Monday, 27 April 2015

Working on a new jacket design

I've really enjoyed working on the vests and jackets recently.. and still have a few more ideas fizzing away in my brain just waiting to get out :)  The one I'm working on at the moment has been bubbling away for a loooong time!

As you may know I spent many years working for a local museum.. which involved getting dressed up in historical costume most days - that job was great fun :). One of the details of medieval clothing that has always appealed to me is sleeves! The detached sleeves that they attached to bodices as and when they needed them, either with points (laces) or pins.  There's something so quirky and elegant.. not to mention USEFUL about them..

These images are taken from Fastenings Across the Ages:

Pinned sleeve.
Detail from Raising of the Cross - Starck Triptych - 1480
Sleeve attached with points
Marie of Burgundy poss. painted by Nicklas Reiser - 1458-1482
I've been wanting to make a vest/jacket with detachable (and maybe even interchangeable) sleeves for ages.  Last week I got stuck in and started making one..

Putting curly locks down along the front edge so when the collar
flaps open you will see them
I started with two fine layers of merino in dark blues
Thirds layer is patches of Estonian batts (Gotland/merino blend)
Building up a bright Sunburst on the back with circles cut from a
layer of Estonian batt and curly locks
After loads of rolling came plenty of throwing -
great for de-stressing :)
I love the way the coloured fibres creep through the dark (and vice versa)
and LOVE curly locks :)
Blocked on a cling-film wrapped Sally to dry :)
Next up.. sleeves and button :)

Friday, 24 April 2015

An Exciting Hat Commission..

A couple of weeks back I was contacted through Facebook, with a request to make a very special wizards hat!  The hat belonging to one of my favourite Discworld characters.. Rincewind the Wizard (from Terry Pratchett's wonderful Discworld books).  For YEARS I had been fancying making Rincewind's hat, but not having room to display it I resisted the urge.  So you can imagine how happy I was to receive the request :)

Here he is..
Rincewind played by David Jason in
The Colour of Magic movie
 Rincewind is rather an inept wizard who can't really do magic.. he wears a pointy hat with the word 'WIZZARD' and a gold star on it so people will know he is a wizard and show him the respect due to all wizards (for example; by not killing them).  He is always getting in to trouble, and is very good at running away from it.  

The first layer was cherry red.. the second layer a mixture of purple,
fuschia and bright red.. to give the finished piece a mottled, aged look

Third layer lovely cherry red again

Part way through..
I worked this for hours and hours, with boiling water too to get it as stiff as possible.

While the hat was drying I set to work on the letters..
Stitched round and cut out from mustard felt with orange, gold and  green silk cap felted in.

128 gold sequins on the star.. all stitched on with 'invisible' thread (awful stuff to sew with).
WIZZARD and star stitched in place 


Complete with tattered, battered brim and metal star spangles :)

With it's HUGE brim I've had a job trying to find a box that it will fit in for posting!  17 1/2 inches across from one edge to the other!  Got one now though so it shall be going soon :)  Hope he likes it!


I'm toying with the idea of offering another as a 'Made to Measure' auction.  To raise money for a Dementia charity.  But I'm not quite sure how to go about organising an online charity auction..  Any advice would be very welcome.

As most of you will know Terry Pratchett suffered from Alzheimers and died in March this year.  He did an awful lot to raise awareness and funds for Dementia.. so, to me, this would feel a fitting tribute to a man I very much admire.  And it is a cause which is very close to my heart.. having devastated people I love.


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Under the Beech Tree - April

Well I hope you are all enjoying a lovely Easter weekend!  We have had perfect Spring weather he last few days.. great for walking.  Today we have had family over for dinner, then visited the sheep and lambs over in the fields this afternoon.. it's been a lovely day :)


Sunshine on the April Beech Tree

I wish I could of recorded the birdsong for you too..

Gemstone - Diamond
Flower - Sweetpea

Anglo-Saxons called this month Eostre Monath. For the Spring Goddess Eostre, who is associated with hares and eggs.  Easter was originally a pagan celebration of life returning to the earth following winter.

Of course April begins with April Fools Day :)

An old saying:
"March winds and April showers 
Bring forth May flowers."

A time to see Morris Dancers.. Regarded as an ancient tradition as far back as the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).  These "madde men with their devils dance" were banned by the Puritans following the English Civil War.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Finished Jackets and Vest

Oh my.. April 1st TODAY!  Where does the time go?

Through March I posted about 3 garments I was marking.. but last time you saw them they were all incomplete, and I wasn't entirely sure how 2 of them were going to be finished.  

Well, now they are :)  and I though I'd show you..

I used Ghungroo Bells for buttons :)  4 to close the double breasted front
and 1 at each cuff. 
Now it's a lovely musical jacket :)
and tomorrow will be leaving for a new home in the US
I was so happy when a lovely lady contacted me through my shop, saying she had seen this nuno jacket on my blog and asking if I could make one for her.. By lucky chance the one I was working on was a good size for her.  It was pretty much sold before it was even finished.. how wonderful!

I decided to add sleeves to the long Jacobs vest..
now it's a longline jacket :) perfect for Spring and Autumn
Goes well with the wellies don't you think :)?
I decided to go with branch buttons..
Gary reckons I look really annoyed in this one..  I wasn't,
but I have had a cold this week so look a bit crappy.

Another branch button here.. must make more next week, I've about used 'em all up!
I love this vest :)
I've decided to keep the jacket and vest myself :) (I couldn't resist.. they're just so ME.. and hey I should be wearing my own felt shouldn't I?!)   so I've listed them as Made to Measure on my shop :)