A fitting

Jul. 17th, 2012 10:43 am
melaniesuzanne: (sewing)
Last night I fit a friend for a c15 Venetian gamurra bodice. This was my first solo fitting and I think it went fairly well all things considered. Her shoulders aren't at all even and, due to some back issues, one actually points forward. Thank goodness draping is my strong suit.

She's excited about making her new dress and I'm excited for her. She says that if it comes out well, she will tell everybody who helped her. I asked that if it doesn't turn out well, she not tell anyone. :)

So. She has a useable toile and I ~almost~ have a renewed desire to make some Venetian clothes. Almost.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The purple dress I wore on Saturday was made of a light wool gabardine lined with a light cotton broadcloth (I know, I know... I didn't have enough of the correct fabric). However, my dress was extremely heavy due to the volume of fabric in the skirt. My shoulders and back ached after wearing the ensemble for only six hours. I am, obviously, unused to wearing this type of garment.

The purple dress also has a moderately-sized train to match trains depicted in period artwork. I have learned how to walk with trains and overly long hemlines; although, going up stairs is still problematic. What I marvel at is how these ladies of the past were able to navigate the narrow stair bridges of Venice in these voluminous gowns. Plus, they were tottering about on chopines and getting in and out of gondolas and the period equivalent of vaporettos. The mind boggles. Or at least mine does. I'd have been in those canals more often than Lord Byron, I guarantee.

In other news, I made my back and shoulders ache even more and added my thighs, butt, and abs to the chorus of "ow" with the 40-minute advance workout on the Valarie DVD. I did about 35 minutes of the workout -- there were five minutes of squat- and lunge-jumps that I just can't do yet -- and didn't feel like I'd die. So, that's improvement. In all honesty, I did pause the workout a few times so I could catch my breath, blow my nose, or gulp some water. But, I did the majority of it. I'll do the 20 minute workout tonight, take a break tomorrow, and do the 40 minute killer again on Wednesday. There are two cute, spring skirts hanging in my closet that I purchased four years ago and I've never been small enough to wear. I am going to wear them this spring.
melaniesuzanne: (Venentian: Purple & green)
I wore my purple, yellow, and green ensemble to Ponte Alto's Baronial Investiture event yesterday. The dress received many oohs and aahs, which completely made my day. The ensemble isn't complete, but it will be for Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival in two weeks. Two weeks! What a luxury of time!

I started with a few inspiration pictures which showed me the shapes of the necklines, the hemlines, and fabric textures as well as various ways to style my hair. Inspiration. )

[livejournal.com profile] belfebe kindly snapped photos of me at the event. I didn't think to pull the overdress back to show off the yellow lining. Trust me: it's there! :) In the side view, my St Ursula-inspired fall and ghirlanda is visible. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] allasondrea for styling my fall.

Mardi Gras ensemble, 1/22/11 Mardi Gras ensemble, 1/22/11
At Ponte Alto Investiture. Photo by Laura Martinez.
Mardi Gras ensemble, 1/22/11 Mardi Gras ensemble, 1/22/11
Baronial Investiture. Photo by Laura Martinez.


One last photo. Imagine my shock and delight at rediscovering THIS color combination in my collection of pictures of late 15th century Venetian ladies. I've been reinspired with how to embellish my overdress. Mmmm... pearls, ahoy!

Dorothea Zacarias Dorothea Zacarias
Unknown Venetian Artist, c1505: Dorothea Zacarias from the Memorie della famiglia Freschi.
melaniesuzanne: (Venetian: pink cioppa)
I'm so happy with how my green under dress is turning out. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it has the correct look for 1495 Venice. I've decided not to cut the excess length off the skirt and instead roll it into the hem. That way the skirt will be long enough for chopines whenever I get around to making a pair of those. At this point, I need to finish the sleeves and sew up the hem and the dress will be ready for pictures and wearing. I don't think I'll get the trim and pearls in place for Investiture, but the dress should be all blinged out for KASF in two weeks.

