Friday, January 24, 2014

This is how we begin.

Dave wants me to make him Jedi-style robe and tunic. We went the the store to actually buy new fabric! by the yard! instead of sifting through my stash to see what might work, because he has a specific look in mind, and also because the robe alone calls for 8+ yards and I just don't have that much of anything -- unless you count the 15 yards of plum colored cotton velveteen, which Dave politely declined.

I also bought an actual pattern, which makes me nervous because of the sizing fiasco with that double-breasted vest I made that was too small. To avoid wasting fabric, I am being a good seamstress this time and making a toile. I was going to use some muslin that I had lying around, but when I started to unroll it (I bought this roll of muslin yardage at a yard sale for $5, and I've made more test garments from that stuff!) I discovered that I only had about ten feet left -- not near enough.  To the stash!

I had a bolt of celadon green linen blend I had completely forgotten about, buried under some other stuff in a drawer. I remember picking it up for $1.50 a yard a few years ago, and I've made a dress and a pair of pants from it that you can probably find on this blog, but then I stopped using it because it was a blend, and I've become choosy about such things. The bolt had about 6 yards left on it, so I grabbed another chunk of linen blend I got around the same time, that was a darker shade.

If I'd been using the muslin, I'd probably just tear down the toile when I no longer needed it and save the larger pieces for future use. But since I'm using actual pretty-decent fabric, I've decided I'll keep this green robe for myself. The look isn't exactly "Jedi", and it's certainly not appropriate 14th century garb, but there is no reason I can't make it into something awesome -- though of course all the detail work will have to wait until I have Dave's outfit completed, since he has a con to Jedi up for next month. But I have a plan, and wait 'til you see what it is..!

Here it is, so far. Still needs the hood, hems, and finish work done, but I like the hang and swing of it already. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Something something.

It's been terrifically busy the last few weeks, but things are finally starting to settle down into what passes for normal around here. Well, mostly. I haven't really made anything in the last two weeks, but that's not gonna stop me from showing you some pictures. I just don't want you to think I dropped off the face of the earth or something.

First of all. I got a big box of crummy tack to repair and clean. There was a breast collar in it that was the worst thing I've ever attempted: dry, filthy, and spattered with something I couldn't even identify. It was like sticky black and white candle wax. Definitely not the usual horse dirt. I had to gently scrape it off with my knife blade. Here's a before and after picture:

It turned out so well, I even impressed myself. There was also an English martingale in the box. One of the straps had broken and was repaired by punching holes through it that were fastened by screws. A workable repair, but certainly not elegant. I took the whole thing apart, cleaned it up, cut a new strap and stitched it on, and stitched the rings onto the ends. I scrubbed the hardware with solvent and a brass brush to take off the rust. Then I dyed the whole thing to match and voila! a nice-looking piece good for many more years of service.

Oh, I forgot to show you the present I made for my friend! She's a fan of corvidae -- that's crows to us regular folks -- so I bought a lambwool scarf and appliqued a woolen crow onto it, festively holding a ribbon reading "Caw".

A flat bone bead with a shiny glass bead makes his bright eye. Details are backstitched. Looking at it now, I think I should have had him clutching an evergreen branch, but it's a bit late for that now. She was very pleased anyway. Handmade gifts are always a treat.

My next project is going to be something for Dave. He's officiating at a wedding in May and wants me to make him a garment of some sort, "like Jedi robes" he says. So stay tuned to see how that goes.

Now go make something!