Monday, April 11, 2011

Giovanni Day 4: Doublet Adventures

I've come to realize that these 'day-by-day' updates are a tad misleading. It is Post #4 for Gio but he's been in the works off and on since late January. I don't want to give the impression that all of this work is accomplished in only four days yet simultaneously, I don't want to write "Giovanni Day 63" because that would remind me what an embarrassingly narrow life I lead.

Regardless, this is the progress of the last few days. The stripes went on Saturday morning in the midst of experiments with Super Sculpey (more on THAT later...) and failed attempts at shoulder guard patterns. The rest of the day was spent on a supply run since the Sculpey did what it was supposed to. I also picked up the fabric for Supah Sekrit Cohsteuwm Nubah 3, which will be completed if:

A: Giovanni and Marius are done with time to spare (HA) or;
B: Giovanni takes too long and I need something simpler than Marius (who grows more complicated by the day).

And so Sunday was devoted to patterning up the sash, the belt, and the large leather shoulder guard.


These were delightfully straightforward and went together in a number of minutes. The outer doublet panels consumed the rest of the day and the rest of the weekend. Below you can see the shell panels pinned roughly over the base:

This is to get the effect seen here:

These stripes throw ACII costumers for the proverbial loop time and time again. With Ezio in the game (and all of the action figures), it's hard to tell what's going on with the white fabric alongside those red stripes. Most assume it's narrow bands of lace but Giovanni has clearly got some epic fraying action going on here. This is where things got "fun" this weekend. Earlier, I had assumed I could simply cut the outer shell in those panels, lay the pieces over those red stripes and fray the sides a bit. No, no banana, nein, nie, non, and all of the above. This is how it looked when I tried my initial plan


Can we say "epic fail"? So I grabbed two of my initial fray test pieces (from a ripped salvage end of the outer fabric) and laid them under this travesty.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about. But there was a catch. As seen in the initial attempt, cut edges of fabric do not fray well whereas the ripped ones did beautifully. So I set about ripping off five 1.5" bands from my extra outer fabric and after picking mournfully at the weave with a sewing awl and hating life for an hour, I realized I could fray them very quickly by standing on one end, working a couple of threads loose, and stripping these off down the length of the strip.* And thus we got the following:

Each red stripe requires two frayed lengths on either side to get the amount Giovanni seems to have on his. This is going to add considerable work to the doublet but it will be absolutely worth it in the long-run. Never settle, kids!

Stay tuned for another update soonest! (Probably tonight or tomorrow) But for now, I have a sneaking suspicion my oranges congealed into a cat.**

*Un-necessary detail, probably, but I considered this discovery such a triumph since it saved me four or five hours of agony.

**I'm not actually a huge fan of cats. It's just that we have three of them and they're always doing stupid things.

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