Friday, June 22, 2012

What to do next?

I cannot decide what to sew.  There isn't much going on around here until after Pennsic, but there are quite a few events coming up in the fall that I am going to need new cloths for.  Partly because I just need more cloths, and partly because I am (slowly) shrinking.  Finally.  Which is good, except that I can't very well work on supportive layers or really fitted things if I am changing shape, however slowly.  After just 15 pounds none of my supportive gowns are supporting and they are starting to look a little funny in the belly area too.

So, I want to sew something.  I have all of this lovely wool to work with (in the hot, humid Virginia summer of course!), but I don't know what I should work on.  I need to make a cyclas and gown from the Manesse Codex, and as those are not really fitted it would probably be a good place to start.  Plus there is the fun hat.  I have some lovely burgundy wool I want to use for the cyclas layer, and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do about the undergown.  It really should be wool, and I have cream and some gold wool that would work, but this is for an event in early November.  It could be cold, or it could be warm.  I'm thinking a linen undergown might be a better way to go for comfort, plus I would be able to get more use out of the outfit.  Of course I don't have any linen for that part.

I also have been wanting to make a transitional houppeland like the one in the Petrus Cristus painting at right.  As far as the outer layer is concerned, it's not that fitted so I would probably be safe making it now for fall events.  I have some dark pink wool in a herringbone pattern that will look quite lovely for this style of dress, in a more middle class/every-day sort of way.  I may have to pull it in a bit at some point through the shoulders, but if I use a modified G-63 pattern this should be fairly easy to do. I have some lovely black wool to do the collar and cuffs, and will probably use heavy linen as a hem guard.  Lining the whole dress is out of the question for the weather here, even in winter I would roast.

There is also the Mary of Hungry dress I've been researching.  I can certainly start on the smocking, and should have enough light weight linen to do that, but the supportive layer and overgown are both too fitted to bother with now.

So what to do first?  Cyclas?  Start the smock as an ongoing embroidery project?  Houppeland/proto Burgundian?  I really need to do something as a break from the weaving.  The loom is almost warped for the Perugia towel (I can't focus on it for much more than an hour at a stretch) and I know the pick-up portion for the weaving is going to be slow going plus I really need something portable other than my current brick stitch project.


  1. I vote smock.

    I usually forget to consider that when sewing in the summer you want to work on something either small or very light weight. I once went to all the trouble of taking a cloak project on holiday, only to find I couldn't work on it as I overheated instantly just from having it sitting on my lap whilst I sewed.

  2. I'd go smock too. I don't really know anything about commercial patterns, but the way I do that type of houppenlande uses quite a fitted bodice and you don't need to loose much wieght to affect the fit.

    manesse codex dress sounds fun as well tho.

    am itching to do the petrus christie dress myself, except I've planned a pretty much exact copy as I have a pile of red silk velvet - am waiting on a hat form so I can do the headdress tho, as I couldn't wokr out how to make that rounded top without a base. it was meant to be here by now and I'm staqrting to get itchy fingers

    1. Oooo I wish I had silk velvet! That will be lovely. I think you are right about the houppeland, the more I look at it the more I am pretty sure it's going to fall right off my shoulders in a few months, God willing. :) The one sure way to loose weight is to make fitted clothing for an event a few months out.

      And now that I think about it, the smock is probably the best place to start. Doing the stitching (never mind figuring out the smocking plate) is going to take some time and I really want to be able to wear this in January. I can work on the Mannesse gowns in between the embroidery work.