Saturday, April 12, 2014

HSF14 Challenge #7 - Toppers and Toes

After a brief break from my Renaissance projects, we now return to the 16th century...for the last time!  Yes, this is the last of the projects I created for both the HSF14 and Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2014 (and yes, we do call it BARF).  I wanted to do a hat I'd never done before.  Last year I made my first French hood, and I was really happy with it.  This year I decided to try an Italian Bonnet, which I'd seen patterns for on Lynn McMaster's page.  I didn't have time to order the actual pattern, so I decided to just kinda wing it.  I used for construction help.  Her hat making guides are invaluable.  

I like making my hat brims out of the uber-modern material Fosshape.  It feels like a heavy felt, but hardens up when heated.  I find it holds shape perfectly for a hat brim.  I didn't have any millinery wire, so I used a covered floral wire for the brim.  I've used it before and been happy with the results.  I was super down to the wire trying to get this finished for opening day, so the pictures of construction are limited.

The fosshape brim and crown pieces before covering

The covered brim 

I had been planning on making the crown grey as well, but for some reason it wasn't working for me.  So After rummaging through my stash, I found a large piece of poly velvet that looked rather nice when I pleated it down to the crown.  I machine stitched the pleats to the crown, and a piece of velvet ribbon to the brim to tie the two fabrics together.  Then I hand stitched the brim to the crown.  Then I pinned the feathers and a painted brooch to the crown to make it a bit fancier.

My friend Jen ( takes the best photos of me

The Challenge: Toppers and Toes
Fabric: Fosshape, grey cotton sateen, black poly velvet
Pattern:  Self-drafted
Year: Mid-1500's
Notions: Velvet ribbon, white ostrich feathers, floral wire, and a painted brooch
How historically accurate is it? It's patterned after an Italian bonnet, but has a lot of modern construction.  
Hours to complete: 4ish
First worn: Opening weekend, February 22nd!
Total cost: Hard to say, since I made it mostly from scraps I already had. 

Bonus Hat:  I made another one for a friend on cast, with a slightly different technique.  This time I pleated the sides of the crown, stitched it down, and then added the top of the hat.  I used more velvet ribbon to hide the stitches,  and he added a lovely cockade with feathers to bring it all together. Another slight difference: I tried making the crown wider at the top than at the base, something I forgot to do on mine.  Overall I was happy with both hats.

How on earth is it staying on his head? 

AND THAT'S IT!!!  No more Renaissance sewing for the rest of the year!  I can finally venture into other time periods, and make things that don't have to survive sun, rain, dirt, somersaults, and weaponry.  Thanks for bearing with me through my festival season.  Soon I'll post some pictures of what these garments look like after seven weekends of all this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

HSF14 Challenge #6 - Fairy Tale

At long last, my first, non-Renaissance project for the HSF!  I was very torn over what fairy tale I wanted to do, and some of my ideas are definitely going to be pursued at a later date.  But for now I needed a relatively small project.  I already have plans to make a 1912 gown later this year, based on a design I drew in college for a play called "Ring Round the Moon."  The story has a bit of a Cinderella rags-to-riches plot, and Cinderella needs her special shoes.  I grew up reading my mother's old copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, in which Cinderella visits the ball three times.  The first time she wears white, the second time silver, and the third time gold.  So I decided I would make some Gilded Age gold shoes for my Cinderella inspired gown.
I found some nicely shaped beige pumps on ebay with lovely Louis heels, which I painted gold with acrylic paints and sealed with Future Clear Floor Wax.  (Oh, and first I gave them a couple coats of yellow leather dye, to give it a nice bright base color.)  Then I painted some lace I acquired at Joann fabric (having removed the plastic sequins).  I dithered over how much to use and where to put it, but in the end I decided less was more.  I added a pearlescent cabochon and some gold beads to the toe to bring it all together.  I used my leather punch to add holes along the top of the shoe, so I could lace it up like the inspiration shoe I found.
Example of gold Edwardian shoes

The Challenge: Fairy Tale
Fabric: Beige leather shoes, lace trim
Pattern:  None
Year: 1910's
Notions: Gold trim, pearl cabochon, gold beads, assorted paint
How historically accurate is it? Although the shoe is modern, I think I've achieved a period look.
Hours to complete: 4-6
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $20ish

The unaltered shoe

Yellow leather dye

The first coat of paint came out quite sheer

That's more like it.

The laces I bought.  I only ended up using the top one.

Mariko was being needy and got in the way of my picture.

The finished shoes
The finished shoes on me