Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elizabethan Fur Edged Robe

For Michael to wear at the faire this weekend . . . His character is part of the Privy Council and they all often wear black robes or mantles to distinguish themselves from just the regular courtiers. Well Michael got it in his head that he wanted it to be fur lined because it would make it very impressive and look more correct as so many of the robes seen in portraits are fur lined (they were in a mini ice age after all). Hans Holbein the famous portrait painter did a few notable men including King Henry VIII wearing fur lined robes.
So we already had the main black robe (its an old 50's ladies coat with the sleeves removed)
and then he found online a nice marmot fur coat that had a similar shaped collar. 
The fur is in amazing condition and is super soft and plush and silky but someone at some point had butchered the sleeves of to little caps and it was kinda ridiculous on its own.

Then it was just a simple matter of cutting up one and adding it to the other . . . HA! not simple at all. To start, this was my first ever experience sewing fur so i had to learn by trial and error. The first thing i figured out was how to cut under the fur along the hide and to match the grain of the fur so it all looked like one smooth complete piece. Then came the jigsaw puzzle of matching and fitting pieces to achieve the shape. Luckily the fur coat had a similar collar to the black robe so i didn't have to create the curve for that. Then it was just a lot of hand sewing to join all the pieces together and then stitch it to the robe. The whole thing took me two days straight to get it done but done it most certainly is.
On a side note i have rather horrible allergies to all sorts of things that grow or have fur so after two days of cutting up (i am still sweeping up little fur floats from that process) and having my face stuffed into it as i sewed it together my allergies had reached whole new levels! needless to say it was quite miserable and i hate fur!! okay i love fur :) and the coat is really nice and there is enough fur left over for a muff or some other such project for me . . . maybe . . . although i think i will invest in a respirator before i work with fur like that again ;)!

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