Saturday, 12 May 2018

Regency short cloak – and a new apron

Pattern: improvised
Fabric: dark green wool, leftovers from 17th century cape
Haberdasheries: 1.1 m dark green twill tape

After I made the 17th century cape for my husband, I realised I could do with a warm item in my camp follower’s wardrobe, and could use the leftovers to make it. I had 2.5 m of fabric originally, of which I used 1.9 m for the 17th century cape, but I easily managed to get a short cloak for myself out of what was left =). Mine’s just got a seam down the back, but that’s totally realistic, as piecing was normal back then, especially for a working class person’s attire.

Again, the pattern was improvised and is a simple half circle, except that I added a gathered 15 cm of extra fabric at the back. This cape is also a bit shorter than my hubby’s. I cut a half oval out of the back for the neckline and attached a collar consisting of two strips of fabric measuring about 12.5 by 52.5 cm. I initially wanted to make the collar the same as the one on the 17th century cape, but decided to make it more rounded, for a more feminine look.
Finally, I lined the cape and attached two pieces of cotton twill tape to close it. Easy!

This is the  first Make Nine project I’ve finished!

Oh, and I made a new apron:

Thursday, 10 May 2018

17th Century men’s cape

Pattern: improvised
Fabric: 1.9 m wool fabric
Haberdasheries: 4.75 m gold lace, 1.75 m cotton cord and two cotton tassels

For the event ‘Battle for Grol’ that my husband and I attended last October, besides a ruff and cuffs, I also made him a cape (to be worn over one shoulder in a swanky fashion).
In the past, I let my sewing get out of hand, often júst not finishing projects in time for events (just getting them to the ‘wearable’ stage but without lining, for instance), but starting to work on new projects after those events, rather than finishing the previous one. I’ve been determined for a while now, while also trying to finish these UFOs I’ve had lying around, to NOT let any more UFOs originate, but finish each new project straight away. Unfortunately that failed with this project, as I dyed the natural coloured tassels and cord dark green, but the colour didn’t turn out exactly right, and then I lost my notes and couldn’t find them for months! Finally, I decided to just guess what I did then, and dyed the tassels again; this time it worked out exactly right.

The cape itself is a simple half circle, with a small half oval cut out at the centre back, for the neckline. The collar is a rectangle consisting of two pieces of wool measuring 12.5 by 54.5 cm. I hand sewed the gold lace onto it, then lined it, so it hangs smoothly.

As I said, I bought natural-coloured cotton cord and tassels. The tassels were attached to short loops for use on curtains, so I removed those and sewed the tassels onto the longer cord, and then proceeded to dye them. I had Dylon hand laundry textile paint in dark green and black, and used about the amount necessary to dye fabric weighing what the cord and tassels weighed, with green and black dye in equal measures. But I didn’t realise that much of the weight of the cord was on the inside of the cord, while only the outside would be exposed to the dye. Therefore, I assumed I had used too much paint and the items would probably end up black instead of dark green if I left them in the dye for the specified amount of time. Also, the items looked like they were getting really dark. So I took them out much earlier, but it turned out that most of the black dye rinsed out, and once they had dried, the colour was too light :(, as you can see on the photos taken at the event.
Recently I dyed the tassels again, again using equal amounts of each dye, but left them in a bit longer (still not the full hour, though). Sewed them back on, and then the cape was finally finished!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

My Make Nine 2018 choices

A few years ago I took part in Lucky Lucille’s Sew For Victory and Spring For Cotton sewalongs. Here’s another one that seems nice to take part in, especially as her website states “This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible”! =) I’ve been trying my best not to stress myself by imposing deadlines on myself anymore, so a gentle challenge is the only thing I want to be going for…

Here are my choices, though in no particular making order!

Project #1: 1920s-40s knitted men’s slipover
I’d like for my husband to have a full civilian outfit for both the 1920s and 1940s, and this is the first part of it. This project’s already on the needles!

Project #2: Napoleonic short cloak
Last year I made a 17th century cape for my husband, and I’ve got enough left of the wool fabric to make myself a short cloak for another era. Since I always borrow his Napoleonic cape, it would be nice for both of us if I had one of my own!

Project #3: A new 1940s dress
I’ve been (occasionally) doing World War 2 events for a few years now, but there aren’t that many clothes in my 1940s wardrobe yet, and even fewer that are a colour that actually suits me! So I want to make a new 1940s dress in a nice bright colour pattern. My husband and I have been taking 1910s-40s dancing lessons, and I'd like to go to a lindy hop party in full 1940s attire.

Project #4: 1920s party dress
Last year I went to a nice historical clothing exhibition at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht (well, actually it was both historical and more recent fashion, but I largely ignored the contemporary pieces! :P), where I saw, among other things, this lovely 1920s dress that I’d like to recreate. Probably in blue, though. I’d love to wear this dress to a 1920s party!

Project #5: The Drawers of Doom
(Imagine dramatic background music) These are the drawers of my fabric cupboard. There are four of them. And since they are full of UFOs and bought clothes needing alteration (yes, all four of them!) I call them the Drawers of Doom (D.o.D.). This year, one of the main sewing related things I’d like to do is to get the D.o.D. a lot emptier than they are now! Then I could do something nice and handy with these drawers, such as storing my yarn stash in them =).

Project #6: Brasov wrap top
I really like Welmode’s Brasov top, and would like to make one as well.

Project #7: Underwear!
For years now, I’ve had trouble finding nice underwear, so I thought I’d have a go at making it myself. It would be awesome, once I’ve got a good pattern, to never have to look for underwear that it exactly to my liking, again!

Project #8: WW2 QAIMNS uniform
I’ve got two World War 1 nurse uniforms, and a Boer War one, and since I already bought suitable fabric for a WW2 version a couple of years ago, and had a look at an original last year, why not make the WW2 one as well? I suppose this project has the lowest priority, though, as I haven’t got any WW2 nurse events planned yet.

Project #9: It Cannot Fail To Please sweater
As I said under #3, I’m hoping to add more deep winter colours to my 1940s wardrobe, so I’ll be making this in dark pink.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Gordon tartan skirt

Pattern: improvised
Fabric: about 70 cm wool tartan fabric and 70 cm black acetate lining fabric
Haberdasheries: an invisible zipper

This fabric was a present from my husband, bought in Edinburgh on one of our holidays in Scotland! I decided to make a contemporary skirt from it, rather than anything resembling a kilt.

The fabric was very easy to work with. Wool is easy anyway, but I could also follow the tartan pattern to cut straight, to determine the height of the waistband and the length of the skirt, and to make the pleats.

I lined the skirt with black acetate; just attached it to the tartan fabric and sewed them as one, and invisibly hemmed the skirt by folding the tartan around the lining and hand stitching it in place.

I used an invisible zipper. I’d used one before, on the previous contemporary skirt I made, but that was almost a year ago, so I didn’t really remember how I did it. This time I wanted to get it in even more invisibly, but on my first attempt I hit one tooth with my machine needle, which meant the zipper didn’t work anymore and I had to take it out again. Oh no! After that I ended up sewing the new zipper in by hand, as that gave me more control over how close to the teeth I sewed. I did my best to precisely line up all the lines in the tartan pattern, but of course some got away! Still, the skirt looks a lot more neat than most store-bought tartan and check items, which appear to be cut and sewn randomly...

This skirt turned out just how I imagined it! =)