Thursday, December 6, 2012

A couple new projects in the works...

and just about a week to finish them.  On the 15th, I'm headed up to Beaverton, (just outside of Portland) because a friend invited me up to dance, and I just happen to have that day off work.

Jen Thompson's gorgeous dress
I'm making new sleeves to go with my Florentine from three years ago.  As with the vast majority of people who have made this dress, I was inspired by Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre, whose information is currently in transition from one incarnation of her site to a new one.  The photos that aren't of me are from the website Sophie Stitches that has a collection of images for her research.

I did the dress out of Jo-ann cotton velveteen, and it's pretty enough that I'm still happy with the results.  I made the corded corset, and the giant puffy sleeves, and the striped turban, just like Jen's.  But I've had two yards of the velveteen floating around in my stash, and those matching sleeves with the beaded tassels have been drifting around in my head for years.

The Preaching of Saint John
 the Baptist, 1520, Bacchiacca
Portrait of the Artist's Wife, 
1513-1514, Andrea del Sarto

Me, photo by hubby for my portfolio
So, I'm making the sleeves to wear next weekend.  I'm down to just hand sewing, but that's flat felling internal seams, tacking down the chocolate silk trim, making the beaded tassels (still have to figure out what I'm going to do for the tassels, shredding the silk fabric isn't working well...), tacking down the bias facing on the sleeve heads and adding lacing rings.  I didn't line the sleeves since I didn't have anything I thought would look good as a lining, and I didn't really want to spend any money on these sleeves.

However, the sleeves are on the back burner as far as sewing goes right now.  I'm working on a gift for a friend's birthday, which is also the 15th.  I'm working on a semi secret gift, I'll try to get pictures of the finished project to post, but right now I'm working on the embroidery that's a cross between between the Mammen embroideries and her coat of arms.  It'll be pretty simple, dark blue silk outlines in back/stem stitch on white linen.  I'm hoping to finish it soon.

The other project that I'm working on is an exciting development for my whole house.  I was graciously gifted with a copy of Sally Pointer's book on cosmetics, The Artifice of Beauty, for a wedding present.  I've been interested in historical cosmetics, specifically Roman cosmetics, due to my interest in the duties of an ornatrix.  Sally Pointer's one of the few people that I've come across so far with information on Roman cosmetics.

For the Jule event on the 15th they're having a largess competition, and my super sekrit entry will be a batch of her Alkanet Lip Paint.  It's interesting, right now I've got a jar of chopped alkanet root soaking in sweet almond oil to draw out the color, and The Boy has been playing with a variety of methods for creating a tincture of myrrh. Either Thursday or Friday this week I'll be blending the alkanet oil with some beeswax and a little myrrh tincture and then putting them in little jars.  It's probably old hat for other herbalists, but I'm excited to be branching out into new realms for myself.

That's what I'm up to right now, I'm hoping for new pictures soon. Here's hoping...

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