on the sewing, but...

I did it! I won! I completed the 50,000 words in 30 days! My book is probably awful and full of mistakes, but it is complete as far as this challenge went. I hope to do it again next year. Although not easy (some days I typed at least 5,000 words) it was fun.

I still can't believe that I did it. Now, I have to make the gifts for my sister's baby shower (scratch mitens, bootees, and bib - all pre-made, just have to cross-stitch the design on them) and then get our sewing done.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I made a lucky find in my craft bin & progress update

I found a now-discontinued pattern that can be used (with modifications) to make a men's shirt, doublet, hat, and pants. The pattern is actually for leggings, but as none of my guys wear those, I just cut it larger to make the pants. My husband's jerkin was made using an old shirt that was cut up, with a few modifications and extra seam allowance added. Now that I have this pattern, though, that shirt can now be used for other items thta need to be a bit smaller.

At the local thrift store, I was lucky to find some fabric at a really great price to work with as well. I have sewn the linen pants for Peter and need only to attach the codpiece and do the waist and leg casings. I have cut out a pair of poofy pants from a light blue for him, which will have strips attached and will look more like pluderhosen than the linen pants. For this pair, I plan to make a codpiece that is shaped a bit differently, also.

I made Eddie another pair of pants as well and have another pair cut out. Added to the tan trousers I had already sewn, that is three more pairs for him. It seems that at least part of his wardrobe of garb is well on its way. I will cut out his next jerkin this evening, which may possibly have sleeves that can be attached to make a doublet. It just depends on what he decides. Right now, he is opting for no sleeves, mostly to save me time, but I can always add a strip with eyelets later, though, if he changes his mind.

For Ben, I took some of the fabric from the thriftstore, a red and white striped woven fabric, and have sewn trousers. Also, the linen trousers are cut out and ready to be sewn up. His next tunic, a green one from a cotton/linen blend is already cut out, trim chosen, ready to be sewn. I am going to also give making a cover for his head a try. I have some yellow linen that is left from a tunic that will become a tabard for Ben, also. Along with looking nice, it will help him to keep his tunic a bit cleaner.

For me, the first giornea is cut out most of the way and I cut out the pieces to make two cauls. I had started one a couple of weeks ago but have misplaced it. Knowing me, it got lost when I took it with me to work. My next gown, a green one from an olive shade is planned. The skirt is sewn and now I need only to make the bodice. I am going to try a different approach this time, one that I am hoping will be easier, so we'll see how that goes. I am still working on the eyelets for the bodice that I made to go with a skirt (quick and easy garb that is period-ish) for when I need something garb-wise that stands a good chance of getting dirty.

The goal of one piece of garb per person per week is not being met as of yet, but I see progress being made and at a fairly good pace. As I can, I will take pictures and will post them.

Well, off to the sewing machine...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What I am currently working on...

I have started to get my sewing a little organized. I say "a little" because the more I try to get things straight, the more I am apt to mess them up. I figure if I just "loosely" organize the stack of planned sewing projects they may not end up so crazy.

I am starting out this week by working on three pieces of garb: a prototype giornea for me, a pair of trousers for Ben, and a pair of really loose trousers for Peter that will have a false cod piece in the front. These are kind of "faking-it" breeches for Peter as he wants to have the general look on a Landsknecht, but refuses to wear the pluderhosen that hug the rear. This is fine by me, as I really dread all the piece work that these kind of breeches require.

Both pairs of the pants will be from the same fabric - a medium-to-heavy weight linen that is off-white with a black thread running through it. This thread gives the pants almost a pinstripe loo, but not really. Hard to explain the look, exactly. I will take pictures of the pants as they are finished up, though.

The prototype fabric is actually a poly-cotton blend and is upolstery fabric. It is heavy but does not have a plastic backing. It is a mint and cream color with the cream being the accents on the leaves of the design. I will post images of the fabric tomorrow. I took pictures but haven't loaded them onto the pc just yet.

This evening I also made a paper pattern for my husband's jerkin from the cut up shirt that I used for the one he now has. I am hoping to make him a doublet that will match a green gown that I am planning. I also have plans to play with different styles of sleeves in the near future.

Some updates...

Well, school for Medical Assisting was put on hold after my need to go back to work and Peter catching the h1n1 flu last winter. I went back to state board and got my CNA certification back. I was working in a nursing home up til the 3rd week of October when my back finally said that I have had enough. I am now doing private sitting.

