serinde: (ze fiber arts)
[personal profile] serinde
So, their current Majesties of the East need clo'es; and they put the touch on Tasha for this; and she was unable to do honor to their request at this time, so she and [ profile] murieldechimay conspired, and thus Kasia and I were offered this mission, should we choose to accept it. Which, of course, we did.

Thus I am on the hook for an early-15th-c. overgown, to be delivered sometime between now and the end of their reign (i.e., early April), the sooner the better, but they don't have a specific event they need it for. I have been given fabric (a pinkish-melonish cottonish brocade with a pale gold leafy motif woven in) (it will so need to be lined) and two pattern pieces, one front and one back, for a fitted gown. It is desired that the dress unfasten down the front, so that Her Majesty can easily breast-feed her new baby. I also have several images of what Her Majesty had in mind (though in truth, there's a fair amount of variance in them).

Decision points:
1. What do I line it with?
2. Laced or buttoned closure? and if the latter, what buttons?
3. What sort of sleeves will it have?
4. What construction method(s) shall I use?
5. How shall I embellish it?

1) Not doing fur, obviously, though that's the most period correct thing for a royal winter gown. Silk would be the next choice but I haven't any that I can sacrifice to this. I will probably default to the mustard linen I brought a metric ass-ton of.

2) I would have said "buttoned" for an outer layer, but every single one of the images she sent is a laced gown. And that's probably more forgiving for shifting mommy shapes. So okay, I guess we are lacing. (Mem.: Fingerloop a cord...oh god I have to finally face up to the aglet problem)

3) I am figuring fitted sleeves on the upper arm, that open up below the elbow. These I will probably line with something shiny. I do not have a sleeve pattern, but I guess I'll start with the dimensions of the armscye as per the pattern and wing it from there.

4) Most would choose the modern method, which is sew together the shell; sew together the lining; and attach them together by stitch-and-turn. This would be the quicker, easier option for any normal sewing human...which I am not. I have a certain suspicion I will do a neater job if I do it the period way, which is, I believe, to sandwich the layers together and bind the edges with ribbon or a narrow strip of sturdy fabric (e.g., silk). OTOH, I have never actually made anything this way, and is this really the time to get all innovative? Dither dither dither.

5) Obviously this will depend a great deal on how long it takes me to do the gown, but I'd like to have some ideas and the approximate expected time it would take to do each. And again, I'm not full of ideas. The images sent indicate that most of the richness is in the fabric itself, and in fur lining. One has a pretty busy gold motif on the fabric, which could be embroidered, but I don't think it is. I could maybe outline/embellish the leafy bits on the fabric; I have a lot of gold cord and I can manage couching. But I don't know if that was Done.

The Big Problem: This is supposed to be a fitted gown, and at the time would have been self-supporting. Can this be done from two pattern pieces, Cut Two Of Each? Mine sure can't be; we've had to do tinker-fitting on every single one. I have a very bad feeling about this. It might be okay if her undergown is doing most of the work, but still.

The Hidden Problem: I have some kind of serious mental resistance to getting started on this. It should be nearly a no-brainer for me, at least to cut out the fabric and start piecing it, but my entire self has been sheering away from it like it was a root canal. I realized in retrospect that the fit of reorganizing my closets today was avoidance behavior keeping me from doing this or my own sewing. It's taken me two weeks just to write this memorandum up, and I had to do violence to my emotions to even get this done. God damn it, lizard brain.

I feel somewhat better for burping this all out. Of course I won't be able to get anywhere with it for a week, what with the holiday, but maybe I can turn early December to some kind of account. Seriously, if I stop being my own worst enemy, I should be able to get the main garment together in a couple of evenings. (And if I get it in shape by Xmas, I can potentially run over for half an hour for a fit check, as Their Majesties live about fifteen minutes from my sister.)
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