Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category

Pocket hoops pics

July 7, 2009

Now these pics are a bit old since I have gotten much further in the progress, but since you allways seem so photo hungry…:

Cat bedThis is the fabric before I did anything to it. My constant little helper Sol the Cat helped me keep an eye on the fabric until I was going to use it… Yes – indeed that grey fluffy stuff is cat hair!

boningThis is the boning, aka spring steel tape used for clearing drains and sewers. Here all cut up, ends filed round and taped with electrical tape to minimize tear on fabric.

detailIt seems that almost everything they made in the 18th century had small curious details of decoration and finesse. So when I hemmed the small opening for the pocket I amused myself by making a little flower at the end, hehe. ^^;

heapA heap of unfinished pocket hoops…


May 20, 2009

Today I started the part project with the pocket hoops. As I’ve mentioned, I have a light brown cotton fabric I’m using for that – it’s a really horrible color, it looks like… the tummy flu or something, haha! XD But I didn’t choose, I just took what I had home and that’s what I had.
   This time I’m not making a pettern of my own actually, I’m using the pattern from Norah Waugh’s Corsets and Crinolines. The pattern is quite small and since I don’t have a ruler with inches marked, I had to convert every measurement to centimeters, that took quite some time, hehe…
   I’ve started sewing the pieces together, and yet I have not tired and resorted to my pretty new and shiny machine (who’s glaring at me with watery eyes from under my desk). Right now I’m reading for an exam on Swedish education history, so it’s a perfect pause in the reading to sew a new seam. It’s frustrating to know that I could be done much sooner if I wouldn’t have to read though!
   Well, hope to be back soon with pictures of my progress!

Nite nite!


May 17, 2009

Just before christmas, my better half’s grandmother passed away – may she rest in peace. Nobody’s exactly been looking forward to taking care of her belongings, but a couple of weeks ago, they started looking through her linen cabinets, with table cloths and curtains stuff (a loooooot of stuff). And what the family didn’t want to keep, I was lucky to get a chance to look through. They’re all so kind, me and Robbie have “only” been together for 4 years, I’m not even related by blood in any way – and still they allways think of me if they have stuff they want to get rid of. =D
   Anyhow, I found some quite beautiful things! =) I found two smaller white embroidery table cloths – I thought they might do cute engageantes, some useable lenghts of lace – of which one length is perfect for the shifts and a few curtain tufts (4 brown and 2 bone white) that might make cute details for something somethime, hehe. ^^;

finds 1

But I also found what has to have been a kind of mattress covering once, it’s a very soft and a little shiny cotton material in blue stripes with narrow yellow stripes in between:

finds 2

My first thought was that it’d make a perfect mock-up fabric for my pet-en-l’air, but now I’m thinking it’s too cute for that… Now I’m thinking robe á la turque/cutaway gown of some kind. ;D Maybe…? But I need a mock up fabric and I really don’t feel like buying one. =/
   Oh right, Kristina (Robbie’s mom) knew I had been admiring a pair of her mother-in-law’s draperies, so she had asked all the other involved if they wanted them or if I could have them. The draperies aren’t exactly in-fashion right now, so nobody really wanted them and Kristina said I could have them! I was sooooo excited, cuz they’re really beautiful and could absolutely pass as an 18th century fabric (I think). Just look at it!!!

finds 3

I have more to blog, I’ll just take lunch now and bbl! ;D


May 13, 2009

So was gazue-type fabrics used for shifts? I’ve found pretty thin linen fabrics, but I still feel they’re too thick to wear under all that clothing in the summer. I’ve found a linen gazue – is that a good idea to use?
   Here’s a linen gazue recommended for different elements in clothing, from flounce to underskirts (from a site not related to anything 18th century):

gazue 1


April 9, 2009

Since I have uploaded the pics to my computer and I promised to put them up, here’s the bands I was talking about:


The left one is in wool and the right one is in cotton, I think…

Cuffs on my mind

March 2, 2009

Who was I trying to fool? How did I ever come to the conclusion that there probably wouldn’t be much blogging for a couple of weeks?
   I had some errands downtown today and thought I might aswell go to the neelde crafts shop and see if they had some stuff I needed. First off I had to buy a new embroidery frame/embroidery hoop(?). But I was also on the hunt for a really thin white cotton fabric…
   See I have been thinking about cuffs/engageantes (difference?), the white cuffs that go under those attached to the sleeves. I’ve seen a lot of cuffs in pretty straight forward laces. But I’ve also seen them in thin cotton fabric with white embroidery (whitework embroidery). I don’t know why, I’ve just allways thought those net-ish laces felt a bit hard and sharp on they eye, the cotton embroided ones feel softer some how, hehe. ^^; And since I don’t know and don’t want to bother learning how to make pillow lace and tatting and such, and since I’m cheap – I would have to go buy some mass produced lace that doesn’t look very good. Instead I said to myself: why not stick to something I know something about – like embroidery?
   So anywhoo, I’m guessing some of you are wondering what I’m thinking, so here’s an example of what I have in mind:


