Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Dead Yet!

I'm here, I swear!

Yards upon yards of fabric have claimed me for the duration since FH and I need our own clothes for Rendezvous.

First came sporting through forty yards of linen. This is how it arrived:
Twenty yards of this roll is a lighter weight linen (5.3 ounces, for those interested) and will be used for chemises and shirts. The other twenty yards is an even heavier weight (7.1 oz) and will be used to make outerwear. All of this linen has been bleached, which means the outerwear garments will have to be dyed before they are finished.

In case folks are interested linen must be washed with detergent in hot water (no fabric softener!) to remove the formaldehyde that is in the fabric from the fiber being processed. This also serves to pre-shrink the fabric before you sew with it. Then if you sew the garments with 100% cotton or linen thread you can dye the entire finished piece and the threads will stay unseen since they will match. This cannot be done if you use polyester thread.

I haven't started sewing with the linen yet. I'm working with the cottons I have first. There will eventually be pictures. There will also be pictures of the dying process whenever that gets underway.

Then came working on non-linen garments after the patterns I ordered arrived. As you can see I'm sewing by hand for most of each piece.

This section is the side opening in a petticoat (1770's style) to allow access to a pocket.

If you're wondering why there is a white-ish blob on the point of the 'V,' I sewed a bar tack to reinforce the seam so it wouldn't want to pull apart. I'm using cotton thread for the stitching.

For this petticoat I still need to sew the waistband in place and then I can start hemming it.

Here I'm closing the waistband on an apron. The front panel is pleated, so I cheated a bit and used the sewing machine to initially attach the waistband to the panel.
When done right, the machine stitched section isn't visible... and neither is my hand stitching.
Right now I'm attaching the ties for the apron and then I will attach the top panel. These aprons are "pinner style"(also 1770's) meaning the top section is actually pinned to your clothing. When not doing something really messy, you can un-pin the top and fold it down out of the way.

Next up are shirts for FH and a friend and bed gowns for myself and another friend. We're trading sewn garments and leather goods for an unlimitted supply of homemade soaps that these friends make. ;-)

When I get a chance, I will take pictures of the pattern envelopes. Obviously I will take pictures of the finished clothes too.

Catch you later!


rosanna said...

How much work! I'm sure you have no time for blogging. Your hand stitching is sooooo good. I'd really like to seat near you and do something together. I've never done such a grand project, I mean a whole set of clothes, and i'd love to learn. keep us informed. ....and watch out for the mail man.

Debbie said...

Gosh what a lot of work for you, making all these outfits and hand sewing them as well..

Debie Lyons said...

WOW you have got a lot of work to do. I used to make curtains that were 75% hand sewn so I know its a labor of love, but when you get in your stride the time flies by and tis not too bad. Looking forward to seeing the end results.
Debie xxx

Kim said...

What a great skill you have! I like to hand sew because it is soothing to me- but I am not good at it as sometimes my stitches still show. I often wish we had less technology and we all had to go back to this way of living. Things mean more when you put time and love and effort into them. Plus, if we all had to spend time making things we would all have far less time to cause trouble. I love these posts Kat- I find them so interesting! Good to hear what you have been up to- have a fab weekend!

Caseymini said...

Kat, I can't wait to see the finished clothes. Lookin good so far. May I ask where you ordered the linen?

Sans said...

Kat!! 1stly , let me tell you, you and your posts have been missed!And I am speechless. All that cloth and hand sewn? I would have gone mad. You wrote well and got me reading every word even though I don't know 1/2 of what you are I did catch the white spot though after pondering 45 seconds on where's the v. Please show us the completed outfit worn. You can blur the faces or blacken the eyes. I just want to see how they look on someone.

The Carolina Quilter said...

Oh, my goodness! Are you hand-sewing these?! I'd give up before I began. I do everything by machine and moan when I have to sew on bindings by hand although once I get into it, I find hand work relaxing!


Alice said...

Your hand-sewing is so fine! I hope you are enjoying the process. It almost makes me want to get out the quilt I started hand-quilting. But it is too hot, so I know I won't. :-)

How are you going to dye the fabrics? Are you planning to use natural dyes? I have used chemical dyes to make fabric for quilting, and it was fun fun fun! (And a wee bit messy.) I gave a spectrum of fabrics to my sister, and she made the most awesome quilt with the fabric. My set still sits untouched.

Sharon said...

Ambitious! Makes me appreciate my era big time.

Karen B. said...

I'm so interested in your hand-sewing, Kat. Thanks for this neat post. I'd love to see that linen up close! I've attended a Rendezvous in my area a couple times and I so appreciate all the work that goes into planning all this stuff.

Jean Day said...

Sorry about the challenge, I hadn't realized you were so busy!!! Oh my goodness, how wonderful. Linen is so great to dye and wear, nothing cooler on the skin. I just love to see your bolts. Can't wait to see what you are making. I've been sewing with my mom's old block printed linen remnants she had saved in her attic, not hand stitched however, I really admire you.

Hugs, Jean