Thursday, 5 August 2010

Wench Costume - Part II

It is done! - well, actually, it was done last week.... and here it is!

A dress, a cape, an apron, a corsetty bodice, a hat, and a scarf ...

The apron took longer than expected because I decided to hem it invisibly ... well in 1460, they wouldn't have perfectly machined top stitching and I guess in those days, your everyday wench didn't have time to sit around perfecting her stitches by hand ... so a new technique (for me) was learned from here.

Then there was the bodice .. It was just as easy to make it reversible.  I am quite pleased with the result.   It is bound with machine from one side, but slip stitched by hand the other side.

The lacing is made from the same fabric as the dress - dyed calico.  The bodice took the most amount of time.  It is very lightly boned with straight metal bones. 

The cloak is made from 100% wool.  It's very heavy but very simple.  I didn't have too much time to spend on it, so it was made - from blank paper to finish - in a day.  Again, I thought that visible stitching would make it look too tailored for a 1460 wench, so there was more handstitching.  I neatend the edges with twill tape and bias binding to avoid bulk at the hems.  However, tailored or not, this is a very posh wench cloak - the fabric comes from a  Jaeger end of roll apparently! (I know!).


The actress is very pleased.  It fits her like a glove!  She particularly likes the new improved hat (see the last wench post for the RSC version - I mean! They really didn't have elastic in 1460, that much I know).  Anyway .. here she is in my very messy (under reconstruction) garden - by next year, I am hoping it will look more like Mrs Silverpebble's garden... Well I can dream!

And if you happen to be in Edinburgh over the next few weeks, you can see this all in action at The Vault, from 7-30 August.  The play is a 50 minute one woman show entitled "Now is the Winter" which is described as follows:

Shakespeare dramatized the only Richard III he could at the time. Elizabeth I, whose grandfather Henry VII had defeated Richard at Bosworth, was on the throne and every contemporary account of Richard presented an ambitious, usurping and deformed fiend who murdered his own nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Many have since challenged this view, suggesting a man who, amongst other traits, inspired great loyalty. This striking new one-woman show tells the story of a devoted servant in Richard's household and uses Shakespeare's own text to take a very different look at this enigmatic historical figure.

I am quite amazed that I managed to do this job in the small amount of time given - I mean - I am quite amazed that I managed to do the job at all nevermind the small amount of time given !!  But I am pleased with the result and my confidence is bolstered by the fact that it was all perfect beyond my own expectation, and the clients were pleased enough to mention "working together again".  The experience has made me realise that we really can achieve amazing things, and the only way to do this is to continually challenge and push ourselves to do things we don't imagine that we might be able to do or perhaps cant be bothered, through lack of confidence, to try.  This job was way beyond my comfort zone, but I didn't want to let my teacher down because she thought I could do it .. and so I tried, and I did it!  More on this lesson later ... 

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