lunedì 20 ottobre 2014

A medieval dress: Butterick 4571 review

Some weeks ago I got in my inbox a sweet gift the amazing model and costumer Jeanette Cederström Karlsson from Sweden. She sent me some beautiful jewels to modelling with and I immediately thought they would have been great with a costume I was planning to sew. I saw this pattern by Butterick several months ago on Ebay but I wasn't interested in it since I wasn't planning to craft a medieval/fantasy dress with a fitted bodice and sleeves: 

Then I thought I had to try something different from my normal kind of dresses, and so I bought it. The line of the dress is really nice, with a huge square neckline and double sleeves. I felt in love with the white design on the right but since I don't love how pure white looks on me, I bought a sand crushed velvet. I find Butterick patterns richer in illustrations than Simplicity ones, but the instructions are very poor. This dress looks good on tall girls with a nice breast, and I'm not tall or prosperous neither lol! I used a size 10 but the dress fits quite large. I avoided the laced closure on the back but I had to tighten the bodice a lot; on the other hand, the skirt was perfect. The construction of the gown has been quite simple except for the wrong size and the kind of fabric which isn't hard enough to stay fitted around the bust. I had to add a strip of white lace on to hide the generous neckline. Hiding the seam of the waist line has been hard as well: the fabric I used was too soft and continued to fall down so I had to hide it with a belt instead of the wide trim which appears on the pattern cover. 
The skirt is really wide and with a beautiful train. At last, I decorated the neckline and upper arms with a beautiful gold trim.

The dress is wonderful and really rich but...okay...I don't like how it fits me. I have to keep a rigid posture during the whole shooting to avoid wrinkles on the bodice. So bad. 
The belt I'm wearing in these shots is by Armstreet but then I sewn one by my own in white satin. 
I didn't take many photos during the work in progress but I've to admit it looks really good in professional shootings. 

Here you can find the photos taken with the jewellery by Jeanette. The jewels she sent me consist in a crown, a pair of earrings and a choker. 

All photos have been taken and processed by Lele Photography

Don't forget to visit her pages:

Some updates at September-October 2015:

I completely re-sewn the dress. Every part has been unstitched and sewn again. After a whole year of work my skills improved quite a lot and yeah, my creations cannot be compared to the previous ones thanks to my serger. So I serged this costume and I did few alterations for a new fitting since I decided to sell it. This is not my kind of style, my hips are too large to suit this design and so alas, it will be listed on my Etsy shop in a while. 
The bodice has been resized to a bust of 85 cm and I added metal eyelets replacing the old lace lacing. The trim has been stitched again, all by hand, for a perfect finish. The neckline has been raised up so I could avoid the lace strip (I don't have a generous bust so I hate when clothes fall off) and has been trimmed with cotton bias tape.
The trim has been applied to the pointy sleeves - so medieval! 

I love, love, love how it turned out! I recently sewn a similar dress in white for a customer but I'll talk about it in another post ;) 

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My Bliaut inspired dress (XII-XIII century)

Hello there!
Today I'm here to talk you about one of my last sewing projects. I was a reenactor years ago and I 've always been in love with the medieval dress for excellence, the Norman "bliaut". It's the typical, feminine, medieval dress with long sleeves and V neckline, the fitted waist and the flattering skirt. This model was very popular during Norman period in Europe, around XI and XII century. 
I never had enough money to buy a good bliaut so I chose to sew one by my own. It's not accurate (as my other costumes) 'cause good historical dresses need lot of money I don't have at the moment. I try to do the best I can with my own resources. 
For my bliaut I used about 4 mt of burgundy linen and 6 mt of embroidered trim. The pattern has been designed by myself, using an old medieval dress which I bought online years ago as reference (very similar to the historical model). I did some variations: my original dress has lacing on the back and I substituted it with a more accurate side lacing with hand-sewn round eyelets. The result is more or less this one (see photo below).
I'm not a great fan of linen (especially if it's not soft) and I try to avoid it every time I can. A good bliaut can be sewn in silk as well for a very noble look but I wanted to give to linen another chance and so I bought it. I found the woven trim at a local market for a very cheap and affordable price. 

After cutting the fabric I pinned both sides and sleeves obtaining this result: 

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The dress was too tight on the hips for my tastes and so I added the side lacing to adjust it (I'd like to thank my friend Cristiano for his precious suggestion about side lacing! - he saved this project). The solution was simply perfect and the dress fitted me perfectly. So I started adding the trim on sleeves, neckline and hem. I had enough trim enough for a belt too.

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Some photos of the finished dress: 

I love, love how it turned out! The sleeves could be more fitted and the skirt wider, but I don't care. I'm planning a matching veil for a more accurate look. 

venerdì 3 ottobre 2014

Raduno multiepocale di gruppi storici alla Cittadella d'Alessandria

Domenica scorsa siamo stati nuovamente ospiti della Nona Regio al Raduno Multiepocale di Alessandria. L'evento, giunto ormai alla terza edizione, si è tenuto alla Cittadella della città racchiudendo un periodo storico vastissimo, dall'antica Roma sino ai soldati napoleonici (non ho visto figuranti di altre epoche, quindi presumo che tutto si fermasse agli albori dell'800). Come lo scorso anno siamo andati a trovare i nostri amici romani, che con la loro ospitalità ci hanno rifatto vivere lo splendore di Roma per un giorno, deliziandoci con nuove spiegazioni relative alla vita quotidiana e non dei nostri antenati. 
Per l'occasione ho sfoggiato l'outfit che mi ero preparata all'inizio della primavera per un altro evento con loro, al quale però mancammo; rispetto allo scorso anno ho curato più i dettagli studiando diverse statue dell'epoca e riproduzioni di altri rievocatori. In aggiunta, sono riuscita a trovare un buon pettinino che non mi strappasse i capelli e reggesse il peso della palla, completando al meglio il look, ma come acconciatura mi sono limitata ad una normalissima treccia. Per quanto riguarda il trucco, ho potuto approfittare di una seduta di makeup romano a dir poco elettrizzante, realizzato dalla domina Amandia Atia Arria, che aveva a disposizione un arsenale molto ben fornito di trucco minerale e filologico, assieme al necessario per realizzarlo (pinzette, bastoncini, specchietto ecc ecc). Per approfondire l'argomento, vi consiglio di visitare il mio post dedicato alla toeletta delle donne romane:

Se potete, non perdetevi gli eventi della Nona Regio! Questo è solo un assaggio di ciò che vi attende! 

Nona Regio su Facebook:

Photo by Lele Photography
Photo by Lele Photography
Photo by Lele Photography

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