Friday, June 29, 2012

1860's Sheer Summer Shawl

This week has been unreasonably hot. Now, I know that June is quite often very hot but this week it seems to be hotter than average. Weeks like these are the only time I think that there may be some grains of respectability in the theory of global warming. But I should rectify my complaint. The first few days of the week were perfect. Low humidity, mid-70's, a cool low-50's at night. Perfect for enjoying everything about summer and for cuddling with your Loved One under blankets at night as the cool breezes blow in from the open windows. Then suddenly, the temperature jumped to around 100 degrees and the humidity is unbearable.

We have an 1860's event this weekend, although now, as it has fallen out with several other 1860's events this year, it looks like we may be staying home. This time, simply because of the projected 99 degree weather (with a chance of thunderstorms) we will experience this weekend. Still, earlier this week when we were still tentatively planning on attending I was working to get our clothes ready and since I knew it would be hot and that for several days I would be holing up in the house with the air conditioning running full blast, I thought it would be nice to make a summer weight shawl to use at the event since the only ones I currently have are heavier and more appropriate for cooler weather.

I stopped at Wal Mart on Wednesday and found some really lovely sheer cottons in their clearance/value fabric section. $2.50 a yard! I bought three yards of a sheer white-with-blue-stripe cotton and yesterday made my shawl.

It is sewn completely by hand. Not on purpose but because that is just how it worked out. The three yards of fabric were just enough for a 45" square for the base of the shawl and the remaining yardage was cut into 6" wide bias strips to edge the square.

I decided to hem the enormous bias ruffle by hand. #1: It looks better. #2: I woke up around 4 a.m. yesterday morning and couldn't go back to sleep so I employed the time between then and the men-folk waking up in hemming the ruffle. I was exhausted by the time they got up but at least the ruffle was hemmed!

Always alert for shortcuts, I turned up a narrow hem on the 45" square, to the outside. Then while the boys and I watched Sarah, Plain and Tall yesterday afternoon I gathered and attached the ruffle to the shawl, effectively gathering, tacking the gathers and hemming the square all at the same time! I took about 4 running stitches on my needle 1/4" down from the top hem on the bias ruffle. I drew them up, and then took a backstitch to attach the gathered section of ruffle to the hem of the square.

I love having a frilly, lightweight wrap to use now, although I may have to wait til our next planned event in late August to actually wear this. But I am still praying the weather will cool down so we can go for at least part of the day tomorrow to our event. There will be dinner and a dance and dear friends to visit with. We'll see! I have always thought, though, that no events should take place in June or July unless it cannot be helped. They can be torturous months in the midwest!



  1. Dear Sarah,
    How nicely it turned out, and how cooling to wear. Good call on attaching the ruffle and finishing the shawl square's hem at the same time!

    Very best, and oh, is it hot here too.


  2. It's so cute, and such a practical idea... I may have to make one for my upcoming events, which promise to be quite hot.
    I just love everything you make! :)

  3. I am sure the light weight shall will be appreciated in this hot weather. Ugh. I love summer but the humidity can go somewhere else. Rain would be good though.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!