I really liked tracking the work and the time it took to finish Brad's doublet, so I'm going to try to do this here starting with the work on my dress that I started on Sunday.

By the time I sat down on Sunday night to start working, it was 7, and I worked until 1am because I felt I should get as much done as I could (even though my wrists & hands have been sore from the making the eyelets &/or the pleats I suppose, I don't really remember that happening before).

And last night I was a bit lazy.  Actually, I was really tired, but I did work after some resistance.  I attached the back of the skirt to the bodice, and half of the front, then realized I needed more room than I had in the side opening, so I had to let it out...then I tacked the pleast onto a strip of sateen for the parts of my bodice that are nonexistant (the front & side openings). 
approx Sunday & Monday work time: 9 hours

Tonight I will make another attempt to attach the front of the skirt to the bodice.  I think I've had to redo this enough times that I should be able to get it right tonight.  Also, I need to move the button loops on Brad's doublet, and that should be quick...maybe I should start with that project tonight.
This is my 3rd attempt at this post....wacky computers.  Not sure I have time to attempt this again if I fail this time.  Ugh!

We went out for the last day of the MN Ren Fest 2009 season yesterday and had a ball!  It rained for several days before, and though it looked like it would rain the entire time we were there yesterday, it didn't!

I thought about wearing my red velvet fantasy gown because I rarely get the opportunity to (it's generally too hot to wear to fest), but yesterday was cool enough that it would have been an option if it wasn't so muddy.  The dress has a train, so I thought better of it and wore my too short Venetian, which worked out well.
Surprisingly, I had no time to make the changes/additions I wanted to make for either of the dresses I had to choose from.  Brad and I spent all the time we had after running errands on Saturday working on his doublet.  Brad helped where he could, he cut out the sleeves and he was able to sew on all of his buttons too!  This took an hour and was a HUGE help since while he was doing that I worked on piping his tabs.  Even though I worked for around 10 hours on Saturday (ending at 3 am in frustration) I did 4 more hours of work on Sunday before we were ready to leave!  The doublet isn't even fully finished.

These shoulder "wings" (what are they called?) were a last minute effort to make it wearable, the fancy pants ones were being difficult, so I made a simple version.  A couple notes about the fit.  Brad said the waist ended up being too tight.  As you can see, his shirt peeked through half of the buttons at the bottom of the doublet.
There are two possible solutions, firstly I will let it out a little more, and if necessary, move the buttons over.  He also mentioned he felt the back was too tight as well.  We think that adding loops and buttons to the sleeve may help with this (the sleeves were pinned to the inside of the doublet, which would be more restricting).  We need to figure out if adding the loops and buttons will fix the issue before I start working on his other doublet.  The inside of the doublet needs to be finished as well, which I will wait to do until he wears it again after the fitting changes are made.  Brad is planning on wearing this to the VSA's Masquerade Ball on Halloween.

All in all we had a great year at the MNRF, maybe the best yet.  I'm going to share pictures of some things we've acquired at fest this year! 
I bought this handsome pirate bath boat for my baby nephew Vincent in hopes we'll get to see him for Christmas this year.  It won't sink because is balanced and is made very well so it should last him a long time and maybe he can give it to one of his babys when he gets older.  I'm tempted to try it out in myself our big tub when I have time to take a bath.
Firstly, blue silk pocket.  love.  I couldn't leave it there all alone, it's pretty, it's finished on the inside, and it means I don't have to make one (I don't have to, but I will eventually).  And, it was only $10!

Fairy house!  During the winter a candle will live in there too and we'll keep it inside.  It is questionable whether or not I'll put it in our garden in the spring, but there is a possibility.

Finally, the beautiful mermaid!  For the past couple of years Brad and I have found reasons to buy items at fest that will represent milestones in our lives.  Last year we bought a stained glass piece to hang in our picture window, for our first year in the house.  This year it's the mermaid, hanging in our master bath (which has a bit of a olde world, mythical ocean theme...Pirate, mermaids, old maps, treasure...) because it's our first year being married.  I don't know what our reason to buy anything will be next year...but I'm sure we'll find one!
 It's funny how you can track my productivy slowing down.  Not real funny, but you know. 

Last night I had Brad try to doublet on several times to check the fit changes I made, and I took too much in, so now I'm gradually letting it out...and just a little more to go so that I have enough fabric in the center front to fold over and attach buttons (note: this may mean I only need to let out the right side).

Also, the piping in the back seems seam (scratch that, reverse it) to indicate that my seams are not symmetrical.  This probably happended when I sewed them by hand, and tried to get as close to the piping as possible instead of keeping in mind the cut of the fabric.  I will have to change this a little before he wears it.

