Friday, 21 April 2017

Red Wool Waistcoat

I finished this a few weeks ago and am rather late posting it. It's made from the same re-used coat fabric as that awful fur trimmed waistcoat I did a few years ago. The biggest coat bits left were a tad too small, and I had to piece the side corners on.
It's interfaced along the front with heavy cotton twill. (The hair canvas I have is quite flimsy and wouldn't have made a difference on this fabric.) The edge around the front is folded in and sewn down.

The wool is thick and felted enough that I didn't feel the need to turn the edge in around the pocket hole.

The pockets and lining are both cotton quilting prints, and I can't remember where either of them came from. The back is a thick textured cotton from an old curtain.
The buttons are plastic, and aren't even trying to look like metal, but at least the star design on them looks suitable for the 18th century.
They're nice buttons at a distance.
The main construction seams are machine sewn, and the lining is hand sewn in.

The buttonholes are hand done too, as the wool is too thick to fit under the buttonhole foot.

It fits pretty well, since I actually mocked up my pattern this time...

 Though I'm late posting it here, I finished this in time for the March HSM challenge.

What the item is: A red wool waistcoat.
The Challenge, and how this item fulfills it: #3, The Great Outdoors. My waistcoat is good for cold weather, and the outdoors was quite cold when I made this, though it's warming up now.
Material: Red wool from a secondhand coat, quilting cotton for the lining, heavy rough cotton of some sort for the back.
Pattern: My own.
Year: 1770's-1780's
Notions: 12 plastic buttons, heavy cotton twill to interface the fronts, thread.
How historically accurate is it? The materials aren't accurate, but the pattern is, and I think the construction is overall fairly accurate. The look isn't too far off, but the wool is MUCH too thick for a waistcoat, and the buttons are obviously not metal when you look at them up close.
Hours to complete: Maybe about 25 or 30? I had a time sheet, but kept forgetting to update it.
First worn: March 28th, 2017
Total cost: $3.60 (the buttons were the only thing I bought, and they were quite cheap)
I made a small squid with some of the scraps, but there are still so many left. So many coat bits.
I've been using Small Squid Friend as a sleeve roll, because my sleeve board needs a new cover and I've been putting off making one. I should do that soon...

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Pale green rayon shirt

I think this shirt is somewhat tacky, because of the materials, but generally I like it. I made it to go under the doublet I'm going to be making for a fairytale costume assignment in felting class.
The fabric is rayon crepe, which was in my stash and which I definitely did not buy. I think it was from an unwanted pile of donated fabric at school.
It has cuff and collar ruffles made of nylon lace which I dyed pale green. They didn't come out quite the right colour, but that's ok.
I more or less used my regular shirt pattern dimensions, but cut the main body all in one piece to make it a bit more like a 16th century shirt.
The cuffs and collar have fusible interfacing in them, because the rayon is too slinky to stand up on its own. It's machine sewn, and half the seams are machine finished. The inside of the cuffs, the collar, and the seam allowances on the shoulder and underarm seams are finished by hand.
It's got 7 ball buttons, which are very old and (I think) made of glass. They make the cuffs a huge pain to fasten by myself, but with a button hook it's fine. I still might change them if they prove to be too much of an annoyance.
I turned back the edges of the front slit and put a little bit of fabric at the bottom for reinforcement, but a facing might have been better.

I wanted to paint a design on the front, for no reason other than I like the shade of green and though it needed a luna moth. I drew an art noveau looking swirly thing out, and traced it on with some difficulty. I painted it on with slightly watered down speedball fabric printing ink, except for the brown bit, which is acrylic paint & textile medium.

It's definitely a very costumey shirt, and one that I am unlikely to wear for non-costume things. I should have more parts of the costume to post soon!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Awful Slippers

Well, maybe awful is a bit harsh, but these are definitely not my best work and I don't like them much at all. I made them for felting class, and they aren't symmetrical, or evenly dyed.
 One's a bit tighter than the other. I tried to dye them brown, but I must have put too much dye in the pot because they went black.
 I put plasti dip on the bottoms, so they have something resembling a sole, and will wear much better than just plain felt.
I had to embellish them for the assignment, and I thought them too ugly to put much more work into, so I added eyes and a top row of pointy teeth.
The pupil is black wool fabric, and the white bits are wool felt.

If I make any other felted footwear it'll be taller, because I don't like the shape of these.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

1780's-90's Cocked Hat

I have made a hat!
I like my hat very much.
I was aiming for the general look of the hat in this fashion plate.
Young Officer in a Zebra Coat, calling someone to give an account of his services. Galerie des Modes, 1789. Source.
As far as I can tell, the one in the fashion plate is this shape, with the edge folded up in back being much longer than the front two. (I have some more extant hats in the same style on this pinterest board.)
Military cocked hat, late 18th century. Source.
(The one I made isn't meant to be a military hat, so I hope the trim isn't too similar.)
Mine is wet felted merino fleece, and I made it for a hat assignment in felting class.
One side laid down. I don't know why I couldn't get a clear photo of this.

Pattern separating the layers, and the second side partly laid down.
The pattern is quite large (about 2 feet across, I think) to account for shrinkage.

Hat partly felted, with the brim cut open and the pattern removed.
The crown is sitting on an upside down ice cream container here so I can felt the sides more easily.
Once the hat was sufficiently felted I dyed it with acid dye.
Here it is being dyed for the second time, because the first time it didn't come out black enough.
I had failed to remember while I was felting that the tops of all the extant hats are flat, and so I had to do some reshaping. I dampened the hat and pulled it over a coffee can, and managed to mash the domed top down into a nicely flat one. I also had to stretch the band part over a paint can, because it had shrunk in the dye pot and was now slightly too small.
The hat after dyeing and before blocking.
(Can I still call it blocking if it's a large can and not a bock?)
I stiffened the whole hat with watered down fabric stiffener. I'm not sure what the historically accurate method would be, but this worked quite well.
Almost done!
I did it in 3 steps to make sure things would dry in the right place.
(First the crown, then the back, then the front.)
I used fabric stiffener for the trim too. I dyed a piece of white silk twill, and then painted it with slightly thinned stiffener and let it dry. I'd never used fabric stiffener before this project, and I was quite pleased with the results. The silk went crisp and papery.
I pinked the edge, and then snipped out half the zig zags because the pinking was too small.

My box pleats came out a bit wonky and I blame the moisture from my hands.
I pleated it up, folded another strip of the material for the bit that goes on top, and added a mother of  pearl button from my stash. The hat in the fashion plate has what appears to be a diamond shaped steel button, and this was the closest thing I had.

It's done! I finally have a hat!! It still needs a lining, but I can add that later.
It's not perfect, nor entirely symmetrical, but for a first attempt I think it turned out very good and I am proud of it!

All the photos here of me wearing the hat were taken by Denise Richard, who is my felting teacher.
I quite enjoyed making this and I want to make more hats!