Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And now for something slightly different...

I finished a commission piece that had become something of a Dragon to my St. George.  It wasn't that the piece was difficult or out of my range of abilities, it just felt like each step I took with the project provided me with a different hurdle to cross.  I have no idea what the problem was, but given how the finished piece came out, I'm glad I had to jump through those hoops.

There was specific inspiration for the piece.  I won't say what.  I'm sure you smart boys and girls can conjure it up.

We started out with one of my popular Pick-Up Skirts... in purple.

Then we added what I've come to call a "Quasi-Ghawazee" coat.
Ghawazee coats are a Middle Eastern garment that are characterized but an under-bust cut and usually straight seams, sometimes with gores fit in over the hips for some flash and flare.  I call this a "Quazi-Ghawazee" because the seams are curved and there are other design features that you just don't see in a typical ghawazee.

For example, typical ghawazees don't have boning.

But they would have hooks...

... and eyes.

But not lacing under the arms.
The quasi-ghawazee is split over the hips, as many "intended for dancing" ghawazees are, but in an effort to maximize form-fit on the garment, my client asked for lacing to be put in under the arms.  The laced edges are also boned, to help keep the seam straight.  There is one more feature to the underarm, but more on that later.

Back View
Since we were splitting the seam over the hips, I opted to put the gores into the side-back seams  It will give the coat a bit of swish and flare to the rear.  It also gave me an opportunity to introduce another color.

Detail View; Left Gore

Detail View; Right Gore
Of course, my client's heraldry offered many more colors for introduction.  I appliqued this all using a tear-away technique, and the white star is doubled-up so as to keep it opaque.  Also, for those that didn't already know, making six-pointed stars is really challenging if you aren't artistically inclined.

Inside View - Just as colorful!

Some seams are flat-felled.

Other seams are "hong-kong", or hemmed in on themselves.

Because flat-felling gores is a rubbish idea.

Sleeve Seam; I encased this one in bias, but didn't flat-fell it.
The coat is made of linen, which is not a fabric I use very often.  It has a great weight and flow to it, which I like, but the weave is dense and it frays pretty dramatically.  I felt that a zig-zag finish just wasn't going to cut the mustard on this piece, and so I went to some extra trouble to keep the inside clean.

Modesty Panels!
This is the extra feature about the lacing I mentioned earlier.  I put a modesty panel in behind the lacing for a couple of reasons.  One, metal grommets against skin can be uncomfortable.  Two, the idea of the lacing was to form-fit, and I didn't want to risk skin sticking out from between the laces.

Have you guessed the inspiration, yet?

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