Friday, April 29, 2011

New Shirt started

As part of the IRCC (see prior posts for details) I have started a new linen shirt.  It will be made of light weight linen and have some blackworking.  All of the edges will be rolled edges with button hole stitching around them.  The seams will all be joined similar to a previous white shirt I did (

Here is a photo of the first section of the shirt.

Note the brass needle.  I created my own needle and itend to sew the entire shirt using that needle.  Based on the rate at which I sewed the first 30 inches or so, I think that just the edging will take about 25 hours to complete.  After all the edgework is done I'll blackwork and assemble the shirt.  That will likly take another 25~30 hours or so.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gloves are complete

Well, as in most things my first attempt at something didn't come out quite like I imagined, but it will have to do for now. In hind sight I wish I would have ordered some linen thread which was closer in color to that of the leather I used. The black thread really shows through. They fit rather nicely. I am pleased that if nothing else, I have confirmed the pattern. I intend to keep it and use it again for other gloves in the future (after the IRCC is done).

Here is my first pair of hand stitched leather gloves.

One last touch.  I sniped the cuffs of the gloves similar to the style I've seen on a few differant portraits from 1520~1550.

The following are samples of various portraits which served as inspiration for this project.

Title: Portrait of Charles de Solier, Lord of Morette 1534-35

Painted by: Hans, the Younger Holbein
Location: Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, Germany

Description: Man with a Glove 2

English: "Man with a Glove 2" oil on Canvas.
Date: 1520-22
Artist: Tiziano Vecellio (Titian)

Artist Name: Flemish Unknown Masters

Painting Title: Portrait of a Young Man 1530-40
Museum: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Poncho Leather gloves are a failure

Well, I had to throw in the towel on the leather gloves being made from the poncho leather.  Turns out there were some sections of the leather that were rather dried out and weak.  I got the thumb and a couple fingers done and then realized the stitching was pulling through on the knuckles. After making a fist only a couple times I realized that the gloves were not going to hold up. 

Broke down and went to Tandy leather and found a really nice light weight leather.  I finished one of the gloves, but I'm not sure I really like it.  I sewed the glove insid out and then turned it.  I pulled every stitch as tight as I could and yet the stichting still shows quite a bit.  I may trie a saddle stitch or some other option.  I think I'll finish the right glove so that at least the two will match, but I know that I'll come back to glove making again in the future.

Here is the new and only slightly improved version of the glove.
(By the way I think this glove took about 4hours to cut and sew.  I hope to be quicker on the future ones as I have worked out the kinks in my pattern now.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Glove failure

Well, after some work on the "poncho gloves" I'm throwing in the towel.  The leather is very nice looking, but as it turns out, it is not very durable.  I started stitching the thumb and 1 1/2 fingers and then found a weekness in the suede.  The linen thread holds nicely, but the suede pulls apart too easily.  I think that some of the sections of the suede have weakend with age.  I am going to make a trip to Tandy later today and see if I can find a more approprate solution.  So much for Salvaton Army leather.

Glove in progress.  Pattern works, leather doesn't

The suede is dry and pulls apart easily when worn.

Friday, April 22, 2011

IRCC Entries begin

I have a goal of competing in the Pentathlon for next year's regional A&S competition. As part of this goal I plan on approaching my research and documentation much differently. At this past competition I found myself scrambling and stressing over the creation of my documentation. While I started researching a new outfit to work on I came across a website sponsoring a costume challenge. I now plan on doing a complete skin out Italian suit of clothes. This project was inspired by the costume challenge sponsored by The Realm of Venus website. The challenge was called "The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge". The challenge was to create a complete late Italian Renaissance outfit of any social class and based on the period 1480 - 1610 from the skin out, including an accessory, in four months (or less).

One of the many portions of this outfit will involve hand stitched leather gloves.  I'll post more about the research (maybe) later.  I have a handful of portraits that I've found and I plan on making a pair of gloves which are appropriate for an Italian gentleman who lived between 1520-1540.


