Saturday, April 7, 2012

Working on Fancy New Garb for the pair of us...

The Boy and I are getting "matching" garb.  Since there's a chance we might be the next B&B, I've decided it's time to start working on our "potential investiture" garb for June.  We decided to go Roman should the occasion arise, and even if it didn't, we'll have a nice set of Roman gear to wear.

So I'm sort of in the planning stages.  I purchased some wool for a toga, and then decided to make up a list of garments I wanted to make, and a rough, totally overestimated budget for them.  I've also be perusing period imagery and information sites, looking for the appropriate color combinations and styles that go with the thought of us being invested as territorial governors in Imperial Rome.

For Bastian I was planning to make:

Tunic- Linen with maroon clavi or bands, sleeves?
Toga-Wool with maroon band
Belt-Fabric, gold fringe?
Calcei-Leather, dyed dark red

We're also considering:
Subarmalis?-red linen, gold fringe
Breastplate?-plastic or leather with sculpted embellishments and painted
I'm contemplating how exactly I want to do the Tunic.  I can't decide what the appropriate clavi (stripes on the tunic) would be for himself.  The two narrow stripes on either shoulder indicate equestrian status, and I haven't found a source that says an equestrian class could become a provincial governor.  There are two other clavi patterns repeatedly mentioned online, the senators wore a large stripe down the center of their tunica laticlava, and victorious emperors and generals got to wear the tunica palmate, a purple tunic with gold palm leaves embroidered on it.  Clearly The Boy isn't a victorious general or emperor, so the palmate is out.  I'm not a big fan of the way the senator's tunic looks with the single large stripe center front.  But if it turns out you can't be a provincial governor without being a senator first, then that's the way we have to go.

I read once that the imperial purple was actually a reddish purple, like a maroon, though I can't remember where I saw it.  Since The Boy got his PhD at a school whose colors include maroon, I thought it would be a nice touch.  Himself will be more comfortable in a linen tunic, especially in June, and linen is a sign of wealth.  I'm also not sure about sleeves.  I think I want to do a short sleeve, give him a little more coverage on the shoulder.

I've already purchased the wool crepe I intend to use for the toga.  I found a good deal on, $9.99/yard for an ivory crepe.  I ordered 7 yards, and when I checked out, they gave me a surprise $2 off per yard, and with the shipping it came to less than $65!  I plan to cut it to a half circle shape of the earlier Imperial togas, mostly to save money on buying fabric, and because it will be slightly easier to wear.  See image 5 as the simplest style.  I'm thinking of visiting Eugene Textile Center and dying the fabric for the clavi and the stripe on the toga to the maroon color.

The belt is pretty simple, a narrow width of fabric, red since Himself is a squire, with fringe.  I like the look of gold fringe.
The calcei are Roman boots, made from leather with cut work that laces up on top of the foot with some ankle support.  Romans wore boots when outside, and sandals indoors.  The wealthiest Romans with slaves would have a slave to carry their sandals when they visited others.  So The Boy and I both need boots as this will be an outdoor event.  I'm also thinking about making these myself, because shoe making seems exciting, but this particular style requires a last, and I don't know if anyone in the area has a set.  Roman culture has some guidelines for shoe color, and red shoes are reserved for the Patrician class.
The garments we're considering for him, but aren't sure are the Subarmalis and Breastplate.  They'd be an easy way to save money by excluding them.  I want them because of the image of Augustus in his embossed breastplate and toga looks so mmmmmm!  The combination of militaristic and oratory makes sense for me since Himself is both a fighter and a talker.  If we do manage to get them done, I would make a light weight Subarmalis without all the padding since Himself wouldn't be fighting in it and wouldn't need it.  I'm planning it from Crimson Linen from with the pteruges (strips around the waist and shoulders) done in linen with bullion fringe at the bottoms.  Theoretically, I'd buy a plastic breastplate that is fairly plain, and use Sculpty or something else to create the embellishments, and paint it in a bronze color. 

And now for the parts that I'm wibbling on.

As for my new Garb I was planning to make/aquire:
Tunica interior-white linen, long sleeve
Over Dress-Egyptian style tunic? Gathered neckband? “tapered”?
Palla-silk? Linen? Patterned?
Boots-leather, cutwork
Jewelry-moon necklace, two or three drop pearl earrings, coral necklace, bracelets, rings
I'm not sure exactly what I'll be making for myself yet, since I can't seem to pick a style.  I know I want a new linen under tunic, the tunica interior which will be plain white and long sleeved.  I might embellish the neckline with a little trim, but not much.  I found a website with a bunch of Fayum mummy portraits, and I love the look of this lady.  The blue and gold are a lovely combination.  The ladies of Roman Egypt all wear colorful tunics, many in red tones, including one in bright pink!  Most have clavi in a dark color, some with a thin gold edging to black bands.  There is a large variety in their jewelry, but the metal all appears to be gold, and there is a frequency of pearls.  Most of the necklaces are chokers, but there are a few with longer.

Alternatively, I could stick to the Roman styles I've been doing and do a sleeveless stola.  There are a couple styles I haven't experimented with yet, specifically the banded stolla as done by Iohanna fillia Iacobi.
The banded style or one with the top gathered into shoulder straps are much more appropriate for a woman living in Roman Italy like my persona does.  I'm not sure what colors I'm going to use yet, I haven't found a fabric I'm in love with yet, and there's not much in my stash that's calling to me.  I have a metallic silk stola that I started ages ago that could be finished for this purpose, but because it is so see through I'd want a layer between stola and tunica interior.  No idea on that yet.

Equally, I have no idea what I want to do for the palla.  The fabric I'm currently using for a palla is a gorgeous gold silk sari with metallic threads woven throughout.  But I'm getting a little tired of it.  I'm not sure what I want instead, a linen or wool or silk, patterned or plain, maybe with fringe along the edges?  The sash I'm using now is a brown and white silk, and it's fine, but again, I'm bored with it.  I would love for this to be the opportunity to get something nicer, but I haven't really looked into it.
I also want to make myself a cute pair of Roman shoes to wear for this.  The same Roman reenactor site that has the cute boots above has a pretty pair of women's shoes.  I want to dye mine red also, because I wouldn't be the wife of a high ranking governor if I weren't high class myself.

I'm looking forward to making some of the jewelry for this outfit.  I've found a little bit of information about the crescent moon pendant worn by many of the Fayum mummies, but I need to find out more.  The little I know is that they are good luck charms against evil, and are likely devotions to Diana.  They're very pretty, and I like adding little things to an outfit that make it more accurate.  I also want to find the findings necessary to make the three drop pearl earrings that are very common in portraiture.

So those are my current thoughts on the fancy new clothes.  I didn't realize I had so much more planning to do on my side.  I suppose I just have to wait a little while for some fabric to speak to me.

Also, I have no idea what to do with my hair!

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