Thursday, April 28, 2011

flag fan

The flag fan was popular in Italy and particularly in Venice. Examples can be found in Vecellio's Renaissance Costume Book, Jean Jacques Boissard's Habitus Variorum Orbis Gentium (1581), . There are few extant fans from the 16th century. Flag fans have been recorded as being made from vellum, silk, painted linen or embroidered. 
Extant example

There are several portraits also showing flag fans.

Including my inspiration portrait

For mine I am using porcelain clay and fabric. On one side I will be embroidering my household badge, on the other I will be painting my device.

A picture of the top of the flag fan

as you can see I haven't sewn up the bottom of the flag yet- I'm using a bit of plastic canvas to help the flag keep it's shape. once I finish stitching it up I will start painting my device on the back

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pocket background ifno

I had planned to do a little background on all the elements of my outfit and I have realized I have fallen a bit behind so I hope to fix that.


I love pockets! There are lots of examples of them in period portraits


Aren't they wonderful?! I have fussed and worked and reworked my pattern, Some how I have been able to harness TARDIS powers. The amount of stuff I can put in them and not ruin the line of my skirts is amazing. We have hidden 2 tv remotes and a large home phone and you couldn't tell there was anything in it.

on a normal day I have: My wallet, Cell phone, packet of bobby pins and safety pins, 1-2 packs of clove cigarettes, a couple of lighters, and once in a while a bottle of water or soda. Thats a lot of stuff!

my pocket- linen with black courtesan embroidery

flag fan started

having fun with porcelain clay- work in progress

Stockings done!


Linen stockings with courtesan embroidered clock (just above gussest at the ankle) with blackwork fold over welt (top).

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have it dyed and currently steaming in the shower


, I plan to do a few veils for this project. currently I have one cooking in a dye bath right now to become - I hope - a lovely yellow/gold. Pics up as soon as it has been washed and dried.

mini update- I've rinsed the veil and have it drying now- I can say is it sure is yellow!


if all goes well the petticoat fabric will arrive today. I have plans to embroider this with gold

I decided on a shade of red because it was believed that red would keep away sickness

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stockings, pocket and embroidery

So as you can see from my last post the pocket is done! I will admit the embroidery is not done by hand as my darling husband gave me a magical machine that can do some really nifty stuff and part of my challenge for this gown is to really give my machine a workout. Since I used the courtesan motif several times it is digitized so I can keep it looking consistent.

In light of the time crunch I know there is no way I could do all the embroidery by hand, take care of my 4 year old son, coach my student to the National speech and debate meet, and be a full time student myself. I have no intentions of entering this as an A&S project so I want to go for the wow, that looks so cool factor over the authentic factor. I can do hand embroidery but I just don't have the time. There will be some blackwork and beadwork done for this project but I find I can do that rather quickly.

My stockings are moving along at a much better pace now. I had to fix the elephant ankle look I had going on, and I am much happier now that it looks much smoother. The embroidered clocks are done (little embroidery above the ankle gusset for decoration and strength) and the welts (tops) are waiting to be attached.

My next step is to start work on the embroidery for the drawers. This will take a little time, but it is a large pattern and should move quickly but I am covering a lot of fabric. I am going to do the embroidery first then cut out the fabric. I haven't decided if I will do a split crotch or not. I can't find any proof of split crotch during this time but after making a pair for a Victorian gown I am not sure I could survive without them. They make life so much easier with a lot of skirts and a port-a-john.

I am also arguing about whether or not I want a linen camica with strips of blackwork to match the drawers or make a silk camica...hmmmmmm choices.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pocket is done

Necklace Done

Simple necklace that matches the girdle belt. pearls strung on silk with small gold glass beads and filigree beads. The medal is Mary Magdalen- a nod to my SCA name and my persona's patron saint- since she is a courtesan it seemed fitting

Friday, April 22, 2011

2 little things done

I light of the fact my back is acting up I couldn't do much but I didn't want to waste the day so I did some little things

hair jewels- done

earrings done

design sketch

Black linen gown with blue accents. Shoulder and neck ruff. Embroidered with household badge

Thursday, April 21, 2011


today I am getting nothing done. My son has been in a mood all day and this evening I am also watching my nephew. 
I went searching for some more gold beads so I can at least get started on my jewelry but I have discovered the beads I picked up do not match the beads I already have so I will need to keep looking

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

problems- stockings

so I have the gussets in and started attaching the soles- I plan to sew up the back last so I can do the embroidery at the top of the outside gusset. as I am testing my fit as I go I am noticing a lot of odd wrinkles across the top of my ankle. It makes me look like I have elephant feet. I have tugged and pulled but I just can't seem to get them to go away- Which is really odd as they are plotted of a pattern I have used before and it looked great. I must have screwed up somewhere. If worse comes to worse I will cut across the top of my foot and take it in there. Which is still a period cut- just not the one I am use to.

Stockings cont.

well both stockings are now cut out. I am putting in the ankle gores by hand and then I need to figure out where to put the embroidery for the clocks

I have been asked why I decided to start with the stockings as they do not count as one of my layers and the answer is simple I like starting from the inside out. I love my linen stockings and I have discovered I feel very naked without them. Since my first pair was falling apart I knew I would need a new pair and this was the perfect way to start. I plan to have more pics up as soon as I finish the clocks then one last pic after I sew on the welts at that point they will be done and that would be one item off my list

Stocking #1 cut out

so I have cut out the first stocking. Since I am using this blog to document everything I think you guys deserve some sneak peaks and the like

 Stocking and Welts

Close up of the black work on the welts


 Stockings were generally to the knee or just above the knee and were footed, as seen in Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d
They were could knitted or made from cloth, cut on the bias to give some stretch. They are recorded as being made from linen, silk, wool, and flannel. 

Trimmings mentioned, in Warrant of the Robes, Queen Elizabeth Wardrobe Unlocked, included: welted (tops) with vellat, tops stitched with Irish stitch, stitched toppes and clockes, stitched with sondry silk colours, lace of silke, venice gold and venice silver embroidery, r18ed fringe, yellow silke worke, red with red silke worke, red with yellow silke worke, grene with sondry colours.

I have made linen stockings in the past but they are beginning to fall apart- partly due to fraying and partly due to the fact I made then out of a very light weight loosely woven linen. 

So I used my old pair as a pattern and started to make some adjustments. I plan to do some embroidery above the gusset on the outside of the foot and blackworked welts or tops. I am using a heavier weight linen. 

If you are interested in Linen stockings I suggest these sites:

Renaissance tailor

Cloth Hosen and Stockings of Late 16th and Early 17th Centuries

18th cent. hose (yes it is after our time period but they are very close in construction and she explains the math brilliantly)

If you need a pattern I would suggest this one:

reconstructing history cloth hose

and we are off

sewing starts today!!!

I have started with a pair of linen stockings- pics up soon

in the meantime I will tempt you with a picture of my inspirations for this outfit

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge

I love Realm of Venus and I have learned so much from Bella's web site. To celebrate the 10th anniversary Bella has issued a challenge to create a compleate outfit in four months from the skin out. Details are on here : The Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge I am the second entrant so far and since she is limiting the progress pictures we can send her I am planning on filling in the blanks here- so watch this space!! The kick off is the 21st!