Eddie and I have been attending college online since April, but have now decided to return to National College so that I can finish my AA in Medical Assisting and he can go back into the IT course. At the online college, we have been taking the general education courses for our BA degrees so all these classes should transfer with no problem. We go Wed. morning for a financial aid thing at National and to start the transfer process. We are currently enrolled in a class that will finish about two weeks before the semester start at National, so hopefully, all will go fairly smoothly.

I plan to return to the online college after I finish at National and get a better job.

We never made it to Pennsic this past summer since so much was going on, but according to my dear hubby, we are definitely going this year and because of that, I have a lot of sewing ahead of me this year. I just hope that I can get in stitching time as well. With Christmas coming up fast, I am going to have to do something since I will have to gfive handmade gifts this year due to finances. I also have a few things that I need to get done for my little neice who is expected to arrive in January sometime.

We have some wood-working projects planned that we will be working on as well. We will be making chests, seats (benches and stools) and possibly a table to fluff out our medieval encampment. We really are hoping to take as little mundane/modern stuff as possible. Coolers, of course, are a necessity, as are a few other things, but all will be hidden as much as possible.

I have decided that trying to make a list of projects that I want to get done is not a good thing as they rarely happen. "Stuff" always comes up and gets in the way. I am hoping to just stitch on something and to finish a few projects, big or small, doesn't matter. I also hope to get a few outfits complete before the end of the year so that I will be able to breathe a bit easier as the next few events that we are planning to attend roll around. I will say this, though...with school, work, and all the crafting, Eddie and I are staying quite busy and we are occupied in a positive way, which definitely eliminates boredom. Having a busy family has cut down on a lot of the bickering that has been rampant, especially between the boys. Not all is gone, though, but it is improving. Teens..gotta love 'em!

Our "New" Tent

After the outing and seeing the severe shortage of space that we had, Eddie and I agreed that we needed either a bigger tent or a second tent. Our friend, Gary, who also attended the event with us told me to go to craig's list to see what was there. Well, we really got lucky!!! We found a Panther French Bell Wedge!!! It has been well used, but is still in great condition. It came with all the poles and stakes and we paid less than $300.00 for it. The tent, set-up package, and shipping are over 600, so I feel we really got a deal. The tent is not overly large, it is the smaller size that Panther carries, but has plenty of room for our double rope bed and a couplle of chests for garb. As this tent is meant to basically just be the place for Eddie and I to sleep, it is perfect for us. The trim on the scallop edge at the top is in hunter green. later, we plan to paint a design of some sort onto the tent to hide the stains, but for now, it will be just fine. Eddie and I really like the tent a lot. The set up is pretty fast and easy. What a bonus!!

Our 1st SCA event in years...

We were finally able to go back to an event. The one last Feb was missed due to very poor weather and then school and life got in the way for a while. We attended the Medieval Haunting event hosted by Marinus on Oct 22-24. We had a really good time. We already had a wall tent so were able to have the start of an encampment with that.

Also, to go with the tent, I made some stools and rope beds. Forgetting how much space I would need, we crammed two single rope beds, a double rope bed , and an Army cot into this tent. Believe it or not, they fit! Here is a picture of Peter taking down his rope bed..I took a break from unstringing mine to get a picture. For the week prior to the event, I was a busy little bee... I made the stools and did about half of the beds (Eddie did the last bits so I could finish sewing) and made two tunics, three sets of trousers, two hats, pouches, a jerkin, shirt, five cloaks, and sleeves for my gown. Some of this had been started the week before, but mixed in with all this activity was work, school assignments, and trying to keep up with normal chores, etc. Needless to say, I have decided that I will be sewing a little each day from now on, until we have the garb we need for at least three events, although I might continue the sewing until we are garbed enough for Pennsic. My dear husband has said that we are definitely going, so who am I to argue?? I have wanted to attend Pennsic for years.

Some of the garb that was made is pictured below:

Our time at the event, as I said was a good one. The feast was a bit different - a stone soup - but it was excellent!!!!! Very filling...and the breads, yummmmmm. There was also a nice dayboard with some lovely pastry that was filled with cheeses and meats.

The main activities that went on for the day was Archery. There was a little time for the Rapier fighting (fencing) but I think many people decided that shooting arrows was the theme for the day. (Guess they are better on zombies..who knows???) Here are a few more pictures from the event. Ben shooting arrows, me shooting arrows, some fencing, and Peter watching the archery (he didn't want to join in this time, I think he was a bit tired.)