July 2009


The last week has been busy with all sorts of things so I’ll try to catch up with posts about the things I have been doing in the following days.

First up is the finished apron! I finally got around to take a picture of it and I’m really pleased to show it to you. It turned out wonderful and it will be put to the test in the kitchens at Civil War in October.

Gathered apron.

Gathered apron.

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After doing some sample smocking, with good results, I set out to do another gathered apron. I had previously bought some lovely linen in a herringbone twill and was happy to finally use it. The sample smocking told me I needed to use twice the desired width of fabric so I cut out an 80 cm wide apron with a length of 90 cm give or take.

Almost done with the honeycomb pattern.

Almost done with the honeycomb pattern.

I made the gathering stitches 1 cm apart and several enough so that the gathering was about 7 cm wide. Then I started on the honeycomb stitch and this time I didn’t leave any empty rows (like I did in the sample), I think it made a prettier and more even impression in the end. My honeycomb stitches were 2 cm apart. I managed 5 rows of stitches which I think is wide enough. You can see the lovely herringbone twill in the bottom right corner of the picture.

After that all that was left to do was to finish the edges and then attach the ribbon at the waist. I used the full width of the fabric for the ribbon and made it 2 cm wide.

The honeycomb pattern with the gathering thread still left in the fabric.

The honeycomb pattern with the gathering thread still left in the fabric.

Racaire finally got her crafty challenge gift from me this week. I’ve been preoccupied and forgot to send it to her so it has been laying around here forever… She got a gathered apron and hope she will find it useful!

The list!

  1. Racaire – a gathered apron
  2. Dis
  3. Alenn von Horn
  4. Elisande
  5. Elsa

I told you last week about my third attempt at the tablet weaving experiment (further known as TWE). This weekend I finished weaving and the band turn out great!The warp is silk and the weft is linen. I really dislike having linen thread in the warp when I weave so this was sort of a compromise which worked out like a charm.

TWE part 3 - silk and linen

TWE part 3 - silk and linen

The ribbon is approximately 2,5 cm wide and really soft. Now I just wash and iron it to make it even more shiny, as well as making some notes in my pattern book about the project. I’ll make sure to write a small documentation for the TWE page as well.

The picture is a bit blurry on my computer for some reason, but if you click on it you’ll get the large and un-blurry version. ūüôā

After making the first gathered apron that turned out a bit to narrow I realised that I needed to make some comparative smocking to see how much fabric that was needed for the desired width.

I cut out four pieces of fabric all 30 cm wide. On three of the pieces I made gathering stitches 1 cm apart and on the last one I made the gathering stitches 1,5 cm apart. Then I made a simple honeycomb pattern on all four pieces with a 1 cm, 1,5 cm and 2 cm distance between the rows on the pieces with the narrower gathering stitches. On the piece with the gathering stitches 1,5 cm apart I made the rows 1,5 cm apart.

Comperative smocking

Comparative smocking

The bottom two became to narrow and the one on the bottom right had got a to deep pattern because of the gathering stitches being 1,5 cm apart. I like the two on the top and the one on the left is the one I’m using. After smocking it measure about 17 cm wide which means that I have to use twice the desired width of fabric. The other ones need at least three times the desired width of fabric which will make the bottom part of the apron to large.

This little comparative studie was really quick to make and I really recommend anyone to do it, if not just to practice smocking and ge a feeling of the final result.

Cow Parsley - photo by JoY74 at flickr.com

Cow Parsley - photo by JoY74 at flickr.com

Last week I finally got around to try out some dyeing with the silk I pre-mordated. I wanted to try something simple and inexpensive so I went out in the garden and gathered some Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris (sv: Hundkex).  Then I put the flowers in a pot with water and let it boil for at least an hour.

The silk should never be treated at a temperature over 70 ¬įC so I let the water cool to that temperature before I put the silk in. I dyed a 9 gram skein, sufficient enough for a fist try. The silk was left in the pot at 70 ¬įC for an hour and then I let it cool for a while. The silk was rinsed in water and then in vinegar water to really get the shine of the silk. You should pour as much vinegar in the water that it tastes sour but not so much that you make a sour face when tasting it!

Silk and Cow Parsley in water.

Silk and Cow Parsley in water.

The silk turn out pretty enough with a lemony-yellow colour. I’m gonna make some thread winders to wind it on and then use it to sew with (it’s very thin).

Silk dyed with Cow Parsley

Silk dyed with Cow Parsley

Today a few of us visited the medieval camp at V√§rnvik. It’s a week long event held by Nordrike, a Swedish society very similar to SCA. Not many people had arrived when we visited them today but we got to chat a bit with them. Kerstin from Medeltidsmode was there selling her fabulous fabrics so after some poking around I bought 5 meters of thin linen (perfect for chemises) as well as 1 meter of a gorgeous linen/hemp mix that I intend to use for an apron.

Linen/hemp fabric.

Linen/hemp fabric.

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