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Elevation Madness, Part 1

June 2, 2015

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a week already since I was put on vigil!  Where did the time go?

I’ve started coordinating with some folks about food and drink for the actual vigil, which is in just three and a half short weeks.  I feel very lucky to have some generous friends who are willing to help.

Other friends in Cynnabar are banding together to make me a coat out of some wool I’ve had for some time.  Every summer I would tell myself that I should make that coat I wanted, but then would never get around to it.  Many people have a cloak made, but I find cloaks to be impractical for actually doing things (like using your hands), so a Pelican coat it will be!

Overdress FabricsMy own plan is to make my garb.  I looked through my fabric stash since I didn’t particularly want to order anything and wait for delivery with such a short time before the event and I found a couple of options.  After some discussion and debate, my final decision (because it’s something I can get done with a minimum of stress in a short amount of time) is an earlier-period dress something like a bliaut but with only slightly flared sleeves.  I have several bliauts with big bell sleeves and while they look nice, they are totally impractical to do anything in so I tend to wear them less.  Plus, I only have enough fabric for a shin-length overdress, so I’m going to bling it out with the trim.

The dress itself will be the top fabric – a wool-silk blend.  Trim bands at the biceps and neck will be the wine-colored linen with a band of the grey silk.

My original vision involved black linen under the silk and a black underdress, but then I realized that it would be black on black at the neckline and that would be a bit much, plus I ended up thinking that the grey silk on the black linen didn’t look as good as I thought it would.  So a friend gave me a remnant she had and we decided I was doing her a favor by taking it out of her stash!

Neckline EmbroideryAnother change from my original idea is the embroidery, which I had planned to do with metallic silver thread.  After some discussion, I’ve decided to go with a silver-hued silk thread instead, which will still have considerable shine, and perhaps add some metallic thread embellishments in places.  I thought and thought about different pattern options and then last night when the Hubs and I were out for a walk, inspiration struck!  So after some judicious cutting and pasting of design elements, I’ve worked out what I think will be a reasonable plan.

The picture here is the planned neckline and there will be additional bands at the bicep with just the pelican design on the outside and the interlace running the rest of the way around (I hope).

Yellow UnderdressOne thing I have actually started working on is the underdress.  After deciding that a black underdress would be too dark, I once again contemplated my stash and decided on a pale yellow lightweight linen underdress I already had.  The bottom hem was just something I’d thrown together and it always looked bad.  So I started by taking out the (thankfully) single line of stitching holding the hem up and then doing a simple rolled hem at the very bottom.

I’m going to take a minute here and say that I think I’m addicted to this rolled hem stitch.  It’s easy to do, gives a cleanly finished edge, and takes up only a little bit of fabric from the length of the garment.  There are lots of different tutorials out there on how to do this, but here’s the one I used.  The author demonstrates on a very light chiffon fabric, so you can see how well this technique works.

Now that the rolled hem is finished, I’m going to add some simple embroidery in dark green and gold at the bottom of the skirt and the sleeve cuffs (and maybe the neckline if I’m feeling crazy).  This will probably just be a herringbone design in green with gold tack stitches where the long arms of the herringbone cross one another.  The embroidery will add a little flash and also cover up a few little holes I made with the seam ripper (oops!).

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