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…)

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A new material (to me!): Shrink Plastic!

Some of the shrink plastic projects I've made recently...

Some of the shrink plastic projects before shrinking

A few years ago I was admiring the broach a co-worker was wearing, and she shared that she had made it herself – with shrink plastic! Even as a kid I don’t remember playing with ‘shrinky-dinks’ though I remember them… but it got me thinking. Of course, all of the cool shrink plastic projects on Pinterest and finished items for sale on Etsy didn’t hurt…

I wanted to try it too!

Unfortunately, I had a REALLY hard time finding shrink plastic that wasn’t pre-printed with  kid-centric designs. I tried the #6 plastic option instead (and still have a drawer full of take-out containers!) but the pieces just weren’t large enough for some of the things I had in mind. (Considering shrink plastic shrinks down to about half to 1/3 the size of the original.)

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1480s Florence – sleeves

(nearly) finished sleeve

(nearly) finished sleeve

In my 1480s Florence – Gamurra post I mentioned that I’d be blogging about my sleeves separately – since the sleeves themselves are detachable…

Research

Birth of Mary detail

In The Birth of Mary portrait (detail), the sleeves, which match the dress, aren’t entirely visible – though in a larger version of the painting they’re a bit more clear. They appear to be attached to the gown permanently at the shoulder, but open at the sides and underarm. There’s a gap at the elbow where the camicia peeks through, and the wrist is long, and slightly flared. I think there may be false poofs along the lower side of the lower arm; a better resolution version of the painting may have helped.

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Hand-sewn eyelets

For a circa 1480 Florentine gown

sewing around the ring

sewing around the ring

As I’m working on my 1480s Italian costume, and waiting for my order of lacing rings to come… (waiting.. waiting…) I thought it might just be time to accept that I might need to give hand-sewn eyelets a try.

Frankly, I’m not looking forward to it, but it might be the only solution if the lacing rings don’t arrive in time, or just as bad, arrive in time but don’t actually work for what I want… I decided to do up a “sampler” of different ways of doing the eyelets to see which method I like best, how quick (or rather – slow!) the process is, and take it from there.

The truth is – making the holes with the awl is more effort than actually making the eyelets – the stitching is just time-consuming.

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Lucet cord

Lucet cord using linen yarn

Lucet cord using linen yarn

After trying my hand at making four-strand braid (aka Whipcord) I thought it would be interesting to try my hand at another cord-making technique.

Lucet cord is often attributed “as far back as the Viking age” – however in the bit of research I did online, it appears that there’s some disagreement if lucet cord was actually used in the Viking age. Unlike a lot of other braiding or cord-making techniques, it doesn’t require bobbins or pre-cut lengths of yarn – which means you can make a cord as long as you want – or rather, as long as your yarn is. (And as long as your patience runs too… LOL) Continue reading