7.8.18

CREATE: 'art thou nasty' walkthrough


ART THOU READY for the DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER MADE? 

Okay, so once upon a time this tumblr post happened, and it's not an exaggeration to say I thought about it every day since for eighty years. So, a couple of months ago I made these, and then something batshit happened... so, by popular request, here's the process walkthrough!



This post talks about Landsknecht short hosen (left), but I was looking to go classic Elizabethan (right) in style - more volume, panelling, slashing etc. Because I love to make things complicated for myself.

While there are a lot of longer/knee length versions out there, there's enough variation that technically you could go hotpant length with these and still be reasonably historically accurate, looool. Not that that was my priority, as I was going to embroider 'art thou nasty' on the butt. But still.

I turned to the Tudor Tailor by Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila as a starting point for these - they have a pattern for Tudor trunkhose, which are basically big and puffy at the butt (like bloomers) then tight around the legs like leggings.


 the image in the Tudor Tailor


Extant garment owned by Elector Moritz of Saxony (1521-1553) 

BLOOMERS, RIGHT? This definitely looked like something I could turn into booty shorts. Crucial points of change to consider at this point:
  • Resizing the base pattern to fit a small woman, not a medium sized man
  • Shortening the length overall
  • Not including the leggings
  • No sticky-out codpiece thanks, I'm good
  • I wanted paned pieces at the front and sides, but I knew the back would need to be one piece in order to have the embroidery.

I did some fucking around with patterns, which involved not just maths but ACTUAL EQUATIONS, when everyone knows I can’t even do basic addition, and then I just went for it with the paned pieces.


These are navy blue velvet strips, twelve in total to cover the front and sides. They’re backed in this cream/light gold patterned polyester satin (which I swear I had like a metre of, then I used it in forty different projects, and I still have a metre of it...), then I bound the long edges with gold bias binding (slip stitches by hand on the gold side to keep the stitches hidden). I made these almost original length to give myself more flexibility, but I knew these would be shortened a lot later. Also I did NOT have as much of the gold bias binding as I thought so I was like, no worries, I’ll order more from the same seller! Nope, they didn’t have any more. So I had to order some elsewhere and cross fingers for a colour match. When has that ever worked out for me? Tried to tea stain it. Still nope. Tried a second time. Stiiiillll noooope.

I ended up making my own bias binding out of some gold satin that was very NEARLY a match, haha. I find making bias binding by hand insanely tedious so at this point I was like, why am I doing this for a joke costume, lol. But it was quite a soothing, repetitive process and looked really nice when all the pieces were done!


So, the next step for me here was the under layer! I got this super nice red silk dupioni in remnants which was an absolute dream to work with, so I ran up the actual bloomer part really quickly. This is a horrible picture of it where you can’t see the texture, but this fabric is great.

I used the Tudor Tailor pattern as a base, but a few parts of this were super weird to me, so I changed it up on my initial mock-up. After this I abandoned the book altogether.


I left openings at the front crotch, and about 10 cm on either side of the thigh seam. I did a tiny little rolled hem by hand on each of these.

Rather than sewing in darts, I just gathered all the tops and bottoms along a running stitch, to bring them down to the width of the waistband and leg openings.


The waistband is three layers: the same navy velvet and gold lining as the panes, but with a thick layer of ecru denim in the middle to reinforce it. So this is what the red silk is attached to! From here on it’s all careful hand sewing while I marathon Arrested Development, fyi.

Panels going on! 


I’d set out six panels on either side, but once I laid these out I only needed four on each, and then the butt panel where the embroidery would be.


I promise I don’t have a really dirty hand, that’s just the remnants of henna from when I was in Morocco.

I always try to hand sew eyelets even though every time it looks awful, because metal grommets aren’t historically accurate until like the 19th century or whenever. I don’t know why I do this. I even did a bunch of practice ones before starting on this (which were fine) and it still looked awful as soon as I touched the real thing. This is a dumb mental block in my head where I’m like, oh, velvet Tudor hotpants are fine, but god forbid I use metal grommets, amirite; and then I immediately regret it. I even did them in a contrasting colour! WHY.

So, the next step is sewing the cuffs at the bottom. I took about four inches off the length at this point, since I was now able to try them on and judge the length when they were worn. I only cut the velvet panels at this stage, not the red silk - I wanted the silk to have plenty of volume, and it’s easy to cut but hard to add back on.


I didn’t add a reinforced layer between the velvet and lining for the cuffs, unlike the waistband. I probably should have done... I could’ve sewn the panels to the centre layer like I did with the waistband, to avoid any visible top stitching. Luckily the velvet pile was very forgiving so the stitches are fairly well hidden, but still.

Note that these aren’t a closed loop - remember I hemmed a slight opening at the bottom of the red silk bloomers? This was because I planned to have eyelets on the cuffs, giving me a bit more adjustability. There’s also press studs on the fly of the red bloomers.

The top edge of the velvet is turned over and slip stitched by hand to hide the raw edge.


Embroidery time! Aka, let’s watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail and drink lots of tea while we stab things with needles. Again I did a practice round before the real thing to get the lettering right, but the velvet pile made things trickier so I ended up winging it.

Then just the eyelets on the cuffs, followed by a few days’ wait for my red ribbon to be delivered, and...

 I'm a gift.

So, a couple of things I learned:

  • As you can see, the indentation of the embroidery hoop is pretty obvious in the velvet pile. I didn't realise this was going to happen as it was my first time embroidering velvet, and I couldn't get it out afterwards. I think if I wrapped my hoop before using it, I could prevent this!
  • I want to allow a bit of fabric allowance on the fly of the red silk, so it doesn't gape when I add in the press stud closures. That was something I only realised when I first tried them on and it was too late to adjust.
  • As mentioned, next time I'd definitely add a reinforced layer to the cuffs to hide the stitches, like I did the waistband.
  • Use metal grommets next time Anna, you dummy. I may overlay them with embroidery though.
  • I also need to finish the edges of the ribbon ties, because I was definitely too lazy to do that, loool.
These imperfections are the main reason I'm hesitant to sell this pair since I was figuring stuff out as I went and they weren't made to be sale quality! But I'm really excited to make more because I think I can get a much nicer finish next time. Also, these were SO satisfying to make. Maybe all the more so because they're ridiculous.



Done! Let me know if you enjoyed reading this as I may do more project walkthroughs in the future if people like them! <3 p="">

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© papillon.Maira Gall