The over dress is making me nervous. The lining fabric will -- if the UPS site is to be believed -- be on my doorstep this evening. I'll let that launder while I hem the under dress. Then I get to cut, pin, and sew the overdress skirt tonight. That'll give me Friday night to hem the overdress and build an appropriate mess o' Venetian hair.

I cannot overstate how excited I am to wear an ensemble that looks Venetian. My now-too-big gamurre and giornee were made in the Florentine style because I didn't know any better. Granted, this new under dress is not self-supporting, but I allowed myself that cheat so I could more easily take in the dress as I shrink. I think that's fair for the time being. But, most importantly, new clothes! Yay!

Oh, and I realized that I didn't explain why I'm calling this the Mardi Gras ensemble. Well here you go: purple overdress lined in yellow and green under dress trimmed in gold. Powdered in beignets. No, I'm kidding about the beignets. But you know, a King Cake would make one bitchin' (if a bit sticky) balzo.
melaniesuzanne: (Venetian: pink cioppa)
Whoo! It took about three hours of trial and error and drafting and draping and I have finally developed a bodice pattern for a Venetian overdress, circa 1495. I'm mostly happy with it. Tuesday's choir practice is canceled and I will use the newly freed-up time to pleat the skirt into the bodice and see if my pattern works.

I'm looking forward to the test. I'm also looking forward to starting the underdress.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I have yet to do anything with that lightweight linen which is still hanging in my closet to keep the wrinkles at bay. Monday, I was too pooped to want to slave away in the craft room. Tuesday was an impromptu visit from [livejournal.com profile] courtney_d_h and choir practice. Wednesday was my bi-weekly project call with the Aussie team. Tonight there will copious amounts of tequila in my system. Tomorrow night is the newcomers' meeting at [livejournal.com profile] azpapillon and [livejournal.com profile] flonzy's place where I will, hopefully, finish sewing the skirt of the pink gamurra I started, but didn't finish, for last year's Pennsic. That leaves much of Saturday and Sunday for working on camicie.

I don't know why I'm putting this project off aside from these will be my first camicie as opposed to a 14th/15th century English smock. I'm using Jen Thompson's design with bits of Artemisia Moltabocca's ideas mixed in for good measure. Honestly, it doesn't look that difficult. I'm putting it off for no good reason.

One of my "put-off sewing" projects is to repaint the pavilion's finials. They've been gold for several years, but I liked the red on the pavilion SO MUCH that I'm going to paint the finials to match. I might even paint the dogbones on my ropes red. We'll see.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
That's what Margie's doing. When she and Oreo aren't chasing each other around the house like crazed weasels, that is. I don't like how still and heavy the air is, and the pressure is hurting my ears. I'm ready for the storm to break (which should be any minute now if the Weather Channel is to be believed).

The truck is sporting her new plates. Now I need to carve out some time to turn in the older plates and GPFINK plates to the DMV.

My Droid Incredible arrived this afternoon and is charging up. It's so pretty and I can't wait to play with it. Hubbyfink's looking forward to playing with it as well so he can decide if that's the direction he wants to go when he gets rid of his Blackberry.

I've got costuming ideas bubbling in my brain and will probably fire [livejournal.com profile] pippas_projects back up in a week or two as I dissect the dress depicted in this 1495 drawing by Albrecht Durer. The back of the dress has a similar construction to those depicted in Gentile Bellini's art; although, most of the women in Bellini's pictures are in the background and it is difficult to determine the construction. But anyway, thinking about this style of dress is my current diversion from slipping directly to sleep when I crawl into bed.

WHOO HOO

Jan. 20th, 2010 10:58 am
melaniesuzanne: (Venetian: pink cioppa)
My copy of the exhibit catalog for On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels is en route. I cannot WAIT to get my grubby paws on it!
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hey! Not only am I upright, I am also in the office. Whoa. That hasn't happened for two weeks. Not only am I in the office, I was in early because I suspected there might be a call with the engineering team in India (there was). I won't say that I'm bursting with energy, but I am happy to be out of the house and wearing something other than PJs or sweats. I've had only one horrific coughing fit in the last two hours -- while on the phone with Bossman, natch; he said, "Okay, okay, I believe that you've been sick. You don't have to put on a show!" -- which is a personal best since last Tuesday. Spending most of yesterday crashed out on the sofa and/or in bed definitely helped with the healing.

