June 2, 2015 by New Capel Street: Fabric Division
If this were a screenplay, this paragraph would feature tumbleweeds doing their thing, tumbling across the wide shot, before dissolving into ash and flame at the hands of a flamethrower-wielding stitcher with costume on their mind. Luckily for the film industry, I left my screenwriting attempts by the roadside a lifetime ago.
So, what’s new? Quite a lot. I still make kit, and have up to now still failed to document anything of note. But fuck it. New LARP character, new group, new kit, new drive. New costumes! Same shitty photography skills/facilities, but I’m hoping that that will change over the next year.
I don’t have any shots of myself wearing this stuff, so you’ll have to make do with bedroom-door-and-hanger shots. You’re welcome.
I’ve still not sewn through my fabric stash, and am determined to shred that shit before I invest in more. So, when I was invited to join a group at Lorien Trust whose kit is mostly grey, it presented a fun challenge. I had two pieces of grey fabric, one that was white with grey, blue and beige strands woven through it, and one that was kind of browny grey if you squinted. Close enough, I thought, and cracked on. Here’s the first item I made for this character:
This tunic is based on a rather nice sheath dress pattern from (I think) the late sixties or early seventies, Maudella 5619. I had to resize it down a good bit, as it was made for a more generously proportioned figure. The original pattern is midi length, so I hacked a few inches off the length, added a rounded hemline, and (badly!) redrew the neckline to make a keyhole. Naturally, I eyeballed that and got it half an inch off to the left rather than smack in the middle. I just extended the keyhole back out to the right, and nobody seems to have fainted in shock yet.
This is an incredibly comfortable, flattering garment, given it’s got an inch or two more positive ease than I’m used to. There are no closures, I just pull it on over my head and wiggle a bit. I can layer under it easily, and the bracelet length sleeves are ideal for not getting caught on stuff while still keeping my arms mostly warm. The fabric is a grey suiting wool which is quite light, and helps keep the warmth in reasonably well when coupled with a wind resistant layer on top. My favourite thing about making the tunic, though, was the embroidery.
Hand embroidery is fun – as my character is quite a young fey, I decided to embrace my terrible stitching skills and not undo any wonky parts. The embroidery was done in a polycotton crochet yarn I’ve been slowly using up over the last five years, and I finally used the last of it up on that hem.