Posts Tagged With: sewing

A finished Apron

So last August I was able to attend the Stepping Back Accurately Civil War Era Ladies event in Washington, Arkansas. It was a new adventure for me that I didn’t know what I was getting into. All in all, it went well and the next time I go, I will be better prepared for what is happening.

But to this apron. One of our classes was the making of a Gathering Apron. Now you could take a sewing machine with you and all pertinences but being me, I didn’t want to go to that trouble and my machine is older and decrepit and in our last move was very mistreated by the movers. Wonder it actually still works, but it does. Sort of. Well, more than sort of, but her better days are well behind her.

I began my apron at the meeting by hand stitching the binding on the main panel of the apron. I will have to say that I was pretty pleased with how it came out.


Binding to the apron

I even was even more happy with how the join I made with the binding looked. I would say it almost looks sewing machine sewn, but no it was just me.


Join on binding

With such an auspicious start, you would think that the journey would have finished rapidly and well. Alas, should I admit that by the time I got home and things in the house, I spent a few months not even knowing where it ended up. Sad to say but true. Well, I did find it and what else I was missing, and finally this week got back to finishing it in the hopes it would help me to get on with another project. So it was time for the pockets.


The poor pockets

This I did on the sewing machine. I took the perceived easy route. Well, for most people. That doesn’t mean it is for me. I still think they look like ruffles and the picture upside down, but this is as close as I came to the directions. Which I might add I thought I did pretty well on that point. Well, it would look a lot better if I had gone by what was back in 1860s Texas. You see the sewing machine didn’t make it here till after the war so no apron like this would have been made with one inside of Texas as far as we know. Now just maybe someone in Galveston got one before the war and brought it over from New Orleans, but then the story of Galveston and the war isn’t pretty, and I doubt they were using it at all – if it happened to be there.

But back to my apron. I did get the pocket on but don’t you dare look at the backside. Yes, the bobbin decided to rebel for a moment and though we were working again, I didn’t look at the previous sewing and well it does have those bunches of threads in an area. May cut them out yet and if it falls apart hand sew it back. I must admit though that I like the seams to be hidden and they show quite well. Or maybe not quite well if you aren’t looking for them. This is a bit of business in a plaid to be looking for matching color in thread.


The waistband

After doing the quick easy way for the pockets, I decided to go back to the old way for me. There were two options for putting on the ties and waistband that included a major stressed point that one must realize the one way was faster and easier than the other. Well, it didn’t take two seconds to know I was going the slow and easier route for myself. I did use a machine on part of it. I sewed the two pieces together for the center and then folded it wrong side out and sewed up the ties on the two ends. Then turned it right side out and hand stitched the ends closed. Next was pinning it over the top of the waistband and sitting down with Time Team to sew tiny stitches on both sides to get it attached. I didn’t get the gathers all nicely spaced but it did go on and after ironing it again, I believe it doesn’t look half bad and would have looked worse with my sewn seams showing from the machine.


The finished apron

So this day, I have finished the apron started last August. It really isn’t too badly done. Well, except for that sewing machine. So just remember that no matter if a project gets lost or well past the time most have theirs done or whatever excuse we can come up with, it is better to go ahead and finish it. Learn while your doing.

And now maybe I’ll get back to my BIG project that scares me.

Categories: Fiber, Sewing | Tags: | 1 Comment

An Indigo Apron

I wanted to make something from my indigo dyed pieces from Art Camp. Looking them over, I decided that two pieces were the top and bottom of an apron. Then I cut other pieces for the straps and ties. I hand sewed it all, and it came out pretty descent. Probably would be better if I’d gathered the bottom waist, but the pattern shows this way, so I went the easier way. Finished it at my folks this week.

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

Sewing and Dyeing

This will be my last Art Camp post. I do have my two sewn pieces that I haven’t written about yet. Though there are a few more not exciting things, I do want to add these two to my record.

Saturday towards the end of the day I decided to try and sew a piece as there was a pattern in Connie’s samples that I liked. So to make it easier on myself I snapped a couple pictures with my phone, went over and sat down, and started to sew. I’m glad now I have the sample to compare what I ended up doing.


Horses teeth I believe was its name


Sample sewing













So with a bit of a start in class and then working all evening after supper on my sewing, I had it ready to drop in the indigo dye bath. The picture below is of the actual sewing done but still working on drawing up all the gathers as tightly as possible. Wish I did have a picture of the tiny little package it became. But alas and alack.