While I was zombie-esque this weekend, I couldn't do much besides grind away at Farmville (shut up; I can quit anytime) and dream about things Venetian. I've decided that my next sewing project with be a ca. 1490s ensemble like that depicted in Durer's "Drawing of a Venetian Lady". I also want to learn how to make chopines. The chopine project will have to wait until the basement remodel is further along, though. In the meantime, I can research to my heart's content. I'm also noodling about teaching a University class about Venice's history beyond courtesans, canals, and Carnivale. We shall see.

Geek alert

Dec. 1st, 2009 10:02 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Venetian: pink cioppa)
Hubbyfink's playing Assassin's Creed 2 which is set in 1480s Florence and Venice, and I'm critiquing the clothes of the NPCs in the background. There have been some decent outfits, but I've spotted an Elizabethan-era tall hat and the Florentine whores are wearing the 16th century pointy Venetian hairstyle (did they wear that style in Florence?). The street doctor is wearing a plague mask; that's a nice touch. Most of the women are in gamurre; I've seen a couple of giornee. Hubbyfink's spotted some chaperones and bag hats among the men.

I'm anxiously awaiting his character's arrival in Venice. Heh heh heh.

ETA: Neck ruffs?? In 1480 Florence?? Say it ain't so!
melaniesuzanne: (sewing)
I'm building quite a wardrobe of Italian clothes for Pennsic. I built my first gamurra and giornea last weekend and today I cut out and assembled fabric for three more gamurre. Behold! Productivity! )

While I spent Sunday afternoon cooped up in the sweatshop craft room, Hubbyfink worked on my clothes rack in the back yard. I think he enjoyed quality time with his power tools. We just might finish all these Pennsic projects on time.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I was feeling well enough to sew last night and I finished the sleeves to go with the peach gamurra. I was too worn out after the sleeves to do any handwork on the actual dress, though. I should be able to finish both arm holes before tonight's call and perhaps even begin tacking down the lining. I doubt I will, but I would like to finish this dress before Friday so that I can focus on painting the pavilion top this weekend.

My dad and stepmom are in town this weekend and we'll get to see the DC fireworks from his hotel room. I'm pretty stoked about that (and about seeing them and showing off the house, of course). Their visit takes a chunk out of project time, but I'd probably be vegging out during that time anyway. I don't expect to pull off any decoration beyond stripes for this Pennsic thanks to my hemming, hawing, and procrastination, but that's okay.

In and around painting, I'd like to make two more gamurras (Atlantian blue and goose turd green), finish the gold and red giornea I've cut out, and perhaps make another giornea. Oh, and figure out headwear. My chin length hair won't cut it for historical hair.

Not panicking. Nope.
melaniesuzanne: (sewing)
Oh my goodness, it's a two-fer! Happy birthdays, [livejournal.com profile] martelvonc and [livejournal.com profile] tattycat! *confetti*

I worked on a pattern for the bodice of a gamurra (or, Italian fitted kirtle) last night. My 14th century kirtle bodice pattern was the base. Going off clues in [livejournal.com profile] salviati's documentation and [livejournal.com profile] kath_a's dress diary, I raised and squared the neckline, widened the shoulder straps, nipped in the arm holes, and snipped away the fabric a couple of inches below my bust. I still need to fiddle with the seams on the sides and front opening because my breasts are being both supported and smooshed. I suppose I need a wee bit more ease across the bustline while keeping the fabric directly below very tight.

I'm a little nervous about construction because I've never made a dress with a waist seam nor have I made a skirt with gathers. Are there any tricks or tips for gathering a skirt? I keep thinking about cheating with elastic (please stop glaring, [livejournal.com profile] danabren), but I'm sure there's a better way...

