easy as one-two-three-four

Past the initial headpiece fitting, constructing this hood was actually pretty simple.

I rejected out of hand the idea of trying for a circle cape. I wasn’t sure how much fabric I’d need, and I wanted something I could cut with a minimum of loss. Instead, I went with trapezoids. You remember these from grade school: they look like a triangle with the top cut off. Initially I cut five, forgetting that 7.5 x 5 yields something I can’t even wear around my hips, much less my neck, and I know Eleven isn’t that big.

This is why basting is your friend: it took seeing those five trapezoids cobbled together to understand that.

So I unbasted the most awkwardly-cut of the trapezoids — hey, spare pattern piece, not too shabby — and joined up the edges again. There. That was a more human 28″ at the neck, which coincided nicely with what we had decided was the desired opening. HA. And wouldn’t you know it, when I unearthed the initial headpiece pattern (taken, if you’ll recall, by sticking a bag over his head and pinning), added the requested inch of give on all sides, and measured? 28″. Between us, Eleven and I make one fantastic seamstress.

Allow me to digress for a minute and discuss work on my own fabulous red gown. All I have yet to do are set in the sleeves. This would be easier if I weren’t all thumbs at the work. Now, looking at this hood, I wasn’t sure how I’d fit the headpiece to the cape, so I picked a spot and started sewing it in from there. It occurs to me that if I want my sleeves to sit well, and begin their seam at one particular spot, it’s not illogical to start with open sleeves, fix ’em into place, and THEN seam them shut. Exact same look when I turn them out, less with the weird wrinkles. Hell, I need to recut these sleeves a bit slimmer anyhow.

So the headpiece is sitting exactly as it should. I might flatten out the curve where it initially gave him a conehead effect; I want him to be able to fling his hood up without having to adjust overmuch. It’s not a tight headpiece by any means, but again, that was what he wanted! And I now have a good idea of the narrowest I can go with the neck of his tunic before he complains he’s being choked. 🙂 All in all, a productive date night. Now, to order him a pair of black hose from Jockey and figure out where in seven hells he’s going to get boots that accommodate his high instep. I may have to sell my hand-sewing skills in trade to a nearby leatherworker, because cash is getting tight. I could also sell a textbook or two to make up the difference. There are decided perks to swapping majors: some of what you own will become useless to you.

Come to think of it, what’s Simon got downstairs that I can hock…?


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