Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Neckerchief Made From a Skirt

The HSF challenge # 18, "Re make, Re-use & Re-fashion", works with so many of the things I have made this year, and things that I am planing to make, that I had trouble deciding which project to do for it.
About half of the things I've sewn this year have some sort of re-used material in them; The Cheap Easter Candy Stays (That is officially their name now) are lined in sheets, the striped muff is made from two old hats, the Wasp Hat is made from an ugly velvet dress, there are sheets covering most of the Silly Hat, and the Purple Cap is made from a coat lining.

For this project I decided to make a new neckline filling thingy. You can never have too many of those.
I wanted this one to be a really long triangle so I could cross it in front and tie it in back, like these ones.
Publication unknown, c. 1790. (source)
Madame Mole Raymond by Vigee Le Brun, 1787. (source)
According to the fantastically clarifying terminology post on such accessories, this seems to fall under the definition of "neckerchief". I have changed the "fichus" tag to "fichus and other neckline filling accessories" so that all of these things can go in the same category.

I made the neckerchief out of an old white skirt. I found it in a box of pants that were intended to be torn up to make rugs out of. It was made from a relatively fine white cotton. It was not well made at all. The seams were wonky and the tension was off. There were also several places in the seams where it looked like the person had stopped sewing and then started again with a few centimeters of overlap and without tying off their thread. It fastened with one button. The buttonhole was hand sewn, but very poorly, the stitches were way too far apart.
A skirt full of mistakes.
 I ripped it apart, which was easy because the thread was very weak, and ironed the two halves flat. It became quite crisp after ironing, almost like it had been starched.
The skirt had 6 darts, which had been trimmed a bit too closely.
The V shapes left by the darts.
 I cut the two biggest triangles I could get out of these pieces.
 I sewed the short edges together with a running stitch and tried it on to make sure that it was long enough to tie in the back. It wasn't.
No problem, there are shaped handkerchiefs. After I cut a small section away it became long enough.

The portion that was removed.
There was still the problem of the darts to deal with. There were two V shaped chunks missing on each side. I didn't want to hide them between two layers of fabric because it would be extremely obvious on such a thin fabric. I pinned a scrap of the skirt fabric under the gaps and sewed around and around with very closely spaced whipstitches.
Lots of tiny stitches, very close together.
I trimmed the excess fabric down to about 2 mm. It seems to be a pretty sturdy patch job. I got a little mixed up and put the stitching on the right side, making the patches a tiny bit more conspicuous than they could have been.
For the seam holding the two halves together I folded the allowance over and stitched it down. Can you still call it a flat-felled seam if it's done by hand?
This part is a bit wonky. Probably because the grainline is so messed up.
The seam from the right side. The holes from the original stitching would not come out.
I put narrow hems around the edges.
The right side of the patch on the wrong side of the garment. Oops.
And it was done.
The corners are nice and pointy, making them easier to tie in a knot.
 It's quite large, the curved edge measures 192 cm and the seam is 55 cm long.
The weird patches aren't too noticeable from a distance.
The placement is very strange. My mother was quite confused the first time she saw them.

The Challenge: # 18, "Re make, Re-use & Re-fashion"

Fabric: One crappy old cotton skirt.

Pattern: None

Year: Late 1780s

Notions: Cotton thread

How historically accurate is it? Not very. The look is accurate enough, until you see the strange patches. Skirt darts didn't exist then and repairs like this would never be found on any garment. The materials are not accurate. Is is completely hand sewn though.

Hours to complete: Oops,  I forgot to keep track this time. Sorry.

First worn: Aside from making sure it was long enough, I haven't worn it yet. It is not a style that is compatible with my jacket.

Total cost: $0

I finished this yesterday. It is a couple of days late but it's the second week of school and I am very busy with things. I will try to do plenty of sewing but it may be difficult to get the HSF challenges done on time.

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