Archive for May, 2008

DSCF8161.jpg Where small is defined as “not as big as a gown”. Tonight was textile guild at my house, so I pulled out the brown hosen to work on.

But before I talk about that, here’s a picture of the pattern. Somewhere in my sewing room I have five yards of muslin that I bought for the express purpose of making patterns. But of course I couldn’t find it Sunday night, so I used some other random fabric I had running around When I made Matatias’ hosen pattern, I didn’t make an “on the fold” pattern, which makes symmetry hard. This time I did just half of the pattern and cut on the fold – which works much better.

So anyway, tonight I sewed the toe seam (it needed more fitting than usual because the foot is looser than I’ve made them in the past) and finished all the seams, so now I have one completed sock. Yay!

Pictures after the jump… Continue Reading »


I have been hard at work writing up a handout on how I make cut hosen.  It will be done soon, I hope.  (I always have trouble figuring out if my explanations are going to make sense to anybody but me.)  I needed to check my process (it’s been a year since I made any hosen and much longer than that since I made any short (women’s) hosen), so last night I took a bunch of measurements of my leg, did a bit of math, and drafted out a completely workable pattern.  I’m pretty pleased with myself – it was actually the first time I’d tried to make a pair of hosen based on measurements rather than draping it.  I did have to do some minor fitting of the pattern after drawing it out from the measurements, but it definitely is easier in some ways than just draping.  And I’d forgotten how quick they are to make – I got the pattern drafted, the hosen cut out, and nearly all of the assembly done (everything except the toe seam) in just about 2 hours.

And so I have started on A&S 50 project #11- I had wanted to make red hosen, but I don’t have enough leftover red linen (sigh), so I’m using some brown.  I hope to have them done by the 14th, so I can show them at Baronial Champs (though I won’t be competing for the Championship)

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Over the past several days I’ve pressed the wool and the damask for the mauve gown, and sorted through the cut damask piecSleeve Outsidees to see what would work and what wouldn’t.  As it turns out, the damask gores, sleeves, and gussets weren’t anywhere near the right size, so I used the gores to cut the linings for the sleeves and the gussets.  I got the gussets basted a couple of days ago and last night I pinned and cut the sleeve linings and got one of them basted.

And since I had a basted sleeve and gusset, I just HAD to put together one of the sleeves.  🙂  How could I not?  It looks pretty silly with all the basting in there (and oh, what a joy it’s going to be to take out all that junk when the garment is done).  Since I was smart enough to cut the sleeves such that the cuff is on the selvage, I trimmed the lining down and have already basted the cuff in place just by turning the selvage over the raw edge of the lining.  I’ll end up taking the basting out and re-turning the cuffs once I reinforce the sleeves to receive the buttons and buttonholes (more on that below).

Part of the reason I wanted to start Sleeve Stitching Detailassembly (besides the fact that pinning and basting is tedious in the extreme) was to try out sewing with the threads pulled from the wool.  So far, so good.  They definitely are nowhere near as strong as a cotton, a cotton/poly, or a linen thread, but they’ll do.  They’re so kinky from having been woven that I can’t easily get them through my wax cake so I’m working with them unwaxed.  The first couple of threads I tried doubling them and THEN putting them through the needle (so I had a loose tail) but getting two fuzzy threads through the needle eye turned out to be a big pain and so on the last one I just threaded through one side of it and tied the two ends together – yeah, that means half of it is going against the nap of the thread, but it actually was passing through the fabric MUCH more smoothly that way.  You can see that I was using backstitch for the stressed areas and a combination of running stitch and backstitch for the bulk of the seams.

The wool thread is in NO WAY strong enough to use for the stuffed buttons or for buttonholes, however.  Maybe I’ll spring for some silk thread for that part of the project.  😉

I pretty much guesstimated on how much of an opening I should leave for buttoning the sleeve – I pulled the pinned sleeve on and picked a spot that seemed reasonable.  It ended up being 4″ from the cuff, which will mean probably about 8 buttons on each.  I’m going to put woolen facings on the Sleeve Insideinside of both sides of the opening to strengthen it both for attaching the buttons and for putting in the buttonholes.  In the picture of the whole inside of the sleeve you can see the selvage turned in for the cuff and the cuff opening that will eventually get buttons.

I also am going to have to cut a second set of gores – I didn’t make them nearly wide enough for the amount of fullness I want in this gown.  Not a big deal; I’ll cut two more (probably wider than the original ones) and have double-gores in the sides of the gown.  I will DEFINITELY end up having to do some of the lining with regular medium-weight linen – probably all of the gores will be lined that way.  The most critical to me was really to get the sleeves lined in the damask, because I want to be able to turn them back and show off my lovely lining fabric.

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Planning I cut out the mauve gown tonight. I’m trying a couple of experiments with this one. More than a couple, actually.

->  Button cuffs. I’ve done stuffed buttons before, so this isn’t totally new to me, but I’ve never done buttoned cuffs before.
->  Actual math… usually I don’t try to factor in the “droop” of the body panels past my shoulder line when I figure my sleeve length. But with the more fitted sleeve, I needed to do this, so I had M take my shoulder measurement, found the difference between that and my body panel width and Threadtook the requisite amount off of the sleeve length.
->  I’m relying more on the gussets to lend fullness to the bodice rather than wider body panels. We’ll see how that goes.
->  I’m going to TRY sewing with threads pulled from the fashion fabric. We’ll see if it’s strong enough. I’ll definitely need to double it for it to be strong enough. So I have big piles of threads twisted up to keep them from getting tangled with each other.

    I’m lining this in white damask (mostly… need to see how the amount of damask I have maps to the cut wool) and I’m definitely going to be doing some serious basting to keep things lying nicely. I’ll also have to see how bulky the seams are going to be before I decide how I’m going to finish them.