Sunday, December 28, 2014

Further Hobbitses!

As the Hobbit party draws nearer, I realized I wasn't happy with the dark blue pinwale corduroy I had chosen for a cloak. I lined it with red satin and it's pretty, but it hasn't got that hobbit-y feel to it. It's too fancy. Back in the stash closet, I found a moss green wool, and by luck it coordinated beautifully with a jacquard trim I had picked up from the sale bin just a few days before for a dollar! By turning the hem up and covering the raw edge with the ribbon, I saved sewing time and put this together very quickly. 

I made the hood nice and deep, with a tassel on the end. I braided it, but I'm not sure about that, so I might undo it. There is a tiny brass bell tied into the tassel as well, for just a little jingle. Very merry! 

The closure at the neck is made from leather I stamped with acorns and a deer-hoof stamp on the border. I cut two buttons from one of my stash antlers, polished them with a little beeswax, and stitched them on. The leather buttonholes are a bit stiff, so I just slip it on over my head.

Next time I'll post my tutorial on how to make Hobbit feet!

Monday, December 22, 2014


A quickie project, this one was the result of finding just the right soft cozy flannel in the remnants bin at the fabric shop. For 58 cents, I couldn't pass it up -- it was the perfect color to make a little stuffed fox.

No pattern; I just kinda cut what I thought looked right and stitched it by hand while watching Christmas movies on Netflix. Embroidered eyes and nose, and a quickly crocheted sweater, and I was done.

He wasn't made for any particular reason or person, so I asked around my circle of friends and the next day he was off in the mail as a little gift for a friend's baby. I hope he's well-loved and provides lots of comfort and cozies.


Finally a little something I can show you, to prove I'm still making things-- but without ruining any holiday gift surprises.

Some friends of ours have recently returned home from a trip to New Zealand, and to mark the occasion (and the holidays) they are throwing a "New Year's Party of Special Magnificence" with a Hobbit theme. We just saw the movie a day or two ago, so I already was percolating with costuming ideas, but then to have this party come up -- well, it didn't take much to fan my enthusiasm into a flame!

New Year's isn't that far off, and I knew I wouldn't have time to cut out a fresh dirndl pattern, not to mention find appropriate fabrics. I wanted to use my stash as much as possible, and keep my spending to a minimum.

My starting point was a tweed vest I picked up at thrift for four dollars. It had a nice English look to it and I knew that pairing it with a skirt would save me having to fit a bodice.

I had a few yards of red wool in my stash (with the thrift price tag still attached: $5.99!) so I cut a simple gored skirt and whipped it up on my machine before dinnertime. I handstitched the hem because I think it looks better than a machined hem.  A hook-and-eye closure on the waistband finished the skirt. It looks great, fits perfectly and is quite flattering. As a nice bonus, it's something I could wear as part of my daily wardrobe.

I dug up a muslin chemise I made back before I even started this blog, shortened the sleeves with some red contrast stitching, and it became the perfect underblouse for my outfit.

The last bit I made was the apron. I used a cut off end from an old gold linen tablecloth. I used the finished edges to save me having to hem, pleated it, and used a bit of red hem facing folded over to finish the top and make the ties. A scrap of jacquard ribbon from my workbasket gave the apron an extra Hobbit-y touch.

So here's what I came up with and made in one night -- that's right, in about five hours!

First draping. I have red linen here for the skirt, but once I started measuring, there wasn't enough to make the skirt as full as I wanted to. The dark blue velveteen is going to be a hooded cloak, but I haven't got that made yet. That's tomorrow's project.

Getting there! The chemise sleeves still need to be cut back and stitched, but you can definitely see where I'm headed.

Done and done. So cheerful, and so comfortable! I just love it, and I know it'll be a big hit at the party. Stay tuned for next time, when I'll show you the cloak and a few other things I've made lately.