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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

1776 skirt

The Challenge: #24 Re-do

The Challenge you are Re-do-ing:   #14 Eastern Influence

Fabric:  Recycled sari

Pattern:  the tutorial for a petticoat on Koshka-the-cat's blog

Year:  1776

Notions:  linen tape, polyester thread

How historically accurate is it?  Aside from the machine sewing and poly thread pretty accurate; I'd say 90%.   There is some wear on the sari, so the skirt looks like it's been worn and some very genuine stains too!

Hours to complete:  4

First worn:  Not yet.

Total cost:  $20 including fabric and linen tape

Next up is the polonaise and fichu to complete the outfit.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Distractions and Socks

I seem to have been distracted of late by things like this:
Planting the vege patch - peas, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and zuchinni

Removal of the old garage slab

Was fun to watch

Children playing outside

EQC are paying for this to be removed due to earthquake damage

And be replaced with this instead; I'm expecting the grout on this to behave much better as they're all stuck down properly, and they're pretty.
Have been trying to get a date for the new slab to go down; was told around Show Weekend, which is over a week ago now.    Will ring again tomorrow and hopefully get hold of the guy.   Also got a replacement letterbox and have painted the numbers on it (due to having problems in the past with people removing the metal ones) and also have a new wheelbarrow to put together; yay!

I've also been re-reading the whole Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, just wish the later ones had a little less explicit sex as the actual stories are really enjoyable.  Reading tends to cut into the knitting time, as does re-doing the whole computer system 3 times.   Hopefully it's all sorted now though.

Despite all that I have managed to get some knitting done.   I currently have 4 pairs of socks on the needles.   2 of those are colourwork and are also on hold while I finish the other 2.    The first of the others is a test-knit for Valerie of Wandering Cat Yarns; the socks are called Elm Tree Socks, they will come in 2 sizes; be available for sale on and look like this:
Aren't they pretty?
I've cast on for the second one and they are my home knitting at the moment.    My second pair on the needles are a plain pair for eldest in charcoal commercial yarn.   They're my knitting while waiting socks.
I'm also working on the skirt for my eighteenth century outfit.   It's all cut out, just need to do the waist area and it's done.  I've used a second-hand sari in silk with machine embroidery for it; hopefully it looks good when done.   I've got Bonnie (my dressmaking dummy) down to the right size to be me with the stays laced how I wear them so I can use her to fit my polonaise after this.  Need to try and get it all done before the holidays; it's impossible to get cutting out done when there are boys in the house.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Show Day

Today is our regional holiday, many people head off to the show where it costs an arm and a leg to get in and then everything in there is asking for more money.    We decided to head into town instead and see some of the new changes.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Gardens again

The closed conservatory

Rose garden archway with my family

Lovely rose

and another rose

Eldest making the Peace Bell ring

The Pallet Pavilion

Archway sculpture; people bike and walk through this
My feet are complaining a little, but it was a good day; we went to New Regent St and eldest and I spent a little money at the bead shop.  

When we got back I got knitting and am now past the gusset decreases.   I've also decided which fabrics from stash I'm going to use for my eighteenth century polonaise and the petticoat.
The main fabric is a polyester, so not period correct, but it looks right and it's what I've got.   The skirt is a silk sari and quite lightweight so it's just as well there's an under petticoat.
I can't cut it out till Monday though, too hard to do that when the kids are around, so I'll do the petticoat first; then I'll need to try on the undergarments and take my measurements so I can get Bonnie to the right size (she's the red lass on the stand), she's not as squishy as I am so I know the stays aren't sized right on her at the moment.   That way I can use her to fit the actual bodice on the polonaise.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1770's petticoat

The Challenge: Gratitude

Fabric: Some linen from stash

Pattern:, an excellent tutorial

Year: 1776, the stays are the same era; I mistyped in their challenge.

Notions: Thread (polyester), cotton twill tape

How historically accurate is it? Hmmm, the pattern is I suspect pretty good, fabric ok too, but there's the cotton twill tape and the polyester thread, and it's machine sewn and might have had some contact with the overlocker too; so probably around 70%

Hours to complete: 4

First worn: not worn yet, waiting for the dress

Total cost: all from stash, so was effectively free.

You can tell it's linen from the insane creasing from working with it!
 I loved the tutorial I used, very easy to follow and luckily although my fabric wasn't quite wide enough to use her method by turning everything around and having the lengthwise grain running across the petticoat I managed quite nicely and only had to finish the side seams.

I think Bonnie is slightly different than me on proportions though, the stays sit further down her bust so she's obviously perkier than I am.

Next to make is the actual polonaise and the pretty petticoat to go over this one.   Got to go stash diving for the petticoat fabric though; what I want to use doesn't look like it's period correct unfortunately.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Sore throat, runny nose, post-nasal drip.   I think I'm coming down with a cold, though it could just be nasty hayfever; I guess I'll find out fairly soon.
Oh well, at least I can continue to function with a cold; I think I'll increase the probiotics though, help my immune system along, and no matter what I'm going out and getting a new cellphone tomorrow.   The special I want to take advantage of finishes tomorrow and my current phone has real space issues; not surprising with only 170mb of phone storage and restrictions on what can be moved to the SD card.

Today was spent partly spending some of the money the insurance company gave us for earthquake repairs on the section.    I bought 3 fence posts and most of the hardware we need to replace the damaged posts.   Still have to get them in, but at least they're on the property now and ready to go.

I'm halfway through the heel flap of the sock pattern I'm test knitting.   Loving the way it's shaping up so far, even if this is the second time to knit this bit.  Better that I have to do that than future knitters of the pattern though; would hate to have people put off such a lovely sock.

I have my loom now too, it's beautiful, or will be once I put it together.    Since we have at least 3 months before the garage is available I'm trying to decide whether to put it up now, or leave it till its new home is available.    I actually gave Fran a hug when I picked it up, I'm not normally a huggy person, but this is such a big thing I had to.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

1920's time travel

Today I finished my first outfit from the 1920's.  I don't normally like the fashions from that time simply because I feel a little frumpy without a waist.   However the challenge this time was masquerade and I decided it was the perfect shape for what I wanted to be which was this:
This is a Kakabeak flower which is a New Zealand native.

This is what I came up with:
Colour, check, shape of leaves, check.

And the beaded leaves, this makes me very happy.
The Challenge: Masquerade.
I decided to be a Kakabeak flower which is a NZ native flower, it's a subtle costume simply because if I went the other way I'd never wear it.

Fabric: Peached silk and silk satin both from stash

Pattern: Depew with most of the instructions ignored

Year: 1920's, taking inspiration from and also

Notions: polyester thread from stash and half a tube of glass beads also from stash.

How historically accurate is it? I'd say probably 80%; it's machine sewn for the side seams and shoulder seams which would be accurate, but the poly thread isn't. Also it isn't as OTT as most extant 1920's evening dresses seem to be.

Hours to complete:10 approx, most of that is in the beading.

First worn: For the photoshoot

Total cost: nil, all from stash.
The next challenge is Gratitude and at the moment I'm wavering between making a fichu for my 18th century outfit or the petticoat using a tutorial I found a while ago.    The idea is to use free instructions we've found on the web and to acknowledge the source of those instructions and thank them; hence the gratitude.   In the meantime I'll get back to knitting socks and tomorrow I'll be picking up my loom, plus some books and some practice yarn (like I don't have enough already!)

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