All posts filed under: Make

Corded gathering tutorial thedreamstress.com

Tutorial: How to sew gathers & ruffles with cord gathering (aka the easiest way to gather, ever)

There are certain things in sewing that you just hate doing. Some people hate setting zips (if you do, use the zip method in this tutorial and they will come out perfect every time), some people hate setting sleeves, and some people hate gathering.  I was one of the latter. My very first proper sewing project, made well over half a lifetime ago, was an 8-gore double-circle skirt, with HUGE amounts of fabric gathered into the waistband.  I did not mind learning how to do a tiny rolled hem and hemming the meters of fabric, but I did NOT enjoy gathering in the gores at all.  A decade of sewing did not improve my dislike of gathering one bit, and I just tried to avoid garments that involved it.  I would do anything but gathering: tiny cartridge pleating, tiny knife pleats, little box pleats… Then I figured out how to do cord gathering, and the skies parted, and angels sang.  Cord gathering is AMAZING.  It allows you to quickly and easily gather in huge amounts of fabric, …

A trio of Medieval accessories

You’ve already seen my medieval dress, and a costume-y medieval belt, but I’ve been working on much more historically accurate accessories. My first belt was fun and sparkly, but I wanted a proper belt: (shown, with complete lack of properness, with my Miramar Gothic dress) I made the belt from two strips of soft leather in mid-brown.  I couldn’t find a leather scrap within my budget that was long enough for a single strip (a $200 hide is out of the question at the moment), so I joined the two strips with a bit of stitching.  I have no idea if a leather join like that is accurate, but I suspect it’s plausible.  And it reminds me of the mended sashes of the sword-wearers of Damar, so, win! I used a vintage English-made brass buckle I found at an op shop: it’s not quite right for the 14th century, but isn’t too bad.  I had a stroke of luck the day after I cut my belt, but before I’d finished it.  I found a crappy pleather …

A loose ends lucet cord

While working on my medieval gown, I struggled with a lacing cord for it.  There isn’t much that is suitable in Wellington, and I didn’t really have time to order something in. I used a simple linen cord to hold it the dress together while I was working on it, but it started fraying pretty quickly, and also made the dress look a little too Friar Tuck robe-ish. I researched cord options and came across lucet cords.  I read a couple of tutorials (I’m all about reading tutorials, youtube is not my thing) and realised that lucet cord is basically a two-finger yarn lei – and I know how to make yarn leis! Unfortunately along with a dearth of period-appropriate cording in Wellington, I haven’t been able to source a lucet fork in NZ. I started out really make do: with a plastic fork with the middle tines broken out, and linen thread.  The resulting cord was beautiful, but the making process was rather unsatisfactory.  I was only able to make rate at about 2cm an hour, and …