Porpentine's Period Productions

Name:

Nothing to tell really.... random redhead and shortest musketeer in the block, sometimes goth, plays the mandolin badly, smokes too much and likes cheese, chillies and chocolate. Next!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Briefly back to the waistcoat

To be worn with a dark green velvet coat and breeches, with gold lace trim and peach/green shot taffeta lining. Which sounds quite diabolical but in fact isn't. Honest.

Actually this was just an excuse to share my favourite online fabric shop
Cheap Fabrics Online (www.cheapfabrics.co.uk) - can't get the link to work or I would have put up a link to the fabric samples :-( but if you have five minutes have a look at their site, they have some gorgeous stuff. Fabric for my wedding dress came from there, wine red silk. Mmmmmmm.

Cheriton looms...

Radio silence for the next few days from the family Porpentine, who will be in Hampshire getting married for the edification of the general public. Silk ribbon knots all sewn to my skirts ready to be pulled off by the guests. Poking stick at the ready to fend off the adventurous should the guests get too lively...

Spent last night packing the rucksacks ready to go, I think I have everything (including a hot water bottle in case of rain... oh I love camping...)Tonight to make my authentic bread and if I remember to pick some blackberries from over the road. Lots of linen squares to tie our cheese and bread up in.

Quite excited....determined not to buy any kit from Traders' Row mind, but excited.

I do want to try and find myself some parchment though for making reticella lace, which seems a perfectly admirable thing to do on the Living History site.
The lace I've made so far - which admittedly I tend not to finish but that's laziness more than anything - has all been card or plastic sheet templates. If I get some parchment I will post the patterns up!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


The splendid waistcoat - with buttons! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

Buttons for breakfast, lunch and supper!

There's a lot of buttons on that waistcoat :-)

This is a preview of the bit I've done. Probably to be shown piecemeal....as that's how I'm sewing it!!

There is a possibility that Porpentine Posh Productions will be making its debut at the Historic Fashion Show at the re-enactor's market in October, provided that yrs truly can co-ordinate things with the organisers. Which means that I've got quite a lot of sewing to do... big sigh. Ah well I can't say I don't enjoy it.... keeps me busy....

Life is good...

Buttons for the waistcoat of doom arrived this morning, huzzah and more photos to follow (such an exciting weskit how can I contain myself?)

AND I found my errant mobile this morning. In my shoe. (Nobody's texted me in two weeks - how unloved I am!)

Ahhhh the ghost of old High Cross St strikes again....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Busy busy busy

Up at 7.45 am cutting out pattern for the black brocade polonaise from Janet Arnold's "Patterns of Fashion"

Three quarters of the wretched thing is pinned to the tailor's dummy when it occurs to me.... it's too dmnd big in the waist. Oh hell. Much pinning and pondering later, I still have an inch or two to play with (aren't I a lucky Kitty?) but that should get taken care of by the darts in the pattern at the back.

Oh - and finished the bodice for my authentic wedding next week at Cheriton. Can't find my 17th century stays so going for the 18th century version - oh well, one hopes no one's going to see my with my kit off except the man who's lacing me into it :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Kitty in kit Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lord Rochester is in the building....


The Pimp is in.....! Posted by Picasa

The stunning waistcoat! This is it in its full remarkably green glory. Structurally, it's finished. It still needs buttons - which have been ordered but which haven't arrived yet - and it's still awaiting the gold braid..... the braid has been on it but I've unpinned it all the better to show the stages of construction. But there it is.
And my black brocade arrived today.... I've had it out on the bed stroking it lovingly and admiring it. Beautiful brocade! I've got the heavy black lace sleeve ruffles finished, sewn to tape to attach inside the sleeve.

PS this photo really is in our kitchen the bedroom is in too horrid a state of fabric-y mess with 10 yards of black brocade piled on the bed. Ahem.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Does my bum look big in this?

Still sulking about the waistcoat. Spend the day sewing binding to the edges of my stays. Sewing through canvas with a leather needle is painful work. Bloodstains on my corset lining? how authentic!

Also thinking hard about underpinnings - cork rumps and all that. Not being entirely sure where one finds a cork rump - an *rse extension, to all intents and purposes - it would seem that an appropriate substitute would be the bum roll, the 17th century instrument of torture intended to make one's backside the size of a small planet. I haven't got one. (A bum roll, that is, not...) Before I start to make one I must consider just how big it needs to be. I'm thinking rolled-up pillows here. 5-6 inches in a crescent shape round the hips, tapering to nothing at the front so there's no bulk at the front of the skirt - just sides and back. I decide to try draping a skirt on the dummy when I've got the corset finished. Ideally the bigger the bum roll the better, within reason - more contrast between waist and skirt.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Suits you, sir.....

DISASTER! Waistcoat all sewn together and ready to press. Looking splendid. All tried on, fitted like a shiny green second skin with skirts. Mmmm. Dashing. Foolish here, having spent the last 12 months working in nothing but natural fabrics, forgets that the aforesaid shiny green is 100% artificial silly dress-up stuff, cranks up the steam iron to "steam" and sets to with a will. Fifteen seconds later, a regrettable sizzling noise and a small melted burnt patch on the front of the splendid waistcoat.
Having briefly thrown my toys out of the pram I have three options.
1) Cut a completely new front panel. Will certainly solve the problem, but I had the remnants of that brocade earmarked for making another waistcoat.
2)Put a patch over the offending area - it's an idea, but not sure that a big clunky patch is quite the thing on a swish court waistcoat.
3) Patch it, and then embroider (or applique or in some other wise apply bling decoration) over the burnt bit.
Hmmmmm. Wonder which it's to be. Looks like... "The pimp is IN!"

Monday, August 01, 2005

Il faut souffrir pur etre belle

Otherwise known as suffering in the name of vanity.....

Stays. Don't you love 'em? Such a pretty, delicate brocade shell - John Lewis upholstery fabric, no less, like most of the rest of my stays - and then fully boned underneath. Like light armour plate. Fully boned, mind, means there's hardly an inch of unboned material. Hell, I hope they don't have metal detectors on the train station - it's always so embarrassing having to remove the steels from your corset to demonstrate that really, you are not an international terrorist, you just happen to be wearing stays.... (Yes, it has happened to me before, which will teach me to go out wearing my stays as a top!)
Anyway, a weekend's work, give or take a few hours, and I have my corset mounted on my tailor's dummy in the corner of the room ready from some serious brocade-on-brocade action.
Seriously, I'm horribly proud of that corset - I think it's one of the best things I've ever done, and if I don't get the edges bound soon I'm probably going to sever an artery on one of the edges of the steels still showing through the fabric. All that considered, it does what it's supposed to do, and gives me a splendid period shape of flat front and bosom up round my chin somewhere. Best not to mention the waist reduction. Not sure if the beloved is perfectly keen on squeezing me in by a good 5 inches....

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