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Monday, August 24, 2015

And down a different rabbit hole

I've been asked to do some sewing for school.  There's 30 tapa art pieces made by the kids in youngest's class.   I've been provided with fabric (black as I requested) and batting.   Until it's done there will be no historical sewing, weaving or knitting aside from the late night sitting in bed variety.

This is what happens when school learns you know how to sew and have all the gear, and yes, I could have said no; but how do you do that to a good teacher who puts all that effort into helping your child?

I got started on the layout (done) and the cutting out of borders today, one went a bit wonky due to low light conditions so I'll finish tomorrow when I can see what I'm doing.

In the meantime, here's the socks I finished and the start of the next pair:
Sublimation Socks in Vintage Purls Max yarn for me

same yarn, basic 5-row stripes for youngest to hopefully prevent him from nicking my socks

and my new shoes from American Duchess, 18th century shoes in Oxblood red, worn with handknit socks.   I've yet to install the very pretty buckles

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Challenge #8: Heirlooms and Heritage

What the item is:

1810's shift

The Challenge:

Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.


I chose to use an old sheet that was my grandmother's, probably linen, if not it's a linen look cotton and has hemstitched top and bottom that I wanted to incorporate.


I chose to make a Regency shift using the Laughing Moon pattern.  This is something an ancestor would definitely have worn no matter what her social status, though the cloth is quite high quality so probably my French ancestors who came over to England during the French Revolution according to family lore.


1810 or thereabouts


Polyester thread, silk thread, poly/cotton bias binding, polyester ribbon

How historically accurate is it?

Hmm, a lot of  machine sewing due to me feeling lazy, a little overlocking for the same reason, but most of the seams are flat felled and the neck binding is handsewn on using silk thread and I've embroidered my initials on the hem using the same thread.  The pattern is definitely appropriate as well, as is the fabric so I'll give it 80%

Hours to complete:

I have no clue on this, it's been done between knitting, working, getting sick, family etc.


First worn:

Just for the photo shoot, one step closer to having the full outfit though.  Just need the bodiced petticoat and the spencer and I'll be able to wear it.

Total cost:

Sheet was free, from my grandma's stash, bias binding was bought years ago and the ribbon was refunded due to the seller stating it was silk and when I got it it was pretty obvious it was polyester.  The silk thread has been in stash for about 20 years, so effectively the whole thing probably cost me about $1.

Hem detail with the freeform embroidered initials.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've Fallen Down the Rabbit Hole

It's called Skyrim on the PC with mods, it's impacted heavily on my crafting (and housework).

I've done some knitting, my second DK sock is past the gusset, my 18th century shift has been started and the sleeves are pinned in place and I've started the 2nd part of my mohair warp.   Decisions have been made on my next sewing projects but they won't happen right away as I also need to clean house.

For the moment here's a progress picture of my socks for you to enjoy

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Finished some things

First up is the next Historic Sew Monthly Challenge, then there's spinning and knitting and some weaving prep

Challenge #7 - Accessorise

What the item is:
An 1810's Reticule (or bag)


about as incorrect as you can get.  The outer is a machine embroidered poly-silk.  The inner is a quilting cotton.   However in the case of the outer it was fabric I had no clue what to do with (why did I even buy it?) and this was a way to remove it from stash without feeling guilty.


Free reticule pattern is what I used, really happy with it too, it came out just how I envisioned it.


Approximately 1810 to go with my dress


Polyester thread (I said it wasn't historically accurate, remember?)
Cotton DMC thread to make the tassle
Rayon cording for the ties. 

How historically accurate is it?

Hmm, well the pattern is probably fairly close, but it's machine sewn and the fabric....
Maybe 20%? 

Hours to complete:

Probably around 2 and a few days wait for the rattail rayon cording.

First worn:

Not yet, it's awaiting the remaining dress layers to be made

Total cost:

$8 for the Rattail cord including post; it would have been more but everything else is from very old stash. 

That's it for the bag, I've also been knitting though and I've finished the first sock of a pair
Using Vintage Purls Max.   The second sock goes in the opposite colour progression.  The second one is only 3 rows in so no photo yet.
Another Riverrun sock, this is my travel knitting as I can knit the pattern now without having to think much.

I've been spinning too:
Heavenly Wools Barrier Reef on Charcoal spun hopefully bulky 3-ply.  220m of it.
  I've also started winding warp for my next project, this is the brushed mohair and it's not that easy to deal with so I've got 2 crosses which will hopefully help when it comes time to get the beast on the loom.
Hard to see, but there's 2 colours in there.  Paprika and cobalt blue, the end result should be a very basic plaid knee rug.
I've also done a little shopping at The Fabric Store in their sale today
3m of very nice wool melton for a cloak that should work for 1775 and 1810!  I got the last of it, according to Costume Close Up I should be able to get it out of slightly less than that, hope they're right!
I'm hoping to get more plying done this week as well as some more warping and knitting, will see how it pans out though, have to ring a few places about various things, including an appointment with a specialist (not looking forward to that bill!) to get results from some recent tests I've had done.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Challenge #6: Out of Your Comfort Zone

What the item is (and why it was out of your comfort zone):

This is an 1810's dress using the Laughing Moon pattern, it's my first Regency style dress, and only the second thing from that era.  The first was the stays which had to happen before the dress.


