I only managed to complete three out of my six goals for the weekend:
- Complete the bodice shell – YES, including eyelets;
- Attach the dress skirt to the bodice – NO;
- Cut out the partlet – NO;
- Find my lucet (to make ties for the coif) – YES;
- Decide on and order sleeve fabric – YES;
- Get some wool onto my Saxony wheel – NO;
- Find (and hopefully set up) the distaff for my Traveller – YES.
Which means things are getting serious. I only have one more weekend to complete this outfit: the demo is on the following Sunday. I do *not* want to be doing anything except finishing touches and packing on the day before the demo, so it's time to push ahead. I can see that I will have a wearable outfit in time, but there is still a lot to do. In the meantime: photographs!
This is the petticoat so far, and the hat I will be wearing:
I'm rather proud of the petticoat; the pleats look pretty awesome. It's not hemmed yet; that's something I would rather do by hand, but will most likely run out of time for. I'm leaving it till last because I can easily and quickly put in a machine hem if needed.
I bought the hat at an SCA event a couple of years ago. It's styled on some pictures from earlier manuscripts, but straw hats are peasant wear, and as such, didn't really change all that much over the intervening centuries. I'm happy with it.
The bodice for the dress itself is looking good, too:
This thing is the reason so little else got done. Each of the three pieces (two fronts and a back) has been covered twice: once with linen (the lining) and once with the grey wool. The eyelets (which are just visible in the photo) are hand-bound. Once complete, the pieces are whip-stitched together along the seams – and all of that is hand sewing. Machines just cannot do it.
It took far longer than I expected – each eyelet takes about 15 minutes to bind, and there are 16 of them – and my fingers are needle-sore from gripping and pulling. One day, I will learn to use a thimble, but this weekend was not that day.
This morning, I was up early, so I pressed the waistline of the skirts, and pleated them. I used knife pleats on the petticoat, but am using box pleats for the dress. The whole thing is now a complete pin-fest, because a pleat is, in essence, three layers of whatever you're pleating, and I can only get my pins through two layers of skirt:
So I have to pin both the back and front layers of the pleat to the middle layer. I'm going to sew the pleats into place tonight, then take out the pins and try to attach the skirt to the bodice. I don't want to think about the number of times I'm going to stick myself on pins in the process: sewing is so much spikier than knitting.
One last photo:
This is the wool yarn that I'm hoping to get on the loom in time for the demo. It's singles, spun by me from fleece prepped by me, and dyed (by me) using elder leaves harvested from my garden. In reality, it's quite an intense warm yellow colour, but J did Something to my camera this weekend, and I need to find out what, and undo it. The reason I'm so keen to get this on the loom is that I feel it really represents the way that peasant woollens would have been produced in period. The fact that I have done it all myself, using native breed wool and a native plant for the dyeing, is Just Right.