Friday, July 23, 2010

Where to begin? My Renaissance gown

Here is the Gown Slideshow, if you are interested in more pictures.
To the gown review with links to pictures and slideshow, please see my Butterick Pattern Review.
I've done a number of sewing projects in the past, but in the last 6 months, it has turned into something more than an occasional hobby.

I found a site called (henceforth knows as PR), and it has certainly inspired me to sew more! It is a brilliant site. People from all over the world post their reviews, often with pictures of the finished garments, of sewing patterns. It is fun to share your creations, and see other people's, and the reviews are extremely helpful!
They also have contests. Constant contests! I want to enter many of them, which just proves that I must be more competitive than I thought I was.

Although I have yet to win anything, I am having great fun, and so that seems a good place to start. My first contest.

I have the habit of making one or two new SCA outfits a year. Generally one for myself, and another for someone else. I didn't have any garb that was really suitable for Court, and I had the desire to go. Coincidently, PR was running a Formalwear contest. I thought, why not?

I had just gotten the pattern Butterick 4827, which I had been eying for a while.

I have the painting Godspeed by Edmund Blair Leighton on my living room wall. The wonderful simplicity of it, with the small sleeve drape appeals to me. So I decided to try and do something similar.

The pattern envelope indicated I'd need about 6 yards of fabric, and I also wanted to line it, so add another 6 yards. There is no way I could afford that much fabric!...unless I used sheets from a thrift store. King or Queen size with both fitted and flat are needed for that much yardage, so my options were limited: There were only 4 sheets with enough fabric at my tiny local thrift shop. 2 were completely unsuitable, and 2 were very different floral prints.
I bought both the floral prints, but I wasn't really excited about either. I've never been fond of floral on myself, but I'm hoping I can make one work. This lovely pale green cotton in my stash that matches the busier floral, so I decided on that.

Long story short, it turns out that floral is this discontinued Ralph Lauren bedding line, called Guinevere. Also, I find it is a 70% cotton, 30% linen blend that doesn't wrinkle, and breathes wonderfully! This fabric really grew on me. I took the sleeve drape from a different pattern, but ended up altering that quite a bit, too, to get the size and shape I wanted. I was fortunate enough to find some gorgeous trim that matched the gown colors, and used a lot of handdstitching for the finishing.

The hat....the hat is a whole different story.