Saturday, October 20, 2012

not quite crazy

When our plucky heroine got a wild hair to stencil-print fabric, it was not clear whether or not this was a totally insane concept.
I started the project about three weeks ago, and cut a two part stencil, as the design I wanted to use was two colors, gold overlaid with green, on a red background. You might notice that this is a lot more gaudy than most of what gets sewn around here; the fabric will become the outermost layer of some steppe nomad style clothing, intended for new SCA clothes (and incidentally will work well for answering the door to the Halloween kiddies)

The stencil printing took about two weeks of incidental worktime in the evenings, last night the final pieces were in process... learned something: paint consistency makes a big difference. The metallic textile paint dried a lot faster than the ordinary pigments, and the partial jar on hand was noticeably thicker than the green paint. When I ran out and used a new jar of gold, the thinner paint was so much EASIER to work with. Kids, learn from your elders errors, make sure your paint is more like crepe batter than pancake batter...

So far am fairly pleased with the outcome. The reasoning to do this was always to use what I have on hand; the only out of pocket cost was for the new jar of Lumiere (textile paint). It definitely gives an appreciation of how much more effort it is to create patterned textiles, which were far more valuable in historic times than solid color dyed textiles, which in turn were more valuable than undyed cloth...
Today for my Frosting Fortnight: this red tunic top. I pretty much never wear this, since it is, well, RED!  Made from lovely sturdy Guatemalan ikat, which is old enough to be really well and tightly woven. The color on the other hand, does nothing for me. I made this over twenty years ago to wear to OCF. I have no idea how this could be re-made into something more my style, but simply cannot give it away, since I adore the fabric. After a bit of thought, I am wondering if it would be somehow possible to turn this into an apron? I would use it as a kitchen apron almost every day, and my kitchen, unlike my wardrobe, has red as an accent color... hmmmm...

Really, after looking through my closet and dresser drawers, there is not a lot of frosting in my wardrobe, self-made or otherwise. I guess this means that a. I tend to be pretty utilitarian with my sewing projects and b. I tend to sew things that I really wear often.

I am not including my SCA wardrobe in this fortnight, since I could definitely wear something every day from the historical clothing section of my wardrobe. To most folks those would be costumes rather than clothing, though they are based on my research about what our ancestors wore for daily life (my SCA clothes are not the "fancy kings and queens at court" kind of thing, but rather the kind of clothing that Norse women in the viking age wore, even in my re-creation I tend towards the practical rather than the bejewelled).

My one Elizabethan age set of clothing: not court clothes but more like what a middle-class woman of substance would wear) Most of my historic clothing is full length, and would be rather soggy in the autumnal rainy weather we have been having here lately, not to mention somewhat conspicuous while riding around on public transit!


  1. Your Guatemalan woven fabric is a treasure, and whatever you do with it will be attractive. An apron would be good, or a nice-size tote bag. If you have washed it before, and it is shrunk as much as it will ever be, you could overdye it with blue to make a purple top -- do you wear purple? Weak black dye will create burgundy, green a dull brown, but it needs experimenting. When I overdye, I experiment a lot first with similar-colored base fabric, then use varying strengths of different dye colors to see what I like. I use fiber-reactive dyes. Paula Burch has lots of info re dyeing with these dyes on her website

  2. What if you wore the red Guatemalan tunic under a jumper dress? It might mellow the color for you.Didn't I see you in a black jumper? That would be nice together. Every girl needs some frosting bits in her life.You rock, show the world you do!

  3. Hi there. I was looking at a post you did a few years ago that featured mini acorn cakelets. The link you posted for the lemon poppyseed recipe doesn't appear to be working. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? I'd surely appreciate it.

    Thanks for your time,
    Patricia @

    1. since I could not find an email address for you, Patricia, I posted the information at the end of my Monday post