Pennsic Panic Sewing

We’re leaving for Pennsic on August 2nd–a whole week of classes, campfires, and the best medieval shopping on the planet. But those durn boys have had the nerve to grow, so of course they need new tunics and pants. And I’m never quite happy with my own garb so I want a new dress or two for myself, and to revamp some of my older stuff.

One of my favorite dresses is handsewn in blue wool, closed with lacing rings, but because wool stretches, it winds up loosening too much over the course of the day. So I got it out, planning to take out the rings and put in eyelets. But there was a funky ridge across one side of the bodice. With the front lacing edge open from removing the lacing rings, I slid my hand inside and tried to smooth it out. No luck. Opened up the top, tried it from there, no dice.

I now have one half of my bodice completely detached and completely disassembled. With no eyelets in the edges, the heavy linen interlining had shifted and wrinkled, and completely taking it apart was the only way to straighten it out. Just another one of those projects, that starts out small and turns major!

Historic Costuming Challenge

Last year, I heard about the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge far too late for any meaningful participation. But I’m pleased to say that I have completed the first challenge of 2014, Make Do and Mend. My favorite smock fit nicely, except for the too-long sleeves. I’d intended them to be long, to poof through oversleeves, but I just don’t wear that type of oversleeve, and they were always a wrinkly rolled-up mess.

So today, I got it out, cut about six inches of the sleeves and re-hemmed them, checked for any loose stitching, and tossed it into the washer. Pictures forthcoming tomorrow, when it has had time to dry, but it’s going to be so much more comfortable to wear!


And so it begins.

I warped my floor loom (finally!) for the first time yesterday. Not only was it mildly intimidating (it’s BIG!), but I knew if the kids were home while I warped it for the first time, I’d be too distracted and I think they were off school more than they were in for the last couple of months. As it is, I’m pretty sure I made a couple of threading errors, but it is beamed and threaded, and I actually wove a few rows on it!

I’m missing a couple of tie-up chains, and the #4 harness rises smoothly enough, but sticks going back down. These are issues that definitely need to be addressed before the next warp.

Floor Loom is Here!

KessenichLoomI got my floor loom! It’s been installed in the living room for just over a week now. I bought it from another member of Ravelry, and it’s just beautiful. I have a warp ready to go onto it, and I’m dreaming of weaving my own fabric for SCA garb!

I admit, I was a bit intimidated when it actually arrived. It took me  a week to even open it up, while I worked on some inkle weaving instead. (Playing with pick up patterns from Anne Dixon’s new book.) I also purchased a copy of A Handweaver’s Pattern book by Marguerite Porter Davison, which is loaded with drafts for four shaft looms.

I’m still trying to decide whether to keep the table loom or sell it. The floor loom brings me up to four looms, and I really don’t have the space for that many, but I just know, if I sell the table loom I’m suddenly going to be overrun with ideas that simply have to have more than four shafts. (The table loom has eight.) Decisions, decisions!

More Adventures in Weaving!

I did–eventually–get the Ashford loom threaded. After it sat in a corner and we cast dirty looks at each other from time to time. Occasionally, I’d wave a threading hook at it and mutter imprecations. And then when I did get it threaded, I realized it was much too fine a thread for the sett I used. Disappointed that it still wasn’t right, yet very, very intrigued at the same time. One of the advantages of a table loom is that I can try out different “treadlings” without having to change any tie-ups, so I’ve been noodling around with different patterns, just seeing how they look.

I’ve also acquired a Cricket loom, and that’s been all kinds of fun! Quick and easy to warp, but full of possibilities. Using pick up sticks and string heddles adds exponentially to the possible patterns that can be done. I foresee many scarves and table items being added to the shop!

And then, since the house isn’t quite full, I’m adding a floor loom to the mix next month. The fiber madness, it is strong!


Adventures in Weaving

Last spring I bought an Ashford 8 shaft 24″ table loom. My imagination was swirling with ideas for handwoven fabric for garb, fine linen towels, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Reality bites. The loom arrived soon before finals week in school, so I assembled it, folded it up, and set it in a corner of my bedroom. After finals I took it out, threaded it, and realized I had crossed threads everywhere. I cut off and discarded the first warp, and tried again with some white cotton. More crossed threads. I swore at it and put it away again, and went back to the inkle loom.

I got it out again a few days ago, and after several days of slow, painstaking work I seem to have it threaded correctly. We shall see…