UFO finished!

It must be nearly 2 years ago that I bought my little Spin Well spinning wheel.  I spun up some wool fairly quickly but got hung up on the plying.  I couldn’t figure out how to get my wheel to take up the wool onto the bobbin once it was plied.  Basically, I had to ply a strip of it and stop the wheel and turn the bobbin by hand.  I got hung up by the frustration.  (I tried looking on line.  Every video and blog spoke about different makes and models of wheels that had parts and doodads that my wheel does not.  I can’t find any reference to parts that my wheel is missing.) Anyway, if you are interested, here is a link to the posts about the wheel and my drama trying to get it to work.

Anyway, I finally knuckled down and finished that ball of wool.  It is thick and lumpy (which makes it very fashionable, by the way) but I am proud of it.IMG_20170404_095115310

It knit up quickly.IMG_20170405_083517651

I was hoping for a scarf but realistically, I knew it wasn’t very likely.  So I went with neck or ear warmer.

Wow!  Those photos really showcase the wrinkles and turkey waddle!  I probably need to start adding filters to my photographs!

What to do with that sari fabric?

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I bought the sari fabric with the plan of making it into a beach cover up.  But the reality of that idea was more horrible than I thought.  It came off looking more like a slutty negligée which is not the look I was going for on a public beach.  And I really don’t have the body for that kind of look any way.  (Not that I am fat shaming myself.  I believe beauty comes in all sizes.  One just needs to accentuate ones assets and down play the flaws.  We all have them…even supermodels. The sari beach cover up did the opposite!)

But the fabric is too pretty to let go to waste.  So the next plan is some sort of Edwardian evening gown.  My costuming bud Lottie, has pinned a picture on Pinterest that might have elements that work.

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The sleeves would use up fabric and make it shorter but I have seen dresses with the fancy bead work ending higher up.  Like this dress for example.

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Anyone know where you can get a pattern for this?  Anyone know where I can find the time to actually make this?

Meander through the weekend

It has been an interesting weekend.  There was some shopping.  I found a sale on corsets that was so good I had to buy two!  I also bought some lacy wool for a shawl for the up coming wedding this summer.  I needed something to cover the ol’lady arms but not add to the summer heat and my hot flashes.

Speaking of wedding,  I got the pattern for my modern sun dress done up and the fabric cut out.  I added it to the growing pile beside the sewing machine (Edwardian blousewaist, corset cover, leather gloves, shiny poly fabric gloves, modern tank top.)

Speaking of modern, I got some sewing done on the Indian Sari that is to become a bathing suit cover up.  I tried it on with my bathing suit and it isn’t doing what it is supposed to…ie cover up.  It is a bit gross actually.  In order for it to work as that, I actually have to line it.  If I’m going to the trouble to line it, I may just as well turn it into a dress.

I went out for coffee with my bff and we did some sip and bit*h and some day dreaming as well.  I wish I had seen this prior to our day dream session.  I would have included it.  It is a little castle for sale in England for under a million!

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Isn’t it pretty!

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It only has one bedroom so they have an annex for guests.

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Annex for guests!  Hahaha, that’s funny!  Everyone knows this is my sewing room!

The line between weird and cool

I had absolutely no inspiration for a blog post today until I read another bloggers post.  The gist of it was her experience with two groups of costumers, those who would live in their costumes and feel as comfortable in them as they do modern clothes and those who are slow to get into them and quick to get out of them.  The idea of going to a modern venue still in costume or the idea of walking down a modern street ALONE in costume is uncomfortable. It was a well written post-the best feature being it was non-judgmental about either stance.

I think I fall a bit in the middle.  I have no problem going to a modern place in costume.  But I need to be with at least one other person in costume.  It is the idea of STANDING ALONE that freaks me out.  The idea I am not part of a recognizable group makes me feel weird. In the States, Reenactors are fairly common.  It is almost unheard of here in my part of Canada.  So a woman walking in period clothes alone would garner the same kind of stares as a person who chose to wear a wet suit and tutu down the street.  We would not be part of a recognizable group so we might be dangerously insane. If you see a person in punk clothing, you may not trust them because of their counter culture stance but you do not wonder if they will be unpredictably unbalanced. They have conformed to the standards of a recognizable group and therefore capable of predictable social behaviors. Wet suit and tutu guy…not so much.

The other considerations for the “I’d live in my costumes if I could” stance, is I actually am more comfortable in modern clothes.  I feel PRETTIER in Victorian clothes but I feel more comfortable in modern clothes.  A lot of people do.  That is why leggings and yoga pants are so popular in spite of them not being the most stylish thing on many body types.  And most of my friends and family are not costumers.  The fastest way to socially isolate myself (and loose my job) would be to attempt to wear a costume every day.

