So it is done, my new smocked shift. This time I tried hard not to make a neckline that scoops too low, a thing I always manage to do with my shifts. It took a few times of pinning, trying it on, repin it and repeat.
The inspiration is mainly the finely smocked shifts and shirts from really late 15th C Germany, such as Dürers shirt, and I looked into the larger number of extant Italian camicias of the 16th C for the cut and also decorations. Here are one example of the sleeve and gusset that I liked:
http://www.renikasanachronisticadventures.blogspot.se/2013/04/all-dressed-up-housebook-style.html), I did get the question why I had made such big and coarse pleats in the neck insert. I thought about it and figured I was just taking the easy path and thus challenged myself a bit this time. So I made the pleats so tiny I had problems getting them to form, and got the tip on damping the fabric and then gently pull in the direction of the pleats, and the linen gently pleated itself.
One of the main reasons for making this rather plain shift with a simple white smock was that I wanted to use the lovely antique golden lace I got from my mother in law, forming the edging of a lovely but really worn brocade table cloth. And there are some extant camicias with golden lace on the edge, excellent inspiration:
måndag 25 november 2013
söndag 10 november 2013
For my apron I decided to gather pleats on top front and back, and the fabric I used is not pure white as in most depictions, but striped with thin black stripes. But I decided not to be to true to the originals but to make my own interpretation. It turned out to be a bigger project than I had imagined, mainly because my stubborn decision to pleat it so much. But the result was worth it and I will be proud to wear it at our next upcoming local event, where I will be head cook.
The cut is really simple, I think it ought to be two rectangular pieces, just gathered at the top and sewn together in the sides, but I found it hard to get the smocked part as thin as I wanted it so I simply cut it into two trapezoid shapes. The top part I gathered with a smocking thread and then I sew right across the pleats with the black silk, reinforcing the back with similar seams, approximately two centimeters apart.