Monday, December 22, 2014


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.

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