Some small progress

I felt like I had a few weeks there were I was so productive and now everything has slowed to a crawl. So here I am to show you what I’ve been doing and remind myself that I have gotten things done!

1. Alyce’s camicia was finished on time (an addition to what is apparently a new specialty of mine, psychotic shirts and smocks). I delivered it to Mistress Tullia this past weekend! So that stress is over thankfully

2. Period pincushions

If you’ve been here a while you may remember when I went nuts on period sewing kits. Well I was gifted some linen scrim at one point and always intended to make a pincushion. I wanted something small and fast with no deadline, so I pulled that out and started brainstorming.

Annoyingly even though I doubled the JEC silk floss it’s still not quite thick enough to fill the weave of this scrim. Elizabethan tent stitch pieces have something crazy like 2000 st/sq in but I really was trying to keep this simple. For something that is just going to get stabbed a lot with pins I think it will be fine.


Oh man. At some point I will hopefully resurrect my Wacom tablet and Sketchbook Pro and make a lovely tutorial, but today is not that day.

I used duct tape and cheap men’s socks from Target to drape a hose pattern. I took a class on this at Costume College last year and I’ve yet to see anything online using the method I learned. But basically hose can be made with a 2-piece pattern (more medieval) or a 3-piece pattern, and I elected for 3-piece. One piece is the sole of the foot, one is the top of the front of the foot (like the bit covered by one’s slippers) and the third is the leg piece with a seam up the back.

Despite the personalised draped pattern there was definitely some adjusting to do. The first mock-up wouldn’t fit over my heel (bias-cut wool is not as stretchy as knit). The second was too tight on my calf and too short. This is the third

I mean, technically OK but there’s a lot of extra fabric on the inside of my shin. One, because the calf was still too tight so it couldn’t be pulled up all the way, and two because I have very high arches and there is too much fabric in my “arch gap.”

….did I mention all these mock-ups were handsewn in linen thread? I’ve been watching Bernadette Banner videos and she is a bad influence.

These are the final hose! I’m pretty happy with them, although perfect they are not.

I’ve got a bunch of naturally-dyed wool thread to tablet weave some garters, but sadly the 14th C mock-satin weave I found needs 12 tablets and I only have 10, so I’m waiting on some more from Poland.

In other project insanity:

Handsewn Elizabethan kirtle is coming along well! I’ve had to slow down a bit since my hands pitched a fit, but all I have left to do is finish putting the lacing rings on, cartridge pleat and attach the skirt, and do the hem. Then waistcoat, partlet, other partlet, gown….you know how it goes.

When we moved me out of my apartment and back into my parent’s house I finally got my electric spinning wheel hooked up with the auto-wind flyer I got for Christmas….two years ago? My goal is to spin up several pounds of undyed roving from back when I was trying to be an indie dyer, dye it with historic European plant dyes, and shove it at some weaver friends. Alas this process STUPIDLY SLOW and I am extremely bored with it.

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