elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Today it is -5 F outside and tomorrow will only be colder. I have had plans to make a wooly winter hood for years, probably. We got some thick new wool doubleknits in at work and the time seemed right.

hood (13)

Preface: I tend to hate hoods generally, for a couple reasons. One, they look derpy. And two, they NEVER go over my hair. (Attention clothing manufacturers: not everyone has a buzz cut.) Reason two is also why I can't wear most hats.

Derpy you can't always avoid. The hair thing, though, I could fix.

I based my pattern on the fitted coif in The Tudor Tailor. Part of the derpiness comes from that single seam over the top of the head you usually see on hoods. It almost always crinkles up in a weird shape. The center panel in the coif pattern avoids that, plus the seams make shaping easier.

I put my hair up in my usual 'do, took a bunch of measurements, and made the pattern. Here is the mockup I came up with.

More! )

I haven't worn it outside yet, so we'll see how well it performs. I already want to make another one, with the scarf section attached next to the cheek for better face-covering. Kind of like a balaclava with a gate.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The wedding dress is coming along. Today I worked on the veil and the dress lining. Next up is hems. Then just the sash left.

The veil is the only finished thing though, so here's a peek!

veil (1)

Ignore the pin.

veil (2)

I sewed some hair clips to the underside to attach it.

veil (3)

The length is to the inside elbow, with wide rounded corners. It's the full width of the tulle (108" I think?) by about 23" length.

To make this I first made the lace assembly. I took three of my lace pieces and arranged them on a piece of buckram, then stitched them down (reattaching any loose beads as I went). Then I cut, shaped, and gathered the tulle and machined it to a piece of Peltex interfacing. I laid my lace piece over the tulle and hand stitched it down, then cut away any excess interfacing. Finally I added the clips.

If I were doing this again, I might skip the buckram step. I'm glad I did it because it gave me more time to play with the lace design before making it permanent, but the finished product doesn't really need it. And I might cover the underside with white felt before adding the clips, just to hide the stitches and make it prettier.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I ended up with just the sleeves to set in and a couple odds and ends the morning of the ladies' luncheon. It all came together pretty smoothly and I really enjoyed wearing it. I took a zillion photos because it has been FOREVER since I have made a new fancy dress that I love as much as this one.

Hey it's my backyard again!

green ruffle bustle dress 014

There are a ton more )

Accessories!

Accessories! )

I really love the way this dress turned out. I love early 1870s and I haven't had a fancy one since my wedding dress. It's nice to play and experiment with other eras, and it's fun to make weird styles just because it's fun that they are weird, but bustle era for me is like coming home. It's an aesthetic I genuinely enjoy.

The only thing that ended up being wrong with this dress was I couldn't raise my arms much! That "tried-and-true" sleeve pattern turned out not to be so true after all. I probably don't have enough fabric to fix it so I will just live with it. It was fine, except I couldn't drive wearing it, and I had to put my hat on before my bodice.

There is an evening bodice in the plan for this, and I did manage to save out enough green silk for it, yay! It might end up being my costume college gala dress, we'll see. In any case, I will certainly wear it at the January 2016 ball.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
A few local folks organized a very informal Victorian tea outing for yesterday, just a meetup at a cozy local place for a snack and a chat. Of course, I needed something new to spiff up my brown wool.

I desperately wanted a nice wintery hat. I have a couple of cute little summer straw ones, but nothing even close for winter. I realized I could never make a whole new hat that quick, so first I tried to cover an old straw frame with velvet, which failed, because I was trying to do it the cheater's way, which, for me, always fails.

Then I remembered I had a tiny little round hat I made years ago for something 1560-ish; it had a small, narrow brim and a soft, pleated crown. I made it but never wore it because it didn't work out perfectly and came out a little small. So I thought I could trim it up to look Victorian.

First I bent the brim into a nice curve. This is basically the "before" shot.

hat (1)

Then I started adding trims. I had a very small piece of striped silk in a taupe-y grey with black stripes that I wound around and crunched up around the base of the crown. A small remnant of wide, chalky brown petersham became a bow, and I sewed several white feathers with a couple black ones and stuck them behind the bow. I had some wonderful picot-edged black velvet ribbon (that someone gave me) to make chin ties.