For myself, I'm toying with the idea of wearing my fantasy gown (pictured below when Brad and I dressed as Robin Hood and Maid Marion in October 2007) on Sunday.  It's warm because it's all velvet, and it should be a great day for it on Sunday...the only thing is I wanted to show off my Venetian and the changes I made to it...though all the changes aren't done yet and I'm not sure I'll have time to get them done.  Ah well!  I suppose there is always next year AND Crystal and I (maybe some others) are planning on going to Costume Con 2010 in Wisconsin, so I could wear it there too.  I haven't made my mind completely up yet...so we'll see.
I took a half day off work yesterday with the idea that I'd make more progress on the doublet, and maybe relax too. 

What really happened is I went to the thrift store, bought some cool things for future costumes and a little periodesque jewelry (periods are debatable).  I went home and vegged out for a while, then Brad came home. 

I did get a little work on the doublet, but not leaps and bounds like the last couple of nights.  I attached the 2nd half of the front of the collar & doublet front, cut the back center tab to fit the back, piped and lined it, and cut out the shoulder wing things.  Brad and I were debating on whether the shoulder treatment should be the green of the piping or the black & brown brocade.  I made them "reversable" for the sake of decision making.  I made one side in the silk, and interlining in the middle, and the doublet fabric on the other side.  I pinned on to one shoulder, and the other, and Brad decided on the green silk.  I fooled around a little with the piping and tried to make it fancy then thought I should move onto something that needs to be done (instead of fancy trimming) because we are pressed for time, I'll trim it fancy later.  
We futzed with the hair elastics (in black) I'm going to attempt to use as button loops (Peggy's fantastic idea).  Because I picked the thinnest hair elastics, and because they are hard to pin and keep in place I thought I'd tape them in the middle, and have to small loop on either end.  I thought it best not to include the part of the elastic that is fused together in my loop because these break fairly easily.  My plan is to cut the elastics in half, sew them down, then remove the tape.  While I'm thinking of this I probably will need to untape some of what we've taped so I can sew it down.  Also, to eliminate some steps, I was going to attach the loops to a piece of black cotton twill tape and sew this onto the doublet.  This will make attaching the loops easier because I'll be working with a strip of fabric instead of the entire doublet, and it will finish the front opening seam without having to line it (I'm thinking I might line it when I have more time, but if I can get away with not lining it while still adding an inner pocket to the flatlining I may skip lining the front).

Then I had Brad try the doublet on with his pants and shirt on, and it's still too big.  I didn't work much more on the doublet besides pinning in the sides.  I will have to do another fitting because I think it's still probably too big. 
left to do:
make button loop strip
attach buttons
finish arm hole
attach shoulder treatment
cut down waist tabs to fit sections of doublet
draft a front waist tab
pipe, line, attach tabs to waist

It's gonna be cold on Sunday, the last day of fest, so I'm hoping I'll have time to make a simple pair of sleeves for Brad to wear.  BUT I have some pieces of my own dress that I'd like to get done as well...unfortunately, this will only happen if I have time...which isn't totally out of reach, I do have all day on Saturday to work.

(estimated work time: 5 hours)
 As far as I can tell, I am in the ending stages of the doublet...and I'm expecting as usual, that finishing this thing will take the long amount of time.

Last night, I worked for another 4.5 hours.  I cut silk and made 3 or 4 yards of piping with a 1/8 inch cord from the hardware store.  The piping I made the night before was with a cord that is probably 1/16, and very thin.  Though we can use this piping somewhere else, I didn't think it would work very well in the main seams of the doublet.

Since I have very little experience with piping, I knew I might have some problems.  First, I pinned the piping so that the cord was just outside of my seam allowance, I started with the side back piece.  I used my zipper foot then attached it by machine.  Next, I pinned the back piece to the side back and tried to get this seam as close to possible to the piping.  It was't close enough, so I decided to do these seams by hand.  This worked really well as I could feel the piping with my fingers as I made my next stitch.  I was happy with the results. 

I did the same with the two front seams of the doublet, also attaching them by hand.  Then because I had the back pieces and the front pieces done I started to get very anxious and wanted Brad to try it on...of course this would be useless, even if it did fit because I am mostly insecure of the changes I made to the neckline and collar (which were mostly right with the mock-up) and that's what I was most curious to see.  So I basted the collar on, and the right side of the doublet, but that took a while to do by hand, and I was already ready to quit for the night, so I pinned the other side and had Brad try it on.

It looks like I'm going to have to take the doublet in at the sides, but that's the biggest alteration that I can see!  I'm very excited, but I know  I still have alot of work to do, you can read the quick list if you like, by clicking "Read More".

(estimated work time: 4.5 hours)
Last night I got the interfacing attached to the doublet pieces that needed them, first by using basting spray to place them then I sewed them in place using diagnoal stitches across the interfacing like the pattern specified.  I will get a picture of these steps in the next doublet, but I figured since I don't know how things are going to turn out, it may not be as important to document them now.

I traced the pieces I cut for this doublet on paper because I added some length since the last mock-up, and hope the next doublet will be put together much more quickly if I"ve got a good pattern to start with.  I'll need to remember to take notes of any changes I made from this point on so the pattern remains accurate.

