Thursday, 23 May 2013

Armour version 1.2

I came home from the larp at the start of the month with a list of repairs as long as my arm. In good time, the bracers were shortened, the helm rivets replaced, then re-hammered, then cussed at some, before I finally got some luck in setting the damn things. Snap-fasteners were replaced in my trouser-skirt and the sewing was completed.So it makes perfect sense that I leave the biggest job, that of replacing the fastenings on my bodice, to the last minute. Completed it just a couple of hours ago in fact.

My original armour, since I have consumate skill at avoiding cameras on the larp field, can be seen here. I've made a few corsets in my time, so my original plan was to go with what I knew, but with the thickness of the leather, this didn't work so well. The second attempt, which I didn't get picks of, involved replacing the busk with swing hooks. This worked well initially, but as the leather began to soften to my shape, it lost the rigidity it needed for the damn things to stay closed on their own. It's really just as well I didn't see much combat last time.

Time for another change. This time I decided to go with good, reliable buckles. But I had to remove the riveted swing hooks first. A bit of reading told me that I would have to drill through the back of the rivet to remove it. If only it were that simple. I did the drilling, but had to beg the brute strength of a friend to remove them, who swiftly discovered for me that the actual trick was to drill then use an appropriately sized, as in, about the size of the rivet head itself, to cut the rivets off. Noted for future projects that.

Oh, and that last buckle? The way it looks like it's on backwards? Totally deliberate. *nods*

And now the packing is complete. I'm sure, as usual, that I've forgotten something. Tis time to pamper. Why pamper before going to spend four days in cold and mud you might ask? Well, with the weather being for cold and drizzle, if I'm going to get wet and miserable, I'm going to smell of jasmine while I do it.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

IRCC3 - layer two

While running an event the weekend just gone, I managed to sit down for long enough to get my brocade skirt finished! My feet assure me that I wasn't actually sitting down for long, so I can only conclude that my hand sewing speed has increased somewhat.

I didn't have enough brocade to do the complete skirt, so I chose to cut it carefully so as to give a full front panel, and a broad back of skirt panel. This was a perfectly in period technique used to stretch expensive fabrics further while giving the impression of wealth. I'm hoping when my veste in in place, the false back won't be visible at all. 

I haven't been brave enough to try on the skirt yet...gremlins have been hard at work this month sewing my clothes tighter, and I don't want to be disappointed by the fit just yet. Though it will also help me to determine if I want to put a waistband onto the skirt for comfort. 

Another point to add regarding this skirt, when I went to buy the linen to line it with, the shop didn't have the colour I wanted. I wasn't willing to wait (just as well as the skirt is finished now and the grey linen still isn't in stock), so I picked up some black linen. This doesn't really affect the brocade at all, but from the back, the brocade sparkles through, making the black linen look shiny and expensive.

So I hatched a plan. With a little careful sewing, I could make myself a fully reversible skirt and double my wardrobe contents in one easy step!

Firstly, I sewing the broacde to the linen to create seperate shell pieces. When this was complete, I stitched the two pieces together, making sure to only catch the brocade fabric with my thread.

With the outer seams complete, pressing the stitching flat meant the linen edges were meeting by themselves. All I had to do was used my stitching to pull and keep the sides togther. And for the most part, I kept my stitches neat enough that the inner seams should be all but invisible.

At some point I'll decide on a trim of some kind to decorate the end of the black skirt, but I'm happy enough with my trick for now.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tablet weaving designs

 Progress has indeed been made, and thus follows the first of the many updates promised this week.

If you read my IRCC3 update, you may have noted that I'm working on tablet weaving to incorporate into my new costume. So, to this end, I crafted myself a very basic loom.

There are already parts of it that are not-so-steady, and I can see where I'd make improvements, but for my first ever woodworking project, it still does the job!

Unfortunately, a modified kivrim pattern turned out to be a little much for my first tablet weaving project in quite some time, and many, many mistakes were made before I got the pattern right. Even after I declared the issue resolved, I had to rip back and start again.

The final product is about 125cm of useable braid, about an 1"1/4 wide, which annoyingly, is too short my my needs. I may just piece an extra piece onto the end, so all that work doesn't go to waste. Short as I am, I still need a good 150cm length for the centre front seam on my planned dress.

The final pic shows the braid against the wool fabric I'm using for the veste. I can't wait to see all of it in place.

Note: Blogger is being rather annoying this evening, and won't let me add in my pictures. So those will be added as soon as I beat it into submission, I mean, as soon as I negotiate some cooperation from it.
ETA: Now with pictures!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A moment more...

Coming home from LARP all bunged up with a sinus infection before being thrown into the organisation of a Coronet Tournament doesn't leave much time for crafting.

However, I am still progressing in the Third Annual Italian Renaissance Costume Competition, and I've sent my first entry in, which can be seen here.

Lots more update on a couple of different projects next week though, promise.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Leather helm

Twas the night before Moot, 
And all through the house,
There was bluster and panic, 
And kit strewn about...

Sometimes, you can't wait for motivation, you have to just kick yourself and get going. Other times you need to wait because the inspiration just isn't there. Such was the case with my new larp armour helm. I played with cardboard pieces for two weeks, and it wasn't until tuesday that the design finally came together in my head. 

When I had all the pieces assembled, I maked out where they overlapped and transferred these markings to the leather.The centre of each piece also has a strip of leather runing down the centre to help the pieces hold their shape. And if you're going to add in a functional piece, may as well make it pretty. 

So a bit of fussing around and it's complete! There's a couple of pieces that aren't quite right, I think I wasn't holding them steady when I set the rivets, but I'm delighted to have it ready to try out over the weekend. The helm is held in place by a piece of elastic that sit under the leather going back from the strap at the temples - anything I could do to avoid using a chin strap.

Now, here's hoping with getting this done last minute, I don't bring on the curse...