|The grey hat, inside out.|
Speaking of the hats themselves, they are much better as a muff, both of them were way too small for my big head. I found the grey one in a cupboard in my Grandparents house, in a hatbox marked "Vivian Gibson- Hat" I think It was from the 60's. The brown hat was from a building with lots of stuff in it that my other Grandmother took me to years ago, apparently there had been a church sale and there were a lot of leftover things that they wanted to get rid of.
I cut both hats into 6 cm wide strips, they were impossible to get straight since the hats were curved. I cut them (very carefully so as not to cut all the way through the hide and damage the hairs) with an exacto knife. Then I arranged them on a table, trying to make them into a rectangle that was a little over twice as long as it was wide, with the fur pointing in the same direction, and trying to match the length and colour of the hairs. It seemed to be mostly successful.
|A puzzle made of fur.|
A lot of the pieces had pointy ends so I had to cut a lot of tiny little triangles to make them all fit together.
|One of many small triangles of fur.|
Once the stripes were mostly put together, I started trimming them down to 2 inches wide with the help of a quilting square.
|The stripes before trimming. See all the notches and bumps and wobbles?|
|The outside of the muff skin, before the ends were added. The colour matching didn't go so well, especially with the brown.|
I then sewed the two ends of the rectangle together, there was a lot more cutting and piecing. This was the first time I've ever made something out of fur and I must say, it's not a particularly friendly material to work with. Cutting is a very sneezeful business, the little bits of fuzz fly everywhere, I kept the vacuum cleaner right next to the table the entire time I was working on the muff.
|The least fun part of muff construction. That white thing on the left is a piece of fusible interfacing to strengthen a particularly weak piece of grey material.|
|The hat brim, cut in half.|
For the lining I cut a rectangle of black flannel 19" by 28". I know that cotton flannel is wrong for 18th century linings, but it's not fair if all the fuzziness is on the outside.
I found a muff workshop post that shows how to put a muff together with a tubular pillow and a separate, removable cover. Since my muff cover is of questionable quality (I tore one of the end pieces putting the pillow in) my pillow tube is permanently attached to the furry outer piece.
I stuffed the muff with a scratchy grey wool. It wasn't a very good fiber for felting or spinning so I thought this would be a good way to use it up. It was a really thin roving, which wasn't a very good form for muff stuffing, so I turned it into batts using Mama's drum carder. (Sorry for not asking permission Mama, but it was really late and the muff was so close to being done but I wasn't going to wake you up. I was extra careful to not bend any of the teeth.)
|Roving being turned into batts. The batts are the pile of fluff on the left, the roving is the stuff on the right that looks like a brain.|
|The stuffed tube. There will be a seam at this end, but it's just folded over on the other end.|
|Big, crude stitches. At least they aren't in a location where they will be seen.|
|See? The fur hides the lousy stitching.|
|The finished muff sitting on a table.|
|Me looking quite startled.|
|Me with flour on my shirt.|
But the biggest problem is the shape. This was supposed to be a 1780s muff, and 1780s muffs are supposed to be square. like this one.
|Gallerie des modes, 1781. (source)|
|All the scraps that were left over. Maybe I can make pom poms out of them.|
|French fashion plate from 1787. (source)|
The challenge: #6, Stripes.
Fabric: A rectangle of black flannel 19" by 28", from Mama's stash.
Pattern: Guesswork and a quilting square.
Year: 1780s, or very early 90s, at least that's what I was going for.
Notions: An unknown amount of scratchy grey wool, from the stash. Two old fur hats, their origins are listed earlier in this post. One small scrap of fusible interfacing, also from the stash.
How historically accurate is it? Well, the fur and wool are real, the overall construction is probably decent, and it's mostly hand sewn. Other than that I don't think it's very accurate. See Complaints, above.
Hours to complete: Approximately 20
First worn: March 25th/13. Can you use the term "wear" with muffs, or do you say "carry"?
Total cost: $0