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I finished my Aran cardigan! I really thought I'd have to put it down for the summer and would be picking it back up in the fall, but I guess I didn't account for how quickly Aran weight yarn and size 7 (4.5 mm) needles would make it go. Fortunately, we've had a few mornings that have been cool enough to wear it, which has made me ridiculously happy.

Aran Sweater - Front 2

Aran Sweater - Front

Aran Sweater Unbuttoned

Aran Sweater - Back

I had an Aran cardigan that I got in Ireland many years ago, and I wore it all the time (okay, not in the summer!) for about ten years. About five years ago I gave up on trying to keep the cuffs from raveling from wear along the edges. It always was a little too big so I'm very excited to have a new one that fits much better. Since this one fits better, I hope the cuffs won't wear so badly - the old one actually had cuffs that would sneak down onto my hands to be the length of a Regency sleeve so I'm sure that accelerated their demise.

There are still about 3.5 balls of yarn left from the kit so I need to find a cable knit tam pattern to go with the sweater. Then I may need to find out what else one can do with Aran weight yarn. Definitely nothing historical since there's nothing like enough to knit a blanket, which I wouldn't want to do anyway.
atherleisure: (Default)
I have pictures of the mid-1830's bonnet I made recently.  You can also see the chemisette, more or less.


It's based on Butterick 3805, View D with the brim modified to bring it lower and a bit smaller. I completely ignored the instructions; I'm not sure I ever even read them. It's a buckram and wire frame covered with flannel and silk. The outer fabric is a shantung, but the brim lining and trim are taffetas. The ribbon inside the brim is just pinned in because I wanted to see how it did with 1830's hair before I actually stitched it down. I'll need to do that before I forget about it.

I don't think I quite got the feel of the curls pinned across the forehead right, but I can't see how else to do it. I expect it's a function of having a high forehead exacerbated by having negligible hair-styling skills.  I also found that if the knot of hair on the back of my head is not high enough, the bonnet tends to slip backward.  After an hour of pulling my bonnet back into place every few minutes, I redid the knot and didn't have any more problems. 


Apr. 24th, 2017 09:22 am
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The latest pinball project has been finished. I gave it to the friend I made it for on Saturday so now I can post the pictures of the finished project.

Here are the flat, blocked knitted pieces.
Ship Pinball Piece18th Century Pinball Flat

Take all the supplies
Pinball Supplies

and sew them up into a pinball!
Ship PinballPinball back

Pinballs are so much fun to make.

Sleeve Day

Apr. 17th, 2017 10:21 am
atherleisure: (Default)
Yesterday turned out to be sleeve day. After we got home from my parents' house in the afternoon, I mentally declared it a holiday from working around the house too. I knit and sewed and finished reading South London, a history of Southwark and environs written in 1898. It amused me.

So I blocked this sleeve.
Aran Sweater Sleeve

And I knit some more on the other sleeve (almost a third of the sleeve is finished).

I spent a bunch of time sewing too, and finished overcasting the sleeves seams on my 1897 dress. I also catch-stitched down the armscye allowances because the sleeve ruffles do goofy things if the seam allowances get into the sleeves, which is what they want to do.
Armscye Catch-stitching

I'm not a big one for finishing seam allowances on things that don't get a lot of wear and laundering (a.k.a. period clothes/costumes other than underwear). The lining on this bodice had a tendency to fray so everything's getting overcast.

I finished up the night sewing on the sleeve trim.
1897 Ivory Wool Dress - Sleeve Trim

Now I just need to do the collar and shorten the bodice front because I've got too much blousing in it. Then it's time for the skirt trim and hem and belt. At least I figured out a way to wear the dress without having to line the skirt. The wool is heavy enough that I don't want any more layers than I need in it since the places I'm hoping to wear it are in Texas, Arizona, and (southern) California, none of which is known for its cool climate.
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I've been going through some things and have a couple of items that I would like to be able to sell rather than give away. I'm not really sure how to go about that. I'll post them here, but if anyone has suggestions for things that don't sell, I'd love to hear them.

1. 18th century mitts
These are hand-knit from a wool/silk blend lace-weight yarn at a gauge of about 11 stitches to the inch and 14 rows to the inch. They've been worn a few times and hand-washed. They're just a little too big for me so I replaced them. They're a good size for [personal profile] nuranar. With as much time as goes into knitting, I would like to be able to get $40 for them.

Ingles Ferry Gear

This is the new pair, but they look just the same except that the new ones are a little smaller since they're knit at a smaller gauge.

18th Century Mitts

2. 18th century petticoat
This is a machine-sewn cream-colored cotton/polyester blend petticoat. The shape is good, but I'm not going to wear a synthetic petticoat when I've got a silk one and am planning to make a linen one shortly. It was made for a 26" waist but is quite adjustable with the two-tie waist. $10 sounds reasonable to me.


