Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Almost done!

The linen smurf houppeland is almost done!  The collar went together very smoothly yesterday, after some brief debate/argument with myself about how to shape the back.  The later Burgundian style gowns have a pointed collar in back, but as far as I can tell the houppelands do not.  Since this is a transitional style, I have no idea what's going on in back.  Looking at the artwork, it seems to me that the shawl collar is a sort of outgrowth of the fur lining - as the v-neck style starts to appear you see just a narrow bit of fur from the lining that gradually becomes wider and eventually you get a shawl collar.  It makes more sense to me at least for this to happen naturally by just turning things back, especially since in at least one of the examples I posted earlier it looked like there was a small stand-up fur collar on the gown, and the Zhorlecky houppeland has a stand-up collar as well.  So, the rounded back shawl collar won out and the dress is done.  Except for the hem.  I hate hems.  Instead of the hem, I made a small open hood to wear turban-style as seen in the Seven Sacraments alterpeice.  All I have left to do with that is finish stab stitching the edges.  Which I hate less than hemming.

Anyway, the plan for today is to hem the gown and finish the stab stitching on the open hood.  Because of my slight mistake in cutting the triangles, I ended up with less length than I had planed and am going to have to bind the hem for the gown to hit the ground in front.  This is fine, as most of the artwork seems to show the lining wrapping around the front of the hem anyway.  I'm doing this in linen rather than the velvet as the velvet will make the dress stand out funny around the bottom.  The linen should give just a little extra body though, which coupled with the under gown will make the whole thing hang quite nicely once it's on.

What you can't see from the pictures is that once I got the collar attached, I found that I won't need a hook and eye or any closures to keep the dress shut and neat in front!  Yay!  The only thing I loath more than hemming is sewing in hooks and eyes.  No idea what that's all about, but there it is.  The whole thing stays neatly in place with just the weight of the dress and the belt the hold it.  It's kind of a miracle.  I think it has to do with the triangles falling from the neck the way they do, but the weight of the gown is very evenly distributed and not at all cumbersome, unlike my full-circle cut houppeland.  I am going to need a wider and shorter belt to wear with this.  The current plan it to tablet weave something, but I'm not sure yet what.  I really like the wide red belt in the Seven Sacrements detail, but those of you in the SCA know that red belts can be problematic (less so on women in my current Kingdom than where I started out, but that's another subject)

Molly the dog thought I was trying to take pictures of her and kindly obliged by sitting still, for once, so for your edification:


  1. Looks really nice!

    I have several red belts that I wear, and the only time anybody ever gave me trouble was a friend teasing me.

  2. Thank you! I'm quite pleased with the whole thing (it looks much better on me than on the mannequin, I need a new dress form). I'm thinking about tablet weaving a wide red belt in a dark brownish red color, or maybe more of a burgundy. Still red, so I will be happy, but not so RED as to run into issues.