Monday, March 18, 2013

I almost named this post "The Weekly Wedgie #1."

No, really.

But then, I realized that even if the world needed another soul-wrenching weekly round-up of Blogger angst, it most certainly shouldn't been named in honor of a violent act of vigilante skivvy-yanking.

Then, there is the burden of irony in committing myself to weekly blog posts after a 3-week hiatus.

So! What's new? Well, for starters, there's this:

It's a petticoat! For the Historical Sew Fortnightly "Peasants and Pioneers" challenge, a.k.a. "#5." This petticoat is made like every other 18th century petticoat I've cobbled together, with the exception of hemming it to the correct length BEFORE attaching it to the waistband. This worked out pretty well and will hopefully mitigate *some* of the pathetic scrambling to shorten petticoats prior to wear each time I need one. I don't know about you guys, but every single petticoat I made in my first two years of attempting such things is waaaay too long. The worst of the lot actually touches my shoes. Yes. 

The material (woven cotton flannel) is folded prior to pleating, and attached to the waistband with the interior edges left raw. The waistband is made of Dutch linen tape from Wm. Booth Draper, and cut a bit shorter than I usually do. I decided to go minimalist on both tape and yardage in the spirit of the challenge, so the petticoat is of humble width as well(basically 88 inches). 

And here is a picture of our heroine, wearing the petticoat:

What can I say? It's been a tiring few weeks.

Those of you following the Dreamstress's challenge may notice that this is about a week overdue. The worst of it is, I finished this petticoat over six weeks ago just to use up the last bit of this fabric! It's been done that long. Grr! I didn't intend to use it for any challenge, but life intervened, as it occasionally does. My original intention was to make a pair of leather stays for the Peasants and Pioneers challenge, based on this pair in the Nordiska Museet that I've discussed before

I have the leather, linen tape and even a scrap of antique Swedish linen to use for the lining. The big hold-up? Those damned "bars of iron" stuffing the front channels. I naively believed that I would be able to find a few little iron bars quickly and easily.


I have contacted virtually every blacksmith I can by phone within a day's drive of my current location. I found a guy about 45 minutes away who said he could easily do it, no problem! After three weeks of wasting time going back and forth, he finally produced steel bars. Steel is made of iron (in part), but it's not what was used in the original stays. All of this went down about a month ago, leaving me pretty much where I started. So that project has been put on the back burner again. Boo.

In other news:

* I gave another presentation on the Jehossee Exhibit and will be moving the lot to another museum in June. Jehossee lives on! 

* Spring Break was last week. And not a moment too soon. I spent mine doing absolutely nothing except fighting a sinus infection and avoiding responsibility in all forms.

* I also made this:

Into this:

Internal Hamdialogue: At least it's not cupcakes.

The child on the right is "Hambone" (with a cousin), beloved offspring of my awesome friend "Boobs." He had a birthday, as children are inclined to do, allowing me to indulge in my yearly tradition of staying up all night making a malformed edible tumor that vaguely resembles whatever he actually wanted. He then pretends to be pleased and I pretend that I am awake for the duration of the party. 

I've got a pile of Regency stuff on the "to-do" list for most of the immediate upcoming HSF challenges, and with any luck, I'll actually finish some of it on time. Along with a blog post or two, if I can motivate myself. I've been in a bit of a funk, and I'm starting to get on my own nerves. Hopefully, that can act as its own motivation. In the meanwhile, here's the challenge break-down:

The Challenge: Peasants and Pioneers (#5)
Fabric: Woven striped cotton flannel from Fabric.c*m
Pattern: None. 
Year: It's intended to be worn as an under-petti, so I'm planning to wear it with wild anachronistic abandon. However, the cotton material, flat front panel and inverted pleats in back put it best at the late 3rd-early 4th quarter of the 18th century.
Notions: Linen tape.
How historically accurate is it? I don't know of any American woven cotton flannel petticoats from the 18th century, so it's not based purely upon an original. However, Florence Montgomery's "Textiles in America" includes swatches of many similar materials. Entirely hand sewn with accurate seam finishes, though the hem at the bottom is generous for a petticoat. Personal rating: 9 of 10.
Hours to complete: About 4. 
First worn: This morning, over my head in the yard.
Total cost: Fabric was $4 a yard, tape was about $2 per yard... so about $16 total.  (The length of the striped material was about 3 yards, and I used all but 18 inches of it.)


  1. Yay for belatedly posted HSF projects...mines done too but I have no desire to take pictures in it or work up the mental fortitude to explain it. I don't care what you say about that cake, I'm upset that my birthday is over for the year because that's a badass piece of bakery there and I want it.

    Also this is maybe weird but I bought a birthday card the other day that's 18th century in nature but couldn't think of anyone else who'd appreciate its historical snarkiness as much as you...I'm going to have to scan it when your birthday or half-birthday or un-birthday rolls around.

    1. Annabelle, you are trespassing dangerously close to pen-pal territory. MIND YOURSELF, WOMAN. I would love a birthday scan-o-gram! That hallowed, sacred occasion is in October. However, I totally neglected your birthday (Februaryish? Or maybe not?) in every possible way. Etiquette dictates that I dedicate the next WTF to you. As soon as I can quit romancing this "Guatemalan Civil War" paper and actually WRITE a WTF post, it's all yours.

      Happy Whateverday!