Glove pattern drafted

Mockup made of scrap felt.
(Left over from my daughters poodle skirt)

Here is some of the stash of leather I collected from Salvation Army.  Still not sure I like any of the options.  Although the source of leather is really cheap, I don't really know if any of the options will fit my design.  I tried mocking up a thumb out of each of the leather options.  I like the weight and feel for the rust brown leather, but I don't much care for the color.  I like the color of the light brown leather which came from a leather fringed poncho.  I don't much care for the weight of the leather.  It is much thicker and is a split leather.  It is a soft suede on both side, but due to the thickness it doesn't really match the look of the gloves that I've been seeing in portraits.  I like the look and feel of the black leather, but unfortunately none of the portraits from the time period I've been looking at have black gloves.  I think I'm destined to take a trip to Tandy and buy some new leather. 

Leather Poncho

Salvation Army Coats
I continued making the gloves from the poncho leather.  I think I still like the gloves, just not for this overall outfit.  They would not likely be dress gloves, but would be appropriate as riding gloves or work gloves.  I think I'll make the glove up completely just to make sure the pattern will work.  That way when I buy new leather from Tandy I won't have any doubts about the pattern.     

Here are some of the mockups I started testing with.

Here is the poncho leather glove in progress.

Casting project

I have quite a few things on my list which I'd like to make.  Many of the items involve casting and so I started by slicing a chunk of soapstone into pieces.  I hadn't tried using ta miter saw before.  Worked rather nice.  The saw has very small teeth and didn't scar the stone as much as I thought it might.  With very little sanding the surface should smooth out nicely. 

I kept all the dust from the sawing for more future experiments in pounce to be done later…

More experiments with pounce

A friend of ours gave us a dozen organic farm "grown" eggs.  It sparked an idea with me.  I kept the egg shells and decided to continue my experiments with pounce.  Unfortunately I think that it will take a lot of eggs to make any reasonable amount of pounce out of it.
The gound up egg shells
The organic eggs before grinding

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New and improved GSC buttons completed

As part of the Golden Seamstress Competition I am making the buttons for the outfit. The previous set of buttons that I created were a bit too large. I finally completed the new and improved set of buttons. Plenty of time to spare too. The GSC is over 5 days away yet…

Here are the 21 smaller buttons.

In the center are the five larger buttons which will be used for the slops.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My first A&S competition is done!

Well it is all over. I have survived my first A&S competition. While I debated with myself long and hard about if and what I should enter, I did end up submitting five entries. These are all items which I have at least mentioned here in the past. I am proud and a little embarrassed to say that all five entries scored a first place and are now eligible to submit in the Kingdom A&S competition.

The five entries I submitted are as follows:

Blacksmithed Round Jaw Tongs
Division III - Ironworking and Tool making

Late Period Ruff
Division II - Costume: Single Component

Plain White Linen Shirt
Division II - Costume: Single Component

The Suit: A 16th Century Man’s Red & Black Outfit
(Consisted of Leather Doublet And Slops, Black Flat Cap, Leather Belt And Pouch, Red Silk Sleeves, Red Worked Chemise, Leather Cannons and Black Linen Tights)
Division II - Costume 1451-1600
Wrapped Buttons
Division II - Costume: Accessories

All in all I am quite pleased with the way things turned out. It was rather a hectic day though. I judged four entries throughout the day while also having all five of my entries judged face to face. Due to the fact that I'm not big on speaking in public, I found the face to face judging very stressful. I found myself feeling very queasy most of the day and I never did fully calm down until I was back at the hotel. I think next year if I submit entries I will not volunteer as a judge. Trying to balance my nerves with the nine items I was either judging or being judged on was very tiring.

My biggest shortcoming was my documentation. I suck at it. I hate it. I consider myself an artist and not a writer. I love to read, love to research, just hate the process of having to be a good research paper author to get a decent score. While that still sticks in my craw, I have already started planning for the pentathlon for next year. Let's just see how well that year of stress goes.