Good news: My new Spanish 1520s outfit is almost done!

Bad news: I’ve been farthingale-ing, and it’s been harrowing. I think I avoided permanent damage to my sewing machine. I think.

(Yes, I am back from Glasgow. I was there for three days because Work. I will write more about it once my parents get back from their longer trip to London and I can steal some photos)

Ok. Back to the farthingale. The problem I had with this from the beginning is that I am a modern woman with a bit of a unclean-bathroom phobia who has to wear this thing in port-a-potties. Which means it has to

a) sufficiently support my skirt!

But also

b) be able to be compressed/gathered up so I can go to the bathroom.

So I used paracord.

That is two lines of 550 paracord encased in a piece of 3/4″ twill tape. Doing this was hard, mostly because the seam allowances were tiny and my piping foot doesn’t grip as well as I would like. As a result, the whole thing is a little…. Wonky.

If I make another one I would also use a more substantial fabric– this is the ~7 oz linen from Dharma and something with more body would hold better. I’m also planning on starching it.

I originally started with a plan of 1 double paracord loop every 6″ with 1 triple loop at the very bottom. However I saw the writing on the wall that I had accidentally made the support for a Charles James clover dress and not a 16th C smooth cone. So I took a look at the Mantua Maker farthingale pattern we sell at work and for soft cord she does:

Top two loops– 6″ apart

After that– 3″ apart until the finished length.

However I am OUT of twill tape so we’ll have to wait until next week to continue and/or discover that I’ve killed my sewing machine.

That would really upset me; this sewing machine was a gift from my dad to my mom the first year they were dating, so it has sentimental value (tbh more to me than to them). It’s also an all-mechanical FREAKING HEAVY tank, which I adore.

To assuage some of my fears, I stuck my black dress over the top, as-is. And

Not half bad! Usual caveat that I am squishy, dress form is not, bustline is weird, blah blah blah. I am also coming to hate the shoulders on this dress form– even with the removable magnet bits off I still heard a distressing thread-going-snap noise as I put this on…. Time to check all my seams.

The red thing on the belt is a leather needle case– I’ve loaded it with a few kinds of needles in a scrap of wool and a pair of thread snips.

I got it on Etsy and I think the seller was Barry’s Leather (?) But I’d need to check.

Something about the neckline is not quite right– I feel like the corners should be sharper, if that makes sense? But on the whole I’m happy with it. By March Crown I should have a new cofia y tranzado as well as a 16th C Spanish dragon pendant replica! I shall be actually accessorized and very snazzy.

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