Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fur Trimmed Waistcoat, Finished

It's finished! 9 days late, but finished.
As sewing projects go, this one was particularly frustrating.
In the last post on this, I was in the process of attaching the pockets. I stitched through both the welt and the pocket bag with a stab stitch.
The front half of the pocket bag sewn to the waistcoat.
I cut the wool under the welt at an angle, going as close to the corners as I could.
The back of the pocket, just before turning it to the inside.

The pocket after being turned to the inside.
I sewed down the ends of the welt with more stab-stitching.
The ends of the welt after being sewn down.

The second half of the pocket bag, pinned on.
I sewed the second  half of the pocket flap onto the wool bits at the top with a stab-stitch, and onto the rest of the pocket bag with a double row of running stitches.
The completed pocket, from the inside.
The fabric is sturdy, so hopefully this will not wear through. I hate it when clothing manufacturers use thin, cheap material for pockets and they wear out before the rest of the garment.
The finished pocket from the outside. There is a bit of a gap, but the fur hides it.
It was only after the second pocket was nearly complete that I realized the welts were a stupid waste of time. These pockets are right on a seam. There was no need for welts. I could have just sewn the pocket bag to the seam. The welts did nothing more than add a lot of bulk. What was I thinking?
It was too late by that point. I suppose I could have re-cut the bottoms from the sleeves of the coats, but that would waste even more time and wasn't really worth it.
I folded all the edges in and whip stitched them down. I did the same to the seam allowances, because they would not lie flat, and I didn't want lumpy seams.
I pad stitched the interfacing to the lining.
I don't know what the accurate method of interfacing waistcoats is, but I think now that they used fewer stitches. I don't recall having seen an extant waistcoat that was so pockmarked on the inside.
This picture doesn't show the pockmarks very well.
I sewed the lining together with a running stitch, leaving the shoulder seams open.
I pinned the lining in all at once, with the edges tucked in.
I whip stitched the edges, and sewed up the shoulder seams with a ladder stitch.
I did it this way because I didn't want the armholes to be the wrong size and mess up the way the whole lining fit into the waistcoat.
I was about halfway through stitching the lining in when I realized that the hideous pink wool I had made the back from was dyeable. Why did I not think of this sooner? I have dyed wool before.
I finished putting the lining in, and dunked the waistcoat in a pot of red dye. I tried to keep the front out of the pot, so that the back would soak up most of the dye.
It came out a decent shade of red, though I think there are a few bits of some other fiber in there, since some of the hairs are still white.
The dyed back against the original colour.
I had machine washed the wool before starting, so all the hot water didn't affect it much. It just made the pockets a bit wrinkled.
The middle buttonhole is half finished.
The buttonholes came out looking rather sad. It's hard to get nice looking buttonholes in thick, fuzzy material.
The 12 buttons I used were originally from my Grandma's stash. They have brown metal frames and fabric covered centres. There were bits of thread indicating that they had been previously used, so they also count as make do!
Since the fabric is very thick, I made little wrapped thread shanks. (This is actually in the wrong order, I made the buttonholes before attaching the buttons, as one does.)
After attaching the fur to the front edge of the buttonhole side, I secured the fur around the buttonholes. I marked them one at a time, cut around the buttonhole marks, and sewed the fur to the edges of the buttonholes.
It was horrible, until I clued into the fact that beeswax is sticky and was causing more trouble than it was worth by sticking to the fur. I stopped waxing my thread, and it was much better after that.
I also found this great little wire rake in my box of inherited sewing tools. It really helped move the hairs out of the way.
It is marked "Fuller".
All the fur is attached with whip-stitching.
I only put fur down one side of the front, unlike the one in the fashion plate, which has two distinct strips of fur. (Similarly, the feathered trim on this waistcoat is also in two strips, with buttons on one side.)
It took a lot of effort to not toss this thing on the UFO pile. The fur was frustrating to work with and there were three moments of "Arrg, what was I thinking?", which is quite a high number for a single project.
I like this waistcoat. It's very warm, and the fur hides the buttons almost entirely.
I really need to make some shirts. This one is far too modern, besides being nearly worn out.
You may have noticed that my hair is no longer down to my butt. I got 12 inches of it cut off. This was my first haircut in over a decade and I like it much better this way.
It's not the most flattering of garments on it's own, being made of bulky wool with straight seams and two big horizontal stripes, but it looks good when worn with a coat.
I attempted to copy the pose of the fashion plate guy, but the angle was wrong. (I am putting the fashion plate information here because the pictures won't stay side by side if they have captions- Magasin des Modes, February, 1788- Source.)
The breeches I'm wearing are actually cut off corduroy pants, and the coat is one I've had for years, so it doesn't have the right cut at all.

The Challenge: #1, Make Do & Mend
Fabric: Red wool from a second hand coat, pink (but not anymore) wool from a blanket, Brown linen.
Pattern: Drafted by me.
Year: 1788
Notions: An unidentified fur object, a bit of hair canvas, 12 metal & fabric buttons, thread(cotton, linen and polyester).
How historically accurate is it? Fairly accurate. The wool, linen and fur are pretty accurate (aside from all the little serger seams on the fur). The buttons and some of the threads aren't. I guessed at the construction, but I think it's mostly accurate.
Hours to complete: 52:42
First worn: Friday, January 24th, 2014
Total cost: The hair canvas was the only thing I bought, and it probably works out to a few cents because I used so little.

There isn't very much snow at the moment. We had two feet a few weeks ago, but it got rained on.

