Tuesday 13 March 2012

From Scrap Pieces of Linen

I have an awful lot of fabric scraps, most of them from past projects. A few days ago I went through the case containing my linen scraps and dug out some herringbone twill. I wanted to put it to good use, and had some vague ideas about making a cloth bag to put our toiletries in during events, and, if I found a piece big enough, another towel. You can never have too many towels when you have a baby (especially a pukey one), and we don’t have enough linen ones to last us through an event.
I had enough fabric, and have now finished the bag and the towel. They’re both straightforward enough, the towel being a rectangle of fabric, 34x48 cm, hemmed on three sides, the fourth being a very neat selvage. The warp is running from side to side, rather than up-down, but I should think many simpler towels and washcloths were made from scraps and old worn out clothes, the warp directed every which way gave the best use of the fabric, so I don’t mind.

The bag (21,5x28,5 cm) also has the warp running the wrong way, and is pieced in one place. It closes by a braided linen cord in a casing. The thread in the cord is pulled from the fabric left when cutting the pieces to the bag and towel. None were long enough for the cord, but I managed anyway; I used three threads in every strand, and every time I got close to the end of one thread, I added a new one, braiding with four threads for a little while, and then continued with three, the new one having taken the place of the one that ran out. I waxed the threads before and after braiding, and the cord is now quite strong. It felt good not wasting good thread or yarn on such a common, rather dull thing, but using what would have otherwise been thrown away.

 I found a similar bag in a picture depicting the Biblical story of Joseph beeing sold by his brothers.

 Bible historiale, Royal MS 17 e vii vol 1 c. 1356-1357.

Tobias and I had talked about marking our things in some way, to lessen the risk of loosing them, and making them identifiable if they should get lost. In the past, it was not uncommon for households and/or individuals to have a mark, used as a signature on documents, and to identify property and sometimes animals. These marks often looked a little like runes. I don’t know much about them, so perhaps you should take what I wrote with a pinch of salt, I might have gotten my facts wrong. 

Anyway, we designed a mark for us. It’s just a T and a W on the side (we tried to fit an S in as well, but didn’t manage to make it look good…), but I rather like it. I embroidered it in the corners of the towel and bag with unbleached linen thread.
I think it looks rather nice. Now I need to make a larger bag for diapers…. I think I know in what style I’ll make it :)

Saturday 10 March 2012

Wearing History Pattern Giveaway

In case anyone has missed it, Wearing History is hosting a giveaway of their soon to be released 1910's blouse pattern. I usually draft or drape my own patterns, but this is so pretty, I'd be glad to win it - of course, I am very possibly lessening my chances by spreading the word ;)

Anyway, if you like the look of the 1910's, don't miss this.

Friday 2 March 2012

Wool Skirts

Spring is producing its first flowers (I saw snow drops and winter aconite the other day), but it is a bit chilly most of the time, with occasional frosty nights. Wool skirts (which are what I usually wear from autumn to early spring) are still very comfortable. Of the two I wear most right now, one is at least six years old, likely more, while I finished the other just a month or two back.
The old one is made from a charity shop bought wool blend, trimmed with another wool fabric. It is made from seven gores, has a raised waist (that is still a little too tight post pregnancy), and closes with an invisible zipper in the back.
It has a loose matching pocket, made from the wool used to trim the skirt, with piping made from the main skirt fabric. It closes with a button, as does the belt it’s attached to. The skirt is flat lined with brown cotton.
The new skirt is also made from a wool blend found in a charity shop. It’s made from two full panels of the fabric, the width taken in by stitched down box pleats. It closes with an invisible zipper in the left seam, and a button and buttonhole on the waistband. I made most of it while still pregnant and wasn’t sure what size I’d be after, so it’s actually a little too large. I might redo it at some point. It has a pocket in the right side seam.
It also has a band of contrasting wool fabric close to the hem, with decorative running stitches in red. And look, proof that little B actually exists :)
On a side note: isn’t motherhood just wonderful? I feel so happy to have been blessed with such an amazing little person to care for, love, teach and guide.
Soon it’ll be spring for real, and after that, summer isn’t far off. I’m currently working on a summer dress, and if time allows, I have more plans for dresses in my head that might be realized.