I've been starting on prep work for the military outfit. Monday evening I quickly realized that the original Victorian pattern for the vest and jacket was horribly out of proportion. Luckily, I have a already-fitted Truly Victorian bodice and both volumes of Fashions of the Gilded Age at my disposal, so between those two, I think I can come up with something that looks like the original design.
I've also been looking into gloves. I'll be making military dress gloves, and while I'm not sure the modern pattern was used back then, they did have gloves that buttoned at the wrist, so that's a start. I'll save my sanity and buy a pattern for that.
And tonight I started something I wasn't planning on doing: embroidery.
The thought came up some night this week in the wee hours of the morning that I should do some insignias or what have you, like uniforms do, like patches that denote rank or what branch of the military they're in. So I decided to do (hopefully) two things, a royal seal and a royal cypher. What is a cypher? A monogram basically, and I've seen it used for the royal family in Britain on various things. So since that was simpler, I started on that first.
I am a cross stitcher, but I'm not embroiderer. So this trial run is looking shoddy at best, but I wanted to see if I could do it.
I started with just tracing my printed out design onto tear away interfacing used for machine embroidery:
Then I (attempted) to satin stitch. I used gold cross stitch thread and dark red sewing thread. After an hour's worth of stitching, here's what I have so far:
As I said, shoddy. I'm sure it will get better as I go along. The royal cypher always ends in R for Rex or Regina. I chose to use the initial of the family name of the monarch rather than the given name since royal families in this particular place aren't so boring with the naming of their heirs, so they have cyphers to honor the entire lineage, not just one monarch. I decided.
I may break my vow of "don't buy anything that isn't mandatory" and get the glove pattern next time it goes on sale. I want a lot of the tedious work done first, and I do need these gloves for this outfit. So that's how it goes.