Thursday, 21 December 2017

17th Century muff

Pattern: improvised
Fabric: 19 x 50 cm silk and about 50 x 50 cm fake fur
Haberdasheries: 1 m gold band, and 76 small pearls; cooker hood filter

Yesterday I posted the cuffs and ruff I made for my husband to wear at the ‘Battle for Grol’ event. I also made something for myself, which was a nice dainty muff!

Me with the muff, although not much of it is visible! Photo by  Phil Thomason
This is the second muff I’ve made. I made a Regency muff before, and the nice thing it that the two are about as different as they could be! In the 17th century, muffs tended to be small and have fur on the inside and fur or fabric on the outside, whereas in the Regency period, muffs were huge and had fur on the outside and fabric on the inside.

On the left, a 17th century Dutchwoman with a small muff; on the right, a Regency lady with the typical large muff
To make this muff, I first took a strip of silk and sewed gold band and small pearls onto it. Then I sewed the strip into a cylinder shape. I then cut a wider piece of fake fur and sewed that into a cylinder as well, after which I added both cylinders together on one end. I then realised that if I stuffed the muff, the filling would probably look bumpy beneath the silk, so I also made a cylinder out of cooker hood filter and put that in before adding the stuffing. I placed only a little stuffing inside the tube, and added more inside the edges so they’d stand out nicely. This also makes it impossible for wind to get into the muff, so it actually keeps my hands very nicely warm! Finally, I hand sewed the last cylinder edge closed.

Sewing on the pearls
The cooker hood filter cylinder
The finished 17th century muff!

Here are my two muffs side to side for comparison:

1 comment:

  1. Nice muff, thanks for sharing your project! The measurements are really helpful. Using the cooker hood filter was a clever move for the right amount of stiffness. Maybe people in period might've used stiffened canvas, padded with woolen fabric and/or batting?