Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Landknecht Sleeve mockup begun

Well, I have begun the creation of the pattern which I hope to use to make my next outfit, the Landsknecht Peacock outfit!  I found a pattern online, but decided not to purchase it for a couple reasons.  First, I found that the pattern was a bit pricy and I couldn’t find anyone who I knew who had used it and would recommend it.  Second, I found that it might be more rewarding to build an outfit from a concept sketch with absolutely no aid of modern patterns or pattern books.  I’m strange that way I suppose.  In a previous post I displayed my concept sketches.  They have not changed since then.  The next step was to build a mockup of the sleeves and then disassemble the mockup to be used as a template.  I have chosen to use some scrap fleece I had in the basement as a pseudo wool.  The inside sleeve mockup will be made from remnant of an old curtain and the poofy under sleeve will be mocked up using some scrap cotton from an old table cloth used at a local SCA event.
I anticipate the sleeves being constructed of four layers.  The inner layer will be made of light weight linen, the second layer will be used as a foundation to stabilize and gather the next two layers.  The third layer will be made of a very large piece of silk which will be gathered to provide the poofy appearance of the finished sleeve.  The final layer will be the slashed panes of wool.
To begin mocking up this image I had in my head I took a string and made a loop in it.  I used the loop to gauge about how large I wanted to make the arm hole.  I placed the loop at the top of my shoulder, around my arm and connected under my arm pit.  Once I was satisfied with the size of the loop, I cut the string.  I could then use that string to lay out the top of the sleeve’s stabilizing layer.  I eyeballed the layout based on many modern shirts I have constructed.  The top of the sleeve will look something like the following:
I measured the length of my arm and added four inches for good measure.   I measured the circumference of my wrist, added 1.5 inches and used that as the gauge for the bottom of the sleeve.  I eyeballed about where I wanted the poofs to be gathered, based on the approximate spacing of my concept sketch.  I ended up with something in the shape of the following:

I basted the sleeve together and tried the fit on.  I made some small modifications in the fit and then marked the cuff for the proper length and voil√†, the sleeve foundation was complete.  You can see that I sketched the spacing onto the foundation layer with a marker.  I love this portion of the project.  Allows for a lot of creativity and I can use a MARKER instead of chalk or fabric pencil.

The next step was to disassemble the sleeve (which will become a reoccurring theme) and use that as a template for the next layer which will be the innermost layer.  I plan on making this layer only slightly larger than the foundation layer.  I cut this from some cotton and set it aside for the last fitting of the mockup.

The next layer, is the third layer which I will call the silk layer.  In the final construction this will be done in a vibrant blue silk or some other pretty peacock looking shot silk.  I need this layer to be large.  My first mockup of this layer didn’t work out.  That’s all that will be said of it…  The next and better version was based on an estimate of material which is about 30% wider than the foundation layer and almost 50% longer.  I wanted this layer to provide the substance of the poof behind all the slashed wool panes.  I again eyeballed the sections where they would be gathered and marked them with a black marker.  The resulting piece (I was hoping) would look something like this:

Before I proceeded with the wool panes I wanted to be sure that the amount of poof looked like I had envisioned it.  This meant that I would have to run a basting stitch along all the dotted lines and then gather them into the size of the foundation layer and stitch them together.  Not my favorite portion of the project so far.  I hate gathering.  The result was almost what I had hoped for.  In the following image you can see the mockup of the foundation layer and the silk layer assembled.  I think that the next version of the mockup would perhaps have a small amount of padding in each section for just a little more poof.  There is enough material in the silk layer, just not enough body to produce the poof I wanted. 

Next step, yup, disassemble again.  As much as I hate basting and gathering, pulling all those stitches out is even worse.  Yuck.  I now have the basic patter for the first three layers and have moved on to the last, best and prettiest of the layers… the wool.  I have envisioned the panes to be about 1~1.5 inches in width.  I wasn’t sure about wether or not I would have to gather them at all and so I did a handful of “proof of concept” tests to see which size I liked.  The result, so far, is about 1.5 inches in width, only about a .25~.5 inch gather at each dotted line and about .25 inch overlap when it comes down to the wrist.  I toyed with the idea of making the panes progressively smaller at the wrist and I didn’t like the way it looked.  The panes will be virtually parallel.  Here is the layout I envision as it relates to the foundation layer.

I have since sliced up my panes of fleece and they now sit in a pile waiting to be assembled.  I anticipate tacking the panes together and doing the small gathering so that the result will look something like the following:

At that point I intend to attach the top three layers together and test for fit.  More later when that happens.