Saturday, January 19, 2013

YoSD Commission 1700's Man's Outfit for KingofChains

I've got this on my 72 cm boy pattern list, but this post is an updating progress report for a YoSD client (KingofChains).

Credit: Patterns for Theatrical Costumes by K.S. Holkeboer,  published by Prentice Hall Press, 1984
Right click for larger image in another window.

Design Reference Photos from the V&A Collection  For the Basic Over all Profile. 

Victoria and Albert museum image 1

victoria and albert museum image 2
The back of the coat will be more pleated than this.   Museums don't like to iron  centuries old clothing. 

victoria and albert museum image 3

January 25, 2013 

For this YoSD commission, the vest and coat will be embroidered in the Court Suit manner  with bright yellow carnations and green and bronze leaves, and plum accents to match the coat fabric. The 'shirt' will be a collar and sleeves with falling ruffle cuffs sewn on inside the vest, cutting down on layers.  The neck piece will be the long scarf, not a lace fall.  Where ever possible, pockets and buttons will work.  
The commission consists of:  a vest with false shirt, a scarf, a pair of breeches, and a jacket, estimated time from  my receiving the fabric: 4 weeks.
Carnation embroidery pattern
Feb 5, 2013  

Fabric has arrived.  
Questionnaire sent to lock down final project descriptions. Fabric excellent and in preparation. Patterning to be completed: The over coat. I need to match some thread and embroidery floss now that I have the fabric in hand to take to the store.  

Feb 7, 2013

Finishing up patterning.  

Feb 9, 2013

Paper towel toil.  I actually got this sorted last night, but then had something come up and didn't get to finish with the redrawing and photo taking.  While trying to get everything as tight as possible, I still want the sleeves to go on over the hands.  Nothing irritates me more than having to remove body parts to dress a doll. The pin marks the real end of the sleeve. The rest is hem allowance.  (Remember you can see a very large photo if you right click and open in a new tab or window.  'Lightbox' only makes things slightly bigger and 'pretty'. )

Keeping in mind that my YoSD has a 1 cm narrower hip measure and that the pattern is inside out with the seam allowances showing. I also have to allow for paper towel being thinner than fabric, and the pocket flaps will add more bulk.  I'm going to stagger the pockets, the ones on the coat being higher than the ones on the vest.  The fan pleat effect on the skirt coat is historically correct in placement but I think I'll move it back around the corner of the hip just a bit more.  Markings are for seam changes, real hem lines and placement.  This is what a toil is necessary for.  The lower back seam needs a curve worked into it, but the side pieces haven't been separated yet, so that's more work, and re-positioning the shoulder seams for a correct historical  position (tight sleeves, tight fit, bias seams for ease of wearing). 


I didn't show the pants toil yet because they're pretty much perfect and I didn't have to do anything to the pattern.  I'm going to put the pleats in the back, minimal, but they will be for show only, the baggy bulk won't be there.
These are not the pants you are searching for. >.>;;

I was just about to start cutting the actual garments out when it hit me.  Yeah, better re-think that. I have to get the pattern perfect, use muslin this time, then draw the pattern on the fashion fabric, the design on the fabric and embroider it first, then cut out the outfit.  So the pattern now has to be made up completely in muslin, fitted, and taken apart, and traced on the fashion fabric. No fitting in the process of completing the actual garment. The embroidery is the easy part. ^_^  The pants, shirt pieces and scarf, I'll get out of the way while making up the muslin of the coat and vest.  Then I'll position the embroidery pattern on the muslin pieces and use that as my working 'cartoon'. 

Feb 13, 2013

Shirt sleeves and collar, scarf and pants cut out and next to the sewing machine (I have a bunch of white stuff to sew, saves on thread changes), still considering detail / pattern tweaks. 