Gathering up all those tiny gathers

Now what I had done with this piece is make tiny little stitches on the first row. Guess I’m used to that. Connie saw it and was amazed at my stitches but said it really needed to be bigger. So we decided that I would double the stitches on each row. So I had two rows together of the tiny stitches and then twice as large, then space, and doubled the size again. Hmmm… I wasn’t liking these bigger stitches as well though it was a lot faster. So I did the 3rd and 4th rows the same size. ¬†After it was gathered up into almost a tiny ball it went into the indigo the next morning. And then again, and again, and again, and who knows in the end how many times but it was dunked all day long. So by the end of class, I was eager to unwrap it. Wow! I loved it and Connie did as well. That always makes you feel better about a piece when the teacher likes it. Thanks to Susan Antrican who sent me this picture as it is better than any I could get.


My Blue Piece

I then sewed another piece to try some over-dying of osage orange with the indigo to get a green. I made up a pattern on the top that sort of copied what I’d seen another classmate do. Then tried another of Connie’s patterns that I didn’t get a picture of but I can assure you I did the stitches way too small and it would have been much better larger. Then in the middle I folded it over and did a very loose, sort of leaf pattern with big stitches. Now I wish I had taken more care in that part but will save it to try again. Will make the idea work better next time.


Silk Noil sewn and ready for dye bath

So when done I let it sit in the bran/water bath a bit and then let it down into the osage orange bath. Since I hate the color yellow, this was hard to do and look at, but I knew the end product would be much the better for it. There’s a lesson there for life. So anyway, it came out of the osage orange and went into the indigo bath and came out pretty good. I do wish I had dunked it one more time in the indigo as I did love the wet color better than the dry color but all in all it has a very earthy look and feel.


My Green Piece

Now to continue my fun at home. Getting ready to do another sewn pattern and see what I can get.


Categories: dyeing, Fiber Arts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Texian Market Days Project

OK so this is not a normal record of my spinning and weaving adventure but very closely related.

The tent awning where I was at when the Yankee's weren't raiding the place.

The tent awning where I sat when the Yankee’s weren’t raiding the place.

This past Friday and Saturday I spent my time in the 1860s at the Prairie House at the George Ranch down by Richmond, Texas. Texian Market Days is a two day extravaganza for them with period exhibits and demonstrations at each of their houses so you can spend a whole day and travel through a hundred years of history. I usually am with my friends in the 1830s but this year it was the 1860s and the Ladies Aid Society. Alas, when I arrived at 7am on Friday I learned that the Ladies Aid Society (for which I was just a sidelight there to tell stories) was not in attendance. None of the 20 or so ladies could make it out. I wanted to scream – but didn’t. I had to make this work. Not an exciting exhibit to say the least or interesting to look at as just myself and a couple of things with my basket was all that was under this huge awning. In the above picture you can see my table between the soldier and Leslee in the blue dress. Then with my stool hiding behind them that was it.

Thankfully, that as I was to be telling stories for 2 days I wanted something for my hands to be doing. I muddled a bit on it … Then decided that as shoes ran out in Texas during the war, and if you could get some through the blockade, they were wicked expensive (calico by the end of the war could go for as much as $25 a yard), many women turned to making cloth shoes. So cloth shoes it would be and now to decide how to do it.

The Workwoman's Guide By a Lady - 1838

The Workwoman’s Guide By a Lady – 1838

Though a bit early, I of course pulled out the Workwoman’s Guide which was published in 1838. A great resource for making anything out of cloth for the home. I found a half page of shoes in its pages.

The shoe choices

The shoe choices

Alas I was a bit surprised at how few shoes there were in it compared to some things that I am amazed at the variety. But anyway, I poured over the diagrams and picked of all things to try – the baby shoe but in my size. So to interpret the directions.

Directions for "Baby's First Shoes"

Directions for “Baby’s First Shoes”

Well, being as math is not remotely close to a strong suit of mine and trying to change “nails” into inches can be a challenge. Though I can tell you off the top of my head now that one nail equals 2 1/4 inches. But anyway, in the above diagrams, 51-54, are the baby shoes. So I cut out the first piece as there are two pieces for the tops then a sole for each shoe.

