Breaking into the Accessory Challenge to catch up on my Queen’s Artisan project — because it’s due on August 24 at Purgatorio! While I was assigned this project at the start of May, I got a late start because I was out of town due to the France trip until early June. And right after I returned is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so while I’ve worked on some craft & sewing things (such as largess for TRMs progress), a lot of my time & energy has been distracted by annoying health stuff. Before the surgery, I did get the bodice patterned, fitted, & mostly sewn, thank goodness. But after surgery, I worried about how long before I could sew again because my right arm was very sore (& I’m right-handed). Finally, last weekend, I felt OK enough to work on this project & got a lot done.
I bound all the bodice edges & sewed the sleeves. My original plan for the sleeves was paned & puffed, but in the interest of saving time, I made simple sleeves (also very common in period images). To still have some fancy style, I made sleeve ruffs, which are often seen on 1580s-90s Venetian gowns (still in the range we’d talked about too). OMG, I love these! They’re adorably silly & weird. Also, they are super-duper easy to make, at least if you have a bunch of wide, pointed lace, which Gianetta did have in the stash she gave me. I only pinned them on (a period practice) so if she thinks they’re *too* silly, it’s easy enough to remove them.
The to-do list looks fairly manageable now: add skirt, sew camicia, & sew partlet. Giannetta had arranged a trade with the fantastic embroiderer Elizabeth de Belcaire to get some lovely work done on the camicia & partlet. Liz embroidered the front few inches of the top band of the camicia (basically, the bit that will show) with a floral vine & laurel wreath. For the partlet, I drew out a diamond grid based on an historical image Liz found, & she couched gold thread in the pattern on silk organza, adding a pearl at each point. When I sew this up, I’ll add a falling ruff to the neck of this partlet, in the same wide gold lace that’s at the sleeve cuffs. Nice & blingy 🙂