Monday, March 5, 2012

They mate for life - L

Since my sewing machine is in the shop, I've been working on peripheral stuff.  Things like handwork for the pending renaissance dress, flea furs for both of us, renaissance buttons, and cutting and hemming chiffon. All need to be done by hand.  It's sort of odd to be shifting projects from moment to moment, but I'm getting used to it, and making some progress.  It's become glaringly obvious that Robin and I each have different talents so we are starting to parse some things to the 'expert'.  She is doing all the blackwork embroidery on her machine.  I don't have the ability or the patience to do that.  She is doing hats.  I have some sort of aversion to it.  I am doing renaissance buttons, flea furs, and research on new techniques like hand rolled chiffon hems.  (ugh).  She doesn't have the urge to make papier mache weasel heads...though I can't understand why not...??
Here is a matched pair of headless weasel bodies, including their gilded paws.  More pictures below.

What follows is a string of pictures including my first ever hand rolled hem.  The second edge was smoother.  Clearly this is a learned skill.  We'd heard that chiffon was a bitch to work with.  We heard true.  Ultimately, I found myself singing:
'I Fought Chiffon and Chiffon Won''

This edge is a center front panel.  I had planned to do the bottom hem, but I can't do it until I get it level.  Possibly in the next century?

Also, 4 different renaissance button samples.  Since Robin is doing my blackwork, I said I would make buttons for both her and her beau.  Lucky for me he has chosen one of the easiest to make because it turns out to take a lot longer than I'd anticipated and makes my fingers cramp and he needs 36 buttons!!!   I'm already rethinking my personal choice.

Finally, I tried paper clay for the first time.
Regular clay make the 'heads' for the flea furs too heavy.  
I spread the goop over heavy paper cones and made little 'lumps' with wire toenails for paws.

Then I cut some of Robin's faux fur into creature bits.
I decided to make them have a little character.  Then I had to make little legs.  Once I had sewn on the legs and added a little stuffing to create shaping, I gilded the paw pieces and glued them into the legs.  While I was sewing I was baking the paper clay at very low heat to speed the drying.
The heads will need to be sanded quite a bit and then gilded.  I will glue some fake jewels into the eye sockets and for general decoration.  Here they are!