ETA: Okay, so not gathers; pleats. I'd been thinking pleats, but then I read something about gathers and that messed me up. Thanks for the input, ladies. :)
melaniesuzanne: (Venice)
I spent much of last night combing the Googleweb for insight into how to build a gamurra and a gironea (your documentation was high on the list, [livejournal.com profile] salviati!) and I think I just might be able to knock a couple of these out before Pennsic. I can adjust my fitted kirtle "pattern" into a fitted gamurra bodice, adjust the sleeve pattern a bit, and play with attaching a gathered skirt into a bodice. The linen I'll use will be extremely downscale for my persona, but I'd rather be comfortable than gorgeous. :) And I'll look the part of an Italian person. Whoo hoo! I am so excited about making a new-to-me style of clothing.

In semi-related news, I've resubmitted a name change with the Golden Dolphin Herald. In seven months or so I'll (hopefully) officially be Signora Pippa Morosini; in the meantime, people are getting used to calling me Pippa instead of Millicent. I like it. :)
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
Hubbyfink and I braved the torrential storms and attended today's Challenge of the Novice Heart Tourney because we're insane and that's how we roll. We visited with [livejournal.com profile] thatpotteryguy and [livejournal.com profile] jljonsn while waiting for a short break in the weather so we could erect the shade without getting completely soaked. We were all set up by the time [livejournal.com profile] tattycat joined us and pretty much decorated when the rain started back up. During the heaviest rain, there was one spot where the rain pooled up and caused a steady waterfall; [livejournal.com profile] tattycat moved the chair back from the "water feature" and we called it good. We all got lightly misted, but that certainly beats getting drenched.

The shade got lots of compliments, which tickled me pink, and we enjoyed the company of many, many friends. [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I put out a yummy spread of sourdough bread, three cheeses, red grapes, garlic pie, chicken in green (sage) sauce, plump strawberries, cherry bread pudding, candied ginger, sekanjabin and lots and lots and LOTS of water. It was a bounty of food and, happily, many people partook of the nibblies. PG's sage chicken got RAVE reviews, and I wish I'd snagged some of her cherry pudding to bring home. Oh, so yummy!

When the skies cleared, I wandered down the row and found myself pawing through [livejournal.com profile] duchesssimone's bolts of fabric. You don't need fabric! my sensible side hollered at me. But I don't have LINEN! my spendy side yelled back. I walked out with five yards each of Atlantian blue, coral, and goose turd green linen. Her Fabricness also had the most amazing silk which would be PERFECT for a recreation of the sleeves and underdress worn by Caterina Cornaro in Gentile Bellini's "Miracle of the Cross on the Bridge of San Lorenzo". Nattering. ) Duchess Simone said the silk was very Italian-looking and I agreed. But I couldn't remember in which picture I'd seen fabric like that when I was in her shop and I couldn't think of what part of the outfit had that fabric which meant that I had no idea how much to buy. So I had to pass, but I know where the fabric is located.

Hubbyfink and I pulled the shade down and packed up the Prius in record time. Court was short and sweet with [livejournal.com profile] geoffreyapclywd's induction as a Companion of the Pearl and [livejournal.com profile] courtney_d_h's husband's inclusion in the Order of the Coral Branch. Hooray!
melaniesuzanne: (Venice)
So. I was all excited about my persona name change. Well, I was excited about the first name portion anyway. I wasn't in love with Martelli but it was the best M-name I located to match the Florentine Pippa. But all the while I've been pining for Morosini.

Piiiiining.

I finally got a big enough bee in my bonnet to ask some heralds about mixing names from different Italian states. Unbeknownst to me, until last night, the College of Heralds treats the Italian states as one country. Whoo hoo!

