Waisted Efforts

Barker Beautification.

Barker Beautification


And first the sketches.

This set of outfits will be for Keith and Shirley Barker. They are good friends with Michael and Diana which I have also made outfits for. Keith and Shirley live in St. Louis, and will be visiting me twice for their fittings, and our goal is to have the pieces finished by or during Bristol.

The sketches are my drawings with a bunch of Photoshop fun. I was able to photograph the fabrics and trim to use them as fills in the sketches to give them a look at how the outfits will look when finished. I think it is pretty fun.

They are brown velvet and gold. Of course we are going yet again with a grr-animal theme. Keith getting a jerkin, cape, and maybe two doublets, a set of paned slops, and solid velvet Alcega slops, and 2 sets of sleeves. Shirley will have an English round gown in the velvet with a set of poufed cap sleeves, tight gold/cream taffeta sleeves, tight jacquard sleeves, and a set of velvet hanging sleeves.

I have been in the process of making their under bits so we can do their first fitting the opening weekend of Scarborough Fair, while I am still in town.
The goal was to have 2 shirts each, the underskirt, her corset, and a set of mock-ups to try on as well.

We are basing Shirley’s outfit off one of my favorite portraits of Maria Cosimo de Medici.
Maria di Cosimo Medici

How can you not love this beautiful young Italian lady and her outfit? Well, we do not even try! I want one of these, Sandra wants one, now Shirley, we will take over the world!

ok back to the topic at hand…

I trying to figure out her shirt, when I finally noticed that she is not wearing a collared shirt. She is wearing a square-necked camicia (Italian word for chemise), and an underpartlet. Now I went insane trying to figure out how to reproduce that!

Camicia neckband

This is the neckband for the camicia. The rest of the shirt will then be gathered into it. This set of shirts is made from a beautiful leno cotton with woven chevrons in it, and very white. I wanted to add a little gold, so overlaid the cotton with gold organza, and then applied the lave over the organza. I then edged it in the tipped lace. I used machine stitching where I could hide it, but otherwise I assembled the rectangles and their linings by hand. I really did not want any obvious top-stitching.

finished camicia

Then on to the partlet. I used the pattern from The Tudor Tailor. I constructed it from cream dupioni silk, lined with cream lawn, and faced with more silk. I had the hardest time locating a ribbon I liked. The original is embroidered of course, but I used up most of my embroidery mojo on the gray doublet for Joseph two years ago. Not recharged yet.
I finally located an embroidered and bead organza ribbon where the organza was clear so the cream would show as the background.

parlet in processin process 2
These two are the ‘in process’ pics that I remembered to take. I get so involved with the making that I forget to stop and take a picture. In the first image you can see one of the inside collar pieces. I decided to do it in two pieces because I was afraid it would be itchy around the back. I also re-beaded these two pieces with little gold beads. The ribon is embroidered with green iris tiny bugles. They are lovely, but have sharp edges, so again I was afraid of the itch factor. I really like how it looks with the gold beads though, and for about a nanosecond considered re-beading it all. HA! Not likely.

It was awfully soft with the silks and lawn together, so before I mounted the ruff to the trimmed pieces, I piped the edge with poly cord. That gives it enough body to stand up without the super stiffness of boning. I am very pleased with how that worked out.

close-up partletpartlet

And here is a picture of the partlet all set up with the camicia, and my brown wool gown and corset on my dressform. I did this to show how the two collars will complement each other. Also, it is handy that my gown is brown. :-)
side back of partlet

I have since, set the loops of the ruff, and beaded the sets with a silver foiled clear bead at each join. I loves it! It was a giant pile of work, but I may make myself one in the future.

The underskirt.

The underskirt is just black cotton. I have mostly finished the beading on the forepart, and I am now waiting for the fitting to lock down where the trim placement will be.

forepartforepart beading

Can’t pass up a picture of Hazel being helpful/sleeping.

I am now done with all the shirts, and tomorrow will be corset, and more pattern drafting. In the midst of all this I upgraded my sewing machine, and now have the ability to do embroidery.

Here is the first thing I embroidered. Blackwork(in Egyptian brown) for two of their shirts.

I am obviously not even remotely done, so there will be updates. The rest of the images form their pieces are here in the Barker folder at flickr. Thanks for getting this far. Updates soon.

UPDATE: 4/12/09

First Fitting! This went spectacular. I have not actually laid hands on them since August 08, so I am thoroughly pleased at how well everything fit. I need to do a few modifications, but otherwise it was a complete success. I can now start on actual velvet pieces with trim. Yea!

Here are a couple of pictures, the rest being in the flicker folder.


I am now back from GA and the Barker’s 2nd fitting ready to see how much I can get done.

While in Ga, I realized that I did not have all the underwear from Shirley that I should have. Let me tell you not having the bumroll, and hoopskirt will curtail anyone’s ability to work on the lower half of a ladies costume. -sigh- I was very annoyed, but I had plenty to do, to redraft all the patterns, and get started on Keith’s bits. So I took the plunge and started hacking into the beautifil chocolate velvet.
Playing with the iron-on trim was pretty fun too, especially on velvet. Here is one of the finished panes, and the heap ready for assembly

finished paneheap o' panes

The panes are going over the ivory embroidered fabric that the beaded sleeves are out of. It looks pretty stunning.

panes with fill

This is Keith in the new doublet mock-up, and the slops. Everything fits great. I am going to shorten the slops at the waist about 1.5 inches, and I will need to fill them a little with net, I think. The fill has nice weight, but it is just too limp to hold much shape.

keith fitting

I have a slightly different trim for Shirley’s velvet. I got one of her fancy double poufed over-sleeves done for her to see. She liked it a lot! *grin* I set some of the topaz rhinestones onto the trim as well, for a little sparkle.

Shirley's sleeve

Now I am busily beading the doublet for Keith. I have Shirley’s underpinnings on my mannikin as I type, and it is ready for the over dress, which means more iron-on trim and rhinestones!
Once the beading is all done, these will go together beautifully.
I’ll keep taking pictures, and will update soon.

UPDATE 1/2/2010 Because I am lazy.

Soon is obviously up for debate, but here are some of the finished pictures.  I did not ge a picture of the cape, but I will see if they have one.