Over the past few days the reticule has become fancier, and I think it can get even more fancy: I still have areas that are asking to be filled with designs. I haven’t lined it yet because I keep going back and adding stuff.
Monthly Archives: November 2014
I’ve recently joined The Historic Sew Fortnightly, which means I not only have deadlines for school and work, but also my hobby.
And I missed one!
I meant to submit this piece for the challenge that ended last night, but I missed it by half an hour. I would have been really lucky to get it done by then, considering that I hadn’t been a member of the group for long. Like, five days or something.
This project began when I decided to remake my little white reticule because it was a little too little. So I tried the big, pocket-shaped embroidered style popular in the late 1790s and early 1800s.
So here’s my adaptation; 100% hand sewn with linen thread and made with linen and cotton fabric, and a cotton cord for the drawstring. And probably about 2 cups of starch. Again, I used my huge embroidery vocabulary of two different stitches here. Completed, it’s about 14″ deep by 10″ wide, certainly big enough to hide an iProduct in.
I rushed through mine and finished it to the point of being juuust useable … but now, hey, since I missed the deadline, why not keep working on it? I’m thinking I’ll embroider the front pieces more. It could use more fancy.
I have been sewing a lot, which means I have other things that I’m procrastinating on.
Like midterms. The surprise one that’s due in four days. And the two papers due five days after that. And registering for Spring classes in five days.
From my limited research, it appears that steel springs were used in clothing beginning sometime around 1760-1780. They don’t seem to have caught on for much other than garters, which they were used for through the 19th century. The Kyoto Costume Institute has a pair of 1790s transitional stays with springs in them, but they’re the only pair I’ve ever seen.
So late 18th century springy garters are cool. I’ve wanted to make a pair for a long time, and just last weekend was given two lengths of spring suitable for them. Of course they had to happen.
I sewed two pieces of cream silk taffeta in little channels, leaving about 1/4″ edges for ruffles.
I sewed the springs to pieces of cotton tape.
Put the silk over them,
Then I cut larger pieces of the same silk and pinned them to the tape at one end, sewing the other end together.
I flipped these over and embroidered the silk in place on the tape. I used my extensive embroidery repertoire of a backstitch and a satin stitch.
And here’s where I left them last night: Mostly embroidered up, except for whatever I want to put in the cartouches. Maybe my initials, I don’t know. I’m pretty proud of how the embroidery came out. It’s the best I’ve ever been able to do! I’m excited to get these finished, but midterms are calling.
Last night my order from Burnley & Trowbridge came in (yayyy!!) so I was able to finish my dad’s new work apron.
My dad and I often wear aprons when we do shows. We sell metalware, which is oiled before it’s packed for a show – and then needs to be wiped down when we set up. So we don’t need heavy work aprons, really, just something to protect our clothes as we’re setting up the table.
Dad had an apron made from heavy canvas in an eye-poppingly wide navy and white stripe. It didn’t fit very well and was so heavy it pulled his waistcoat down. It was also old and pretty dirty – oil doesn’t wash off so well.
His new apron is made from a lighter cotton-linen blend in a white and coffee-brown woven stripe, with thin cotton ties. I hand sewed it with linen thread. It’s a simple design; the top is a triangle and the bottom just extends into a square (but it’s cut in one piece). I hemmed the edges, added a buttonhole and a loop at the top corner, and two ties at the hips.
I had nothing going on this past weekend, so I cranked out my new jumps.
I machine-sewed them, which went against my new habit of hand sewing everything … but I wanted to spend more time fitting and experimenting with a new pattern then putzing with hand sewing. I’m reacting against my last stays experience: I spent a looong time hand sewing those and they came out very well made, but don’t fit so well.
I saved the pattern for these, so I’ll make a second, hand-sewn pair later. I want to make the second pair in white cotton and embroider them, like the original. Mine are made from about 1.5 yards of bulky cotton/linen canvas in a drab tan/olive color. I used steel boning and some nice waxed cotton cord for the stay lace.
So right now they’re pretty much finished. They went together very quickly, and the design is flattering and doesn’t use up a huge amount of materials. I’ll see if I can get some nicer pictures of them soon.