15 October 2005

On patterns and planning...

It has occurred to me that these are my favorite set of juggling balls (pictured below)… My how those colors look familiar!

Hmmmmm, I wonder if subliminally I’m trying to cling to my “Fool” persona? Nah!

Anyway, I’m what a relative of mine calls a “mental sprinter”.
He’s a smart guy and even though he was talking about himself when he said that (honest!) he couldn’t have described my mental state better with regard to sewing. That is to day that once I get going on something I have to get it over with quickly or I’ll get tired of it and never finish. It's a nice way of saying I like to procrastinate the fun stuff. That’s why this one is going so fast. If I embroider it later, you can bet that part will slow down and take much longer because though I enjoy the effects achieved by embroidery, I find the actual execution of it to be pretty tedious.

I've been toying with the embellishment options. I rather like the effect of some of the late period doublets shown in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion, especially the ones with quilting and tabbed edgework. I've always accomplished the tabbing with bias strips in the past but Janet Arnold describes it in one passage as a silk piece that was folded and sewn into the seam and then slashed or clipped to add texture and visual interest.

Below is a small experiment in how to pull that off without using fray-check to keep it from ravelling.

before washing after washing

The cuts are made on the bias, which keeps them from fraying overmuch. The small amount of fuzziness looks okay to me and even adds interest and makes the doublet look less like I just made it (or will once I've made it if you catch my drift). I think I shall keep it simple and just use the cut trim around the collar, though I might use actual silk and do the whole collar and front of the jerkin or doublet on the final project if I can find something with a tight enough weave to resist fraying.

The other collar embellishment (if it can be called that) is the quilting. I want to do an entirely quilted doublet, but I have to wear the darn thing in August so it's a problematic costuming decision for me. To give myself the look and collar control of a quilted doublet, I have decided to quilt just the collar, which will hopefully be facilitated by making the back of the collar integral with the backpiece of the doublet pattern. The oddly shaped pattern piece above is for the quilt batting I shall be using, Warm & Natural two layers. The quilting will follow the chevron contour down the spine.

Hopefully it won't be too hot. I've never quilted anything before so we shall see.

The paned sleevelets have been giving me fits, but I think I have drafted a pattern that will make it work (shown above).

The pattern I use is an old one I drafted six years ago or so with the slight modifications I mentioned earlier. I've decided to be a little reckless and not do a muslin first since I've used the pattern so many times and the alterations I'm making in terms of button plaquette and collar are relatively minor. The skirting will also be longer than I usually go for so it can be belted over with my sword carrier.

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