Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Two Regency fichus

Pattern: Single thickness neckerchief (included in Past Patterns #031, 1796-1806 front closing gown)
Fabric: about 75 cm of blue cotton and about 85 cm of white muslin
Haberdasheries: none!

As with my previous fichu, I used the ‘Single thickness neckerchief’ pattern included in Past Patterns #031. I am now trying to get more items in my re-enactment wardrobe in colours that actually suit me, so I wanted a blue fichu, but also a white one, to match my new ruffled cap, a present from Welmode [link] =). I hand hemmed both fichus in the car on the way to Disneyland Paris and back, and was happy to return from this short trip with nice memories as well as two finished items!

The blue fichu is a bit smaller than the white one. The pattern says to cut a square of 74 to 82 cm and then halve it, and the fichu is supposed to be cut on the bias. I didn’t do that with my previous fichu because I used a patterned cotton for it and didn’t want the pattern to go askew, and forgot about the bias, so while I thought I bought plenty of the blue cotton, it was in fact only just enough. However, the blue fichu fits well and stays in place well without the need to pin it to my clothes. The white fichu is actually on the large side, but because of the thin fabric, that isn’t an issue, either.

In my previous fichu, I replaced the pin that holds the pleats in place by a few stitches, and didn’t use pins here, either. I didn’t really like the idea of having a pin at the back of my neck, and this is handier for laundering as well.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Leopard tartan floral skater dress and shirt

Pattern: Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo
Fabric: 2.7 m viscose and polyester (?) knit
Haberdasheries: none!

I ran into this slightly crazy fabric at a store and wanted to buy the usual amount for a skater dress, but since there would have been a very small piece left over, I got that for free. Therefore, as I think this fabric will look nice with a jean skirt I plan on making, once I had cut out all the pieces for the dress, I also cut a shirt out of the leftovers.

I had just cut the front of the dress when I realised the part of the fabric I liked the least would be the main visible part when I wear a cardi over the shirt. So I cut the front again, with a nicer layout, and just used the first front as the back, resulting in a low neckline at the back of the shirt. I had been thinking of doing this anyway as I saw it on another skater and liked it.

This fabric was difficult to serge – I took a serging lesson and thought I now understood the machine, but it gave me a hard time again with this dress and skirt – and also nasty to hem, as it’s got velvety swirls on it which are thicker than the rest of the fabric. The twin needle hem initially looked like this:

Eek. This made me think about why I twin needle the hem of the skirt anyway. The sleeves, sure; they need to be elastic, after all. But the skirt doesn’t! So I ripped the hem and restitched it with a single needle, and that looks much better.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Basic black skirt

Pattern: Drafted based on my WW1 nurse aprons, which are loosely based on the Wingeo #411 1910-1915 skirt pattern
Fabric: Thick black cotton twill
Haberdasheries: An invisible zipper
A first: Putting in an invisible zipper

A nicely warm long cardigan I own doesn’t look that nice with trousers, but also not with flared skirts. I thought it would look very nice with a basic black fitted skirt slightly longer than the cardigan itself, but couldn’t find one, so – the usual, I made it myself.

As the bottom part of my World War I nurse aprons came quite close to what I had in mind for this skirt, I decided to base it on those aprons! So it’s got the same panel layout at the front, English seams, and I also added similar pockets sewn between the panels.

This was my first time working with an invisible zipper, and I’m happy with the result! Sewing it in was easier than I expected, even using a regular foot.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Best buy of 2016: snap jewellery

The first time I saw bracelets with interchangeable ‘chunks’ by Dutch brand Noosa at a store in Germany I loved them, but since I needed three chunks plus a bracelet to make just one combination, and that amounted to about €55, I didn’t buy them. (Not to mention the bracelets were huge on my tiny wrists.) Sometimes I came across the chunks in a store again and ogled them, but I realised I probably wouldn’t wear them if I bought them.
Then I found out that there are also rings for these snaps! Now that was a great idea! I love large rings, and this meant that with every chunk I bought, I’d have a new ring! Also, I found that there are different brands besides Noosa that sell snaps, and mainly that there are lots of nice ones to be found on Etsy! Needless to say, before long I had a whole collection of snaps, and I’ve been wearing them a lot!

Unfortunately the ring I bought was the kind that looks like stainless steel but is actually brass with a ‘silvertone’ layer over it. The layer started disappearing after I’d worn the ring about ten times, and after a few months of admittedly intensive wear, the ring became weak and easily distorted, and also, really ugly. Plus it leaves a blue stain on my finger. I haven’t managed to find a good quality ring yet. Some say putting clear nailpolish on it prevents the layer from coming off, but now the ring exudes nailpolish smell when I wear it. Meh. Obviously this has dampened my enthusiasm a little, but I still had so much fun wearing my snaps last year that I thought they were worth a mention!