Posts Tagged With: Handwoven

My Old Workhorse

I originally wove and sewed my workhorse back what seems like years ago but was only about 5 years give or take. I wrote about it in Weaving With Handspun. Now these three pieces, at that time, were a pocket, bonnet, and apron. The bonnet went the way of bonnets with me. It was lost somewhere, besides at home. Only the Good Lord or whoever came across it later know what became of it. I do tend to loose bonnets when out and about. But alas I really didn’t cry over it much as I never looked good in it and it seemed a bit smallish. Actually stuffing all my hair in it was a chore. The pocket gets used everytime I go out to events. Always need somewhere to stash stuff on myself.

But the apron. Ahhhhh…. I love that one. It is a bit short and could have been several inches longer, but that doesn’t hinder its usefulness.

IMG_2548

Getting ready to put her away again.

I wrote before about how sturdy it is, how it was woven, but I did get some close ups of it this time.

IMG_2549 (1)

The thick learning to weave cotton weft

Version 2

We are getting better and thinner at this cotton spinning

Version 3

We’ve gotten much better at spinning cotton and even have it in thin close rows now.

This apron is good to wear when demonstrating or reenacting as I can show the difference in my learning to spin cotton with the three sections of weft with the thicker at the bottom and the thinner at the top.

But this isn’t where this post is really going. You see, Saturday I was at Winedale Old Fashion Christmas with some friends having an 1850s Christmas in the rain. Yes, it rained and there were some intrepid visitors who came around and saw us but for the most part we just enjoyed being with each other.. getting wet.

 

IMG_2539

A moment of little rain so time to get a picture.

When it was time to leave it was raining, of course, and I needed to go get my car. So not having a hat, I made the decision to not wonder how I would look, but that I would take a hint from Dilue Harris. You see, she was involved in the Runaway Scrape (If you don’t know what that is, just ask. I will be happy to tell you more than you ever wanted to know.). When crossing the San Jacinto River she lost her bonnet (we have something in common) which wasn’t a good thing. After the Battle of San Jacinto and her family was returning home, they came close by the battleground. She wanted to go and see it but alas had lost her bonnet. What was a girl to do? So she tied her apron over her head and thus went to see where the battle that gave Texas her independence took place.

So yes, with little ado about how silly I looked, my apron was tied on my head and off I headed into the rain. Can I just say she came through again for me. I hurried off holding three petticoats and a full 1850s skirt up out of the puddles. Actually, that was useless, I was really holding them up to make quick walking a good bit easier. I sunk in over my shoe once. But what of all the apron covered? That piece of linen and cotton never let a drop of rain through. My head and back, as far as it reached, were as dry as if we were sitting at home by the fireplace. It held up once again to its workhorse image. Nothing that beautiful but if you ever need to pick up a castiron pot on a fire, just fold over once and have at it. If it is hot and dreadful day, just wipe away and it will keep the sweat at bay. If you have to run in the rain, it will keep you as dry as being home.

Advertisements
Categories: Sewing, Weaving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A First that is a Now

Today I will be at the loom most of it as opposed to the deep cleaning that has been going on around here. The dust bunnies that have been re-homed have had their revenge in the process and my sinus’ and chest are not happy campers today. So no re-homing of dust bunnies today. Any of the still present ones can stay put for the time being.

But as I don’t have great current pictures of a project, I wanted to go to where the current project on the floor loom began.

Back when Jane got me started weaving she gave me some yarn and Marguerite Porter Davidson’s book, and I picked out a herringbone and basket weave stripped pattern to weave. I wove up this long bit of warp in it and then was done and what was I to do with it? I did a table runner out of a bit of it, then placemats, and napkins. Alas as it wasn’t very pretty, it rarely got used.

Table runner and two of the "napkins"

Table runner and two of the “napkins”

Fast forward a few years and my kitchen cloths were worn out and desperately needed to be replaced. Not wanting to spend money on something so menial, I remembered the “napkins” and pulled them out of the drawer and tried them out. I loved them as cloths! I was happy and those couple of dollars were saved.

So a year or maybe a bunch more later, my mind is running while working in the kitchen, and I see the cloth in the light of the window, I really liked the pattern and got to thinking how nice it would be to have the stripes in different colors so they showed more.

