Sunday, 19 March 2017

Awful Slippers

Well, maybe awful is a bit harsh, but these are definitely not my best work and I don't like them much at all. I made them for felting class, and they aren't symmetrical, or evenly dyed.
 One's a bit tighter than the other. I tried to dye them brown, but I must have put too much dye in the pot because they went black.
 I put plasti dip on the bottoms, so they have something resembling a sole, and will wear much better than just plain felt.
I had to embellish them for the assignment, and I thought them too ugly to put much more work into, so I added eyes and a top row of pointy teeth.
The pupil is black wool fabric, and the white bits are wool felt.

If I make any other felted footwear it'll be taller, because I don't like the shape of these.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

1780's-90's Cocked Hat

I have made a hat!
I like my hat very much.
I was aiming for the general look of the hat in this fashion plate.
Young Officer in a Zebra Coat, calling someone to give an account of his services. Galerie des Modes, 1789. Source.
As far as I can tell, the one in the fashion plate is this shape, with the edge folded up in back being much longer than the front two. (I have some more extant hats in the same style on this pinterest board.)
Military cocked hat, late 18th century. Source.
(The one I made isn't meant to be a military hat, so I hope the trim isn't too similar.)
Mine is wet felted merino fleece, and I made it for a hat assignment in felting class.
One side laid down. I don't know why I couldn't get a clear photo of this.

Pattern separating the layers, and the second side partly laid down.
The pattern is quite large (about 2 feet across, I think) to account for shrinkage.

Hat partly felted, with the brim cut open and the pattern removed.
The crown is sitting on an upside down ice cream container here so I can felt the sides more easily.
Once the hat was sufficiently felted I dyed it with acid dye.
Here it is being dyed for the second time, because the first time it didn't come out black enough.
I had failed to remember while I was felting that the tops of all the extant hats are flat, and so I had to do some reshaping. I dampened the hat and pulled it over a coffee can, and managed to mash the domed top down into a nicely flat one. I also had to stretch the band part over a paint can, because it had shrunk in the dye pot and was now slightly too small.
The hat after dyeing and before blocking.
(Can I still call it blocking if it's a large can and not a bock?)
I stiffened the whole hat with watered down fabric stiffener. I'm not sure what the historically accurate method would be, but this worked quite well.
Almost done!
I did it in 3 steps to make sure things would dry in the right place.
(First the crown, then the back, then the front.)
I used fabric stiffener for the trim too. I dyed a piece of white silk twill, and then painted it with slightly thinned stiffener and let it dry. I'd never used fabric stiffener before this project, and I was quite pleased with the results. The silk went crisp and papery.
I pinked the edge, and then snipped out half the zig zags because the pinking was too small.

My box pleats came out a bit wonky and I blame the moisture from my hands.
I pleated it up, folded another strip of the material for the bit that goes on top, and added a mother of  pearl button from my stash. The hat in the fashion plate has what appears to be a diamond shaped steel button, and this was the closest thing I had.

It's done! I finally have a hat!! It still needs a lining, but I can add that later.
It's not perfect, nor entirely symmetrical, but for a first attempt I think it turned out very good and I am proud of it!

All the photos here of me wearing the hat were taken by Denise Richard, who is my felting teacher.
I quite enjoyed making this and I want to make more hats!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Banyan with block printed fish

I'm not sure if this is historically accurate enough to be called a banyan, but if not it's still pretty close.

 For print class we had to block print a border design and sew something with it. It had to be done in at least 2 colours, with the lightest being printed first, and then part of the linoleum block carved away and the next colour printed on.
A picture of a different block I carved,
because I forgot to photograph my fish block.
 I did a skeletal fish design with waves, in 3 colours. (The design in the above photo is being printed with ink, but for my fish print I used dye paste.)
First 2 colours printed.

All printed.
 The dye paste really didn't want to go on evenly, so it's a bit patchy.

I based my pattern on several different extant banyans/dressing gowns. The edges of the panels go straight down, so that the bottom corners are all right angles and the border design can be applied nicely.
A terrible photo of most of my pattern.
 For the main fabric I used what appears to be some sort of raw silk from my stash. (It smells like silk and has a squeaky texture, so I'm quite sure it is, but I forget where it came from.) The fish are printed on a fine cotton.
It's mostly machine sewn, with some hand finishing where necessary.
The border applied to the hem.
 The only interfacing is in the collar, neckline and button tabs.
 It's lined to the waist in a blue-green rayon bemberg, and a narrow facing of the main fabric extends all the way to the hem. These are all turned in and hand sewn to the inside.
Lining, with fish print facing.

Fish on the ends of the sleeves.

Finished lining. You can also just barely see the very small collar.
The bottom back panel is one large rectangle pleated into the top piece.
The hem is bound in dark blue linen, which I put through the bias tape folder.

 It fastens with 2 blue plastic buttons.

 I like it a lot more than I thought I would! It's quite comfortable, and doesn't keep coming undone like bathrobes that tie shut do.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Black waistcoat with hidden dinosaurs

Most of you probably don't know this, but I do a lot of really crappy dinosaur drawings. A LOT. My best friend and I have a blog called Shitty Dinosaur Drawings, and I post on it quite often.

Since we did silk painting in surface design class last month, I did a bunch of terrible dinosaurs on a piece of silk satin.
Outlines done in resist with black dye.
Most of my outlines came out a little bit too thick, but at least the dye didn't bleed over them.
The finished fabric, all filled in with more dye and steamed.
It needed to be a lining for something! So I made a waistcoat. It's a plain black dupioni waistcoat, from a 1790's-ish pattern.
There wasn't quite enough dinosatin for a complete lining, so I had to piece a bit of black satin to the tops of the front pieces.
Several dinosaurs lost their faces in the cutting.
It's mostly machine sewn, with the hem and armholes finished off by hand.
I used small aluminum buttons of unknown origin. The plating is wearing off, but they look okay from a distance.
The back is a bright green raw silk from the stash, and since there was already nothing historically accurate about this garment, I added a small appliqué of another silk dinosaur I had drawn earlier on my sample piece.

Sadly, it has some fit issues. It's too narrow in the hips, comparatively baggy in the upper back, and gapes way too much around the armholes. This causes it to ride up and wrinkle in the front, which is very annoying.
It's probably because I foolishly used a pattern from the fashion show that was fitted to one of my models, and didn't alter it enough. Oops. I also didn't interface the front enough, so it's definitely one of my less good waistcoats.
I will hopefully take in the seams at some point to make it fit better.

Hey….. wanna buy some dinosaurs?