Every since I started weaving I have wanted to weave something that included handspun in it that I could wear when doing period demonstrating. I have done Texas history demonstrating as well as Colonial. So it would be great (I kept thinking) if I was wearing something that had my spinning and weaving combined so that when people asked what I had done, I could answer, “This is some of my work”.
This pass winter I finally did it. I bought some cottolin from the Lone Star Loom Room in Katy, Texas and then made a long warp with it. Then I started weaving some just plain weave with the cottolin. It took a bit but I finally got brave and started adding my handspun cotton into the weft. Now this cotton crossed the entire process of my learning to spin cotton so the first skein was thicker than the remaining skeins. So I added the thick first (starting at the bottom of the apron and wove 2 cotton and then 3 cottolin for a pattern. After awhile I ran out of the thicker cotton and so then wove it 1 cotton and 2 cottolin in the weft. I loved the way it was turning out.
Now on my loom I could not weave a full width so I had to weave two identical panels and then sew them together up the middle. I came so close to getting it exact but there is a bit of a problem near the bottom of the apron. All in all it came out a tough thick handy apron.
Then I made a pocket out of the cloth with the handspun in it. Alas it didn’t come out as a perfect shape of a pocket, but once again it is very sturdy cloth and has worked well though people don’t get to see it when it is inside my dress at the seam.
Now I also made a bonnet. I used just the cottolin for it. I fretted quite a bit over making it and spent a couple of days pouring over the 1838 Workman’s Guide and the bonnets there. I finally used the front of one with the back of another and got brave enough to cut the fabric and start sewing. I would change it a bit if making another one but it came out quite well for my first one.
It turned out the apron was a perfect for dealing with the cast iron pot on the fire. I forgot to bring my lid lifter but was able to use my apron just doubled and could lift the lid and even turn the pot on the fire. Never felt the heat through it but alas for the black marks on it now. But isn’t that what an apron is for? Helping with the work.