Monday 27 August 2012

Nalbound Winter Bonnet

Sometimes this blog is quiet for weeks on end, and then there are two posts in as many days….

I generally like having something on my head (which in many living history situations is lucky), but there is one thing I’ve never found neither comfortable nor attractive on me; the common knitted winter cap. I think they mess up the hair something terrible (I have very fine, silky hair, which is especially unmanageable during the winter), and, since I wear my hair up most of the time, it looks plain ridiculous with a modern cap over it. I had planned to make a winter cap of my own for years, with my usual hairstyles taken into consideration, but never got round to it. But now, over the past month or so, I have made one! I finished it last week, it’s been the project I’ve been working on while putting B to bed.

It’s nalbound from the same wool yarn as Tobias’ socks, no idea what the stitch is called. I had an idea to make it in a shape similar to that of a Regency bonnet, as they were made to fit over hair worn in buns, and frame the face nicely. Not sure how well I did on the bonnet shape, but I’m pretty pleased all the same. 

The bonnet has nalbound scallops round the edges, and is further decorated with embroidery in wool yarn, resembling a fantasy version of fir and berries. A little on the Mrs. Santa side perhaps, but I like it.

The bonnet can also be worn with the brim turned back; I’m not altogether certain which look I prefer yet. 

What do you think?

Sunday 26 August 2012

A Nursing Friendly Dress

In my last post I wrote about some pillow cases I’d finished as part of my “forbidden to start any new projects until we’ve moved” deal with Tobias. Another thing that was awaiting completion was a dress begun this past spring. I wanted a pretty dress, fit for church, which it would be possible for me to nurse in, without it being too obvious it was a nursing dress. If I could still wear it after B is weaned that would be nice. I had seen a very pretty dress worn by Sophia Myles in an episode of Foyle’s War some years ago, and was reminded by it when I bought the first three series. I decided to try and make something similar.

I had stumbled on very good priced semi sheer cotton during the winter, and decided it would do for this project. I draped the bodice, sewed it, and left it. Now I took it out again, drafted the skirt and sleeves, and rather quickly finished it. I also made a rose from the dress fabric and a piece of velvet ribbon to wear in my hair.  

The dress is closed by a zipper in the left side, but the gathered bodice front opens, as you see, with self fabric ties. This makes it quite easy to gain access for nursing, and also makes it a bit adjustable in size for when I’m no longer nursing. 

The dress has wider ties that make a bow at the waist back, to give some visual interest. The skirt is slightly flared, and ends mid calf.

The sleeves are gathered at the shoulder, and have six small, stitched down tucks taking in the width at the cuff. 

This dress turned out entirely hand stitched, first since I did a lot of sewing when B was sleeping in my lap as a teensy weensy baby, and then, when I took it out again, my sewing machine was not easily accessible in the mess and confusion of boxes.

Unfortunately I’ve had to use the self timer on the camera, and after wearing the dress for hours, so the pictures aren’t all too good. Also, I’m afraid the nursing bras I have don’t give enough support to make a pretty silhouette. Ah well, I’ll have to live with that until I make one myself, or stop nursing.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Pillow Cases and Cushion Covers

Two and a half weeks ago we moved to a new city, and though not completely unpacked yet, we’re feeling at home. My fabrics, thread, pins, needles and other equipment are slowly being excavated from the mountain of boxes, so hopefully I’ll be sewing again soon. In the meantime I’m working on a needlebound project that I’ll show you at some future date.

In the month or two before moving Tobias came up with the idea that I shouldn’t start any new projects until after moving, and considering how many unfinished projects I have lying around, I thought it a good idea. It was funny to see how close to finished some of these projects were, I seem to have lost interest (or been distracted by something else) just hours before I had completed projects. Hmm.

One of the projects I now finished was stitching lace to a pillow case sewn years and years ago. I already had one finished, as they were intended to be a pair, but I got fed up with attaching lace, and used the case I’d finished, putting the other one from my mind.

 Now I have two, but as the one that was finished had been bleached with use, I packed it away with the things to be in storage until we move again. Hopefully the new one will be bleached to a similar shade by then.

I had made another cushion cover at the beginning of summer, from scrap pieces of linen, and as I still had some of the linen left, I intended to make more. I admit I did bend the “no new projects” rule with this one. All three cushion covers are made from greyish lavender heavy linen, and all are embroidered using the same shade of floss, but they are all different. Diversity and uniformity in one; that’s what happens when I get bored with making the same thing over and over.

The first one is pieced from smaller scraps, and every piece of the front has been treated differently. One is left plain; another has two rows of hemstitching, and the third small embroidered flowers. 

The second (which did not have to be pieced) has a simple square in cross stitches, with a little detail in the corners.

The third is not pieced either, but unlike the others it opens in front. I covered buttons with the same linen, and embroidered them. 

Not the most interesting of sewing related posts perhaps, but beautifying ones home is important, so some time has to go to that. And now you know I’m still alive :)