Thursday, May 30, 2013

Montagnard Shirt--Almost Done!!

I know it's been a while, but I've still been chugging away at the Vietnamese Montagnard shirt for my client--and it's almost done!

A few notes on construction--I originally figured that the sleeves would but cut as one with the shirt, but to get the most out of my fabric, I decided to cut the shirt traditionally and sew the sleeves to the armholes.

Fiddling with the bias binding on the front of the shirt seemed to take forever, but it has such a crisp and military look! When I was putting my handmade "bias binding" around the neckline, I realized all those yards of handmade bias binding weren't on the bias at all! Sigh...either way, the straight grain binding was suitable enough for trimming the sleeve cuffs and making the front decoration. I ended up making a new length of real bias binding for trimming the neckline, and since my client wanted a more rugged, worn look, I sewed it on by hand with a few threads of slightly darker red embroidery thread I had leftover from my 18th Century Embroidered Pockets.

I still need to sew on the buttons, hem the shirt, sew on the basted front trim, and sew more trim onto the sides mimicking the pattern of the trim at the shoulder of the shirt.

Close up on the front detail--the red  button placket thing is only basted on.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Return of Chopines?

I haven't blogged in over a month, but that's because I've been totally swamped: between sewing the Montagnard shirt and a retro brassiere, I just wrapped up my Spring semester at university!

Now that I'm out of school until September, I can get back on track with my blogging again! I know I've been a bad blogger (never one to keep up regular posting as I should) but hopefully this summer the quantity and regularity of my posts will improve.

First off, though, is something interesting I've observed lately. I think a few of us have seen those heel-less shoes (sometimes called gravity shoes) around, and maybe some of us have witnessed a few daring fashionistas clobbering around town in these crazy, gravity-defying monuments to personal style and futuristic high-fashion trends.
$40 from MakeMeChic
Also $40 from MakeMeChic
Image found through my Google search
Is it just me, or do these shoes possess a startling similarity to Chopines, the original 15-17th century platform shoe? Chopines not only protected fancy and delicate shoes from dirty streets, they also afforded their wearers some extra height (and with this, a greater surface area to be covered with lavish fabric). Most popular among Venetian women, the wearers of the biggest chopines are thought to have been prolific prostitutes.

Chopine via Pinterest
16th century chopines via the Bata Shoe Museum

Collection of 16th century chopines found here
What do you think, readers? Has the chopine finally made it through the cyclical nature of fashion trends and made its way, regurgitated in a distinctly 21st century and "modernistic" interpretation, back into the rungs of high-fashion influence? Does this style of shoe still possess the same negative connotations of the wearer as it did centuries ago?