Week in Review: Silk Taffeta Kirtle and Passementerie


This week I finished pad stitching the silk taffeta kirtle interlinings and basted the outer fabric in place.

I popped it on the dress form with pins holding it together to see how it looked. The 3 layers of canvas at the front (which may be overkill) plus the pad stitching gives it lots of shape and structure. So much the bodice stands away from the dress form on its own with very few wrinkles. I need to trim down the edges of the canvas before I put the lining in. I also need to decide if the kirtle will be back or side opening. Side lacing kirtles are easier for me to get into and offer more flexibility in sizing. The trade off is I’ll have to sew twice as many eyelets and my sleeves will need to lace on.

I may also narrow my shoulder straps along the neckline edge. There is a 1/2 inch seam allowance to keep in mind, but after looking at some extant garments the strap is still a little wide.

Black silk taffeta kirtle front with basting thread









The silk taffeta kirtle skirt and lining are sewn together, save for the side seams. It is currently hanging on the dress form to let the bias drop. I may baste a lightweight chain to the hem to hurry the process along.

Gold black and red silk cords


I also experimented making my own cording out of silk buttonhole thread. The gold cord on the far left is from twisting it by hand with the help of a chopstick. I twisted the other cords by machine which was much faster and even. I found making very long cords is an issue. The black cord is the longest I managed by myself, another person to help would keep the tension even and the threads from getting tangled.


Week in Review: Worked on the Taffeta Kirtle – Organize Costume Projects and Silk


Let’s just get this out of the way first, silk damask photos:

Brown and Gold Silk Damask Red silk damask









These will be turned into sleeves, purses, and pouches for the Etsy shop.


Red and Gold Damask Pouch with Gold Silk Tassels

This is prototype pouch version one, it is lined in silk taffeta and decorated with handmade silk tassels. I’m still deciding what the purse strings should be made from.

I worked on the black silk taffeta kirtle this week. The skirt and the skirt lining are cut out, and I’ve started hand sewing the taffeta side together with Seta Reale Coats thread.

Tonight I hope to get the back of the skirt together and then I’ll decide if I want to hand sew or machine sew the linen blend lining. I know I’ll have to do some edge finishing on the linen to keep it from fraying.

I’ll take a photo of the skirt when it is together, right now it would just be a pile of black on black fabric.

I’ve also started to organize my current projects using Todoist. I’m using the free version to make lists (and in some cases sublists) of all the steps for each project.

Todoist for Costume Organization

Green means an active project and grey means the project is still in planning stages. I may add more colors as I go along, like Red for “You are so sitting in time out” for when projects do not behave.

Does anyone else use apps like Todoist or perhaps something better for large projects sewing projects?

The Week in Review – May 5th 2017



The black silk taffeta kirtle is coming along, I pad-stitched the bodice fronts and got the bodice lining cut out and I have a black linen blend for the skirt. I usually don’t line the skirts, but the taffeta is lightweight, so the lining will give it a nice drape.

Black taffeta basted in place canvas padstitched


I’m dusting off old 3-d modeling skills with the goal of 3-d printing some 16th century styled buttons.

Image from: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/402325

This series is a good refresher of the basics: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjEaoINr3zgHs8uzT3yqe4iHGfkCmMJ0P

 I’m also revisiting bobbin lace, I can do a very basic plait correctly! At least most of the time.

I also forgot to take a photo that should go here. Opps!

This is the site I return to time and time again to double check myself: http://ildhafn.lochac.sca.org/node/503 and earlier this week a lovely example of reproductions from Le Pomp was posted at http://kostym.cz/Anglicky/8_Krejcovstvi/20_Jirina/VIII_20_10E.htm.

This really helped me get an idea of how the stitches should look.


I’m taking a break from my Spanish inventory translations, I’m sending a bit too much time on the computer and my wrist does not like it.

But my favorite find so far is this skirt:

una basquina de tela de plata blanca la delantera bordada de unas alcachofas de oro con una guarniçion toda a la redonda sobre terçiopelo bordado de oro y plata;

(my rough translation)

A skirt of white cloth of silver, the forepart embroidered with artichokes of gold with one guard about the hem of velvet embroidered with gold and silver.

Source:  http://www.anastasiorojo.com/#!/1580-inventario-de-don-rodrigo-sarmiento-de-la-cerda-y-villandrado-conde-de-salinas-y-ribadeo