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Sunday, March 22, 2015

New costume-Joan of Arc

This is a new costume for my class. The Joan of Arc figure is a great historical one to paint. I know that she would have shaved her head and perhaps worn full armor, but this is a bit more of a fantasy based set-up. Our model Chelsea is very very petite, and burdening her with a full armor set up would have been overwhelming on her frame. Some artists of the past have painting her wearing just linen clothing, and there is a great variety of painting resources to reference. I decided to try and knit the chainmail tunic. For the Lord of Rings movies, some of the chainmail was made from wool instead of metal. Mine is knit from a gray cotton that I overdyed with olive shades and then used a metallic fabric paint for patina.
From a distance it is fairly convincing. Knitting is a new fiber art for me, and although it is not a very complicated thing, I was pretty proud to make it. There was a pattern for a tunic on Ravelry with a more traditional stitch. Instead, after some research, I found an old stitch called a  veil stitch .It makes for a more chainmail kind of roping, but is a rather tedious method of looping the yarn around the needle three times. Panic set in when there was only a day left before class and the knitting was not quite done. Fortunately it was finished.
This underdress is made from pure linen, which is a great material for painting. It is edged in vintage metal silver braid trim. The original linen was this orange brown shade, so I dyed it several times with a red fabric dye. It was not as red as I would have liked, but somehow still managed to ruin subsequent loads of clothing with a pink tinge. The washing machine is a much better method of dying large pieces of fabric, verses stovetop method which really make irregular patches..

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