Feb 14, 2013

Still adjusting the pattern.  The cut of garments has changed considerably in 300 years, and my mind is balking for some reason.  Simple never is 'simple'.  The tight fit of the upper torso is like tight jeans, the fit is achieved through clever use of bias seams.  Too much and you have bagginess, too little and you have  no room to move, plus, a doll has quite different joints from a human.  We're a bit more squishy.  Like a woman who's willing to jam herself into too tight clothing or shoes 2 sizes too small.  Dolls are smarter than us. >.>;;  When they can't, they don't.  Wider arm holes than a human, for the joint to move and a bit more width in the chest for that movement of the arms, plus, the doll is a horseman, so I have to allow for the sleeves to move with the doll properly for posing. 
For the temporally curious, the original pattern for this outfit is here, on A Frolic Through Time, posted the same week I was contacted about this outfit. ^_^  

Feb 18, 2013

The false shirt pieces are done, except for some thread clipping, but I have to stop at a certain time of day and I wanted to get a photo.  The sleeves look a bit long, but I have to finish the vest and set them before I know how long they really have to be.  I used a scallop stitch to finish the ends and 1/8 inch wide elastic in the wrists to mimic a gathered cuff.  The scarf test tied a bit bulky.  I'm thinking of making it thinner and pressing in the pleats finer.  The pants need the cuffs sewn up by hand and then the buttons and button holes, so they are in the hand sewing box for now.  The web site for the doll says Waist 13, but then adds Waist Circumference 14 cm.  I'm confused.  Right now they are at the exact 14 cms, and loose on my little YoSD's 12 cm waist, but I knew my doll was a cm or so thinner, and my doll has a longer thigh than the customer's doll.  (They need pressing, too, but they aren't done yet!)  Remember to right click and open in a new tab or window for the full size photo. 

Feb 28, 2013

So, I've remade the waist band of the breeches, now that the customer and I are certain of the measurements and re-patterned the outfit according to the new measurements.  I have to add three more days to the original estimated time to be finished, but I'm confident that I can now complete the outfit in time, which has been moved to March 8th .  The whole waist measurement from the company web site vrs reality thing really threw me off.  We're also adding a full shirt to the set so that when the doll is 'en negligee' as they used to call it in that era, he can run around in his shirt and breeches and the shirt will match the faux shirt under the vest.  I've been testing button holes and I can see no way other than a snap at the waist band, because the layers of fabric there are so thick, even with a button hole, the bead button would be buried in them or hanging by an excess of thread to hold it on. This doesn't appear to be a problem anywhere else on the garments.  

I haven't photographed anything today, or the paper patterning and paper towel work for the past few weeks, but now the lining to the vest and jacket and the shirt have been cut out and pinned for sewing, and when the lining is doubled checked for fitting, I should then be able to mark the vest and coat fabric for the embroidery. The embroidery seems like a lot of work when you see the human sized costume photos, but it's really small and should go fast.  I would say, the hardest part of any YoSD size costume is putting collars and sleeves in to shirts and blouses.  I'm generally sewing something that's curved tinier than my pinky tip. 

March 1, 2013 

The scarf looks much better narrower.  The shirt, vest lining, and jacket lining are now tested, taken aparte, the pattern re-made, and the lining sewn back together for finishing, and everything is looking good.  Except shiny in photos.  Very shiny.  My fingers were a bit wet from filling the iron and I got a bit of water on there, but it will dry up. The sleeves have been stitched so I can cut them into the same scalloped edges as the faux sleeves for the vest. ^_^  

March 4, 2013 

To be brief and non-maudlin, this week end was not a good one.  However, I caught up with everything I had planned, and will be well on track by tomorrow evening.  I still see finishing the outfit on Friday, the new deadline.  
Keep in mind my Sakuranbo has 1 cm narrower waist and hips than the customer's doll, and about a cm longer thighs, so the knee cuffs are a bit high on the knee, where they should be under the customer's doll's knee for more flexibility.  They catch in Sakuranbo's joints so I have to be careful, but I wanted to show the fit in the seat.  Them's some seriously shiny pants!  And the shirt hasn't been pressed yet.  The sleeves are longer to make them puffy without a lot of gathering at the top to get the look of the time period.  

No riding down in back, no problem with sitting.  But you can see the knee thing I was talking about.  The customer's doll's thigh being shorter, the knee shouldn't be where Sakuranbo's is.  Brilliant idea of KingOfCrown's to measure the length of the thigh alone.  ^_^ 

The full shirt, the mock bits of which will be sewn into the vest as if it were worn under the vest. I'm going to buy some white glass beads to make buttons with for this.  Plenty of left over for my own projects.  You can see where the knee joint has caught the pants cuff.  

