Thursday, May 3, 2018

Being the King's (and the Queen's) Mistress - of the Wardrobe - In Progress

Their Royal Majesties East: Brennan and Caoilfhionn
Photo by Lindsay Nery

There is a book out there that talks about the five "Love Languages" and how you show your love to others. My way of showing others love is sewing for them. True love is appliqueing circles. (Xavier... Antonii...)

Two people I love in the East are Brennan mac Fearghus and Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain. 

Last fall, at the same Crown Tourney where I became an apprentice, Brennan became our Prince again, and Caoilfhionn our Princess. 

And my Laurel became their Chief of Staff. 

And I was asked to become their Mistress of the Wardrobe. (insert nervous but excited squeeing here)

I knew what the job entailed, having recently watched Zippy and Leda do it for Honig and Ioannes, and my friend Ty doing the job for Ivan and Matilde. 

And then they threw me a curveball. 

They want Byzantine. 


I don't know anything about Byzantine other than most of it looks like blingy boxes or that thing Tom Brady wears on the sidelines to keep warm. 
Image result for tom brady sideline coat
You're still the Greatest of All Time in my eyes Tom.
(Go Pats!)
But. I was promised research help and support from Hypatissa Anna Dokeianina Syrakousina, and she doesn't look like she's wearing blingy boxes, so let's do this. 

I'm going to talk in this post specifically about their Coronation Garments, but I have made other Byzantine for them as well. 

The first thing Anna sent me was a list of words. Words that made ABSOLUTELY no sense to me but with a little research and her page she put together for East Kingdom Coronation, I was able to start down the path. 

We needed a "Khlamys" style outfit for each, including the outer divestesion (almost a dalmatica, but with poofy poofy sleeves gathered into a cuff, the under kamision, two ceremonial cloaks, and a collar for her Highness often called a super humeral. 


Clearly, the only fiber that would do for these outfits would be silk. And Tyrian Purple silk at that.

We ordered fabric from with the absolute perfect shade. (This site is danger incarnate, I'm so in love) I consulted Brennan on if he was on board with the plan, but I was still terrified to open the package once it came. 

OMG it's so BRIGHT!

I also had in my stash 4 yards of a burnt orange pearled silk I'd gotten at Fabric Place Basement for $5 a yard. Yeah. $5. This fabric made up the majority of the embellishment fabric. 

I also cheated. I admit it. I cheated. I ordered a sari/saree from Amazon which had roundels already woven into it in the right color. The trick for this is to search for "banarasi" sarees, this will have the woven embellishment you're looking for. Now, this is "Art Silk" which is ARTifcial SILK aka Polyester, but I'm using it for the embellishments on the garment. 

I needed fabric as well for the collar, and found a gorgeous gold jacquard silk remnant at Artee's, a high end home decor fabric store in Hudson, MA. Instead of close to $100/yard it was $12. Sold. SOLD. It was one of those situations where you start to suspect the other shoppers of nefariously plotting to take your find. Yeah, there weren't any other shoppers in the remnants really that day, and they could have cared less about my gold fabric. 

For the under tunics, I got lightweight white linen for hers from JoAnn's, and the heavier weight for his. I also had some burnt orange cotton in my stash to make his pants. 

I cut the roundels out of the saree fabric and found they had a perfect pattern already on them to pearl. After cutting I serged the edges of the roundels. If you go back to Xavier's Pelican Hood post, I did that there as well, the serged edge gives you something to push against as you are appliquing the item down and I find makes it much easier to do. 

There were two Roundels on each shoulder, on the fronts and backs of each divestesion, and the under tunics. 

Serging the edges of the Roundels

One Roundel Pearled - Ah-Ah-Ah!
Only 11 more to go!

Whip Stitched onto the TYRIAN fabric, this is how the extant embellishments were applied.

Jewelry Finding from Michael's Completes the embellishement

They were also on the linen under tunics, but I did not pearl the backs of the under garments following the "Don't Pearl Your Butt" rule of Byzantine Garb

I also cut up the remainder of the saree embellishment and made trim which was used extensively throughout the garments. 

Saree Trim

Trim added to either side of the center embellishment for her divestation

Whip stitching the center embellishment on her divestation on

I made all the outfits in this picture!
Photo by Lindsay Nery

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