The fabric is a silk/cotton blend, very lightweight sourced from The Fabric Shop in The Tannery in Christchurch.  It's a very fine stripe and feels gorgeous!   I'd say it's very close to a voile weightwise.
I also used some calico as we call it here for the bodice lining; I believe in the US it's called muslin, in any case it's a lightish weight unbleached cotton with a very close weave and works well for linings.


I used the new Laughing Moon Pattern # 126
Ladies' Round or Trained Gown with a High Stomacher Front c.1800-1810


1810 approximately


Linen twill tape and cotton twill tape
Silk thread
Polyester thread

How historically accurate is it?

I'd say about 80%, the fabric is pretty close and there's a fair bit of handsewing, but the main seams are machine sewn and there's some zigzag to keep the fraying under control.   The pattern is based on extant garments as well.

Hours to complete:

No clue on this, but it should have been the blue challenge near the beginning of the year; took longer than planned due to health challenges though.

First worn:

Not worn yet, but will be when the weather warms up and I've made the bodiced petticoat and shift that will fit under it.  Fort the moment you'll have to put up with Bonnie modelling it.

Total cost:

Hmm, I think about $100, I got the fabric on special but had to pay full price for the silk thread and of course the bits of tape.   Well worth it though, even though I love the 18th century styles, this has a simplicity that is just beautiful.

It is now demanding I get on with the rest of the underpinnings and of course the accessories and spencer!

ignore the puddled hem, Bonnie has shrunk a little in height; on me it should be just right.


Monday, July 06, 2015

It's been a while

I've been busy spinning and planning for weaving and sewing and knitting, but not a huge amount to show for it as yet.   This weekend was mostly spent at CanAmJu's rooms helping with clean up and painting.  One of those things that meant I got only some spinnng done at guild, but nothing the rest of the weekend.   It did look a lot better once we were done though and the office is much clearer as well as two walls now being clean and painted.   We ran out of time for the rest unfortunately and my neck is slightly out again as a result of all that prep and paint work; worth it though.

On the sewing front I'm getting close to finishing the 1810 dress, just the ties and the hems to go now, but tis school holidays so my time is limited.  Might get some done tomorrow after the dentist though as the boys Grandma is taking them for the day for me, or at least for the time I'm at the dentist up till she gets fed up with them.  Youngest is being a bit hard work at the moment, so not sure how long I'll get.

On the knitting front I've finished a very warm cowl using handspun
This is my Bluegum Islanderry Cowl using handspun singles, it has a V-shaped insert which fills in the gap when wearing a revere collar jacket and it's lovely when it gets cold.
I'm also working on a pair of socks for me (well, 2 actually, but the second isn't far through)
My main pair is a DK pair for keeping me warm
Sublimation Socks
I'm really liking these, love the change in stripe width; the second sock will have the colours reversed which is such fun!
My other current socks are my travel pair which are being knit in the yarn Mum bought for me in Wales
I'm using my usual Riverrun pattern by Valerie from Wandering Cat Yarns and I love how they're looking!
I've got other things on the needles, but they're all on hold while I finish the socks, supposed to be taking part in a KAL for Truly Myrtle, but I think I may be overcommitted so this may not happen.  I could cast on tonight though, it's for a hat and I could do with another warm hat; what do you think?

On the spinning side of things I'm taking part in the Tour de Fleece which started on Saturday, here is my planned spinning stash:
Starting from the bottom I'm finishing my perendale, far right is the remnants of the Spin The Bin selection (3 items), then into the box we have the jersey lot of Heavenly Wools Merino/Haunui in the Barrier Reef colourway to be spun bulky, under that is a bag of Southern Cross Fibres in the Vetinari colourway and the remaining alpaca to be spun long draw.
I've already done some of the Perendale
Hoping to finish this bobbin today, it'll then be ready to ply with the other full bobbin I already have
Just before TdF started I also finished this polwarth/silk from Artemis Fibers
Night photography is not ideal, but this is a gradient in approximately Aran weight and will be a Baa-ble Hat once I spin some white in the same base to go with it.
On the weaving front I've not actually started warping up yet, but I have done the plan for my mohair rug.   Had to make some changes as my loom isn't quite wide enough for my original plan, but it should still work out well.   I'm certainly not going to dry to make a double width on this warp, brushed mohair is going to be interesting enough without throwing learning double weave at it too.

Best be off and finish this spinning, preferably before the chimney cleaner arrives.   There is also of course washing to get in and cleaning to ignore as well.

Monday, June 08, 2015

C1 is out

I had the chiropractor on Friday morning, sometime on Friday night (while I was sleeping) my C1 joint went out, Saturday and Sunday were not nice, the dizzy/vertigo head was back with a vengeance.   Got it readjusted this morning, thank goodness there was an appointment available.   I'm feeling a bit better now, but still not right, my neck still hurts a bit which is probably muscle tension.  It's not as tight as it was though; you could have used me for building materials!

Before all that happened though I did get a couple of things finished.

325m of Aran weight Finn yarn in the Nobby and Vetinari colourways

And a pair of vanilla socks, originally for me, now for youngest.
In other news our new vanity unit is now in
Before, we had Almond Ivory

And now it's a grain print in grey, so much nicer!
Nice soft close cupboards and drawers, ceramic top and an overflow to reduce the chance of needing to do this again.   We have to pay extra for all this, but I think it's worth it.   The other option would have been the original version in white, which would have been too stark in this room.   Unfortunately we still have the peach bath with pink tiles (what were they thinking?) and the almond ivory loo, but we didn't have the money to replace them at the moment.  It's on the list, but seeing as they both still work and we still haven't won Lotto...

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