Wednesday 29 July 2015

Making ' Dastadly in Motley' : Part Six (final)

 Accessories & Presentation

The Hat, Shoes & Plate

I based this on a three dimensional representation of the hat shown on the playing card and made it from stiffened red cotton with black and white bias tape. The shoes were red ballet pumps. I found a paper plate which had a fetching blue china style design.

The Hair and Make-up

The hair was made from carefully curled stiff yellow paper. It is the only part of the costume that I did not retain after the presentation. I wore limited make-up, with a drawn pencil moustache


I am an experienced costumer and knew well that even the best costume can be ruined by poor, or over long, presentation.  I knew I need music and I knew I needed to get full value from the reveals.

I chose a medieval tune with a good strong drum beat.

I stood with my back to the audience with the plate in my hand. The audience could only see the blue and white back of the tabard.

 I had the announcer read out: ‘The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer’s day; the Knave of Hearts he stole those tarts and took them right away’, at which point I mimed eating heartily and then threw the plate away.

The music started and I completed a half circle to pause, full face to the audience. I had a moderate audience reaction to the front of the tabard.  I them completed the circle, paused, undid the poppers on the tabard and let it fall.

After another brief pause (in which I had another modest audience reaction), I turned to do another half circle to the front of the stage, giving the audience a view of the front of the doublet and the heart codpiece.
 I had an excellent audience reaction, with much laughter, at this point. I paused at the front them completed my second circle to freeze in the position of the playing card at my starting point.

Then the title was announced and I got another excellent audience reaction.

Time always goes slowly for a performer on stage, but I doubt  that I was out there for more than two or three minutes.


(By Paul Holroyd, used with permission)

The outer layer

The under layer

I was awarded’ Best in Class (Journeyman) and must now present any future costumes in the Master category.

This was the first appliqu├ęd costume I have made and I am particularly pleased with how  closely it resembles the preliminary sketches.

Until next time


Wednesday 22 July 2015

Making 'Dastardly in Motley'; Part five

The Hose and Poltock

The Hose

These were based on fifteenth century footed fitted hose and party coloured in blue stretch velvet and yellow stretch satin. I decided to include the blue and yellow codpiece with the padded heart in red satin forming an over-codpiece, laced and tethered to it. The points were yellow laces.

The fit of the hose was quite difficult, as the velvet and satin stretched differently.


The Poltock

This was based on a fifteenth century design, with hook fastenings up the front. It was made from red patterned cloth designed to allow a triangle to be seen at the front of the doublet.

 In the sixth and final part, I will talk about the accessories , make-up and presentation.


Wednesday 15 July 2015

Making ‘Dastardly in Motley’: Part Four

The Doublet

For this I decided to go for a slashed effect, using the arch and hearts for the slashes.

To emphasise the offset design of the playing card, I decided to adapt a fifteenth century doublet to make it double-breasted, with the poltock showing above the crossover.

The slashes

It was quite difficult to make the arches and hearts turn through neatly and smoothly to form smooth constant curves and sharp points.

The front

back (before addition of large heart)

The front cross over

Once the final heart and braid had been added, I made a right sleeve in blue velvet, the front slash edged in yellow braid and linked halfway with a red padded heart and left slashed sleeve in yellow satin, linked the same, but edged in red.

The whole garment was flat lined, edged in bias and sewn together.

In  part 5, I will talk about the hose and poltock.


Wednesday 8 July 2015

Making 'Darstadly In Motley: Part Three

 The Tabard

I originally saw this as having teardrop sleeves and being fastened with a hook at the shoulder. I soon, however, revised this design to a more traditional herald’s tabard with a popper fastening at the front of the left shoulder.

I used flat sewn motifs, interspersed with padded hearts and fabric painting to achieve a common style to the heart livery.

I decided that the back of the tabard should represent t he back of the card, being blue brocade, edged in white.

Here are some pictures showing the tabard in production.

The sleeves:

The Body
First layer front and back:

The rest of the hearts, the arches and the base of the yellow stripes were now added.

The zigzag braid decoration was then added

This shows the front of the tabard nearly completed. It just needs some additional braid and the central three heart motif.

After that the back of the tabard was given a white border to represent the back of the card

The red sleeve was given a blue border with yellow braid edging.I then made a template for the yellow trefoils and painted them onto the blue border in white fabric paint to give a good solid base. I then over painted them in yellow.

The sleeves and body were then lined and sewn together and the poppers sewn to the front release.

In Part 4, I will deal with the doublet.


Wednesday 1 July 2015

Progress on the new painting


I have now done further work to the small painting with butterflies.

I have added detail to the landscape, particularly to the flowers and plants in the foreground. For this, I have been using Paynes Grey, Indian Red, Burnt Umber and Titanium White, as well as Lemon Yellow and Ultramarine for some of the flower detail.

I have also added detail to the butterflies. I had already established the Peacock and the Small Tortoiseshell. I have now defined a Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Purple Emperor, Cloudy Yellow, Brimstone, Chalk Blue and Adonis Blue

I have found that mixing the oil with a glazing medium (diluted with turpentine) leads to a flatter application and significantly reduces drying time.

I will still need to leave it for about a week before I work on it again.

The painting now looks like this: