Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Art of Pillaging
This was an interesting outfit to make. My swap partner had a long list of things she would like to receive. The short of it was an East Indian influenced steampunk pirate set of clothes. Other details included lots of brown, not much black, with maybe a hint of red and orange. The cut should be loose and baggy to allow for movement, hats and scarves, with pockets and pouches aplenty for storage. Gears, buckles, embroidery, steampunk style squids and octopi, and prop knives were also welcome.
As I don't have much brown fabric on hand, I bit the bullet and bought a yard of brown synthetic. After looking at some Victorian and Edwardian era East Indian clothes, I had a rough idea of how the designs should be, which was thankfully geometric. That made patterning and assembly much simpler.
The layers included an undershirt, waistcoat, overcoat, trousers and accessories. I didn't have much muslin to accommodate a 60cm plus doll, so to save fabric I made it sleeveless. For the trousers, I recycled this shalwar pattern I used for the Project Runway competition and added giant cargo pockets. Regretfully, I ironed the waistband when the iron was too hot, and it melted considerably. The good thing is that it'll be hidden with the other layers.
Accessories were an aviator hat whose pattern I got off of The Bleu Door, and scaled up considerably. The outer material was taken from a dark beige vest I made ages ago and never worn. It's a bit streaky from my attempt to dye it darker with tea when it was still a vest. I lined with burgundy cloth for a pop of color and made the ties from an unraveled knitting project from when I was eight.
The pouches are rectangles and squares stitched into place with ribbon loops sewn to the back. It's sash is a length of ribbon meant to be worn under the coat.
The waistcoat was recycled from the skirt of a project I started and never finished. In my mind, a sky pirate would dress a bit on the shabby side, but would likely have one or two nice pieces taken as spoils. It was a beige brocade that I gave gored sides and bound the armholes with brown bias tape. I managed to find doll sized buckles at a trim store at a decent price and used bits of brown ribbon to give something for the buckles to grip to. I'd have liked the vest to be longer and fuller, but I think it turned out decently.
Speaking of which, the coat was a pain in that the sleeve gores would not behave even with generous pinning, and the narrow tips didn't get seamed as I'd like. To mimic one of my inspiration coats, I added three rows of top stitching to the cuffs and hem to simulate an embroidered band, placed a high collar and made frogs for closures. The collar is lined with red and the corners stitched down for color variety. The frogs, like the hat ties are also unraveled from a long ago project and fashioned into something else.
Due to my time now being occupied with other matters, I was unable to add more flourishes, but I think this is respectable.