Fairely Well Maid

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Irish Walking Cape

Here's the pattern (if you can call it that), it's very simple.  This works best if you can get a piece of fabric as wide as your wrist to wrist measurement plus a few inches for a hem.  I worked with a piece of green fleece 62" wide.  Get a warm fabric (wool, fleece, etc).  You will need a length double the measurement from your shoulder to approximately your knee.

Fold your fabric in half length wise and then again width wise. 

At the top corner where the folds are cut an oval or triangle 1/4 the measurement of your neck.

Cut 1 layer from the neck opening to the botton along the folded edge to make the front opening.

Run a hem all around the edges.

Here is where you need to decide what you want for a collar.  I recycled an old fox collar from a coat of my grandmother's.  I hand stitched it to the neckline.

I sewed a button a few inches from the open edge under the collar and used a piece of elastic cord to make a button loop on the opposite edge.

To close up the arm area by the wrist fold the cape in half and take a few stitches by hand about 5" or so down from the edge on both sides.


Lessons learned:

1.  Fleece is very warm, but it leaves behind a LOT of lint.  I had to clean it out of my machine twice while sewing up the hems.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kirtle Finished

It's Done!

Today I hemmed the sleeves, put the trim on, trimmed the neckline and hemmed the skirt.  I used the trim to close the neckline a little more.  I stitched the bottom of the trim to the cut edge of the neck and ran a double line of stitching around.  This will keep the trim in place and help protect the cut edge of the fabric from fraying.  The trim makes a bit of a stand up neckline.  I'm very happy with the way it came out.

I decided to do some decorative stitching on the hem as I was a bit short of trim.  I used the remaining trim as a period belt.  9th century celtic women didn't have belts with metal fixtures, they were woven.  The trim is wide enough to work.

This is the trim I used.

 The decorative stitching at the hem is using the ruching stitch on my machine.

Lessons I've learned on this:

1.  It is easier to cut off extra fabric than to add fabric once it is cut off.  MEASURE TWICE!  The neckline would have been much easier if I had done this.

2.  Get extra trim!  I never seem to have enough.

To round out the Celtic look I have a 3 yard piece of plaid in cotton that I'm going to wear over one shoulder, under the belt, then spread out on the bottom like a skirt.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kirtle continued

I fixed the line of the skirt today.  I also figured out how to fix the neckline.  Here's what I did.

I pinned where I needed it to fall, front and back.   Then I folded the kirtle on that line and drew a straight line from the pinned area to the fold.  I sewed a straight line between these points.  Turned right side out there is a small seam in the front and back, but the way the gown hangs you really can't notice it.

I'm not completely happy about this but it was either that or having to add material to the neckline and there wasn't any way to do with and still look period.

Trim and hemming left.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My new sewing area

I now have a permanent place for my sewing machine.  It is the eat in area of my kitchen.  I'm using an old dining room table as a work table.  I also have an old sewing machine table for my machine and an old dining room chair.  It's not the prettiest collection but it is a craft home.  I'm using a wicker basket for a project holder and I have a space underneath the table to put my trim and some of my fabric stash. 

Did I mention the windows?  Great natural light.

Started putting the Kirtle together

With all the pieces cut out and the trim in, it' time to start sewing.

The first step is to sew on the sleeves.  Fold the sleeve in half length wise, then fold the tunic piece in half width wise.  Match up the fold on the sleeve to the fold on the tunic (this is your shoulder).  Pin.  Do the same thing on the other side with the other sleeve.  Open it up and sew the seam.

Fold the tunic in half again and pin the side seams and the seam underneath the sleeves.  Start at the bottom and sew up the side and the underside of the sleeve.

After I did this I tried it on.  I need to soften the line from the waist to the edge of the skirt.  It doesn't fall right.  I used too sharp a curve.  Everything else is good, except the neckline.  I still haven't figured out what I'm doing with that.  It needs to be tightened up.  I'm going to pin it and see what it looks like.  I have beautiful trim so I can cover anything needed.

Here is the material I'm using.  It is a wool blend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ok, so I cut out the pieces for my Kirtle and, well, I should follow my own directions.  I cut the neck too big so I'm going to have to figure out some way to fix that.  I'm going to try maybe making a center seam down the front and back.  It really irritates me when I do something like this.

My trim is on it's way, so I can start putting this together.  Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First sewing project of the new year

I'm looking for new garb for Birka Market day at the end of January.  I'm going 9th Century Celtic.  This is a very basic garb, but a little more involved than the previous Chemise I've made.  I found 4 yards of a 60" wool blend in a fabulous deep crimson.  I will not use all of it but at $2.00 a yard I bought extra.

The basic garb is an under tunic or Kirtle of crimson that is a bit fitted through the chest, with an oval or keyhole shaped neckline and sleeves that are fitted at the wrist.  Traditionally another tunic would be worn underneath this one, made of linen and probably undyed, but I'm not going to bother with that.  If I decide to I have a few natural Chemises that I can use.  Over this a Brat (or tartan) is worn in several different ways.  It is just a length of material either 45" or 60" wide and about 2 to 3 yards long with a frayed end.

Let's start with the Kirtle.  I'm using a T-Tunic pattern.  With the 60" wide fabric I don't have to worry about adding gussets.  I also want it to be floor lenght.  Here are the measurements I used (I'm not noting the actual measurements because, well, I don't want to).

A. Lenght from shoulder to floor + 1 or 2 inches for hem
B. Lenght of shoulder to waist
C. Shoulder + 4" for seams and wiggle room
D. Chest + 4" for seams and wiggle room
E. Waist + 4" for seams and wiggle room
F. Hip + 4" for seams and wiggle room
G. Upper Arm + 4" for seams and wiggle room
H. Fist + 1" for seams
I.  Lenght of arm + 1" for hem
J.  Head + 2" for hem and wiggle room

1.  Measure a lenght of fabric 2xA long, cut and fold in half lenght wise.
2.  Fold that in half width wise and measure B from top fold.  Mark this at unfolded edges.
3.  If E is larger than D use that instead in this step.  Measure 1/4 D from unfolded edges in and mark.
4.  Cut from mark made in step 2 to mark made in step 3 on a bit of a curve and up to top fold.  Think of the way your body is shaped.  This is the waist to shoulder area.  Be careful if your shoulder measurement is larger than your chest.  You will need another mark and adjust.
5. Decide here if you are using a keyhole or oval neckline.  At the top where the folds meet cut an oval shape 1/4 J.

If you unfold this you will have a long rectangleish piece of fabric with a hole in the middle.