The fabric made me do it!
I have this fabric, you see, that wants to be a Venetian gown.
I haven't really decided on a specific gown that inspires me, but the above time period is in the ballpark. I will change the title from: The Venetian Gown of 1560-1580 to whatever, when I narrow it down. In the mean time, inspirational portraits and costumes can be seen at Bella's wonderful site: The Realm of Venus. More Venetian costumes can be seen at: Oonagh's Own.
And so it begins...
This fabric ravels like crazy. I felt that a simple zig-zag of the cut edges (which I had done as soon as I had brought the fabric into the house) was not enough to protect the fabric from raveling during the preshrinking process, so I ran the fabric through the serger. The fabric is a blend of cotton and acetate and I knew the cotton would shrink. I washed the fabric in warm water and tumbled dry on delicate. The cotton did shrink and it made the slightly raised areas of the design (golden tan in the photographs above) really raised. Interesting textural effect. That motif in the center of the second photograph really resembles a stylized rosebud, so that is the direction the fabric will be laid out.
I have 9 yards of 60 inch wide fabric. My thinking is to make a bodice and two different sets of sleeves and to use the rest for the skirt. My main inspirational portraits:
Hmmm...These portraits change the date a little bit, so I have renamed this diary.
I have ordered 10 yards of 5.3 oz bleached linen from Fabrics-store.com to use as lining. This fabric will get the usual linen preshrink treatment when it arrives.
On July 2, 2006 Margo's Patterns Group announced the 2nd Iron Dress Competition. Sign up was from that date until midnight of July 15, 2006 and the contest itself runs from July 16, 2006 - October 15, 2006.
On July 12th, I decided "Oh, why not? I haven't started my Venetian yet. I know just what to do to modify Margo's bodice to make it look Venetian. I should even get this one done in time as I expect to wear the Venetian on Labor Day weekend."
After I announced I wanted to join in the contest, Peggy asked me just how many projects I have going right now. So, here is the list:
Well, 3 I consider active.
- One and only one of Pat's outfits - just need to finish up the Venetians for him to have an outfit that is at least a wearable ensemble. But I still intend to make slops at some point.
- That Anne of Austria Dress that I haven't touched since I bowed out of the Portrait Contest last year.
- And this Venetian.
There are the ones on hold. The fabric is all there, washed and ready to go.
- The remake of the Flemish outfit in 100% linen, this time.
- I want to add more bits to my hunter green Lizzie like a gold forepart and sleeves. A hunter green doublet. Some hunter green sleeves either full curved or Spanish. Plus a doublet, sleeves, and forepart of some tapestry type fabric. Of course, if I don't start on some of this soon, my skirt will be worn out and I will have to make a new one.
And then there are all the ones on my proposed list. The only ones I do not have fabric for is the Tudor and the front panel for the loose gown.
Plus, I have some fabric that I intend for a later Elizabethan gown. I don't even mention that one on my website. Possibly with a wheel farthingale, but certainly with hanging sleeves and a beaded stomacher
I have all this fabric in my stash and I have plans for every piece of fabric - mostly.
Why haven't I accomplished much over the past year? Well, I waste a heck of a lot of time the internet. And I am a terrible procrastinator. I work everything out in my head before sitting down to draft, cut, sew, whatever. I get frequent attacks of AR and have to rip it all out and do it again until I am satisfied.
So, I spent most of the last weekend modifying Margo's bodice pattern to turn it into a Venetian. Mostly because I would make a change, and then think about it a while, then make another change, and think about that awhile. You get the idea...
But when I had a pattern that was to my liking, I still couldn't lay it out on the intended fabric and cut it out. I just couldn't do it. Chicken is me. Bawk, bawk, BAWK! So, I decided to make a practice piece. I grabbed some super cheap linen/cotton blend fabric in a rose color that I had in my stash and cut the pattern out of that instead.
Maybe I will end up with 2 Venetians.