Saturday, March 29, 2008

Constructed Stockings

I intended to finish my new drawers today (and still do intend, alas!) but after stitching the hems and tucks and trying feverishly to press the chronic wrinkles out of the tops of them I gave up, washed the separate legs over again and am now hoping their second cycle in the dryer will help relieve some of those dratted wrinkles. (NEVER wash an entire twenty-five yards of muslin and dry it all at once. It will twist and become terribly wrinkled in the twisted places. Plus it will make your washing machine hum strangely and then galloop strangely.) So this afternoon I got out my new Kannik’s Korner stocking pattern and decided to make a trial pair, to see how they would fit and feel.

What can I say? The stockings went together with incredible simplicity and ease. After ascertaining that I was not really any particular size I followed the instructions on how to create my own custom stocking pattern. The finished stockings fit exactly right and are so comfortable. Bravo, pattern!

My material was an old cotton knit dress. It was a thing of hideous aspect but I saved it faithfully knowing I could use it for SOMETHING and it came in quite handy. Mustard-brown and black stripe. I used to wear it with a dark blue quilted vest, back when I was Weird and Trying To Be Different in my late teens. I sewed the stockings with a small zig zag on the machine, as the pattern instructed for machine stitching and I sewed the very corners of the sole by hand.

Obviously, I need to improve my skill in that area. There are some small puckers. But I will learn.

I could only make these just above knee length since my dress wasn’t long enough to make the thigh-high stockings. Well, next pair I make I’ll have enough to make them that long. I will still need garters, I think, but these fit so much better than the standard old white stocking that sutlers sell. Plus I think they are Very Cool and would make a snazzy addition to a modern outfit.
I’m going to see if I can use the same custom instructions to make patterns for David and the babies. Never again will I buy another stocking for living history purposes. I have found my sock destiny.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Romance of Red Piping

O Coat of Mine Husbands
How Do I Love Thee?
These Feelings Which Spring from Within
My Husband Loves Thee
Not For Beauty of Thine
But Because that Thou Makes Him Look Thin
But Ah - O My Love!
O Coat of Sublime
A Much Greater Reason Have I!
To Fondle Thee Is Such a Pleasure
My Love -
I Swoon, I Murmur, I Sigh
And When In the Dusk
I see Thy Gray Form
Spotted with Blood that I shed
(From Needle-Pricked Fingers)
I’ll Tell You, I Love
Thee For Thy Sweet Piping In Red

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Poor Etta

My artsy side came out today (unfortunately) and I decided, in a highly optimistic frame of mind, to try my hand at making a rag doll. It was easy enough to draw out a simple pattern and sew her up and stuff her. I decided to paint her since I have always embroidered my doll faces (the few I have made before) and I wanted to her to have a sort of regency look. Hair, eyes and a simple heart-shaped mouth appeared. Etta (named for my very talented and artsy great-grandma) was cute but I thought I could improve her further. Nostrils, a line to indicate a nose, pupils in her eyes. Rosy cheeks. Cute still. Then I made a critical mistake. I gave her a chin. She gained a hundred pounds before my eyes and the slender young lady became a solid, portly matron. Poor Etta. Anyone know how to remove acrylic paint from white fabric?

Tomorrow I'll make her some clothes but I feel so bad.