The pattern in the window

The pattern in the window

Oh and yes, at first I was rough on these rags (and yes I grew up calling dishcloths rags and try to be more proper at times, but it is still a rag to me) and know what caused so many distresses so quickly. I have remedied that problem but alas they do look well loved and used as a result.

But back to the project, I went to the stash and found enough red and blue to make another warp and some very light sage green I want to try as weft. But alas it is still a work in process so decided to go ahead and remind myself of where this latest project had its roots.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Xang 34 – Don’t You Love the Name

I wove my corded petticoat and still had quite a bit of warp left on the loom so I went hunting a pattern and settled on Xang 34 in Helene Bress’s The Coverlet Book. I do love looking at this 2 book set and there is a star pattern I love but alas and alack it is for 8 shafts and I only have 4 so had to settle on the lesser star pattern labelled Xang 34.

When you see the draft from a distance, you can’t see (or maybe I should say, I can’t see) the star pattern at all but rather these squarish boxes. but up close a nice star sits in the midst of those boxes.

But anyway, I rethreaded the heddles and started weaving. Oh, did I say the rethreading went really south and gave me tons of troubles? I almost gave up before it even began. But anyway, I was finally weaving and it wasn’t going well so cut it off and started over again. Selvedges were to drive crazy through this whole project.

The start that wasn't great so cut off.

The start that wasn’t great so cut off.

So back at it again and going by the pattern, the number of picks it was asking for gave me very elongated stars.

The loooong stars

The loooong stars

So I decided that I would use fewer picks for the weft. I then had to finished one repeat of the stars and wove some plain weave and then could start over again with 2 less picks in each block.

Squared up stars

Squared up stars

So it seemed to look better and off we went again weaving and hoping my notes were good for finishing off the border the same on both ends. Then I had a great thought after this went over the breast beam and took the camera under there and took a picture of the beginning border which in the end was the best way I had to get the borders to look the same. Yeah, for belated thoughts that help!

Well, I eventually hit the end of the repeat without enough to do another but still some more warp left so gathered up my leftovers to just weave plain weave with color. I have wound off the ends of bobbins onto cut cardboard from hangers and stored them for some time (no, I don’t through very much away) And now I just started putting these onto the shuttles and started weaving. Alas, this really shows some of the troubles I was having with this warp all along with this project but as my thoughts were on cutting this part up, I didn’t sweat that it wasn’t perfect. So I just imagined what these colors were forming and in my head it was a field of wildflowers with trees above and the sky and at the bottom reflection in water.

My color and weave plain weave with leftovers.

My color and weave plain weave with leftovers.

Boy it really shows troubles by this time that were getting worse with this warp.

Anyway, it is cut off the loom washed and pressed and now to decide what it will all become as I don’t really think it is quite good enough for my first idea.

The squared piece and you can see part of the border.

The squared piece and you can see part of the border.

The bit with the long stars

The bit with the long stars

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Projects Abound

Well, I am still working on the loom but as the left side kept getting worse, I decided that the best action was to cut it off and start fresh with retying it and making sure all the broken warps are in good order in the back of the loom, so here is where it sits at the moment. I am really liking what is happening in it if it would just go well.

Starting over with same project

Starting over with same project

I have also been weaving on my zoom loom with my handspun. Have quite a few swatches done and I am liking how these are looking. These are a great project for something easy that takes up little space and is fun to do. I am getting better at them as well which is a plus for liking more of them. I am hoping for enough that will go together that they will make a nice shawl or something of the ilk. With these it would be thick and warm so maybe something else by the time I start putting them together.

Zoom Loom swatches

Zoom Loom swatches

Then what is taking so much thought with time right now is my corset. I won the class from http://www.historicalsewing.com. Boy am I glad I didn’t tackle this on my own or I would be already headed to the looney bin. I have made two mock ups and still have it too tight in the waist. So just took pictures and am about to send them on to get an expert opinion on the problem. Not the easy fixes I was hoping for that wonderful fit.

But as I came up to my room one day this week, I just stopped and took this picture of my table. Can’t remember now if that is corset one or two but the way it is laying should have been a hint. About how it stretches around my middle.

