Shield Making with Theophilius

a wooden shield shaped like a soup plate sitting hollow-up on a linoleum countertop next to a pot of toffee-coloured glue

In April and May I have been making a domed round shield from start to finish. I decided to post a tidied-up version of my lab notes on my Patreon page. If scheduling goes right, my post should be visible here. Part 2 on the gessoing and painting should arrive in early June!

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The Forces of Madness Over-Reach

The unfinished end of the sleeve of a quilted garment against a cloth background
One cuff of the doublet about to be finished by stitching cloth along the raw edges.

The forces of madness have been on an around-the-world tour, but when they got back and slept off the tasty kebabs, weak beer, and very sweet sweets they discovered that their agent in the Alps had over-reached himself. This particular style of clothing was meant to fit very closely in some areas while standing away from the body in others, and in an excess of enthusiasm, their humble servant cut too much away from the opening of the lower sleeve to finish its edges by rolling or folding and stitching down. Fortunately, there are solutions.
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The Forces of Madness Make a Classic Blunder

Components of a quilted doublet spread on the floor showing that one breast has blue cloth on the inside and one has brown there
The four modules of the doublet, laid with their ‘right’ side facing the ground and their ‘wrong’ side facing the camera. Something is wrong with this picture.

While getting involved in a land war in Asia and going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line are classic blunders, most scholars agree that quilting a garment before you have made sure that you really have one right and one left breast is a good one too. Fortunately, that is a mistake which just costs time and thread to fix.

Solution below the fold.
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The Forces of Madness Transform Topology


Since 1933, it has been well known that the forces of madness have an affinity with unusual topology. In the case of this style of garment, layers of flat cloth are assembled into a three-dimensional garment shaped like an hourglass, using a saddle-shaped curve along the high waistline. From this stage onwards it is hard to lay the assemblies flat for photographing, because the whole point of assembling them is to stretch flat planes into a three-dimensional shape. I used some books to support the edges of the seam across the small of the back to help create the right effect for the camera.

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