Just call me Alison…the end?

So, I started the kirtle project the week of the IMC, knowing that I wanted to wear it this Monday…except I didn’t wear it Monday.

I went to the event at Berkeley castle over the weekend, had fun, ate cake, had my cleavage ogled shamelessly and at considerable length by some drunken toff (friend of a friend – I wouldn’t have minded the attention so much from Harry Berkeley, he was quite cute), wore a very posh frock on Sunday…aaaand then my van broke down on the way home. Some stupid little plastic thing in the pedal snapped, RAC did a temporary fix that got me home, but then I spent most of MOnday hanging round waiting for Carl to do a permanent fix and didn’t get to go play at the event at Fountains – pooh!

Gareth took piccies of my new kirtle in the front garden though.










It’s very comfortable, and supports wonderfully round the bust, but I’m still not 100% happy with the kirtle’s sleeves- they may yet be tinkered with, but I think I need to just wear it for a day before I decide exactly what needs to be done.

I have just realised it makes my bum look enormous.

The oversleeves are a bronze brocade thats perhaps a little too c14th, but the colours tone much better than the alternative, which was a bit of a shouty sort of green. I deliberately made them a little on the short side as I like my wrists clean when I’m embroidering, which is mainly what I’ll be doing in this dress.















Remember that in my other post I mentioned the kirtle I’d started making many years ago, then never finished because I lost one of the sleeves? Well, the smocked apron  – I read somewhere that one ought to call it “pleatwork” because the word smocking is associated with cutesy 1950’s dresses for little girls…er…no, sorry, I’ve had english folk dress on my radar since I was a child, I associate smocking with farmworkers wearing smocks whilst chewing blades of grass, marrying thier sisters and possibly doing indecent things to sheep(oooh-aaargh!), so I’m going to call it smocking, ok? – but I digress. The smocked apron was started alongside that kirtle, only to share it’s lonely fate. I dug it out for this kirtle, wondering if I could finish it, and took it to beer festival to finish it.

Tip – if you leave smocking dots on linen for ten years they don’t wash out as easily as they’re supposed too. (Yes, I know, iron on smocking dots aren’t authentic, but it was only my second attempt at smocking, I needed the help)

It occurs to me that possibly you’re meant to use some sort of pattern for smocking. I might have mentioned that I don’t get along with patterns so well. This apron was done freehand and I sort of made it up as I went along, with varying degrees of sucess – in retrospective the central fleur de lys needed more body.

I did mean to post an update on the or nue project as I meant to make a little progress this weekend, but in the end I made pitifully little progress this weekend as I was too busy gossipingto do any real work. However, I bring you a pic of the splendid red leather sachel John made for me to carry the or nue around in







~ by opusanglicanum on August 3, 2011.

10 Responses to “Just call me Alison…the end?”

  1. It certainly puts paid to that silly idea some people have that our ancestors dressed entirely in brown homespun!

  2. well, it sort of depends what era and status you’re on about, doesn’t it?

    an embroiderer certainly wouldn’t be wearing anyhting shabby, so…

  3. Absolutely yummy!

  4. It’s beautiful!

  5. Love the kirtle, absolutely gorgeous, and the colour goes beautifully with the bronze.

    I’m glad you said the pouch was red because it looks pink in the photo. lol

  6. The outfit is gorgeous and I don’t think it makes your bum look big, although I confess that I am not intimately acquainted with the aforementioned part of your anatomy. I am also pleased that you will continue to call smocking ‘smocking’. My Mama has been smocking since she was a girl – she used to smock the yokes of blouses and things for herself, and that was in the early 1940’s. So ‘pooh’ to those people who want to change the name. I am a sewer – pronounced so-er – and have been since I was 12; I do not want to be a sewist. Can we please leave the language alone and get on with smocking and sewing?

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