Julie's Dress Diaries

Herein lie my attempts at both blogging and creating period clothing for various locations and times of the Renaissance. Enjoy

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Is There a Secret?

So, in my recent explorations into dyeing my linen, all my results have been splotchy. Not horribly so, and for my peasant gear, I'm really not all that worried about it. But I had been thinking about coloring more expensive fabrics for a few higher-class projects in the future, and the uneven dye just won't do. I've been using the fiber reactives from Dharma Trading, and I have prewashed in their recommended detergent to dissolve away oils and the like. And used calsolene oil to break surface tension in my dye pot. Still streaky. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Three Cheers for AAA

Yup, just got my membership about 2 months ago, and it certainly came in handy today. You could say I am my sister's knight in shining armor. The bad part is that AAA took a good 2 hours to arrive. Good thing I'd brought some hand sewing in my car. I sat on the Rite-Aid curb binding eyelets and listening to my i-pod-shuffle. Not the way I'd intended on spending my evening, but still enjoyable, considering.

Anywho, update on my flemish page. Partlet. Check.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Presents for Me

I've been acquiring new bits of costuming stuff. First, a pair of awesome shoes I found at SRI shoe warehouse. They are just like the standard babydoll/china flats in style, but they are brown leather, and cutely gathered around the edge, a detail I think makes them look more period. And I can wear them in "normal" life. Bonus.

Also, I was nosing about on Ebay and found this mirror:

Its tiny--about the same size as a compact. And the holes on the filigree in the handle mean I can attach it to future girtles as a large bottom accent. Seems like a handy thing to have. Now, the design is of questionable periodness....but the people are clothed generically peasanty, and its not discernible of what period, so that seems a positive. I was just happy that it was so cute.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Of course I've got excuses for not sewing. Mainly a lackadaisical summer attitude. And job interviews (and I even accepted one! woot!), and reading Harry Potter, and some historical books and novels (elizabethan and florentine. ;-)) And I just got The Honest Courtesan by Rosenthal, about Veronica Franco and her writings.

So, while I'm not technically costuming, I do feel like I've been doing legitimate research. Right, that's it....

Mostly I'm just lazy. Anywho, I did the teeny tiniest bit of sewing to "ease" myself back in. Hopefully this will lead to a whirlwind of more activity.

See my flemish diary for my new caul. Not very exciting, but at least its something after this almost-month-long hiatus.

And, because I liked this, and hope it will inspire my current peasant project, I thought I'd share:

"A fair and happy milkmaid is a country wench, that is so far from making herself beautiful by art, that one look of hers is able to put all face-physic out of countenance. She knows a fair look is but a dumb orator to commend virtue, therefore minds it not. All her excellencies stand in her so silently, as if they had stolen upon her without her knowledge. The lining of her apparel (which is herself) is far better than outsides of tissue; for though she be not arrayed in the spoil of the silkworm, she is decked in innocency, a far better wearing. She doth not, with lying long abed, spoil both her complexion and conditions. Nature hath taught her too immoderate sleep is rust to the soul. She rises therefore with the chanticleer, her dame's cock, and at night makes the lamb her curfew. In milking a cow, and straining the teats through her fingers, it seems that so sweet a milk-press makes the milk the whiter or sweeter; for never came almond glove or aromatic ointment on her palm to taint it. The golden ears of corn fall and kiss her feet when she reaps them, as if they wished to be bound and led prisoners by the same hand that felled them. Her breath is her own, which scents all the year long of June, like a new-made hay-cock. She makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pity; and when winter evenings fall early (sitting at her merry wheel) she sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune...Lastly, her dreams are so chaste, that she dare tell them; only a Fridays' dream is all her superstition: that she conceals for fear of anger. Thus lives she, and all her care is she may die in the spring-time, to have store of flowers stuck upon her winding sheet."

I confess that I couldn't tell from the book I got this (called 1603, by Christopher Lee) whether the passage was from Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," or Overbury's "Characters." Either way, it is prettily written, and I think is a nice balance of true and romanticized peasants.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


So much for that silk habotai I mentioned yesterday. They're apparently out of stock. Guess they saved me from myself really. I don't NEED to spend that money. But honestly, it was under $4 a yard. Mayhaps that's why they're sold out...

Anywho, new corset pics up on the flemish diary.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Corsetry "Fun"

Just updated my Flemish diary with some corded corset progress.

I also just ordered the last bits of fabric for Adam's doublet, so I will hopefully be able to segue into that as soon as my flemish gets knocked out (hoping to work that up pretty quickly after the corset's done). And along with his fabric, I ordered myself some lightweight silk so I could try my hand at making a silk camica for a yet-to-be-revealed project. ;-) Oh, the suspense....

I was so proud of me for not ordering even more from them. They had some very lovely things. But I'm on a budget, afterall.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Thrift Stores Are Heaven

On my lunchbreak the other day, I managed to find 4 yards of very nice quality linen in the thrift store near my work. Its a pale yellow, and I only paid $12 for the lot of it (two table cloths). Thats $3 a yard! Woohoo! I also found a pearl and bead necklace for dissassemly and future use. I haggled for it all and saved 10 dollars! I've never haggled before. So proud of me.

In other news, I've just added a post to Hubby's Hosen about fabrics.

Happy 4th of July!