Isabel de Requesens, Photos

Don’t get top excited by the title, these photos are crappy in my sewing room shots! I would really like to set up a proper backdrop with drapery and candles and fancy lighting but for now these will have to do. As per usual the costume was made, worn, and photographed by me.

Getting these shots was more difficult then usual since I can’t lift my arms in this dress. The struggle I went through just to focus the camera was pretty intense.

If you haven’t seen them already, I have five blog posts and two videos which go through the process of making this costume, they can all be found here!

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I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I might have to remake the hat at some point since it’s still not holding it’s shape that well, but for now it’s fine.

Thanks for reading…er, in this case, looking! I should have a “The making of” post up soon.

Recreating Renaissance Fashion, Isabel de Requesens

I was doing so well with my twice weekly updates until now.

My only excuse is that this week was busy. I make a point to leave the house as little as possible, but I had nine days in a row where I had to make myself presentable and talk to people. I’ve also been trying to kickstart a lot of new projects which has been my main focus, I didn’t  try hard enough to find quiet time to write and edit anything exciting.

But I did get a few post outlines done, because I’m going to be prewriting a lot of things for the end of August, which is when i’m getting my wisdom teeth out.

Anyway, sorry for the delays! Regular posting should be back to normal. This post is the last in my Isabel series and focuses on making a ugly hat.

I looked around for Renaissance beret patterns but most of them focused on the gathered variant, which I didn’t want. So I decided to make my own – beret patterns are really easy to draft, but it’s a little tricky to figure out the sizing. Luckily my first educated guess was perfect so I didn’t have to make any changes.

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Then I cut out my pattern from velvet and reinforced the pieces with a lightweight fusible interfacing.

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The hat was way too floppy and refused to hold it’s shape. I tried adding boning, which failed miserably, then I had the bright idea to add horsehair to the seam. Nope. Bad Idea. Didn’t go well, it destroyed everything.

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I tossed that hat and luckily had just enough fabric left to make another one. This time around I lined the hat with quilt batting hoping it would add enough volume to hold it’s shape, but not too much that would make it look like a fuzzy CD balanced on my head (the effect boning gave).

I basted the quilt batting and velvet layers together.

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Then I basted the two pieces together and tried it on, and it was perfect!

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I used a strip of lace to finish the…hem? I guess it’s a hem. The opening.

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Then I rolled that over and sewed it down with a whip stitch and blanket stitch combo. I did this by hand so I could “ease” it open without puckering the fabric too badly.

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I used my machine to fully secure the two pieces together, and then I had a fully functioning hat!

There is some puckering at the opening, but that’s inevitable. It’s also not visible when worn.

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Then it was time for the beading – I didn’t follow the pattern from the painting identically, but it’s pretty close! I used beads I had on hand, aside from the weird rhinestone square ones, which I picked up from Michaels. I’d like to replace these with something more historical looking in the future, but they were the closest I could find without making an etsy order.

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I started on the nipple center part first, which I created by sewing down an 8mm pearl and stitching seed beads around it. I probably should have used more opaque beads because the red is really visible through these, oops!

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After that I freehanded the rest of it.

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And that’s pretty much it. It was a nice little afternoon project that took around two hours from start to finish!

Unfortunately the off shoulder style of this design restricts my arm movement by a lot, so much so that i’m not sure I can take my typical tri pod shots. I haven’t actually tried, but I definitely will at some point this week. If it proves successful I’ll make a separate post with those photos.

But for now this will have to do! A few mirror selfies with a wild wig I need to tame.

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As always, thanks for reading!

Recreating Renaissance Fashion, Isabel de Requesens

Here is part two of making my beaded chemise, part one talks about the actual beading process and can be read here!

In addition to photos and a lot of rambling, I also have another video to share! I’m not too happy with how this turned out, it’s a bit choppy due to big variations in lighting, angle, and zoom. I’ll try to get that sorted out for future videos, but for now it’ll have to do!

This video shows pretty much every step of this project, from beading the collar to hemming the skirt and everything in betwee. If you are seeing this post in an email you can access the video here, otherwise you can view it below!

Unfortunately since a lot of these photos were pretty nondescript I think files ended up going in the wrong folder or being deleted, so i’m missing a few here and there.  Hopefully it won’t make things too confusing

Step one was drafting the sleeve pattern – it was absolutely massive!

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Once it was cut out it was even more ridiculous.

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I pinned my sleeves to have a quarter inch rolled hem, not an easy task!

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Then sewed it by hand, just because this part of the sleeve is most visible and I wanted it to look good. Ignore the other lines of pen – they are part of my original plan for the sleeves which didn’t end up working out.

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Then I gathered the cuffs down with two rows of super teeny tiny gathers. I don’t know if anyone else would use the word cute to describe gathers, but I think these are pretty cute.

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In my last post I talked about making these decorative beaded cuffs

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Those got sewn on overtop of my very pretty tiny gathers.

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Then I took a step back and began work on the skirt…or dress, the main part of this costume. It was three giant rectangles with seams at the sides. The rectangle in the back is longer, and the front one slants inward towards the center…but they are pretty close to being rectangles.

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I marked out a hem allowance.

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Then pinned it in place.

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I hemmed it by hand, yay! I really do like hemming things. I know people view it as a big chore, but it’s so easy and satisfying, it just takes a bit of time and patience.

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The next step was cutting out the sleeve holes, I had to make these deeper later on because I forgot there was a one inch seam allowance at the top, oops!

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I also cut out the “V” at the front, then rolled the edges over twice to avoid fraying.

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Once all that was done I gathered the top of the skirt/dress/top/thing, I was struggling a lot with making the gathers even so eventually I stopped and decided to do it by machine. I set the tension really low and used a 5.0 stitch length, then pulled on the threads until the turned to gathers.

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Here is where I lost the photos – The skirt/dress was sewn onto the collar, the collar creates the top part of the sleeve hole, so this had to be done first. Once that was done I measured the size of the sleeve hole and gathered my sleeves down to that size.

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 I stitched them into place by hand and bam I had a chemise! Don’t I look thrilled?

In all honesty chemises kill me because they are so time consuming and such an important part of historical costumery….but they look like a cross between maternity wear and canvas tents. Trying one on and thinking “I spent thirty hours on that” makes me reconsider my love for this hobby.

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I added hooks to the cuffs so they would fit my wrists tightly.

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The last thing to do was sewing in lining to the collar, which was pretty easy.

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So that’s that! I do have photos of the finished ensemble but I’m not going to post them until later in the week. Unless you are a sneak, then you can see them here.

Thanks for reading!

Related posts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five.