Sunday, March 29, 2009

Warm Garb for Tom

After finishing my coat I took Thursday off from sewing to go shopping including buying wool to make a coat for Tom. I found some chocolate brown 100% wool suiting at Joann's (the only wool they had) then decided to check Field's where I found some dark navy wool melton cloth. Since Tom hasn't shown an interest in any specific time or place I had no idea what kind of coat to make so I just made a t-tunic and opened it down the front. I then bound the edges with burgundy bias tape and used the same to create loops for the pewter buttons. Making the coat took up most of my day Friday but late Friday night I decided to use the brown wool to make him another tunic. It took me about two hours to measure and cut all of the pieces then sew the gussets and gores, when I got to the point of needing to cut the neck opening I realized I was too tired to do anything that couldn't easily be redone if I goofed so I went to bed. I woke up early Saturday morning to do the neck, sew up the side seams, and hem the tunic before getting myself dressed for the event.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The coat is done!

Well, not really. I want to do couched gold cord similar to the portrait. But you know what I mean: I can wear it this weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Progress

Livia's zimarra is finally looking like something. This afternoon I sewed the collar on and measured, trimmed, and pinned the hem. I'm debating calling it a day or putting in a movie and stiching the hem. Odds are good the movie and hem will win. lol


I hit a snag with my sewing project yesterday. Yesterday morning I sewed the satin shell for the coat including the nifty pleats in the sleeves (as seen in the Countess Livia portrait) only to get to the collar and find that things just weren't lining up right. I discovered that I had sewn the shoulder seams with too wide of a seam allowance. Redoing the shoulder seams meant removing the sleeves. I got the shoulder issue taken care of then decided to do the sleeves properly as I should have done in the first place. I removed the sleeves from the faux fur lining then finished the sleeves seperately. While I was at it I enlarged the armscyes a little to more easily fit over the sleeves of my gown so I ended up not having pleats in the sleeves after all as I whipstitched them into place. Now that I have the shoulder seams lining up as they should it is on to the collar.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Note to self

I'm mostly posting this so I'll be able to remember what I did when it's time to cut and sew the outer fabric for this coat. First I cut the collar with the nap of the fur running the same as the rest of the lining as it would have been had I cut the collar all in one with the fronts (which wasn't possible with a full lining cut from narrow fabric). The good part was that the seam blended well. The bad part was that having the nap of the fur run up when the collar was turned down looked just plain weird to me. I went back to my scrap and cut another collar with the fur running up as it is sewn to the body of the coat but running down when the collar is folded down. The seam is more noticible but I can live with that. The part I really need to remember so I can do the outside the same is that I ended up altering the seam so that the collar would lay smooth with the coat hanging open. When sewn along the original seam line the collar wanted to ripple instead of laying flat. I pinned the neck seam in a straight rather than curved line from about the center point between the shoulder seam and the front edge and that eliminated most of the rippling. ***The new seam started about 1 1/4" below the original seam line at the front connecting to the original seam line midway between the front and the shoulder. Now this change caused the center front edge and the collar edge to not meet in a smooth line so I tapered the center front edge from the edge of the collar to a point about 6" below the seam line.*** (I'll add pics later.) Now that it is past noon I really need to pee, have some breakfast, vacuum up all the fuzzies from the faux fur, and get dressed before I do any more with this project! LOL

alterations to collar

altered collar open

altered collar closed

Stupid Mistake!

So I finally dove into the Livia's zimarra project last night. I already had the front and back patterns drawn out from the black and pink zimarra and drew out a pattern for a long full sleeve. I had to do a bit of fiddling and cut the seam allowances narrower than I would have liked in order to fit the sleeves next to the body pieces on the 30" wide fabric but I made it work and got them all cut out. Then it dawned on me that I hadn't cut out a collar. :headwall: I did a narrow standing collar on the other zimarra but this time I wanted a full turn back collar and had forgotten to draw out the pattern. None of the pieces of fur I have left are quite wide enough so it looks like I'm going to have to have a seam at the center back of the collar. Oh, well, life goes on. :sigh:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One scrappy weekend!

The design team at ScrapFreak posted some great challenges for the Birthday Bash cyber crop this past weekend. I got more pages done that I have in a long time completing 13 of the 14 challenges and am really pleased with how they came out, too. I'm sharing a few favorites here but you can see all of them in my ScrapFreak gallery.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lookie what I got.

Okay, So I had been scrapping since Friday morning doing challenges for the ScrapFreak cyber crop when about noon today Tom suggested that we go for a drive. First I said no, that I was busy and had plans to scrap all day, but then I felt guilty for ignoring him. I asked where he thought we might go and he said we could drive along the lake and do some antiques shopping. Well then I knew the poor man was deperate for attention and I couldn't pass up the chance to go antiquing. LOL
I had seen a beautiful "X" chair last summer when we were on the way home from Bristol and had already spent too much so I wrote the info down on a card and saved it. While I was in the shower Tom called to see if the chair was still there and it was. When we got there we discovered that they actually had a pair (they weren't displayed together so we hadn't noticed the second one last summer.) We bought the one we intended to buy but now I have to figure out how to get the other one! Isn't it purty???

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrapping Time!

I'll be taking a break from sewing this weekend and putting my energy into scrapping. Why don't you join me?

Two down!

Lots to go! I've started working on the list of garb we need for SCA camping. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent making two shifts using the Elizabethan Smock Pattern Generator Somehow I goofed on the length and made the first one shorter than intended. I like my smocks just below the knee but that one ended up just above. I corrected the length on smock #2, opted not to taper the sleeves, and added some black and silver lace trim. These were machine sewn with french seams. The neck facing and lace were hand stitched. I plan to make one more to get me through a week at Pennsic (I already have four long and two hip length smocks/camicie) but haven't decided which style to make. I haven't tried a high-necked shirt style smock yet so that might be the one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New undies!

I've decided to hold off on the coat while I mull over the lining options. Instead I have spent the morning so far prewashing the 9 1/2 yards of handercheif weight linen/cotten blend I recently purchased and updating my body measurements. Interesting that my waist & hips have gotten smaller but my bust measurement went up! I plan to start off simple today with a square neck smock using the instructions from The Elizabethan Smock Pattern Generator.

Monday, March 09, 2009


My order of cranberry silk for the coat arrived today. I could just pet it all day. :D After googling washing instuctions for this Kaufman Radiance fabric and getting conflicting information I opted for handwashing in cold water (it took eight rinses for the dye to stop bleeding!) and tumbling dry on low. I've just finished pressing it so it is ready to cut- possibly tomorrow. Now I am thinking about making the faux fur lining removable so that I can get more wear out of the coat but that means I'll either need to buy more linen for a lining or use some of the linen that I had intended to use for a dress. I suppose even if I didn't make the fur removable the silk should be interlined anyway.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cranberry it is!

The sample piece of cotton/silk fabric in cranberry arrived yesterday. This is the color I'm going with. Now what nifty things can I make from the half yard pieces of crimson and mauve? lol