11/12/10 Magpies   Leave a comment

I was asked at the beginning of this year where I get inspiration for my projects. Inspiration routinely hunts me down and tackles me. Inspriation is not the problem. My problem is focusing on a singular topic to move forward with. Career, house, family and animals take a large portion of my time, so when I choose to focus on one research area or project, I must ignore the others. This is difficult for a magpie.

To illustrate my point, visit the visual thesaurus and type in a word. If you choose a good word, such as “dress”, you will see a myriad of linked words. The magpie happliy clicks each of those words and then the links those words produce. This is how I research for enjoyment, as well as when I’m researching a project. The problem is only following the relevent link and ignoring the rest. Try it, I dare you.

And so in my recent research I have have found information on soft farthingales, yardages for garments, and facinating contemporary female writers who describe in their letters silk fabrics, elaborate dresses, and gold worked embroidery. But I have set myself a deadline, so I make a note and move on. If I want to enter this piece in Magna Faire I need to finish my documentation and begin hand sewing. Soon.


Posted September 1, 2011 by studioloperyn in documentation, Magpies, Oooo! Shiney!

10/28/10 My summer insanity   Leave a comment

So after many years of fussing with the shape and structure of my first two 15th C Italian gamurras (started with Period Patterns, but modified heavily)

 I took a head-long dive into creating 3 more this June for a newbie family (all 3 plus a camicia in 2 weeks, what was I thinking???)

Kerry’s red gamurra was the most challenging, it was corded (Katie and Anna’s are not), and I am extremely pleased in how it came out. (Construction photos and comments)

Anna’s blue dress was the first one I made of the 3. I just did a gamurra without the corded bodice. It was so neat to work with a smaller version of this style of dress and it being the first, I was testing the research and theories I’ve developed since my last dress. Based on the J. Arnold pattern documnetation (late 16th C) I added gores for fullness. The skirt panels are square (as seen in the wool/linen extant 16th C dress in Pisa) and were supposed to be 1:2 ratio of bodice width to skirt panel width (from the 16th C JA patterns) but I goofed because the dress was so small and I was thinking in adult skirt fullness — I DOUBLED the skirt panel width, giving me 1:4. I didn’t realized this until the dress was “on the body” and I marveled at how good the skirt looked volume-wise. Happy accident! I did the same for Katie’s green and Kerry’s red dresses, with very good results.

My big new addition was pockets. Why hadn’t I thought about this before for me??? There looks like an interior pocket in the EoT burial dress, so I inserted pockets in all 3 dresses (and plan to add them to mine as well).

Another big step forward for me on this project was experience and confidence in on-the-body patterning, especially for structured bodices. I have taught my 15th C gamurra/corded bodice class a couple times now and I’ve patterned the bodice for a handful of people. I’ve developed a system for keeping the pattern symetrical by cutting the pattern cloth first from a traced t-shirt. This gives a good starting place and valueable reference points while doing 3D fits.

Posted September 1, 2011 by studioloperyn in 15th c italian clothing

10/27/10 A 15th C italian camicia   Leave a comment

My current project is the research and construction of a late 15th C Italian camicia. After reviewing period artwork and 16th C extant examples, I think I have a pattern I can document.

The Healing of the Madman, CARPACCIO 1496

On to documenting stitches/seams, linen fabric and use. Hoping to be done in time for Magna Faire.

I’m also preparing to make a 15th C gamurra which will have a thinner diameter cord in the bodice than my two previous dresses. Hoping for support with a little more rounding and flexibility. If there’s time before Midwinter A&S I’d like to do a cioppa.

On other fronts, we are coursing the hounds at Castle Wars, please come support us! The trailer will have to wait until spring so no horses for me at this event, but hoping to bring them to Gulf Wars XX. And there is tons of clothes to make for GW! I really want a doublet this year, 15th C Italian? I’m tired of the cotehardies and t-tunics for riding.