Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chemise gussets

I haven't been well lately, so haven't got much finished.
I need a narrow sleeved chemise for an event that is coming up and have been plodding along working on one for a few days. It is cut from a very fine cotton voile. I must have made fifteen to twenty chemises in my time in the SCA, but putting the armpit gores in always confuses me. 'Brain fog' is a side effect of my illness, and it was in full effect today. I just couldn't seem to get my head around those gussets. Sometimes coffee and chocolate is the answer to the problem!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Embroidered Pouch with Split Stitch Badge

In August I made a heraldic pouch as a 'gift bag' for a present for my friend. The bag itself is red linen, self-lined. The general shape is based on Elizabethan sweete-bags.  I made little tassels for the bottom corners.






The heraldic design is executed in various types of cotton floss in split stitch. The design was traced onto calico base fabric with a pencil and the panel reinforced with a small piece of iron-on interfacing to minimise warping of the base fabric. After the colours were blocked in, I worked the details. I used a small hoop to maintain the tension.
After the embroidery was finished, I trimmed the interfacing and calico back and whipped the calico down onto the back of the piece.

The bag has eyelets at the top for the cords  to pass through, and the cords are plaited cotton threads in the recipient's heraldic colours.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Split-stitch Embroidery on Linen Hoods

Another project for the big event; seam treatments and some embroidery on linen hoods.
The hoods were cut out and sewn up by my friends, I just had to flat fell some seams and do some hemming. Then it was time to mark out the embroidery. The cypher was designed by Sir Eva von Danzig.

 I traced the design onto tracing paper and marked around the outline with a really big needle. This left big holes around the outlines of the letters. I then pinned the tracing paper into place on the hood and drew over the outlines with a Frixion removable pen. The result was a line of dots marking the outline of the letters



The design is worked in split stitch embroidery in DMC cotton floss.









Monday, October 9, 2017

Italian style Tie-On Renaissance Sleeves - Aqua Blue

Okay, one more pair finished from the Huge Unfinished Sleeve Pile. I tried to get a few more pictures to explain the process this time, too.
This is not the aqua blue sleeve, but is the same pattern shape.

The sleeves and linings are sewn up and then I stab-stitch the seams open.

You can see the tiny dots running along the outside of the seam below.


Once the seams are finished, I put the 'good' sides of the sleeve and lining together (so that I can see the messy inner seam on my side) and run a line of stitching around the top of the sleeve to join them together. If there are tabs on the top of the sleeve, you need to position them before you sew this seam, and also make sure that they are positioned so that they won't move around when sewing (and crucially) so that the tabs will be on the outside of the sleeve when you turn it the right way out.

Once this seam is sewn, I put clips in the seam allowance to reduce puckering when the sleeve is turned the right way out.

Next, I turn the sleeve right way out. All seams should be hidden inside the sleeve and only nice finished seams visible when you look inside as well as on the outside. I usually put a line of small whip stitching around the top of the sleeve to make sure the lining doesn't roll out or move.


 Notice the whip stitching around the top of the sleeve.

Making sure that the lining is not tucked up inside and is sitting smoothly, I measure my hem allowance. I also zigzag my edges for durability.

This sleeve has been hemmed; you can just see the tiny dots showing on the outside which is the hemming line. I clip triangles into the outer and inner fabrics to reduce puckering and bunching.


I prefer to hem  my lining separately to reduce puckering. I use a little whip stitch, same as on the fashion layer of fabric.

 The hemmed sleeve showing the lining

Working the eyelets on top of the sleeves: the holes correspond with the ties in the gown. I make a hole with an awl, and then increase the size of the hole with a bigger awl that I made out of a wooden knitting needle. I go around the hole with a line of double running stitch. I usually use four strands of thread for strength. I don't use buttonhole stitch because I think it adds too much bulk on top of the double running stitch - I just go over the edges with satin stitch. The eyelets turn out very durable and are big enough that lucet cords can be threaded through without needing a bodkin. This is important as friends usually lace my sleeves on for me at events and I don't want to make it harder for them than it has to be!


 The completed sleeves, waiting to be tried on.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Split-Stitch Embroidery on Woolen Hoods

Here is a project that I worked on back in August to help some friends. They were running a big event and wanted a way to identify key people on the event team, like the Head Herald, List Keeper, Head Cook etc. They came up with the idea of different coloured hoods, and I volunteered to embroider some of the designs.