Friday, 17 January 2014

2013 in Review + 1 Year Blog Anniversary

It has now been a year since I wrote my first post. Since it isn't too far away from New Years, I figured it was a good time to write a year in review post.
I have completed about 23 sewn items this year. It isn't a huge amount, but this is only my second full year of sewing, and I got much more done in 2013 than I did in 2012.
First, the costumey ones.
The Cheap Easter Candy 1790s Stays. I thought these turned out very well.
A green Bum Pillow. As with the stays, the materials aren't the greatest, but it gives the right shape.
A very large White Scalloped Petticoat. Rayon isn't the most suitable fabric, but it works well enough. It's nice and swooshy and I love the little scallops.
An even larger Purple Petticoat. I am quite happy with this one. The fabric is nice and thick. I still have to make the pierrot jacket to go with it, which is currently in the patterning stage.
A Buffon/Neckerchief thing. Disappointing at first, but it became fashionably floofy after starching.
And an even bigger one. I still haven't worn this yet.
A Stripey Fur Muff. It has a few problems, but it is very warm and fuzzy, which is good.
An enormous, ridiculous 1780's Hat. This badly needs to be taken apart and re-made. It may look fine, but the improvised stiffening materials are far too heavy. I didn't have anything better when I made it, but I have obtained some fine white buckram and gauzy cotton fabric, so someday I will replace everything but the trim on this thing.
Blue And Purple Mitts. Despite the thumb fit trouble, I like these very much!
A Wooden Busk. I have yet to make the stays to go with this. They are also still in the patterning stage.
A 1790's Drawstring Jacket. I am quite proud of this. Especially the fit. It's my first garment with two piece sleeves!
An "Orientalist" Cap. I love the colours and the ear ornaments. I would like to make a Poiret style drapey something to go with this, once I find an appropriate fabric.
A Wasp Hat. Not quite what I had envisioned, but I was glad to finally do something with that beaded wire wasp. I will definitely be making more black Edwardian stuff.
A Fantastic Bow-Knot of Super-Eminent Dimensions. For such a simple project, it achieved a very high level of silliness.

And here are the everyday clothes.
Striped Waistcoat. Though I do wear this regularly, I am not happy with the quality of the materials, or the construction. One day I will do a post entitled Early Sewing Disasters, and this will be one of the garments featured in it.
Blueish Grey Cravat. The square could stand to be a bit bigger, but other than that it's fine.
And a nearly identical Cravat in white. The fabric is nice, but very prone to stains. It has got a few tiny brown flecks on it, simply from sitting in a wooden drawer.
A Neck Stock. The buttons are fiddly and the cotton in the middle is not the best quality, but it is comfortable and I like the way it looks. I will probably make another one with finer cotton and with hooks and eyes instead of buttons.
Two pairs of Diagonally Striped Stockings. I love the stripes, but I wish I had a good way of holding them up.
I also made an assortment of other things.
An Embroidered Needle Case. Quite serviceable, though I should have put some sort of stiffening in the covers.
A Hair Reciever. I didn't actually make this, I only decorated it.
It is also very serviceable. I made a large Hair Rat too.

I also made some metal things that I didn't blog about. They were from one of my Media Explorations classes. We got to spend 7 classes in each studio of the college. The jewelry studio was lots of fun. I would love to make more things out of metal, but I can't take fashion and metals at the same time.
A chain bracelet. We made all the jump rings by coiling and sawing silver wire. It hurts your fingertips.
A precious. Also silver.
A tiny copper fish. Using the little jewelry saws was so much fun! This was very shiny when I finished it, but now it is very smudgy. This might be good for a watch fob or something, though I wish I had dipped it in the liver of sulphur to make it black.
A mouse pendant. I love how this one turned out. It's also copper, but it has been blackened with liver of sulphur.
A copper bat. It has toes.
And a copper octopus pendant.
I don't really wear jewelry, but I'm sure these will be good for something or other.

Some numbers:

I completed 18 out of the 26 Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges. Some of them were late because I am terrible with deadlines.
I can only recall finishing 3 non HSF garments. I think the small number of sewn items is due to the large amount of hand sewing. Of the 23 items, 11 of them were partly machine sewn with varying amounts of hand finishing, and 12 were entirely hand sewn. I also think I could have gotten more work done if I didn't have such awful insomnia.

I finished: 1 pair of stays, 1 bum pillow, 3 petticoats (one of which is quite crappy), 2 buffons, 1 muff, 1 busk, 1 jacket, 1 pair of mitts, 3 hats/caps, 2 pairs of stockings, 1 waistcoat, 3 cravats, 1 stock, 1 horrid eyepatch, and 1 pair of horrible ill-fitting bloomers.

My fabric stash has grown considerably this year, which is good because it is a relatively new stash. I have also replaced my rusty metal ironing board with a folding wooden one, which came from my grandparent's house.
That's pretty much it for 2013.

This year I will try not to waste so much time hand sewing with lesser materials. I will also try to shrink my UFO pile. I intend to make my sewing more wardrobe focused this year. Costumes are all very well, but I have only worn my 1780's ensemble twice. There aren't any costuming groups or events that I am aware of in this tiny little city.
It doesn't make any sense to spend all my time sewing that sort of stuff when, as I have said before, my everyday clothes are so terrible. This year's sewing efforts will be directed towards making clothes that I actually like the look of (and to that end I'd also eventually like to dye my hair black with a white streak). Since I prefer the look of men's styles from between about 1770-1840, I will still try to do as many HSF'14 challenges as I can.

As for the actual blogging, it seems to be going well, although I think my writing style is rather awkward. It seems that some people find this blog amusing, which is fine, but please know that it is not intentional. I am not good at communicating with people, so if I have accidentally offended anyone I apologize.
The one post a week schedule is a comfortable pace, and on average I have posted a little more than exactly once a week. To my amazement I have accumulated 28 followers. How did that happen?

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment! I will stop typing now, since I don't want to end up posting this a day late.