Trying to make a corset.

Trying to make a corset

So anyway, now back to all three projects. First to watch video and read about the corset sizing and then posting pictures for advice. Then maybe get to the loom if my brain isn’t fried and finish tying on and start weaving. And to relax this evening making some more Zoom Loom Swatches.

Categories: Sewing, Weaving | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

I wrote I could weave better than I can sew?

Just yesterday I wrote, ” Yes, weaving comes a bit easier for me than sewing. ” Alas but, “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen.” Ok so when weaving, a general rule is that most troubles are of your own making but despite so much care on this project – it isn’t going well. My last two projects were a straight twill and plain weave. They went quite well all in all, and I am happy with them. Alas to finish off this warp I wanted something more exciting so decided to go with my favorite (well tied with shadow weave) overshot. So of course there is the threading of the heddles that one must keep in very good order.

Rethreading mistakes in threading.

Rethreading mistakes in threading.

I know this pictures doesn’t say much to most but even with my careful copying out of the pattern in easy to keep track of pairs and sequences I still messed up the left side and had many corrections to make. Adding time to the overall project. Then….

Actually looking good for the border.

Actually looking good for the border.

We are finally weaving and the border is looking good. This is a star pattern and It just fits perfectly in the warp I had already on the loom. I love the color and it will be interesting to see how it looks when wet finished. Then…

How many problems can there be in one picture?

How many problems can there be in one picture?

Thankfully the selvedges don’t show well here but they aren’t going well. Then those two T pins on the left are holding inserted warps for broken ones. And to top that off the note is telling me that I just decided to walk away from it all for the time being and when I return, I still need to take out the lavender at the top as I was using treadle 3 when I suppose to be using treadle 2 for 9 picks. And yes, I realized it when the next set was suppose to be treadle 2 and I went to it and – OH DEAR ME OH MY!!!! So taking out. And if you can tell the selvedges aren’t any better but not worse though with the troubles on the left side not sure it is going to completely recover.

So my prayer now is that when I return in a great state of mind, I will get the rest taken out easily and the weaving next will go smoothly and look lovely. There really isn’t a lot of warp left here. Not like I’m looking at yards of this but I hope I survive it. When I post pictures of the finished shawl (hopefully that is what I’ll have when finished) I will remember the troubles I’ve seen and the triumph over them. Now to move on to planning and getting everything for my corset class. Anyone think that can go better?

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Corded Petticoat

The warp from the back beam through the heddles and the reed ready to tie on the front beam. I love the soft light of just this one on in the dark.

I love the soft light of just this one coming down. Ready to tie the warp onto the front beam.

After finishing the dress, I felt the great need for a corded petticoat. Alas I searched and read and searched and read and got a bit discouraged on this as today those who make them for their early 19th century period dresses sew all the cords in. Can anyone imagine I being able to sew cords onto a piece of cloth in perfect rows? I certainly couldn’t see it coming out well and was more than discouraged with the feat. But then I read one little sentence that changed the whole project. It stated, in essence, that “of course the women of the day just went to the store and bought the cloth with the cord already woven in it and so they just had to sew up the panels together and hem and band it.” Eureka! I could figure out to weave the fabric and sew it then together. No sewing of each individual line of cord.

So then to figure out exactly what I wanted to use for this project, and I bought some 16/2 cotton and warped it at 30 epi. I had some cotton cord that I thought would work great for the top of the skirt. In viewing quite a few I had seen that many had a thinner cord at the top and thicker at the bottom. Oh to find something for the bottom. I wanted it natural and that was hard to find. I ended up getting some Jute. Though I did find some stuff that would have been perfect but it would have cost over $100 for just this petticoat and I just couldn’t justify the cost. There are times when one could just wish they were filthy rich with money to throw away.

I now had all that I needed for the project so started weaving a plain weave header. Wove 6 inches and then started the thin cord and wove cord with four shots of the 16/2 cotton in between. I wove this for 12 inches and then switched to 18 inches of the jute with 10 ends between each one.

Weaving the thinner cord.

Weaving the thinner cord.

Weaving the thicker cord.

