Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Medieval a la lycra

The next big project I'm working on requires a ton of interfacing so, naturally, I ran out of interfacing. So, with an eye to using up some "what was I thinking fabric" and making Sara her long-promised costume, I decided to have some fun with a medieval dress until I could
go interfacing-shopping.This was an awfully quick project since I just modified the Raglan Sleeve shirt I just made (Ottobre 6-2008-13) into a dress. I left the sleeve hems ungathered, took in the waist to 1" bigger than Sara's measurement, and lengthened the hem to floor length. I also squared the neckline, added some lace and a belt cut out of jersey.

Other than modifying a modern pattern, I stayed true to medieval tools and techniques: serged seams, serged rolled hems, elastic thread, a stretch needle, and fabric with a 10% lycra content.
This is the first time I've used a stretch needle. When I was shirring the sleeves, the ballpoint needle was skipping stitches like crazy, but I got perfect stitches when I switched to the stretch needle. Amazing.

Here you can see the shape of the dress.

Brown cotton lace and shirred sleeves.

Rolled hem.

The belt is a long strip of brown slinky jersey.


  1. Excellent use of "what I was thinking fabric"!

  2. Adorable and I am totally copying you for my princess. So awesome!!

    Your medieval techniques made me laugh out loud. Mine are just as true to period. ;-)

  3. Awesome! Just what a true-to-every-nitty-gritty-detail medieval-reenactment-buff girl needs. Also extra points for using up WWIT Fabric. I wish I could talk one of my kids into being Maid Marion for Halloween. I'm stuck with two cheesy vampires this year, courtesy of the Oh-so-authentic-and-polyester design genius of Walmart.

  4. What a great use for the fabric! I do like the colour :)

  5. I loved your "staying true" comment. This really is a perfect way to use your "What was I thinking?" fabric. And oh my goodness, I am so glad you discovered the stretch needle. It makes such a difference for your knit sewing! Your daughter looks adorable and I love the pic of her sidekick!

  6. Spooooooky!!! I was just cutting out an Olivia today and thinking 'this would make a great medieval dress'. Not that I'm going to do it any time soon - I have mermaid and firefighter requests in for this year. I love the shirring - those Dark Ages types really knew how to rock elastic, don't you think?

  7. Lovely! Am thinking I could adult size that off a tee pattern I like!

  8. Ok, I'm ignorant on the needle thing. I have been using a ball point needle & have been double sewing my seams becasue NO MATTER what I do, I get skipped stitches. Remember - I am in Nashville - some things are totally foreign down here. What is a "stretch needle" ? How is it different from the ball point? (See if I know this stuff when I GO to the sewing machine shop, they won't tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about)
    Love the costume! You are always an inspiration.


  9. She looks beautiful in her dress, and her smile says it all!
    The rolled hems look perfect, definitely worth the purchase of a stretch needle!
    Your description of true to form mediaeval techniques made me laugh...


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