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So Close!

I only have 35 rows left on my 17th century garter! I might finish the knitting tonight. So close!

Maybe not ten days...

I have now officially made yardage of tatted edging. The piece for the neck of my chemise was about a yard and a quarter. I really should stop posting about when I think I'll finish things because I often seem go to on a tear and knock it all out shortly after I do. So now the chemise is much prettier with its edging of very simple tatting at the neck and sleeves.

Lace-Edged Late 1860’s Chemise

I had felt fairly confident about the edging being period just because it is about as simple as it gets for tatting, but I was still excited when I saw the pattern in a book published in 1895 called Tatting and Netting. The picture in figure 8 is what I made. It also amuses me that the method I was taught is the same method described in the book as a "modern method."


I should post about Costume College and how much fun it was, but this is turning out to be a very busy day so you get a picture of the first tatted edging I've put on a garment instead.

First Tatted Edging

I got a lot more tatting done during classes than I expected so I'm 3/4 finished with the neck edging. At the rate I'm going, it will be done within the next ten days.

Sweater Progress

I finished knitting the front of a 1930's sweater. It's a linen/cotton blend so it should be very nice for the summer.

1930’s Sweater Front

First Quadrant

I've been cross-stitching lately, which makes for boring posts. Tonight I finished the first quadrant.

“Southern Belles” Progress - 7/10/18

It's called "Southern Belles" and is perhaps the hardest pattern to follow that I've ever done. It's a Bucilla kit that's trying to imitate the Dimensions Gold Collection, but the Dimensions ones are loads better. They do a much nicer job with selecting their symbols.

1918 Hiccoughs

I finally got in the mood to work on my 1918 percale dress this weekend.

I had worked out what I thought I had to scale the pattern up to previously, but Friday afternoon I started scaling it up. My scale was wrong. I think what I came up with might have been long enough for my daughters... But if I tried to scale it up for length, it was going to have like 10+" of ease through the bust, which also didn't seem right. I pulled out the old Simplicity 8650 1910's dress to give me a starting point, traced off the bodice pieces, and then adjusted them until they looked like the pattern shapes from the 1918 pattern. That was enough for Friday - back to cross-stitching.

Saturday I cut out a mock-up, tried it on, and was pleased. I had to shorten it by about 2", but that was all. It looked very much like the original pattern sketch. I tore the skirt panels but didn't really feel like getting into cutting out the actual bodice - back to cross-stitching.

This morning I found a tag for the fabric. It's 50/50 cotton/polyester. I thought it was 100% cotton. Now I'm on the fence about whether I want to go forward with this fabric. If I still lived in Virginia, I'd not worry about the synthetic and go on, but I live in Arizona. Arizona is quite warm enough to be getting on with, and since I moved here, I've been avoiding synthetics in my sewing even more than I already was. Hmmm.

At least if I decide to abandon this fabric, I'll have a bodice pattern that fits. (I still need to work out the sleeves, but it's better than nothing!)


A lovely octogenarian woman started teaching me to tat Saturday. Here's what I had at the end of two hours.

First Tatting Attempt

It's not going to win any prizes, of course, but it's not too shabby for a first attempt. The first two rings are just trying out the stitches. Then I started following a super-simple pattern she wrote out for me.



I hit the halfway point on my second 17th century knit garter yesterday morning. Just under 500 rows to go...

I had expected to see some serious knitting while traveling on business this week, but my trip was canceled. No complaints about that.

Fichu Finished

I finished up the fichu for my c. 1790 cutaway dress this week. The wiggly, wiggly gauze and satin ribbon have been stitched into submission.

That finished off my list of things I really wanted to finish by the end of July. There were still a couple of things for 1918 that I wanted to do but wasn't committed to and didn't think I'd have time for, but last week I couldn't get excited about figuring out the 1918 dress so I worked on a couple of modern things instead. Now I've got the gray wool vest and a green wool half-circle skirt finished and maybe I'm ready to tackle something historic where you have to make it up as you go along and try to figure out what the original seamstresses did. If it gets finished in the next month, okay, if it doesn't, that's okay too. I really just want it finished by armistice day.


There's a tradition in my building at work of wearing vests on the last Thursday of the month. The only vests I had were knit from sport weight yarn from 1910's patterns. They're not even remotely practical for the summer. I've had some leftover gray wool and Bemberg lining from a pair of pants I made years ago and now I have a vest to match them.

Gray Wool Vest - B6339 resized for a woman

There were no good ladies' vest patterns in the catalogs at the store so I altered Butterick 6339 to fit. The size small was pretty good but I had to take about 4" out in length and adjust the darts. They were too long too shallow at the waist, and too deep at the hip. My darts ended up being fish eyes. I skipped the faux pocket welts at the bust and just did the pockets at the waist.

It looks better on than it does laid flat, but I didn't feel like putting on a shirt and dress pants just to take a picture. I'll try to remember to take one when next I wear it. Of course, for one reason and another, I don't expect to be in the office for the next two vest-wearing days...


At Her Leisure

Current Projects

1919 slipover bodice
Striped 1790 gown
17th century knitted garters

Latest Month

August 2018




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