lady in red

I’ve been working steadily at remaking my red dress.  This is a geometrically constructed tunic a la Nockert Type I, with one change: I angle the tunic inwards from where the gussets meet the body up to the top of the shoulder, because making it big enough around to fit me as well as straight there means that the shoulder seam is about at my elbow!

This is my first 100% hand sewn garment since my first SCA garb (and I hand sewed that, badly, because I hated sewing machines – my motivation is different now!).  The fabric is wool (I’m pretty sure, anyway), and I’m using silk thread and a needle hand carved from a piece of antler (not carved by me).  At this point, I have two sleeves (with gussets) sewn on and flat felled, two gores sewn on but NOT flat felled, and the neck sewn down.  I just turned the neck under twice and stitched it in place; although I finally learned how to do facings properly thanks to Maestra Maddalena, I am not a big fan of how they look and feel, plus they involve lots of fiddly bits, my least favorite part of sewing.  So yeah, I did it the easy way.  This has worked poorly in the past, but this time I did it with the dress still ‘open,’ not all sewn up.  Why I didn’t think of this before I have no clue, but it works MUCH better this way!

My hand sewing is still a bit raggedy but definitely getting better, and practice makes perfect, right?  I’m excited at how quickly this is going and how much I’m enjoying it.  Also excited by the chance to use my cute little elephant pincushion and watch lots of Dr. Who.  Win-Win situation!  Since I finally have a camera battery again a few more pictures follow…..

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6 responses to “lady in red

  1. I need to get myself a few of those needles…

    • i am sure nemo would be happy to sell you a few. i am finding them very easy to work with and don’t feel like it damages this fabric, at least, more than any other needle. i do have to make a bigger knot in my thread, but otherwise it’s pretty comparable to a modern needle, except less slippery and less likely to tear up my fingers!

  2. Very good. It will be a while until I’m at the same event as Nemo, but I’ll have to remember to mention it!

  3. I have the same issue with the larger chest – narrow shoulders. I ended up coming up with creating gores that go up to the armpit and are angled at the top. I end up also using a small gore in the armpit of the garment. But, I’ve been pretty happy with that design so I can keep the main body panel narrower but still have room where I need it.

    Good luck! I really like the elephant pin cushion. 🙂

    Have fun with the hand sewing!

    • i’ve seen several dresses with gores that style, too, and even made one. i may or may not make another one next, depending on how this one turns out. since this one is a remake, i had to go with roughly the style i did the first time. plus i’m still trying to workout the exact perfect measurements; it’s a refining process. =D

  4. very cool! 🙂
    I love the elephant!
    I do the same as Helwynn, with the gussets up to the armpits. Helps out this busty lady, too. Am interested to see how this version works out, though. Will be keeping an eye open for updates. 🙂

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