Category: "Accessories"

The Lady and the Unicorn Desire Gown

by brae  

I was going through some old photos and found some of the costumes I've made over the years.  The over gown is made from red linen with white satin detailing at the neckline as well as the upper arms above the chiffon sleeves.  I used various trims throughout.  The chemise is bronze silk with wide passementarie trim along the cuffs and lower edge.

This ensemble was inspired by The Lady and the Unicorn Desire tapestry.

image from Wikipedia

I found a drawing of this gown in the book Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries by Mary G. Houston and adapted patterns from Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims, and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915 by Katherine Strand Holkeboer to create it.


The drawing captures the detailing beautifully.

The over gown has two long slits on the sides.  It can be worn gathered into a belt to show the silk chemise underneath.  The gown itself has no boning, and corsetry wasn't indicative of the times, but I like the look of a clean line at the bodice so I've worn one underneath.

The hat is made from McCall's 4806.  It's been awhile since I made this outfit.  I didn't change the pattern, but I remember adding steps to the construction based on my millinery experience.  I used the same silk as the chemise and white satin from the dress.

This photo was taken at the Stronghold Olde English Faire.

It's a wonderful property that holds a faire every autumn, including tours of the Tudor revival mansion and tractor-pulled hayrides.  My friend does a wonderful presentation called A Knight to Remember -- definitely a must-see!  :D

Steampunk Holiday, part 5 - hat completed

by brae  

Continuing work on the Steampunk Holiday ensemble.  I looked for cream colored flowers, but none spoke to me that weren't way too huge to have on top of my head.  :D  I ended up buying a package of 4 dark red felt roses at Michael's.  These are by Jolee's Boutique, and there were four on a card.  Each had a sticky pad on the back, but I removed that so I could glue them to the hat and to each other.  I chose a grouping of three for balance and full coverage of the feather stalk.

On the inside, I glued a pad of millinery batting in the middle of the hat.  This helped even out the bulk of the turned velvet around the edge.

I then cut a piece of taffeta left over from the skirt to line the hat and used a blind stitch to sew the lining in place.  Sometimes I use combs for hats, but this time I opted for two barrette clips.

My finished hat!  :D

I really love it.  It's the perfect size, very lightweight and stays just where it's supposed to with the clips.

It jingles only a little, which is good...Jasper would never let me out of the house otherwise.  Cat, stop batting my head...I have a party to attend!!! :\

Steampunk Holiday, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the Steampunk Holiday ensemble.  With the hat wired, I added a layer of millinery batting on the top surface using a light amount of Aleene's Quick Dry glue.

I then placed the scrap of chocolate velvet over the batting.  I had cut the piece to use the thin selvedge for the back point.  This cuts down on the bulk of the fabric turned under the edge.  I snipped the curve of the fabric and pinned the velvet in place on the underside, adjusting the fit as I went around.

It's important to keep a smooth top surface and outer edge.   I then sewed the velvet to the buckram using my curved quilting needle, being careful not to catch the velvet on the top side.  I tried the hat on and adjusted the bend of the wire.  I pinned the feather bundle in place and then stitched it to the hat, running the thread through all layers.

The back point tips down so you won't see the lining underneath when the hat is worn.

Next up, embellishments to hide the feather stalk.

Steampunk Holiday, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the Steampunk Holiday ensemble.  The fridge hat form worked well -- I took the lid out to let it dry completely, covering the spinach bowl with foil in the meantime.

Since I couldn't put a rubber band around it to hold it tight, the buckram did buckle in a few small places.  I added more water to those places to smooth them down and then sprayed with Aleene's Stiffen Quik to reinforce the hold.  It worked for the most part, but there were still a couple of raised areas.  Nothing to worry about in the long run.

While researching hats and fascinators, I ran across this book called Hat Shop from the library.  It has a lovely linen fascinator that is roughly the idea of what I want.

I copied the pattern and taped the paper into a quick mockup. I tried it on and removed quite a bit of material around the edges.

Using a tracing pen (with disappearing ink), I traced the pattern onto the buckram.

I cut out the pattern.  It doesn't have a lot of curve to it, but it's just enough for what I need.

I added a strip of buckram cut on the diagonal to finish the outer edge.  I folded the strip in half and applied it to the edge, pinning it in place.

I wet the edging enough to smooth it out but was careful not to wet the main body.

I removed the pins just before it was dry completely.  It's not perfect, but it's a good base.

I added a quick basting stitch to hold the binding more securely.

I then attached the millinery wire to the outer edges.

I use curved quilting needles for hat making.

Why green thread?  No reason - I have a lot of it.  :]  This is rather fiddly to work with, so my stitches are all over the place.  For this part of assembly, it doesn't matter as long as the wire remains secured.

I lapped the wire along the side instead of at the tip.  Binding the wire ends at the tip wouldn't be as secure or uniform.

The hat form can now be manipulated into shape more easily with the wiring added.  Next up, covering the form with velvet.

Steampunk Holiday, part 2

by brae  

Slight change of plans.  I had plenty of cream textured satin to cut out the bustier for the Steampunk Holiday ensemble, but I did not have enough of the pintuck copper taffeta.  It was a remnant bought long ago, but you can still find it online in subtle variations.  I decided to go to the local Joann fabrics to see if they still carry it.  I found brown, red and cream.  All lovely but not what I was after.

In the red tag sale bolts, I found a plan taffeta in a copper penny color.  Beautiful!  I had wondered, too, if the skirt fishtail might not flow well in the pintuck diamond fabric.  With the plain taffeta, the drape should be lovely.

Here are the two fabrics side by side.  The new fabric is more iridescent than the first fabric, so it has a wonderful range of color.

And, here is the new copper penny color with the other fabrics.  I also found a wonderful knife pleated satin and velvet trim that coordinates very well.

I looked for hat embellishments, and found this fun piece in the Christmas section.  It has tiny bells on it, too...just perfect for a winter holiday hat!

How's the hat form doing?  Very well...stay tuned!  :D

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