I forgot to take a picture of it on the styro hat head but here it is on me.

hat (9)

winter (1)

I had a little bit too much fun taking backyard tripod photos.

More! )

I have realized that these tiny 1870s hats really don't look right unless you have the right mountain of hair to prop them up. Since I generally fail at hair, I wasn't optimistic but set aside an hour to try anyway. And I think I came up with something okay! Here's what I did:

Hairdo details )

The "tea" turned out to be drinks, dessert, and champagne. My kind of tea! It was fun and I was glad to get out in costume. I am really enjoying doing more costume events but of course it does make me feel like I NEED MORE DRESSES NOW!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Well, I haven't been entirely useless lately. I did manage to make The Girl a new hat.

striped hat (1)

striped hat (4)

She chose the colors and I just made up a random stripe pattern as I went. I might add earflaps at some point, or maybe make mittens to match. 
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I finished the last couple and set up a little display at work to advertise my class.

I wanted to go simpler for this one, totally monochrome, everything self-fabric.  It's silk noil.



One more, and the display I made of them at work )


elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Finished this one:



For trim, I used a few white flowers and some vintage lace from the antique store (not that old; it's machine-made synthetic) to make a little puff/rosette and a band that goes all the way around the head, under my hair in back.  There is a bit of cream-colored elastic at the ends, under the hat, to aid in slipping the band over the head.  A thread chain loop keeps the elastic in place while allowing it to stretch as needed. 

More pics )

Two more are in the process of being covered, and another two are in frame stage.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I made some round ones.  I didn't get any shots of them being worn, so just imagine them at a jaunty tilt on a well-coiffed head.

Silk noil, pre-made bias trim from Anna Maria Horner, a feather tuft, and a metal button.




Two more )


I've also made three more frames that are still uncovered.  I'm putting these away for a while, though, because I found out that my class isn't going to be scheduled until September, and I now have more urgent projects to do.


elizabeth_mn: (Default)
My first finished fascinator.  This is one of the hat styles I am teaching in my upcoming fascinator class at Treadle.



More! )

A few more in progress:



elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I trimmed the bonnet.



(I also finally bought a fake head! Woo!)

The crown is wrapped in a wide bias strip of self-fabric, edged with tea-dyed cotton lace, gathered and folded and lightly tacked down. I was going for a casually draped look, and this is the best I could do. The ties are also self-bias.

More pix )

This trimming has basically nothing to do with the inspiration image; I just wanted to make it pretty and this worked for me.

rosettes

May. 24th, 2011 03:05 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Thanks for the nice comments on my bonnet!

I made the first part of the trimming, two rosettes made of rayon petersham ribbon in a deep cream color.  



I know there is a way to make ribbon flowers look more realistic, but I'm not that good.  I went for simple.  I just hope they don't look too much like county fair prize ribbons.

I just happened to have two vintage glass buttons that I think coordinate well.



elizabeth_mn: (Default)
It took me an embarrassingly long time to make this.

  

I plan to trim with ruched self-fabric, blonde lace and matching blonde petersham.  Surely I can figure out some way to whip up some petersham flowers?  I also plan to make the ties out of self-fabric, not so much because I am cheap as because I couldn't find a coordinating ribbon and I didn't want to get too many colors into the mix.

The shape is not perfect, but this is definitely the best job I have ever done on one of these buckram-and-wire affairs.

 

Hats!

May. 10th, 2011 03:27 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I've spent most of my free time for the past two days cutting up manila file folders, taping them back together, and putting them on my head in an effort to make a serviceable hat pattern. I’ve been using my basic hatmaking book and many fashion plates as references, but I just cannot make the thing look right.

Here’s the hat in my inspiration painting. It has a high, turned-up brim with an odd shape and seems to be set back on the head.



I can’t say I am all that fond of it, but I think if the brim didn’t have that weird curve, I’d like it better, and it would still have a similar feel.

Here are two plates that are quite similar to the painting, brim-wise.

some fashion plate hats )

Here are some that have a different shape, but still have the brim turned up in front.

some more fashion plates )

Those last 3 don't quite match brim-wise, but they have lower crowns, which seem to match the painting better.

