Saturday, July 12, 2014

HSF '14: #12: Shape and Support: Spanish Farthingale

Oh, dear friends, you have no idea how happy I am to post this :D Are you ready for another saga of procrastination? Let's back up a few years...

2008: I wanted to make an Elizabethan outfit. I got... partway. I was, of course, sewing under a deadline, and then, with a few weeks before the event, my dear friend Mew called me about a travel opportunity that I could NOT pass up. I spent the entire time happily planning our trip instead of sewing, and did not even come close to finishing it. (Then our trip didn't happen, and it sucked big time, but that's not a tale for this blog.)

2011: I had quit my job and and spent roughly 6 weeks unemployed. I'd decided that if I wasn't working, I should be sewing. I sewed a lot that winter! Then, mid-late February, I was working on an another Elizabethan outfit, more "casual" than the one I'd started, and I distinctly remember trying to cut bias strips on my mum's freezer while I stayed with her for a day since she was recovering from surgery. I wanted to do a continuous strip and couldn't get them to line up, so I gave up. Both pieces languished.

2014: I've been wanting to get this thing done forever. I have Plans. Then I got "talked" into a group cosplay, where the character I was told to cosplay has a distinctly Elizabethan silhouette. And #12 was coming up. Perfect opportunity, or PERFECT opportunity?

Well, like all my plans, and all of my projects that sit for a long time, the pieces got separated. I couldn't find either one. I was seriously considering just starting over, but then I wanted to use the Simplicity underthings pattern, which I KNOW I have, but it's gone AWOL. I also have the Margo Anderson pattern, but I didn't want to dig it out and trace it off... (Can you see a theme?). But then, while digging in a box for the potential pattern, I found the original base. No sign (still) of the fabric I was making the bias strips out of, but no matter. The base was the important part.

For some reason, when I'd started this, I had the Margo Anderson pattern available. I have NO IDEA what possessed me to try and draft my own, especially when I was reading Margo's instructions and it was based on the same pattern I was using anyway. Sigh. I do like to complicate my own projects... So I made myself some new bias tape, figured out where I would potentially need a hem, so that I could turn up the bottom and apply the bias tape, all before closing up the side seam. Initially I'd left only one side open, and in the end, I opened up the other side seam to apply the waistband more like 18th century petticoats. It just seems more practical than a fixed waistband.

And then... it sat for a few more weeks. I finished applying the bias tape around the same time the challenge was "due", and then I just needed to get my butt to a hardware store so I could pick out my chosen hooping material: flexible plumbing tubing.

I got two rolls of tubing (50ft total) and some copper connecters, and then sat down to put the tubing in the channels. The tubing was great, flexible and easily cut with scissors. It took no time at all to insert it. I still have to close up the channels, but I couldn't resist throwing all the layers onto my mannequin!

Farthingale with Simplicity bumroll...

Taffeta petticoat...



It looks so awesome! I'm so happy!

The Challenge: #12: Shape and Support
Fabric: poly-cotton broadcloth (pretty sure)
Pattern: sort-of drafted by me, based on Alcega's diagrams
Year: 1580s...?
Notions: Thread, self-made bias tape, plumbing tubing, copper connectors
How historically accurate is it? In shape only.
Hours to complete: 4-5? Not including making the bias tape.
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost: $21 CDN, all for the tubing and connectors. Fabrics were all given to me :)

Side view

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