I cut silk and made about 4 yards of piping, now sure how much I'm going to need, but I at least have a start for when I need it.  After that I used basting spray to keep all three layers of the doublet together.  After reading, I guess I'll need to cut another layer of fabric for the lining...Ugh!  I thought all the cutting was over with.  I think it's odd that this pattern calls for a flatlining fabic, THEN for another lining.  In my experience, if I have flatlined something I have not had to make another lining but I guess this is menswear...I haven't made any before, and we will want this piece to look pretty on the inside as well...I just don't understand why I'd flatline it if I am also going to make another lining...maybe I should just pull off the flatlining fabric and use it for the lining, then I wouldn't have to cut...Hmm...it's not too late to do this yet.

Anyway, I'm really excited with all the work I did last night.  I spent alot of time and feel I got much accomplished, but still have to sew a seam, which I hope will happen tonight.  We start with attaching the collar to the neck, then the side backs to the back.  I'm thinking since we're planning on piping the front seam that maybe we should also do this on the back.  I have yet to place piping into a seam before, so I'm not sure how well this is going to work without a few tries.

estimated time worked: 4.5 hours
This past weekend was my sort of last push to get anything done before the start of Renaissance Festival!  I'm excited that it's starting on Saturday, but it marks so many things.

The end of Summer, that State Fair will be starting shortly, the return to school, the beginning of Fall...and that all leads to the end of the year, which always arrives strangely soon, leaving us wondering what we did with the past year and always making plans to move onto the next.  It's a circle. 

But, to What I actually accomplished this weekend...not much!  The great thing about Fest is that since it runs for 6+ weeks, there's time to do stuff while it's on, which is actually very motivating! 

Saturday we did some errand running and ate lunch while we were out.  We slept in, which gives me less time to get things done, but I did press Brad's black linen before we left the house and when we got back, I put my corset and Venetian dress on and Brad helped me with the frustrating secondary straps.  I'm going to try the dress on tonight to see if I attached them in the right places and make adjustments if necessary.  Putting the corset on reminded me that the corset is too long, so yesterday, I cut it down a couple of inches (not as easy as it sounds since I also have to cut bones and melt them down, not difficult, but it is work). 

Venetian To Do:
This week I would like to repleat the front of the dress.  If I have the time I would also like to reattach the whole skirt because there is a fabric wrinkle where the skirt and bodice meet which means too much fabric.  I should be able to get it done, but I have to be sure to give myself enough time.  I really like the look of the trim that I'm using as a secondary strap, so I'm thinking it would look more intentional (these straps are necessary because I didn't know what I was doing when I made the bodice pattern and it's easier to add them than to make a new bodice) if I trimmed the bodice with it.  Then I could add some fun beading!  I was also toying with the idea of paned sleeves using this trim, though I'm not sure there's enough of it for both (there should be).  Finally, I need to do a mending job on the camicia shoulder.

I did add a yoke to the pantaloon...mmm...no!  The yokes makes the pants really puffy around my waist, so I'm thinking of adding a waistband or making a different pair of pantloons completely.  I might scrap this idea for this year if it gets too involved.

Brad's Breeches:
I pressed his linen, as mentioned above, and cut all the pieces for his real breeches.  Unfortunately, I forgot that this fabric needs to be lined *headdesk* so I need to cut more fabric!  I'm hoping to get this done tonight.  Also, today I should be finishing up Brad's "mock-up" breeches.

I got the doublet mock-up sewn up last night.  A few things need to be changed, the armhole was too small and the collar too high.  I may need to add some length to the waistline as well, but we'll have to double check it tonight.  I also need to trace the sleeve pattern in Brad's size so I can get those cut too.  Getting thse done isn't necessary to the doublet, but then I guess it woudl be referred to as a Jerkin.

Well, almost done. 

I'm almost finished with the wearable pair of mock-up breeches!  I need to add buttons and buttonholes, and something tells me that even though I'm almost done, that will take a while.  This is a handsewing project I can do at work, while working at other stuff at home in the evening.  The buttonhole foot on my brand new sewing machine seems to be faulty...so I'm going to have to make them by hand. 
I'm nervous.  I haven't made a buttonhole for a real garment ever before.  I'll just need to make sure that I research it well.

Beyond that, I've decided (with the help of a smart & trusty friend) that since my Venetian is almost wearable, I should be spending a little time getting it ready for opening weekend.  I also need to fix the chemise because a seam in the shoulder came apart last year.  I'm hoping adding this extra pair of shoulder straps will only take one evening to figure out. 

After that I need to figure out what to do next, and I'm not sure what it should be:
Mock-up Brad's doublet
Make the linen breeches

I feel that since this pair of breeches is so fresh in my mind, it may be a good idea to get the linen breeches made, but I am excited & curious to get his doublet started.  Also...making the linen breeches will probably only take a couple of days since I've already worked out the questions I had with the pattern.

I guess that means I should move ahead with starting the linen breeches, but while I'm cutting the pieces for them, I will also cut the 1st mock-up pieces for the doublet.