So I got some leather from my husband cut out soles and punched holes in them with an awl. Got some cloth that was the bottom of his trousers that I had cut off and made shorts. Some thread and a needle and proceeded to sit out there and tell stories while making a shoe.

The shoe as it was when I got home.

The shoe as it was when I got home.

Here is the results of my time out there. I got one front piece all hemmed and then attached to the sole. Glad I tried it out as it turned out I needed to make it shorter than I had cut it to fit over the top of my foot.

The bottom of said shoe.

The bottom of said shoe.

And here is the bottom of the shoe. Now as it turned out as after the kids were all gone Friday and I time traveled back to the 1830s and my friends there, I discovered that a gentleman who I see at many of these events is a jack-of-all-trades and for the kids had brought his shoe making supplies and was demonstrating making shoes in the 19th century. Went over and talked with him awhile and learned a few tips and tricks that would have made this a whole lot easier. So if I actually finish this one or its pair and feel I can then try to make a nice pair with handwoven cloth (knew I could get some weaving in here somewhere), it should go much faster. As in lightening speed to how this went.

But all in all, it wasn’t a total disaster being the only one in my group there. I had my stories and then people were interested in the whole concept of having to make you shoes out of cloth in tough times.




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

Mark’s Bomber Gift

It seems like ages ago that I wove Bomber Flight from Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes. As stated in an earlier post this was for a swatch swap but the idea was to use the cloth for a gift for my husband who worked on B52s while he was in the Air Force.

OK, I know this has taken way too long¬† but as his birthday was this week, I decided that it was time to make something out of this swatch. I muddled through a muddled brain and after starting at wanting to make something to hold something small that I didn’t know the size (yes my brain can be that simple). I moved on and came to the idea to make a old fashion wallet but out of this cloth.

The wallet closed

I forgot to look at the two sides (which are very different) to decide which should be outside. I just decided how it should be made and started sewing. I rolled under the two ends and sewed them up and then decided that I wanted it to completely overlap so decided how far up to sew the sides and sewed them flat. Then I did a fancy seam over that for reinforcement and also a little designer touch. Alas and alack the blue thread blended in so well that you can’t see the designer touch, but anyway it should have sturdy seams.

I was then at a straight betwixt two as to what kind of closure I wanted on it. Now this is my first big advice. This is a decision that should be made before sewing. I decided that it would just be too cool if it had two magnetic closures on it. So off I went to find some. Alas they aren’t as easy to find nor when I found them as small and easy to use as I had imagined. Totally would be a pain to add as it really should have been sewed differently to look best. But anyway, I bought some and also some large snaps.

I then gave the wallet to Mark for his birthday and asked him how he would like it to close. (My brain had mushed by this time. Too many decisions.) He decided that he would prefer the snaps and he would like three across. So that evening he got his three snaps across. I (not being a perfectionist and having a hard time getting things just right) was impressed with the snaps as I got them all lined up perfectly. It came out rather great in my book.

How it is inside

So now Mark has a wallet to put in small things the next time he takes a trip. And as to which side should have been outside? I asked him which he liked better, and he decided on the side that was outside. Whew! That is good news.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Flag Cover

I’ve been waiting a bit too long for the perfect addition here and as it didn’t happen, I am now adding my latest quickie job. This was a case of a job needing something done for a long time and tonight – I finally did it.

We have a flag that gets hung out for holidays but alas it stands in the corner of the breakfast area the rest of the year. We have talked of a cover being needed for it, but I just never got around to it.

Tonight I went to my stash of handwovens and dug through them and found the perfect one for the job. Alas it was too short. So went back again and found a piece that had tried to be something else once – alas that failed and so was back on the shelf. Tonight it got pulled out and it was perfect for length (just had to cut of a little bit), perfect for width, and even had a fringe for the bottom.

color and weave failure but still good cloth

Yes, this is one of my first tries at color and weave and obviously despite the fact that the two colors were beautiful sitting beside each other on the shelf they muddled together – beautifully, but alas still muddled for something that was to be color and weave pattern.

fringe on failed color and weave

Of course getting a long picture of this was fruitless as it would be very narrow and at a distance. And, I wrote that like I would already know that and not even try. Alas and alack, that is not the case, I did try and didn’t like any of the pictures. So here you get an up close view of the fabric that is in a very soft wool silk mix.

Only the best for the American flag!

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