3. 1770's rust robe a la anglaise, stomacher, and petticoat
This is a combination of machine- and hand-sewing. All visible sewing is hand-sewing, and the outer layer of the bodice is all sewn with the visible stitching typical of 18th century dresses. It's meant to be worn over stays and pocket hoops. It's a nylon/polyester shot orange/black taffeta that gives a rusty brown color. It laces center front through hand-worked eyelets, and the compere stomacher pins in place under the robings. I really like the dress, but I've got enough 18th century options in my wardrobe that I know I'm not going to wear it again. It was made for a bust of 33" and a waist of 26", but it has some flexibility due to the stomacher. It has been worn a few times but has no damage. I have no idea what a fair price is for it. If you have any suggestions as to what is reasonable, I'd appreciate it.

1770s Robe a la Anglaise
1770s Robe a la Anglaise
1770s Robe a la Anglaise

I can take more pictures, if needed.


Apr. 12th, 2017 12:19 pm
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I finished my ship pinball, but I'm not ready to post pictures yet so it will have to wait. I'm happier with the quality of the knitting on the second side, but once it was all made up, the tension problems I had on the first side disappeared. Now I still have materials for two more pinballs and the pattern worked out for one of them (the one I aborted a few weeks ago,) but I'm not quite ready to start the next one.

Now that the 1830's sewing is finished, I've finally gotten back to my 1897 Harper's Bazar dress. Picking it back up after about four months has mostly gone smoothly, but there have been a few hiccups. The worst is that I forgot why I hadn't bound the lower edge of the bodice - I was supposed to wait until I had boned it. Now I've got to undo that so I can bone it. Still, it's been pretty smooth.

On the topic of 1830's sewing, I know I still haven't posted bonnet pictures, but I want to do my hair properly for them so I'm going to wait a bit.

First Wig

Apr. 6th, 2017 04:58 pm
atherleisure: (reader)
I styled my first wig. I was going for something like this portrait from 1791 that is held by the Met.

Here's what I came up with
1790 Wig - Front

1790 Wig - Side

I need to move the ribbon a bit. The plan is to pin my own front hair into curls/rolls like the wig and put the second row of ribbon more or less along the join.
atherleisure: (reader)
Somehow I don't think I ever posted a picture of my finished 1830's underwear so here it is.

1830s Petticoats

Most of it is reused from previous period projects. The shift/chemise is a Regency one I made a number of years ago. The stays are the 1820's stays I made back in about 2012.

1810s Corded Stays - Front

They're completely hand-sewn and based on [ profile] koshka_the_cat's pattern on her website. They were only corded, but since they had a tendency to bunch up a bit around the waist, I added steel bones at the center back and along the side seams to extend them into the 1830's. The wrinkling was fine for the raised waists of the 1820's, but it was just lumpiness at the waist for the more natural waist level of the 1830's.

Then I've got a corded petticoat and two more petticoats - one plain and one tucked. I don't have a picture of the corded petticoat, but it's of the variety that has 17" of solid cording at the hem. The plain petticoat looks like a plain petticoat so I didn't bother with a picture.

I also took the opportunity to use my amusing little knit bustle pad made from an 1840's pattern.

atherleisure: (reader)
I finished the first side of my new pinball.

Ship Pinball Piece

It only took a week, but that's only because I ended up doing 38 rows on Friday. That was a lot of knitting for something so fine, and after knitting a dozen rows of the second side last night, my wrists need a night off.

Working on pinballs again has made me think about personalization of them. I've only given one as a gift that has initials on it, and I just put the recipient's initials on it. I've seen some with one set of initials with or without a date, but I've also seen some with two sets of initials as in "XXX to XXX". Now I'm curious to know whether people receiving a something like this as a gift would rather have it personalized with just their own initials or would rather have the giver's initials as well. What do you think?

If it helps, there are examples of both on my pinball Pinterest board.
atherleisure: (reader)
I have a couple more pictures of the mantua I made last fall. I posted some construction and dummy pictures here. It was a lot of fun to wear.



Read more... )
I had so much fun wearing this dress. It's definitely an amusing style to wear.
atherleisure: (reader)
Last fall I made a 1690's-1700's mantua. Why? Because I wanted one. They're cool or even nifty. Unfortunately, it's not a period that has a lot of events. As far as I know there's nothing people celebrate from that period - Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC were both founded right about that time, but I haven't seen anyone breaking down doors to have celebratory parties, and anyway the tricentennials were twenty or thirty years ago. I thought I'd stretch the point and go to the DFWCG's Georgian Picnic as a relic from the Queen Anne period. Life intervened so I had an excellent time at Liendo Plantation instead. That left me with nowhere to wear my mantua so I decided to solve the problem by throwing an any-period party - wear whatever you want from whatever period you want.

Illness and a daughter moving out kept some of the people who had planned to attend from coming, but we still had seven guests and a really good time.

You've probably seen the whole timeline on [ profile] nuranar's LJ, but here it is again.

More pictures behind the cut... )

As always, thank you to the Grahams for supplying the pictures and giving me permission to post them.
atherleisure: (reader)
I finished M's shift and my chemisette so I am officially finished sewing for San Jacinto next month.