Marking out embroidery designs on wool can be problematic. Normally I would recommend tracing out the design with ink, lead pencil, chalk or removable felt tip pen or Frixion pen. Sometimes, using the prick and pounce method works well. None of these methods were appropriate for this particular surface as the wool was rather fuzzy and absorbent.

I printed out the designs that I needed, then traced the design onto tracing paper.

I (pretty thoroughly) pinned the paper into place on the hood. It is important to have the design pinned down well so that it doesn't move at all. I sewed over the design in a very small running stitch.




Once the design was marked out in yellow hand sewing thread, I carefully ripped off the tracing paper, trying not to pull or distort the running stitch.

This left me with a faintly marked line of stitching to follow.


I went over the running stitch with a double strand of embroidery floss in split stitch.


I was very pleased with the final result. The motifs stood out well against the green and black wool.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Italian style Tie-On Renaissance Sleeves - Orange

I'm gradually trying to get back to normal, but it is slow going. Late last year I cut out a whole heap of different coloured tie-on sleeves with the grand plan of working through them in my "leisure time" to extend my Renaissance wardrobe.



Needless to say, other projects took over and they never ended up getting finished! Just before the last big SCA event that I went to, I realised that I had lost the sleeves that I planned to wear, and I fished out the Huge Unfinished Sleeve Pile. One pair was mostly done, so I finished them off at high speed with the help of my Mum.

This week I pulled out another tabbed pair and finished them off. I haven't had the energy yet to try them on with a gown, but I think they will look nice.


The outer shell and lining are each one piece and the seam runs down the back of the arm. This is particular sleeve is quite a loose pattern and very comfortable. I zig-zag my fabric pieces to reduce fraying. I then sew the back seam of the two arm pieces and the two lining pieces.
(This is a different pair, but it is the same technique)


Next, I make little hand stitches to hold the seams open so they don't move around or bulk up when being worn, and I put in a couple of clips to reduce any pulling on the sleeve. I put the lining and fashion fabric sleeves together with 'good' sides facing and seams visible, and then run around the top of the arm with the machine and clip. On this pair I placed the tabs in place before sewing that line of stitching. The tabs themselves are just long rectangles of fabric that are sewn up into a tube and turned so that the seams are inside. They are then cut to size and placed where I think they look good.





Once the sleeves are turned right side out (so that all the seams are hidden), it is just a matter of hemming the wrist end. I like to hem the fashion outer fabric first, and then separately whip in the lining fabric.

The final thing I do is make eyelets at the top of the sleeve to accommodate the ties that my gowns all have. It is possible to do hidden eyelets on a strip of fabric, or use hooks and eyes or decorative buttons, but eyelets suit me because I usually put my sleeves on at the event after set up etc. when I am already in my gown. I get really hot really fast, so having sleeves that are easy to get on and off is a real necessity for me and this design is perfect.



I was having issues with my phone during this process, so no progress pictures. I will try and get more for the next pair!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bead Stringing and Flu Recovery

I haven't posted for a while because I have been suffering from a very bad case of the 'flu. I have been bedridden for a couple of weeks and even had to spend a night in hospital. It has been very debilitating, and for a lot of the time I didn't even have the energy or cognitive function to read! So I am back to the beginning of my A&S Century Challenge, and just starting to ease back into normal activities.

Naturally, there is a lot of sewing and SCA projects to be done. My Unfinished Object (UFO) pile is - as always- HUGE. I have several unfinished gowns hanging about from the last few years which I really would like to finish off. Masses of unfinished embroidery. Scribal work to complete. Officer paperwork. Plans, and plans, and plans. You all know how it is!

Yesterday I eased back into it by doing some simple beading. I went to a heraldic tournament this year which had a theme of Sun vs. Moon and the participants were given beads as tokens to hand out to people they felt were worthy of note in various areas. It was a fantastic event and I was really very chuffed with my beads and decided to string them onto tiger tail to make a little memento of a great event. Stringing them was a simple task - that seemed to take forever! It is going to take me a while to get back to normal, I think. I'm pleased with how the project turned out though.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hemming of Body Linens

Today I am hemming body linens again. My furry helper is ill & this sort of sewing is quite soothing. No idea what day I am at now in the second round of the century challenge.

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Sewing the enclosed seam flat.

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Tacking down the edge of the partlet prior to pinning the second fold into place. Although it seems like extra work, I do it this way because I have a lot of issues with my hands and it hurts to sew. Any extra, uneccessary fabric manipulation just means unnecessary pain.

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Sick little buddy