Silk Road garb (Part 5a – Collar extension)

gown on the dressform

gown on the dressform

In my last post, I discussed the Superhumeral, the embellished collar. I wasn’t able to find any information on the often-seen long hanging element of this costume though, so I’m referring to it as the ‘collar extension’ (or “hanging thing”, or “sash”, depending on how tired I am…)


I started off by sewing a layer of my embellished trim on top of a layer of the red silk-like fabric. This was backed by my cotton interlining (given to me by a former teacher) and then lined with more of the red silk. This was all pretty straight forward, and I bagged the strip leaving the top open, and top-stitched the strip to finish it… super simple.

Layers of the hanging panel - the tan interlining, red silk-like fabric, and the metallic trim

Layers of the hanging panel – the tan interlining, red silk-like fabric, and the metallic trim

Then came the complicated part.

Block printing the hanging panel, using painters tape to avoid printing the trim

Block printing the hanging panel, using painters tape to avoid printing the trim

I really wanted to “bling” up the panel, so I taped off the trim, and block-printed the red strips (on the face only, not the lining) with a really simple geometric block. I used a copper paint mixed with textile medium.

After that, I brought the strip to an Arts & Science practice to get feedback from the group. My own personal taste thought that perhaps it could use more bling, but that doing more might be overkill. The group agreed that more bling for Bzyantine would be better, and suggested pearling every second ‘notch’ on the print, which I did by hand. Then I trimmed the raw edge of the collar extension with dress fabric (so it would blend in with the dress) and created a neck strap to hang it from.

Why I did it this way…

First off, I tried attaching (with pins) the ‘collar extension’ to the collar – but since the weight is uneven- the collar shifted too easily. This was expected, and not something I wanted. Using a hanging cord/strip to suspend the extension around my neck made a lot more sense to replicate how this item hung in relation to the other pieces.

Direct link from Pinterest

Second, in some illuminations/paintings, it looked as though the strip was sewn to the garment, but in others it was clearly NOT attached to the garment. I figured that practically, having it separate would be hugely beneficial for laundering, plus affecting the way the garment hangs, and how it’s belted.

(There’s also a benefit to having separate pieces for mixing and matching.. perhaps a red dress will be next for this costume.. or gold.. or anything else that would look nice with these additional pieces.)

In the image to the left, the extension is almost certainly sewn down to the garment – because the hem trim goes over top of the centre-front trim.  However, in the image below, the strip is almost certainly separate from the garment, based on not just how it hangs, but also how it finishes at the end – just above but slightly overlapping the hem trim.

Direct link from Pinterest

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