Weaving the thicker cord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved how fast this wove up, and it seemed to go pretty well except for a problem on the right selvedge that I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. I think I know now, after cutting it off, but for the weaving, I did figure out how to work around it. Oh, and it probably had its source in the fact that when I wound this warp on the warp beam I wound it backwards and after I tied on the front the brake didn’t work. So I ended up winding it all forward (6 yards) and then back onto the beam again the correct direction. First time I ever made that mistake. Hope to never do it again. But anyway it didn’t quite wind back on as perfectly as it was to start with.

After cutting it off I just washed it in the bathtub with my feet and tried to iron what I could of it and then hand sewed the side seams doubly and then used the machine for the hem and top which I just made a case of and ran a draw string through. It did come out a bit shorter than I thought it would. But despite that, it still seems to be quite good. I hope with another petticoat with it that it will be fairly smooth on the surface, but it will be closer to the bell shape that a proper skirt should have under than they do now. I think though if I get another insane moment though and want to do it again, I would make one all the thin cord and not use a thicker one. It would be a fairly quick project and of course the second one is always better than a first.

Corded petticoat finished.

Corded petticoat finished.

It will be interesting to see how a skirt looks with it under it. Oh and by the way. The bathtub is draining real slow since washing this. I didn’t think much came off the jute while in there but obviously enough that I better work on it soon or someone else will not be too happy at my procrastination.

 

Categories: Sewing, Weaving | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Period Dress – IT IS FINISHED

My project is finally over. It is finished. Am I happy? Probably not as much as I should be. It totally is not as wonderful as I envisioned it, but, alas and alack, it was I making it so of course it was better in my head than it turned out. It went through many changes over its course of emergence. It had to jump through hoops to try and please its creator. But for now it is over.

I did envision at first a dress. Alas as the sewing progressed I realized that that was a bit too far for this material to come together well into a waist band. So it evolved into a skirt and Shortgown. Now with that evolution happening after the cloth was all woven, I learned my first lesson. When weaving for a project and with my brain and my often changing of the mind, weave more than you think you need for any one project or part of a project. As woven I should have had enough for skirt, bodice, and sleeves. Alas going to a shortgown meant that I was short for the bodice no matter what I did. And to top that off I have a bit left over of the sleeve material as they ended up just two smallish rectangles needed.

But enough on the bodice I do have a picture of the skirt.

The finished skirt

The finished skirt

Finished. Pressed. except for that little bulge that seemed to have defied the ironing. Finishing the skirt in and of itself was a job. The width around compounded by the thickness of the cloth just didn’t want to make a pretty pleated skirt. I asked Mark if I could gain four inches in my waist for it to be perfect and he said absolutely not. So with lots of fiddling and ending up using hooks for the closure and moving them in a bit, it does fit though still a bit loose. Will need a couple petticoats to help hold it up and chemise and other underthings to fatten me out.

Trying to get the waist pinned

Trying to get the waist pinned

There are quite a few weaving mistakes that went unnoticed. So there is “character” to it. Some I told Mark I did on purpose so that spot would have a nice accent to it. Not sure that will fly though. There is the band around the bottom of the stripes that actually covers the too wide of stripe on one panel. Two panels absolutely perfect and one with mistakes and too wide. I’m thinking there was some day in there I should not have been sitting at a loom at all. How did I not catch at least the width with all my careful measuring? Especially when two nailed it perfectly. But anyway, after a couple tries, we came up with a trim idea that worked and covers the too wide stripe. It looks perfectly measured whether it was or not.

I also did all the sewing by hand that would show so the only machine sewing on this was the lining panel to the hem. I then tacked it up by hand. The waistband is all by hand but as thick as it got, it would have cruel and unusual punishment to have even tried to make a machine sew it whether it showed or not. Then of course my felled seams down the sides were by hand.

The bodice doesn’t make a good picture by itself so will get one when I dress out in the outfit – maybe tomorrow. It is Heritage Day and that was the goal to finish this. But did you notice all that white? Do I want to wear it out where it is rainy, wet, icky, … Not sure I do but the forecast is better for Saturday so will see if the Shortgown only gets worn (with another skirt) or the skirt ventures out as well. It would be warm which is a plus.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.