Saturday, April 11, 2009


April is my National Costume Finishing Month (NaCoFiMo), and I've decided that I'm going to finish my green court gown, at long last.
After almost a week of nothing but embroidery, I feel like I haven't even made a dent in the green gown. I'm making detachable pansied sleeves for this gown, with each pane having a line of embroidery down the centre. Unfortunately, there are to be a total of 12 panes, the embroidery pattern is repeated four times on each pane, and it takes about 3 hours to complete a section. Therefore, I'm only getting one pane embroidered every day. It's slow, tedious work, and I feel like I could set myself on autopilot, go to sleep, and still keep embroidering. I have 3 3/4 panes finished as of right now, and I'm aiming to have six finished by the end of the weekend.
I'm glad the bodice embroidery is finished, and all I have to do is reinforce it with canvas and line it. I still have to dig out the skirt and flatline it with muslin or something to give it a bit more weight and body. I'm thinking of cartridge pleating the skirt into the waistband...I've never done it on any of my gowns before, and I really love the look of it. In all likelihood, I'm going to continue the embroidery down either side of the overskirt, just in a slightly larger size so it doesn't get lost in the skirt folds.
As far as final touches, I've decided to make a Medici collar with a wire supportasse. There was this beautiful wire supportasse on a costuming blog somewhere that was very ornate and I just fell in love with it, so I think I'll try my hand at it. Originally, there was a 'pocket' in the back neckline of a bodice that the supportasse slipped into, which was then stitched closed. That way the weight of the frame was supported by the torso. I don't know if I'm going to go that route or not...I'm thinking I may sew some ribbons on the inside of the back neckline that I could use to tie the supportasse to the bodice, but I don't know if that would be secure enough.
The forepart...well...I have no idea what I'm going to do. I was thinking about a black forepart to offset the bright green of the gown, but I have no idea how to embellish it. Guess I'll just have to keep flipping through old portraits until I find what I want.

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