Wednesday, May 2, 2018

well begun but not half done...

in which our plucky heroine keeps busy ...

Deciding to lie down for a short nap before cooking dinner is a bad idea. Now it is too late to eat dinner. Oh well, at least I am rested now, and can tackle the project planned for after dinner with a clear head, if a hungry middle...

I'm currently up to the gunnels with custom commission sewing projects. Earlier this week I finished altering three shirts for my little sister. (RTW alteration is a labor of love I do only for family members)

My most current sewing project is much more complex and interesting. The bluegrey fabric, formerly a well loved SCA gown, will be transformed into an Anglo-Saxon style coat. Adding some wool tablet woven bands at the wrist, block printed trim bands at wrist and center front, and extending the front and wrists with the blue/white diamond twill. Edge bindings will be in burgundy wool.

First I trimmed a strip off the bottom of the gown. Those fabric pieces were used to for reinforcing the gore tops and patching any holes, and then to piece in a panel in the center back, as a coat needs to be at least a little wider than a gown, so it can be worn as an outer garment. My next step is block printing the additional trim bands, so earlier this week I also made a tiny block, and a four dot stamp. The tiny block was made as usual, but I epoxied it to a wooden backing, which I have discovered makes the tiny blocks easier to handle, and me less likely to get my fingers daubed with textile paint.

Making the four dot block was more interesting... I took four salvaged chopsticks, cut them in half, and bound them together with the other chopstick bits, using some bitsy hair ties as lashing, and then liberally sticking the whole thing together with yellow wood glue. Leaving that to dry overnight, I then trimmed down the crossing sticks, and had planned on also removing the hair ties, but since they were solidly glued in place, I left them there (can always add additional lashing in the future if they give way) A bit of time smoothing down the rough ends of the bamboo, and careful sanding to ensure the working end was flat, and Voila...
The new four dot stamp works a treat, even better and easier than I had imagined, and the lashed reinforcement makes it easy to hold...
Several yards of red/blue shot cotton is printed in navy, and after sitting for 24 hours, will be heat set and ready to trim the coat. The actual size of the printed motif is just over 1" wide


May SMART goals (x=extra)
1 four dot stamp alter Gigi shirts-
2 tiny block w handle --
3 printed trim- -
4 x - -
5 xx -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


  1. This repurposing of fabric feels very authentic and appeals to the part of me that heartily dislikes waste. I'm wowed because you also always make it look beautiful too.

    1. Thank you Ruthie... at times I feel like I have too much fabric stashed, but then at times like this, when I can unearth just the right fabric to complement and complete a project, it feels like I have a good amount...