Loose threads

Various sewing projects. Mostly historical (or historically inspired) stuff. Varying levels of ambition!

Practical things

Kategori: Allmänt, Historic Sew Monthly 15, Stashbusting

Summer's approaching. So's fair season and the busiest time at work. Not the ideal combination - but it's great for small, handy projects that can be finished (very unlike the office work where one can never take a step back and watch the result). Possibly in a day if I don't stall.
First out was the fact that partlets are some of the most clever garments ever. They keep you surprisingly warm, they can be changed to create different looks and there's almost always enough fabric for them left somewhere if you, like me, save scraps which "might come in handy later". I've done a partlet before. I wasn't entirely happy with the fit, but that's what you get for using synthetic fabric. This time I decided to use the small scraps left from the apron dress, which I shamelessly stole. The scraps, that is, not the dress. Diamond twill isn't really a weave that appears a lot in Renaissance sources, I know, but there it at least one extant dress to prove that it did exist. Not for anything fancy, and, I admit, not necessarily for an outer garment, but still.
I used the same pattern as last time, from Tudor Tailor, but figured the quick way to make it fit first time was to use the finished partlet to make a second pattern. I also decided to use a back seam this time, in order to use the fabric more efficiently and possibly to improve the fit.
I laid it flat on paper and traced the outlines with a pencil. Then I folded the back piece and cut it along the fold.
Then came some serious Fabric Tetris, but I made it with the two scraps I had:
(Yes, I use Christmas wrapping paper for patterns. So?) As you can see the pieces are not straight, but the diamond twill weave made it fairly easy to align the pattern pieces anyway.
I cut the pieces in outer fabric, then used the outer fabric to cut the lining in undyed linen. That was the first use I found for my new stash of linen - I tend to buy it in bulk, since it's always used for something in the end - that I bought from the Swedish site Linnehem. This one as a 150g/m2 linen, surprisingly even and with a threadcount at about 20 threads/cm and for a very reasonable price, too. Needless to say I'm ever so pleased!
After some final fitting - didn't really do anything about the back seam after all, but left it straight - I joined the pieces of outer fabric and lining separately at shoulders and back seams and pressed the seams properly for once.
I used wool yarn for joining the outer fabric pieces and waxed linen thread for the lining.
Wool, unlike synthetic velvet, can be pressed. Properly. Every time I work with wool and linen I wonder why I ever bother with anything else.. And look at the pretty, pretty diamond twill. HA or not!
This far into the project I realised I had nothing for ties. Luckily, the ever useful Elisabethan Costume group on Facebook produced a thread on finger braiding not far ago, including a link to a method that (HA or not, honestly don't know) appealed to me - it's very simple and you don't have to cut the yarn in advance. Also, as it turned out, you can fingerbraid on the balcony squinting at the sun, not looking at your hands. Awesome. The result is rounded and fairly elastic:
I added the ties between the layers of the fabric (pinned right sides together), sew (running stitches) along the outside edges all way round except for a bit at the centre back with waxed linen thread and turned the partlet inside out. Then I pressed it again and closed the gap in the back, added two sets of hooks and eyes in the front (one doesn't work so well for me) and it was done.
I also got round to ordering new stockings - knitted wool, not terribly HA in appearance but comfortable and good enough. They stay up remarkably well, but garters is never a bad thing. Stockings sliding down is the least practical thing ever, so on Thursday night (event on Saturday) I decided I just miiiight manage a set of cheaty garters as well. I raided the pile of wool yarn that has been left in my hands over the years and set about tablet weaving. Easiest possible - one colour, no real pattern, 4 pairs of tablets. For the weft I used mostly white, since I hadn't enough of the red, but with a bit of red at both ends of each garter.
Thanks to two telephone conferences at work (one'd think that the colleague who opened the door to my office in the middle of the second one had never seen anyone tablet weaving in an office before?!) I could finish the garters on Friday afternoon. Half an hour extra on the balcony is always a good thing is the weather is nice...
The finished garters - the colour is closest to what it actually looks like in this photo.
I wore it successfully at an event this weekend and I like the effect of the brownish red with the green. Sadly I forgot my own coif at home, so the one in the photo is borrowed. The rest of the outfit is my own.
And an additional photo from November 2015 with the kirtle from the front and my own coif - alas, still no ear-irons.
And garters, too. With the bought stockings.
The facts:

The Challenge: 5, Practicality
Fabric: Diamond twill wool, undyed linen
Pattern: from Tudor Tailor
Year: 16th century
Notions: Wool yarn, linen thread, wax, wool yarn for ties
How historically accurate is it? Reference for diamond twill a bit shaky, but other than that I'm good - I'd say 90% at least.
Hours to complete: About 8.
First worn: Ekenäs Riddarspel, 9 May
Total cost: I am not counting the scraps, since they were really scraps. Linen: about 5 euros. Notions: lost and found pile.
The Challenge: 5, Practicality
Fabric: none
Pattern: none
Year: Uhm... I'd say 13th to 17th century for this type of garters, but feel free to correct me.
Notions: Wool yarn
How historically accurate is it? Fairly. I'd say about 80% to be on the safe side. Didn't research so much.
Hours to complete: About 6
First worn: Ekenäs Riddarspel, 9 May
Total cost: I honestly have no idea. Less than 5 euros.