Monday, November 14, 2016

The Goddess Brighid

I return. Not sure what happened but for now I'm determined to be back and wow is there so much to say. But for now we shall start light. Which ironically is a pun. Especially if one knows the title of the above post. Hehehe.

For Halloween this year I decided to enter the Take Back Halloween Costume Contest. I'm fairly certain I've written about them before but for now check out takebackhalloween.org for more information.

The first entry I present is Brighid, the Celtic Goddess of Fire. She eventually become associated with a Catholic Saint of the same name.




This shot is in reference to the legend of St. Brighid and her cloak. There are several versions but the common factor is the saint spreading her cape on the land and it growing until she had space for her abbey. 


The white undergown comes from my new Celt garb I made this year, along with the belt. The original look can be seen below with the inspiration picture below. The new Celt will be detailed in another post.

I found this on Pinterest and tried to tack it back to a source. I couldn't find one but it is not my art just my inspiration. All I found of it was the figure is the Goddess Brighid, poetic?

Cheers!
Merlina

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Once Upon a Time there was a blog...

So I am back. It has been a crazy span of time in the past five almost six months, but I return, mostly unscathed. I really haven't had the motivation to be sewing and I also haven't had a chance to get things photographed so that creates problems when one attempts to write blog posts. But the sewing motivation is back and so is that ever looming faire deadline....

There has been much going in, including Regency plots (whole new wheelhouse for yours truly.) But luckily the sewing bug has returned. In the form of Once Upon a Time. 

Despite not getting to watch most of the fourth season (go away life I want to watch my show) I did give in and watch the season finale. I mean come on who wouldn't? I'm so happy Emma finally said that thing that she said to that guy w all know she wants to have tacos with. But I'm also really happy she got to wear Enchanted Forest Warrior Garb. Which is great because previously she hasn't worn anything that would work along side delicious Captain Hook's lovely leather doublet. This also means I have something I can wear. 


Isn't it just beautiful? The only thing I have so far is her sword. Because Lover got me a beautiful cutlass. It's a little more intricate then the one Emma uses (did anyone notice she used Hook's sword?) but I intend to use it anyway. I've found most of the pieces and those I haven't I hope to find soon. Must be fate. Hmm...I wonder if I'll look good blonde....

Cheers, 
Merlina

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Fantasy on Celtic Warriors

I was going to write a "This is what I made in 2014" post but then I realized I forgot to write up one of my favorite costumes. And then I realized I am really a very bad blogger. One day I'll learn how to keep up. So...here are the Celts, we did for Faire this year.

The New York Renaissance Faire gets very very hot. Every year it get so hot at least for one or two weekends we don't go. I have no argument with heat, and a great deal of respect for those who can endure in their massive gowns complete with several layers and heavy fabric. Unfortunately, heat has massive issues with me. After nearly passing out last year (I may have gone a little crazy with a newly boned corset), I promised Lover I would not wear a tight corset this year. This lead to the Warm Weather Celts.


Some preview shots. And me messing around. I made the pieces spread out over a long time. Lover's shirt was by far the easiest. I foolishly hand hemmed the 4 yard band of my plaid, as well as Lover's but that was just the two 1 yard end pieces. My gown started as sleeveless, and laces down the back with goldish embroidery on the neck.

My gown was roughly 3-4 yards of green cotton I found in the stash lined in about a yard of muslin, which I used to drape the pattern a la a medieval gown. Which is also how the gown is patterned. I sewed by machine for the gown save the hem and biding at neck and arms. 
Lover's was really easy, all I had to do was hem his plaid and make the shirt. The shirt I did completely on machine. The pants were from his original garb. 

Lover added in his armor and sword himself, then had a little fun with the woad designs. We wore our garb twice. And I too had fun with the woad, at least the first time. 


As you notice from my picture, I look rather liquidy and very red. I was so badly sunburned after the day I had to be super careful what I wore on my shoulders. Luckily the woad lines on my face faded rather quickly. But they were present enough for people to comment. So I went back to the drawing board and did this:

I added long sleeves with a bit of white fabric I found in my stash, Totally behaved like a cotton or cotton blend, but very light and airy. And no woad for me. I decided I was the princess. :)


Finally our gallant warrior and his princess. 

Cheers and Happy New Year!
Merlina

Saturday, November 1, 2014

In Which Maleficent Wins Halloween

Happy Halloween! Well technically the day after Halloween. But I wasn't ready to write the blog post until today - so - Happy Halloween!

I trust by now we have all unlaced our stays from the delights of chocolate and other sugary delicacies. Or are realizing that was one short cut on the costume we should not have take. I fall in the later camp since I didn't actually get to my costume until Monday, roughly 5 days before Halloween, and finished it five minutes before I was due out to an event. (Sound familiar?) It was to be really simple, I was going to wear my pirate from last faire season and my new cutlass, but then I bruised a couple ribs and couldn't wear a corset, so out came Maleficent.

It is truly terrifying to go dig out a half finished costume (half may be putting it lightly) after the influence of several glasses of wine. Insert freak out here. And then to realize there needs to be accessories and a fabric store run. And then next day led to two runs to the hardware store. (For headpiece and staff)

To begin we have the accessories.
PVC pipe with watering orb on top as orb on Maleficent's staff. I wrapped the pipe in painters tape to give it texture and grip for the paint. 

The Staff with the added pieces at the top. I cut down the swirls on the right because it didn't look evil enough. At this point the orb was wrapped in tinfoil and out to the backyard with the spray paint!

The paper mache layer over the headpiece. Yes my head form is a can of tomatoes over a wine bottle. I have no shame. And no head form. 