I have now potentially annoyed one herald by asking her to withdraw my name submission and potentially annoyed another by asking her to draw up new name paperwork. Hopefully I've mitigated some of the annoyance by providing all the documentation she'll need for the paperwork. I should probably bake them some brownies as a peace offering as well... And I've promised that this will be my last name submission. For this year, anyway.
melaniesuzanne: (Venice)
I started reading Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society by Stanley Chojnacki last night so I'd have half a clue about what sort of society my persona might have lived in. While the book focuses on the noble class, there are tantalizing tidbits about the upper merchant class as well. According to this author, Venetian wives in the renaissance experienced slightly more financial freedom than their Milanese or Florentine counterparts, especially as widows. Their dowries did not belong to their husbands or in-laws; the women maintained some sort of control over the dispensation of that fund and, when widowed, received the dowry back with no strings. However, noble women were still fairly restricted in where they could physically go; men ruled the public areas while women remained behind closed doors. That answers my question of why there are so few women (noble or otherwise) in paintings of Venetian exteriors.

The other big question for my new persona -- an early to mid-15th century merchant's daughter/wife/or widow -- is what kind of clothes would she wear? Answer: pretty much what the French and English were wearing. No, really. I've found pictures of women in houppelandes and v-necked gowns. The kirtles I've seen have silhouettes which aren't as elegantly fitted as the French version, but they're still present. Oh, so many gorgeously clad men in these paintings and oh so very few women. But they can be found hiding in the backgrounds and in windows if you peruse carefully with a magnifying glass. I'm tagging the pictures in the art books with post-it flags so I can go on a scanning spree and create a survey of c15 Venetian women's clothing. Italy did exist before the 16th century! ;)

Miscellany

May. 26th, 2009 02:54 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Being out of the office for a week and a half has whet my appetite for more vacation. Thankfully, bossman and coworkers are giving me space to catch up today; I'm sure I'll be hounded with emails and phone calls tomorrow. Bossman has also graciously said he'll handle tonight's 10pm call and I don't have to participate. We loves the Bossman, oh yes we do.

I will be at choir practice tonight. I think it's been two months since my last appearance? That can't be right... Well, maybe it is. We have four practices before our next performance and I need to get my behind voice in gear. Sources say the alto section has been fairly thin lately.

I've been chatting with the local herald and she's compiling a name change packet for my SCA persona. I will keep Millicent Chandler as an alternate and my primary persona name will (hopefully) be Pippa Martelli. According to the Academy of St. Gabriel site, "Pippa" and "Martelli" are found in the Catasto of Florence of 1427. Right time period, not quite right location. A little hand-waving and everything will be okay. And it's not like I don't like Florence; it's certainly easier to find clothing resources in my preferred time period in that location! But... you know how it is. Ah, stubborness: it's a good thing you're not a deadly sin.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
There's something about Monday and Tuesday. They've been kicking me in the teeth for a few months now and I'm not entirely sure why that happens. My guess is the time difference and our comrades in Australasia have a day to find lots of things that have gone wrong over the weekend so by the time the Americans (I can't call myself a Yank, I just can't) come online, there's already been a flurry of emails. Then we spend two days cleaning up the mess. I can breathe a little more easily on Wednesday.

I've purchased cheerful fabric for craft room curtains. I'll line the cheerful stuff with blackout fabric and that will, hopefully, douse enough of the backyard Barad-dur light for those times the craft room is a guest room. It's funny: everytime I pass the craft room door, I can see the finished room in my mind's eye.

I haven't written much about 15th century Venice in a week or so but I'm still thinking about it. There's a stack of art books (and one of [livejournal.com profile] carthew's music books) on the coffee table. I've been squirreling away info about the republic's history. I'm trying not to be discouraged that most information about Venetian women is focused on courtesans. Thank you, no. There was soooo much else going on and I've only scratched the surface.

Squee!

Apr. 10th, 2009 01:48 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Tacuinum Sanitatis: roses)
It's arrived! My copy of the Met catalogue Venice and the Islamic World 828-1797 arrived today and it's *gorgeous*. Oh, the ceramics and glass and bronze and paintings and drawings...

I'll be in my bunk.

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