Girl's shift
(I couldn't seem to get a picture that wasn't skewed without getting a big shadow over it.)

1830's Chemisette

While I am officially finished sewing for San Jacinto, I'm debating a little more trim on the bonnet so I may not actually be completely finished. In the meantime, I'm indulging myself in pinball knitting. The boy attended two birthday parties over the weekend, and since he's still at the age where the parents stay for the party, it was really good for my pinball. I'm more than a third of the way through the first side, which is very pleasant for me after having to unravel just about that much last week. I did decide to change directions, and instead of doing the pink flowering branch pinball first, I'm doing the ship with the filled sails instead. I want it finished by June, but as addictive as they are, there's a good chance it will be finished before then. The boy was invited to another birthday party for this Saturday...

atherleisure: (reader)
I finished M's Regency dress the other day. It's made from a red and white striped cotton left over from my late 1860's crinoline. I had to cut most of it from a failed attempt at the VandE 1866 crinoline (way too big) so the skirt front is cut a bit more narrowly to fit in the panels of that. The pattern is from the Danish national museum and is dated to 1800-1810. It's a combination of hand and machine sewing.

Girl's 1800's Dress - Front

More pictures behind the cut... )

She loves it and said she never wanted to take it off. That made me very happy.
atherleisure: (reader)
I was working on my pinball again last night and realized there didn't seem to be that many stitches between the design and the edge. I forgot to count the twenty border stitches before I started the pattern Wednesday. How did I get through twelve rows without noticing? I realized that it would take longer to un-knit twelve rows than it would to unravel and cast on and reknit eighteen rows. *sigh* Now I get to start over.


Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:54 am
atherleisure: (reader)
1. I finished knitting the second front of my Aran cardigan. Now I'm working on the first sleeve, but motivation is slipping away now that we've had highs in the 80's for the last several days. Of course, I should keep working on it because I'll want it when it gets cooler.

Aran Cardigan - Left Front

2. I finished the welt at the top of my second 18th century stocking. Now I just have about 590 rows left.

3. I didn't feel like sewing last night and didn't want to work on the sweater so I actually worked on my pinball. I'm a quarter of the way through the first piece now, and I'm thinking that I would like to have it finished by June so I might only work on the sweater when on the road and on the pinball when I feel like knitting at home. Pinballs are so much more fun once you get into the picture part.
atherleisure: (reader)
I made sleeve supports for my 1830's dress following [ profile] mandie_rw's method that she wrote about on her blog and in a journal entry. She even gave me the rough measurements of her outer layer in the comments of the latter.

I actually took more or less step-by-step pictures to share the process.

Read more... )


Mar. 19th, 2017 07:23 am
atherleisure: (reader)
I made up the bulk of a fontange/commode headdress to go with my 1690's/1700's mantua last fall using the information here, but I really wasn't happy with it because it wouldn't stand up very straight at all. When I didn't wear the mantua to the Georgian picnic in Dallas in November, I put the fontange away for a bit. Last weekend I finally had the chance to wear the mantua so I finally got around to fixing the fontange.

Construction information )
1690's Fontange - Front

1690s Fontange - Side

1690s Fontange - Back

For the next time, I think I'm going to tack the pleats together at the top since it had a tendency to fan out a bit.

One thing that I hadn't foreseen is that it tends to bob when you nod your head. I guess nodding wasn't much of a thing then - that or waving linen and lace was common!
atherleisure: (reader)
M enjoyed the couple of costume events that she went to recently so I told her I would make her a dress. It's going to be a Regency dress like the child's dress that's patterned at the Danish National Museum. I haven't started the dress yet, and I don't have enough muslin to make her a shift/chemise, but I did manage to piece together enough for a petticoat. The bottom part with the tucks is from a petticoat I made myself last year and miscalculated the fullness of the flounce so I had the right amount left over for her petticoat. It is entirely machine sewn and took about two yards of muslin altogether.

Child's Regency Petticoat
atherleisure: (reader)
I finished one of my 18th century stockings. These are a much firmer knit since they're knit with fingering weight yarn on 4-0 needles. There are 15 st/in and 20 rows/in.

18th Century Stocking

The heel looks extra pointy right now, but I think it will mash down once they've been worn a few times. That's how I recall the other pair working out.

18th Century Stocking

I ran out my second of four balls of yarn with fifteen rows to go at the toe so I used some different yarn to finish off the stocking. I'd rather have a very small different piece at the toe of each stocking than one larger mismatched toe. It will also be interesting to see how close to the end I run out on the second stocking.

18th Century Stocking Toe

Speaking of the second stocking, I need to cast that on at some point, don't I? It's hard to get worked up about it while I don't have a lot of reading to do. Maybe I'll manage it over the weekend. After all, I will be riding the bus next week, and it would be nice to have the stocking.
atherleisure: (reader)
I never posted about the kitchen after we finished sanding and painting the cabinets. It took about three months of weekend work (with lots of holiday interruptions,) but we took the kitchen from this

to this.


It's so much nicer now!

And now back to your regularly scheduled sewing projects.


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