These are a pair of engageantes from LACMA, silk embroidery on cotton. LACMA has some great examples of these kinds of engageantes btw.
   The shop where I bought the frame didn’t have what I wanted though so I went to my usual “secret” strawberry spot – Myrorna; a big Swedish chain of second hand stores where the profit goes to people in need. I had a look at the corner with curtains, table cloths and sheats and stuff, but found nothing. Then I came to think of blouses, the spring/cummer “collection” was up and there was a lot of thin clothing. I found exactly what I wanted in the “big sizes seciton”!!! A tunic of a really thin cotton fabric, plus it was really big, hehe. ;P So yeah, that’s what I’ll be using for the engageantes (or what ever they’re called). =D

More inspirational striped pet-en-l’airs

February 23, 2009

I googled “pet-en-l’air” once again for some reason a couple of days ago and found just what I have been looking for since I started! Surviving examples of pet-en-l’airs with striped fabrics – like the fabric I’m using! They’re so darn beautiful I think I might have an episode!

So far I have been a bit cautious with a lot of my ideas for the project – looking for picture evidence or evidence in surviving pieces before I decide on what I’m going to do. One thing that had been bothering me was that I couldn’t find any evidece of pet-en-l’airs in striped fabrics. And we all know how picky they were in that time, was there a “style law” that said “no striped en-l’airs!”? I wouldn’t want to do such a great faux-pas! But here they are!!! I’m so excited! =D
   Now… I wonder if they usually had petticoats in different colored fabrics or in the same as the top… Hmm…
   The site where I found them – Hysterical Costumer – was a nice new addition to my favourites folder also, so go check it out! =)

Burn test with satisfying results!

February 19, 2009

I got very good tips concerning the riddle of the material in the green piece of fabic! Of course I could do a burn test – even an unexperienced wannabe silk snob like me knows that synthetics melt and naturals burn. I just needed a little help on the way to remember I knew that, hrm hrm… ;P Anyways! Katafalk gave me a link to a Swedish sewing/crafts forum where they had a guide to how different fabrics behave when burning. This guide basicly says:

  • Cotton, Linen, Rami, Viskos, Modal, Lyocell – Burns easy with even flame, smells like burnt paper and leaves almost no ashes.
  • Wool and natural silk – Burns jurky and pretty bad, smells like burnt hair and leaves a lump that easily crumbles.
  • Acetat and Triacetat – Burns very fast, smells like burnt paper and vinegar acid (?), leaves a hard lump.
  • Polyamid, Acrylic and Polyester – Doesn’t burn but melts, smell varies with material, leaves a very hard ball or lump.

With this as a guide I made a burn test to decide what kind of material it actually was. When I had a closer look at the fabric I noticed that it was made up of black thicker threads, that definitley felt like cotton or at least natural, and green thin silky threads. The fabric burned easy/fast with even flame and left no ashes or big lumps to speak of, just burned fabric that crumbled at touch. And I think it just smelled burnt…
   Sara said that if it is a home decor type of fabric it probably is a cotton blend and that’s what I think it is after my results. After deciding that it’s not all super melty synthetic I’ve also decided to use it as a petticoat! I think it looks great and it drapes nicely. If I want to be all 18th century later on I can make another petticoat with an all natural fabric – right!?

Wonderful exhibitions to fill your day with

February 16, 2009

Don’t know how I got there, but I just discovered Kent State University Museum and they have some great exhibitions to have a look at. How about:

The Art of the Embroiderer


In Bloom – Patterned Silk Design Innovations in Eighteenth Century France


The Right Chemistry: Colors in Fashion, 1704-1918


There all along…

February 13, 2009

A few weeks ago I felt I had to go through my wooden boxes filled with fabrics (to be used in various projects when I get the time and the inspiration ^^; ).  And there I found a fabric I had forgotten I even had! XD It’s a green shiny fabric with a leaf pattern.
   The problem is that I have no idea what it’s made of and I have no knowledge of how to see or feel if a fabric is natural or synthetic or silk or whatever. So now I need your help again dear readers! ^-^
   Here’s a pic:


So whaddaya think? I think it looks great and very natural when I hold it up and see it from afar, but it looks a bit synthetic close up. =/
   The thing is that it matches the second fabric I baught absolutely PERFECTLY, and I reeeeally want to use it for a petticoat to match that:


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