Dressing the Tudor Lady

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I'm working on actual projects, really I am, but meanwhile I'd like to post a piece I did as a Christmas present for a friend. 

Hopefully you can click to enlarge it, and if you have trouble, here is the image on my DeviantART.

This was a lot of fun to make, and hopefully I will be able to get a tutorial about how I did the fabric overlay out soon!

-Madame Taylor

The Margaery Tyrell Costume

Thursday, November 27, 2014

This semester's masterpiece: I recreated one of Lady Margaery Tyrell's costumes from Game of Thrones.
She wears this ensemble in the episode "Valar Morghulis" and repeats the vest and skirt with a different scarf and no sleeves in a following episode. She also wears a similar vest made of a different fabric in a previous episode. So, generally a fairly representative Margaery costume!

Here was my main reference image:

And my version of it!

This costume was a labor of love, let me tell you! Here is some info about the different pieces of it.

Skirt: I dyed six yards of 55" white rayon challis, using Evening Blue, Teal, and Taupe RIT dyes. I cut two almost half-circles (I was conserving fabric so I could make the blue scarf for another time) with a waist circumference slightly bigger than mine. I added a thin waistband and even thinner ties, let it hang overnight, and hemmed. This skirt is based on the one from a different one of her dresses, but I wanted to make them interchangeable so I can do other Margaery costumes in the future. 

It's soooo twirly!

Bodice: Again, dyed with those three RIT colors after much swatching. This started out as a white denim. I draped the pattern based on the photo and it underwent MANY alterations. I also draped an interlining pattern (which also served as the lining pattern) and cut the interlining out of a hideous polka-dot denim. There is zip-tie boning in the interlining. The embroidery is all by hand, sketched out based on the photo. I made up the back embroidery based on the front! It fastens at the center with a skirt hook and bar, with a tie to cover it. All the edges are hand-finished. 

Here's a picture of what I did on the back in case that helps anyone out:

Scarf: I already had this fabric (it was an old curtain) which is one reason I ended up making this costume. It was a sign! It's just two thin rectangles, French-seamed in the middle and hemmed on all sides.

Sleeves: I'm not happy with them, honestly! I wanted to use brown elastic cord to "lace" them up but I couldn't find any in time, so they are just tapered bias tubes with elastic at the top. They fall down all the time and I kind of hate them. But they serve their purpose, I suppose.  

I wear it with a rose necklace that was an heirloom (another sign that I needed to make a Margaery costume) and silver ballet flats. In that scene where Margaery visits the orphanage, we see one of her handmaidens lift up her skirt to step over a puddle, and the maid is wearing a ballet-flat kind of shoe, so I figured that was plausible. I've never seen Margaery's shoes.

Probably one of my favorite pictures:

And, finally, I had the camera on continuous shot so I made a GIF of me twirling: 

-Madame Taylor

Maroon Skirt

This one is an oldie that I never photographed, but I figured I would post it. 

This was for a dance performance back in the spring, and most of the dancers got skirts from H&M and such places. I found one but it didn't fit and I figured it wouldn't be hard to make one for cheaper than the price they were asking. 
So, I surveyed Jo-Ann for fabrics that were the right color and would behave right, and they had this nice linen (it might have been a blend, I don't remember) and I bought a yard.

The pattern I stole from an existing skirt I had, which was a jersey knit so when I traced I compensated for that. It's really just a half-circle skirt cut in two pieces with a rectangle waistband. To fit mine on the fabric, I planned to have a center back seam. 

Well, I messed up a bit in the cutting of it and couldn't fit those back panels on the fabric. So, I created a "design detail" in these little triangle insets you see here. I flat-felled those seams for a nice finish.

Then of course I put the zipper on the wrong side and the back became the front, which I don't actually mind because I like having the triangle pieces in front. The seam being in the front irritates me a bit but not, like, a whole bunch. 

The interior of the waistband is hand-whipped down. The non-zipper seam is French, and the zipper seam is on the bias so I just didn't finish it. The center front seam is the selvage. 

The only other thing that bugs me about this skirt is that the interfacing didn't fuse properly on the front waistband so it gets kind of wrinkly. Someday I will go in and fix it.

Overall, though, I adore this skirt and it goes with all kinds of outfits. It behaves well in the washer and dryer, although being linen, it does wrinkle easily (but irons just as easily). I'm definitely considering making a slew of these in different colors!

-Madame Taylor

Late-Summer Shorts

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I say late summer, but in reality today was the first that felt like fall. 
I've been back at school for nearly three weeks now, and this is what I've made so far!
 I bought the pattern (Simplicity 1464) with the intention of making the pants, because I bought some palazzo pants and adore them and I wanted to make some more. However, I wanted a nice swingy rayon challis for that and I didn't find any I loved. So, I got some slightly stretchy printed cotton to make the shorts version. They only took just over a yard, so pretty inexpensive. Plus, the fabric was on sale for $3/yd. Pretty good deal. 
This was my first foray into inset pockets, and I will admit that the actual pocket is way too small to hold much at all! A chapstick and some keys, perhaps. But it was more for looks anyway, and practice. I considered putting white piping along the edge but I didn't have any, so I did this feather stitch embroidery, which I quite like. (I basted two guidelines before I started.) It also serves as topstitching to keep the (contrasting) pocket lining from peeking out.
(Note: the pattern doesn't have pockets; I added them, which is why they were too small.)

The size 14 fit me perfectly, although I discovered halfway through that my needle had been to the right and I'd been sewing 1/2" seams the whole time! I might do that on purpose for the pants when I make them, because otherwise they might end up too small. 

Time: 5-51/2 hours (under 4 for the shorts, the rest for the embroidery.)
Cost: $6 for the pattern on eBay, just over $3 for fabric, plus a stash zipper, interfacing, and thread.
Pattern: Simplicity 1464
Frustration: None with the actual pattern, just silly mistakes of my own!
First worn: Not yet!

I can only hope there will be another day warm enough to wear these, otherwise I'll probably just throw on some tights underneath because they're too cute to wait until next spring! 

-Madame Taylor

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