Red & gold Giornea – HSM June 2017

Selfie in my new red and gold Italian over dress. This is my very late submission to the June 2017 Historical Sew Monthly (worn over mundane clothing).

Selfie in my new red and gold Italian over dress (worn over mundane clothing).

For Caterina’s elevation nearly a year ago I wanted to make a Giornea – and overdress for the Italian Renaissance costume not unlike my previous Giornea. However, this time I wanted to try a different style, with an open front rather than open sides. I thought that this would be flattering, and would nicely show off the green silk under dress (Gamurra).

Laying out the pieces for the overdress (Giornea)

Laying out the pieces for the overdress

I drafted the pattern based off my new Gamurra draft for the bodice, and used simple trapezoids for the skirt. No drafting there…

I did a mock up in a gorgeous gold and red brocade home decorating fabric. I bought this at the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale a while ago, and adored it, but it was only about 2 meters… I didn’t think I’d be able to find anything to make out of it…. but this worked out reasonably well. I wish I had more fullness for the skirt – but I hoped it would still be a wearable mock-up / toile. (I usually like to do mock-ups out of fabric that would make a wearable garment if the mock-up works out…)

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Dyeing with Madder

Madder dyed, undyed, and Aster-Marigold dyed handspun wool. This photo was taken inside at night - hence the change in colour based on the light.

Madder dyed, undyed, and Aster-Marigold dyed wool

A while back a friend proposed a dyeing day at her house. She’d just finished an inspiring natural dyeing class, and wanted to keep playing with fun dyes!

I wanted to join in, so I brought up some of the wool fibre I still had left and hadn’t spun up yet (in this case it was Grade A USA Top, in natural white) and tried to spin it fairly fine. I then decided to ply it too… (because when tight for time… why NOT do twice the work, right?)

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Processing Hemp Fibre

At Avacal September Crown event in early September I took a class on how to process hemp for fibre. The same techniques work for flax (linen) and nettle. The class was taught by Mistress Kataryna Tkach (her SCA name), who in her mundane life works with legal, licenced hemp for scientific study. Luckily, she has access to the “waste” plant material for fibre production and experimentation!

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Aster and Marigold Dyeing

Undyed, Indigo dyed, and Aster-Marigold dyed handspun wool

Undyed, Indigo dyed, and Aster-Marigold dyed handspun wool

I’ve been getting really interested in hand dyeing fibres using natural dyes lately (totally blaming Morrigan with Adventures In Block Printing and Lauren from Black Sheep Handspvn for this one) and have been eyeing my backyard for dyestuffs…

With fall approaching, the Aster flowers and Marigolds in my backyard were starting to wilt… so they were prime targets for my first experiment…

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Beginner Blackwork class

Beginner blackwork class started with a piece of graph paper

First blackwork embroidery

At Avacal’s September Crown, one of the classes I took was a beginner blackwork class with my Barony’s former Baroness (who also does super-beautiful embroidery!). I haven’t done blackwork before, partially because it looks so complicated, but also because I’ve always thought it was a bit later than any of my main costuming personas.

Our instructor definitely helped clear up that first thought though!

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