Now, the embroidery thing, I put together the actual vest and coat linings and made extra sure that everything was just perfect, and the pattern pieces have all been adjusted to match.  My plan now is to put the vest and coat together half way, leaving room to manipulate the fabric and do the embroidery.  I just feel that I will have a better concept of the proportion of the work this way.  Since the buttons holes have embroidery around them, I want to make absolutely sure that the buttons and holes are in the right position  Then when everything is done, the cuffs and pocket flaps being done separately, I'll finish putting everything together.  The extra bit of blank on the purple fabric is where the pocket flap pattern will go when it's done with the gold.  I'm using a thin matching lining color for the under side of the pockets rather than the thicker fashion fabric in a double layer.  

The wonderful thing about this outfit is that for the time period, something like this would look fantastic under the candle light used at the time.  And the pattern of white on white print really shows up like a fine woven jacquard silk without the weight of jacquard and the pain in the butt see through of lace. This is why I like to have customers pick their own fabrics out.  They know exactly what they want to see on their dolls, something I can't do without the person standing next to me if I go shopping for them. And I've found so many new ways of seeing delightful color combinations and designs that I would never think of on my own.  

March 5, 2013

Some trauma today despite all the pattern fitting, refitting testing refitting, but NOW it's nailed down to the deck.  Shiny fabric is shiny!  Throwing some filter in did nothing much to down play the SHINE.  So, the vest and jacket are now half done, with the lining in enough to know exactly where the embroidery should go.

The vest is inside out, because I don't want to mess with it (fraying!) until I'm ready to embroider.  This is to show off the fit.  The bottom points are sticking out because the side seams aren't in and a lack of ironing as yet.  You can almost see where the thread marking are for the purely decorative pocket flaps.

The pin is the back hem line, which is just at the bottom of the waist band on the gold pants. 

The sleeves still need to be sewn in.  The sleeve cuffs are a bit too big looking, but that might be because I left hem allowance on them.  The pocket are in, but I realized just now I hadn't photo'd the doll with a hand in a pocket.  O_o  I have to embroider the flaps before sewing them on.  They are nice and deep, people had serious coat pockets in those days.  The pocket fabric will be the under fabric for the flaps so they stay thin and hopefully lay flat enough.

I think the hang of the open coat is just right, (I'm so damned stuck up about that, ^__^  go me!) even though the lining is loose and showing and all that half finished stuff.    Anyyyyywaayyyyy....

The pleats aren't ironed yet, that has to wait until the coat is almost but not quite finished with the hem in it.  As you can see the hem will need to be trimmed off perfectly even before that happens. The upper back and sleeves fit nice and the arm curve came out good.  Not perfectly historical, but we're taking ball joint doll elbows must have room to move here.    

March 7, 2013 

Right now, it's just about 3 pm Thursday afternoon.  I added 3 days for a shirt (button holes, omg I need a machine that will do NICE button holes!) and then last weekend and a sick hubby coughing all night for a week shot my timing, now I'm looking at the time on the embroider, the pattern I wanted to do and the absolute misconception I had of working with YoSD proportions and how difficult it actually is to embroider in scale and thinking: I am so DEAD. 

So, here's me throwing myself on the customer's mercy.  While I anticipate having the vest finished by tomorrow, that leaves the coat.  I'm thinking next Wednesday and that's giving myself more time than I want to because poo happens.  If I finish sooner, I do.  

So far, everything is finished but the vest and coat.

The shirt is drying, I wash things as I finish them to clean them up from being handled.  I'm not quite happy with the machine button holes, but my hand sewn ones are about as obvious.  I did get the pretty white beads for the buttons and they do button easily, just push down over the buttons like snaps. Pretty cool, because it's much easier to button than my bigger doll stuff with buttons and holes.  
Some quick photos at break time.  I'll post the finished shirt later, once it's dry and pressed.  

I did the cuffs first, (note the lining is only half in, that's why the sleeve ends are still raw and hand over cast) to establish the design and the full carnations are alternating with side ways or half open ones, leaves and stems.  I thought, wow, not to shiny against the dark fabric, and did a chain stitch in gold metallic thread.  The bronze beads will add more detail, along with the gold braid to make the period elongated and purely decorative "button holes"  I don't want to sew over the embroidery, so they'll be below it.  
You can barely see it, but rather than go with the matching purple, I went with metallic gold on the edge of the pocket flaps on the vest.  There is just enough room for 3 montees on each flap. The hot pink thread is just to mark where the buttons are going.  

I tried for a close up cleaned up in photos shop, but shiny fabric is shiny.  Tiny as they are, I personally thing the chrysanthemums are adorable. And so easy to sew, which is what misled me.  It's the size that keeps throwing me, I have to get used to sewing flowers little more than 1/4 inch wide. 