The problems are, again, Impressionism making things look all wacky, and not being able to see the back in the painting or any of the plates.  I am thinking of just calling the hat-drafting thing quits and buying a pattern. Specifically, the Truly Victorian French Bonnet. But 1885 is a little late for what I'm planning; the painting is dated 1883 and I'm thinking the style she's wearing is more 1881-2.

So I also looked for a readymade buckram frame to cover. I didn't find any that looked like I wanted, but I did find this straw hat for sale, which has a brim that doesn't go all the way around in back, a detail I might be able to incorporate into drafting my own hat (again).

I've also been planning F's hat. She is technically a bit young for these, being not quite 2 yet, but oh well.

little girl hats )

I could try to find a tiny straw boater, but that seems unlikely. I think I could sew any of the other 3 in fabric by adapting a modern pattern I already have.

Hat pic

May. 19th, 2010 09:23 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finished this so quickly because I worked on it almost compulsively.  I don't know why. I just couldn't seem to put it down.  There's really something strangely addictive about plain knitting sometimes.  And I enjoyed watching the different colors in the Noro emerge.  It was a little sad that not all the colors in the skein ended up in the hat, but I will try to use the rest for something else.



My jogless jog is a little untidy, and I ended up with ladders in the decrease columns and in the color change column; with the color changes I guess I just didn't secure the yarns well enough when switching.  Who knows why my decreases get ladder-y.

My man is very pleased with it.  The only drawback is that he won't be able to wear it until autumn.

hat

May. 18th, 2010 07:33 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I finished my stripey Noro hat!  That went really fast (for me, anyway)!

It still needs ends woven in and blocking, but otherwise it's done.  Hopefully I can get the husband to model it for photos this afternoon.

Now I suppose the detour is over and it's back to the list.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)

I got a little distracted from my sweater and started this hat for my HB.



The pattern is Turn a Square from Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed.  Really, a pattern this simple is inspiration more than anything else.  The yarn used is Noro Silk Garden, which has a pretty distinctive look.  (The designer really seems to like Noro!)  My photo does not do it justice.

I'm using the aforementioned Noro (and some yummy plain brown wool) which I got from Borealis Yarns.  I bought them with my full punch card and now I feel like I am no longer obligated to shop there.  It's a fine shop, but they rarely have what I need, and I often find myself going there anyway.

I've been longing to use Noro for years, but I've always found it too scratchy.  I don't know if it has changed or if I have, but this one didn't feel too scratchy to me.

I didn't want to take any chances with the random color patterns, so I unwound the skein of Noro onto my swift to check the way the colors flowed before I chose where to begin.

It's just plain knitting but I am really enjoying it!  I've got about 4 stripes done now - I think there are 10 or 11 in the hat.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Sigh.  So I was making this hat for my HB's birthday at the end of the month. I started this (well, sketching for it, anyway) way back in December.  About a million swatches later, I cast on, and I spent at least of month's worth of naptimes knitting that seeded cable edging.  The plan was to have plain stockinette above the cabled part and a simple, fitted round top.



I had gotten about an inch of the plain stockinette portion done when I decided I had better measure and see how it was going.  I knew that my cast-on edge was a bit loose, as in, it looked like a giant ruffle unless it was pulled snugly.  "But that's okay," I thought, "because the hat has 2 inches of negative ease to hug the head.  I measured his head and I made all those swatches!"

You probably know where this is going.  The circumference of the hat was FIVE inches too large.  The CO looseness was no longer a problem.  The hat coming anywhere remotely close to fitting was.

Did I mention I was making this in fingering-weight cotton?  On size 2 needles?  And that it was supposed to be a surprise b-day gift?

So, after moping about it for a little while (and measuring it over and over in the hopes it would somehow shrink) I decided I should just admit defeat and rip everything out.

But first, I showed the thing to my husband, so he could know why he's not getting a handmade birthday gift from me this year.  Of coure, he tried to talk me out of ripping it out, and he even wanted to try it on.  The sad part was, the bottom of the hat didn't look ridiculously crappy on his head, so I couldn't even laugh at it.  Just crappy enough to make me hate it.

Anyway, it might not have looked too bad, I might have been able to fix it with blocking, etc. etc., but I'll never know because I ripped it all out.  And then I cried a little.  (Maybe I get a little too emotional about my knitting.)  Maybe I'll re-knit it some other time, who knows.  But I'll probably just do a plain seed stitch edging because the cabled edging really didn't want to lie flat.


elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

I made F a little sun hat with the pattern I picked up the other day and two fat quarters from one of those fat quarter coordinate packs.  She was kind enough to model it for me.