And that is why I have Victorian “costumes” and not Victorian style “clothes”.  What do you think?

HSM 2017 Challenge 3: The great outdoors

The Challenge: The great out doors

What the item is: knitted undersleeves

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Material: 100% wool yarn

Pattern: 1862 Petersons Nov issue knitted undersleeves

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Year: 1862

Notions: 4.5 mm knitting needles, darning needle

How historically accurate is it?: 80%.  Pattern is an original from the time and fiber content of the wool is correct. The color is plausible but I can’t speak to whether the dyes are accurate or whether the spinning technique is comparable to Victorian wool.  I used wood knitting needles so very true to form!  It is intended for winter wear for most occasions.  I believe all classes of women would wear this item. Both working women and would knit them so both would wear them.  The silhouette is a bit off when compared to the drawing.  I had to increase stitches and rows to get it to fit.  If I were to make them again, I would decrease the number of rows between the two puffs by 8 and add them back into the larger top puff.

Hours to complete: about 30

First worn: not yet

Total cost:  balls of wool x $8=$24

Here is the pattern, in modern terms, enlarged to fit a “stout” modern body, with the changes I mention above (that should improve the shape).  To get the best fit the number of cast on stitches you need is the number you would need to go around the widest part of your fore arm.  The number of rows, in total is the number you would need to go from the widest part of your upper arm to your wrist, with extra added to create the puffs.

Worsted weight wool.  One ball of white, two balls of main color. 4.5 mm knitting needles. With the exception of the ribbing at the top, the whole thing is done in the knit stitch only.

Cast on 52 stitches with the white wool.

Knit 14 rows.

Switch to the main color and knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the cast on stitches.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second cast on stitch.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the cast on stitches have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off the white and tie it off.

Knit 17 rows in brown.

Switch to white.  Knit 14 rows.

Switch to brown.  Knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the white stitches in the block of white.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second of the white stitches in the block of white.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the stitches of the first row of the block of white have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off and tie off the white.

In brown, *knit one stitch and increase 1 stitch in each of the next two*.  *Repeat across the row*. Knit 52 rows in brown.

Switch to white and knit 2 together across the row.  To create the ribbing, knit 1 purl 1 across the row.  Next row, purl 1 knit 1 across the row.  Repeat until the cuff is 26 rows long. Cast off LOOSELY.

Sew the two side edges to create a tube.  If the ribbing is too loose, I think you could add elastic or a cording without messing with the authenticity too much.  In 1820 elastic was patented for use in clothing.

 

 

Quick up date

I’ve been making progress on my under-sleeves but it isn’t turning out like I envisioned.  I thought they’d look more like this…

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I’ve stacked one sleeve on top of the other to illustrate what I thought was going to happen.

But they don’t “work” that way.  This is how they really look.

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The wide white stripes are hidden under the two puffs.

 

Two things: if I had known the darker color would have been so prominent, I would have chosen a different color.  I intend them to be worn with this dress so I thought a few thin stripes of beige would be nice.  10388078_518065401630648_4649714315434521775_n

Now that I see they are primarily beige I feel like they would have been better in a pink or burgundy color or better yet, same colors but reversed.

The other thing is I can’t quite figure out why there is a wide white stripe hidden under the two puffs.  There are four possible answers.  One is the instructions are wrong.  The second is I’ve misunderstood the instructions (most probable reason).  The third is that the white stripe is intended to be added interest that flashes as the arm moves.  The final reason is conservation of wool.  If I knit the sleeves as all brown with thin white stripes, I will likely run out of brown and have a ton of white left over.

If I make these again, I will rewrite the pattern so that it looks like how I envisioned them or do them in a different color.

Lacy jabot

I’m down to my last carte de visite in my collection so looks like I will have to buy more.  I sacrifice greatly for my 10 readers.  (Tongue in cheek-you know the hoarder in me just wants more-more! I tell you-more!)

The last one is of a couple.  Perhaps a wedding photograph?  That jabot is a beauty isn’t it!IMG_20161211_182655275

To get a date for this carte, I will say the hair style is earlier than 1880’s.  The dress looks to be Natural Form, which is 1877-82.  The very thick boarder on the card stock itself was a common feature of cartes between 1877-80.  So best guess is it is a late 1870’s carte.

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A quick Google search revealed that the photographers business was taken over by a nephew in 1890 but I wasn’t able to get any firm dates about when he was in business in Bucyrus Ohio.

Hope you enjoyed!