There wasn't sufficient time to paper mache the headpiece all together so I just used more painters tape. This shows the painted staff too. I believe this was Wednesday. So far no robe...

Required Feline Assistance. You can see the base of the horn to the left of the picture. The right picture shows the horn form and a completed horn. This was Monday? Or maybe Sunday. I can't remember. The kitty is Sylvester. He likes to help.

The lefr shows the spray painted headpiece and the right with some of the purple decorations I believe the left was the "OMG It fits!" moment.

Sylvester assists again. "I'm so bored, why are you playing with my bed?" He had spent the last few days on the fabric. 

In progress shots of the robe. I love the color contrast. And the sleeves are amazing! There will definitely be more on this. And we can also see the train. There is just something about a fabulous train that puts a girl in character. 

And now the finished robe! More pictures coming I swear.


Happy Halloween!

Cheers!
Merlina



Friday, October 10, 2014

A Tudor Gentleman and Lady

So we plotted and planned for Faire, then life got in the way. However I got part of the plot done, and then it go adapted. And I still need to do something about these sleeves.


Close up showing the white fabric with the subtle design

Quilting the canvas interlining. I wanted to experiment with minimal boning for Tudor Dress

 Fitting. This is just two layers of cotton canvas quilted together with vertical lines as if for boning. The canvas and quilting gives quite a good shape. I added two strips of flat reed to the center front and a pair on either side of the lacing. The fashion fabric was mounted on the top of the lining. I also like how smooth the sides and front are. The only seams is the side back.

Handsewn partlet, because after wicked sunburn it is 110% necessary. 

Trims on the left: silver cord, fancy silvery trim and black velvet ribbon. And then the way they were sewn on to the right. I love using simple trim to build up the design. Just one would not be enough. And ironically the trim was the cheapest part of the gown. 

If I remember correctly this was shortly after I stitched on the last of the trim, Had to see what it looked like! This is just over my handsewn shift (because we must brag about that) and a prequilted fabric turned petticoat. 


Cheap paper fan decorated to accompany the gown. Fans in summer are very important. 


AND *drum roll* Pictures from faire!

Lover having fun!

Lover's attire as a proper abet still roguish gentleman for the day. All save the hat and bracers are from previous years. I made the hat the night before. Along with my hood. 


My gown! It actually came together really well. I lined the sleeve turn backs in net a la Jane Seymour. I also had black velvet under sleeves. Which are currently tucked in my pockets because they were too hot. I also have my French hood. I made it based off the information here: http://www.modehistorique.com/research/ReconstructingTheFrenchHood_06-2009.pdf

I did cheat a little, I do not like coifs. So my pleated ribbon is stitched on a band like a medieval veil. I also have a muslin braid beneath my hood for the braid that would have been worn of one's own hair. (Previous pictures show I do not possess sufficient hair.) Everything is then pinned together. So many pins! My neck and shoulders hurt for days after. This is quite a heavy gown and headdress. 

And a quasi close up/cute picture.

There should be more on Nefertari soon and the Celt Warrior and his Queen. As well as a head first off the high dive jump into TWO, read that TWO new eras which have previously only been dabbled in!

Cheers!
Merlina

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

She for Whom the Sun Shines

This is the photo heavy photo shoot for my full Ancient Egyptian gown. I still want the vulture crown and my bracelets were not dry, but we took advantage of the weather. And now for the gown and all the context. And so we know, by far I am no Egypt expect. In this post, I'm the author painting a picture of a world gone by.

It is 1280 BCE, Ramses II is newly upon the throne of Egypt, a superpower of the Ancient World. Later to be known as Ramses the Great for his military and political prowess as well as the numerous monuments he erected all over Egypt. It is the carvings we see another side to Ramses, he was a man deeply in love with Nefertari, his queen.

http://euler.slu.edu/~bart/egyptianhtml/kings%20and%20Queens/Queen_Nefertari.html

It is upon the walls of Nefertari's tomb we see how deeply Ramses loved his queen. We also get the poetry which I used as the basis to this challenge.

Real Quick, The Challenge Facts:
The Challenge: #18 Poetry in Motion 
The Item: Ancient Egyptian Overdress, dated to the New Kingdom, more or less
The Fabric: 3 yards White Linen, gauze weight
Pattern: Looked at the pretty paintings, went from there
Year: Reign of Ramesses II, 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE
Notions: Linen thread, hook and eye
How Historically Accurate is it? Um. It’s linen, which Egyptians used, it looks like the pictures but there's not much evidence to show how to make this. It's more theatrical. But is hand sewn too. Also the train is not accurate as far as is known but I really wanted the train, looks fancy. I'd say 40-50% because of linen, hand sewn and looking the part.
Hours to Complete: Roughly 24 hours total
First Worn: For the photo shoot and some quick pictures
How is this Poetry? I took my influence from the poetry in Nefertari's tomb. It was written by Ramesses to honor her. He called her "she who makes the sun shine, just in her passing she has stolen my heart."


In the pictures I am wearing the gown from Pretty Pretty Princesses last year, my belt from an earlier challenge which name is escaping me, the robe for this challenge, my beautiful jeweled sandals, a black wig cut short, a wide collar from Egypt, and my crescent moon headpiece because it works. 

And now for all the pretty pictures. 








 Walk like an Egyptian!


 We are a tomb carving!


 At this point I gave up on the wig. Red hair is period anyway. Ramses had red hair 

Close up of the makeup

And there you have it! Nefertari! Up next we have the making of the pieces as well as the Tudor Lady. Then tis on to Halloween and two new eras well not new but new requiring full wardrobes! 

Cheers, 
Merlina