Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Project: Pseudo-Blackwork Coif

I always have more costuming projects in mind than time to make them, but I did manage to make a small one a little while ago for Nancy-Raven's birthday. (Truth be told, I was looking for something I could make myself with stuff I already had - the economy, you know...) As I am home all day watching TV while nursing, she lent me both seasons of The Tudors, which she loves. (Now I know the costumes in that show are often historically inaccurate, but that is besides the point here.) This gave me an idea: whenever we go to Medieval / SCA events, Nancy-Raven has nothing to cover her head, which is especially important if one is outdoors in the sun, so why not make her a coif? Let's make it an Elizabethan coif, I thought, since I know she has fabric to make dresses of that period.

And so I visited one of my favorite costuming resource for that Era, The Elizabethan Costuming Page and used their Elizabethan Coif Pattern. Blackwork embroidery was often used on such pieces in that time, and I looked at many pictures of beautifully decorated original and recreation coifs, but my embroidery skills are still very limited and I started the project five days before her birthday, so I decided to go for a pseudo-blackwork look by using some of the decorative stitches my SINGER®Quantum® Futura™ offers.

Enough chit-chatting on my part: here is the coif and its making-of.

This is the coif after I had done the horizontal stitches, alternating between a Swan and Tulip stitch. Before I started on the decorative stitches, I marked them all with an embroidery penn so I would only have to follow the lines.

In this picture, you might notice the seam in the middle: that is because I was using cotton leftovers and had to fit the pattern in what fabric I had. There wouldn't be a seam normally.

Now you see the coif after I've added the diagonal vine leaf stitches.

The finished coif - I've bag lined it, added ties made from bias tape and added the decorative stitch all around.

A side view of the finished coif.

A back view of the finished coif.

Now all I need is a picture of Nancy-Raven in garb wearing her coif.

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