Some of the montees (rhinestones made so you can sew them on) were not rose, but diamond cut (round diamond, flat top, that is) and I put them on the pant legs, so that the vest would be all rose cut.  The prongs holding the stones in tend to snag on things.  

Very shiny even with the lighting toned down, and you can see the bronze glass beads' color better in this one. 

March 11, 2013

I got the blasted cold from the DH, but sewing progressed.  Better today.  Photo updates soon.  Remember I charge by the piece, not the hour, so there is never an extra charge when something like this happens. >.<;;

Evening update photos.  Not the best photos.  I'm just blur.  Now, I got as far as a fight with my sewing machine after the first button hole test worked.  I'll do the gold cording tomorrow.  The pattern is marked out on the coat.  The one thing troubling me about the montees is still the little prongs, but after 6 attempts I got them sewn through one cross bar and they slip sideways into the test buttonhole without catching.  Sewing on the gold cording will reinforce the buttonhole some more.  I was really upset with how the button holes seem to have shortened that side, but after they are cut open, the points should match again.  Sometimes I get angry with fabric and later on it behaves, but it still makes me worry.  We'll see tomorrow. I took the photo of the shirt and then put it on the computer and could not get it dimmed down enough to show the buttons, so yeah, scary photo, but hey, you can see the buttons!  ^_^ *fails* 

Still needs gold cord to cover machine button holes.

You can almost see the montee in the button hole. It's in the middle of the button hole, when it slides over, the embroidery on the button side will show evenly again. 

Quick test of the mock shirt pieces.  I have a lot to cut off once they are positioned and basted in for the final sewing.  How pretty the vintage montees look when they are on, there was only one slightly dull one and you can't really tell where it is.  ^_^ 

 The very dark, but button showing shirt photo.  I was amused when the white on white print patter of the fabric showed up.  Only two buttons are buttoned for this photo because I'm ditzy with fever.  
Everything is going to be washed again before I mail it. I mean eugh, what if someone got my cold? O_o 
I still fully expect to be done with the whole thing by Wednesday evening, if not Thursday.  The embroidery on the coat will go much faster now that I have a method worked out for the design and the button holes for the beads are so much easier than the montees, because I can just use the button hole foot without a button template in it. If the machine behaves.  I have learned so much from this outfit. I think the next road block will be an easy one, pleating the coat skirt.  I'll baste it, then iron it. 

Late edit: I had another look at the vest based on what I was seeing in the photos and one of the flowers on the bottom corner has to be picked out and redone lower down along with the 'vine' leading to it, I've stuck a pin in it to remind myself tomorrow. 

March 12, 2013  (Note that when the outfit is done, I will take good photos in natural light! >.<;;) 

Okay, today's update.  Finished vest with shirt pieces sewn in.  The montees might be fragile so I'm not buttoning them all the time.  I have my worries about the prongs.  The button holes all work, but I'm not going to worry them with constant buttoning and unbuttoning.  I fixed the misplaced flower.  

I was hoping to get the coat finished by tomorrow, but now I'm thinking a day or two more.  We'll see.  Maybe tomorrow I won't feel as dreadful and get more done. I haven't got this cold as bad as the DH.  Most of the work is hand sewing at this point.  I still can't get over how tiny these things are.  THIS is little bigger than a business card! My mind just freaks.  I said I'd never get a YoSD, but now that I have one and I'm working with them, it's so satisfying, in a weird seamstress-y way. O_o  Or that's the cold medicine talking. 

The vest looks a little off because it's only buttoned in the middle.  And the collar has to be pressed to make it fold down over the vest neckline now.  

Now, for the coat.  The cuffs are basted on to keep everything from fraying, I still have to put the fake button hole gold trim and beads on them, and reset the seam edges on top (see the right screen side cuff? that seam needs rolling under.)  Then I'll bevel cut the extra fabric and sew the lining hems in.  You can see them pooking out in this photo, but I'm working from the inside on on the embroidery, so everything is open from the coat hem up.  Again, the hot pink thread is to mark where the button (beads go).  The pockets flaps look huge before the seams are sewn, but this way makes them much easier to embroider evenly.  One has a whole flower, one is just started.  I do believe these are the smallest working flap and welt pockets I've ever made. It's getting easier.  The key is really thin, tight woven lining fabric. 

Update continued on this post

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