The crown piece was about 1/2" too long, but I didn't realize that until after I had sewn it, ripped it, and re-sewed it, easing the crap out of it to make it fit the top.  I thought the piece had stretched the first time (because I skipped stay-stitching it) and it wasn't until I attached the brim that I noticed it was acutally a bit too large.

I also think I could have attached the lining a bit more neatly, but how finicky do I need to get over a baby hat?

I think I might add a ribbon to the crown/brim join to make it look a little more girly.

I guess this is the first picture I've shared of her here - I just haven't got around to it until now.  Too bad she looks a little startled.
 
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I made a few baby things before F was born, and some of them turned out to be useful, and some . . . well, some have already been given away. I finally took photos of a few more of them.

Sleep sacks:


Most Useful Thing Ever!  This one has robots; I made another from the same fabric and one printed with knitting sheep. All are cotton flannel. I copied the pattern from a store-boughten one. Front zip, velcro shoulder tabs. She wears these pretty much 24/7, over a footed sleeper.  The best part is that she can't kick off any blankets that go over this.

Aviatrix hat:


Still too big for her, but I think it turned out super cute.

Quilted coat:


It closes with 4 big snaps. I used a simple bias binding on all the edges. It's big, but I tried it on her and it fits well enough. It was simple to make and I love the fabric. Hopefully it will be practical, too, once it gets colder. And I'm hoping that it's the right size to fit her all winter.

The star quilt is getting used pretty often. I also really like the green tweed knitted vest I made her. It goes on really easily and fits her pretty well. It was a great pattern.

So what wasn't useful? Well, the green and pink hat I knitted was way too small. My advice: use a 14" circumference for a newborn hat.

The T-shirt gowns I made were so disappointing. They were impossible to get on her without a huge struggle. I am now avoiding any garment that needs to be pulled over her head until she is old enough to make dressing a little easier.  It is actually kind of suprising that the pattern for these came from a person who has kids.  Obviously, he or she has more patience than I do.

I'm still in the process of sewing her new hat, and I am (shockingly) working on some things for me, too.  In my vast amounts of free time.

If anyone is interested in the pattern for the sleep sack and/or the coat, let me know and I will post them.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I find it a bit dull to post about things I've been working on without photos, but I'm posting anyway because I like feeling like I'm making progress on something.

I've been working on my Big Montana Tunic.  I'm using Casacde 128, and yesterday I started on the 3rd ball of yarn (of 5).  I like the way the lace pattern is looking.  It's just complex enough to keep me interested but simple enough that I don't need to devote too much attention to it.  I re-wrote the side shaping to pull it in a bit more at the waist.  Not too much, since the look is pretty A-line, but since I have a pretty large difference between my waist and bust, I wanted to fit it a bit more so it didn't end up looking like a sack.

I also started (and almost finished, now) the Avaitrix hat for my little one.  She absolutely will not keep a hat on her head if she can help it, so I realized I needed to make something with a chin strap.  I was also worried about wool being too itchy for her until she gets a little older, so I used cotton.  I got some beautiful, irregular, soft, slubby cotton in bright lime green last saturday and now I'm almost done knitting the strap.  Then just another earflap and it is done.  It's a bit big for her, but I think I will sew a little tuck in it that I can pick out later.  Easier than ripping and re-knitting, and the hat will be more versatile.

I'm also making a little coat for her.  I got some really pretty quilted fabric at Treadle and I'm planning a simple bound edge and big snaps to close.  I used to have a way more uptight view of pre-quilted fabrics, but I've mellowed in vew of the practicality.  I could not find a coat small enough for a 1-month-old anywhere.  People probably assume that no one takes their 1-month-old baby out in cold weather.

Time still seems to be dragging on!  And I still feel a little bummed about not having much time for crafting.  But anything I can do while sitting down, with my little girl sleeping on my lap, has a chance of getting done, since that's how I spend so much of my time these days!  I have so, so many ideas for projects I want to do, but I am trying not to think too much about stuff I can't get to for a while.  It is a victory for me when I can get the household chores done, so knitting and sewing are icing on the cake.
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