Monthly Archives: October 2010

Santa Towels Finished

I finished the Santa Rosepath towels. These are a perfect example of the miracle of wet finishing. Weaving often looks totally different before and after finishing.

Before finishing the fabric is loose and almost lacy. The pattern is spread apart and looks odd.

Christmas Rosepath

Before finishing

After washing, the cotton yarn has bloomed. The threads pull together and the Santas are much better looking.

Christmas Rosepath

After finishing

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Red Doublet

As I said in a previous post, my doublet design is based on padded doublet at the Met Museum. Mostly just the couched cord on the upper portion of the doublet. I’ve decided to try to mirror the upper line to the waist-V, and do vertical stripes along the top. I’ve moved the double row of buttons from the upper to the lower partition of the doublet, and thought to add ties for the upper portion (all of which is decorative – the doublet closes with hooks and eyes). The skirting consists of looped tabs (like the shoulder wings on the padded doublet), but doubled red and black, with matching tabs along the shoulder.

doublet design

Design sketch

Right now the bottom tabs are on. Time to add the front fastenings and the shoulder wings.

Red Doublet

Doublet with skirting

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Adventures With Hook and Eye Tape

My plan was to attach the hook and eye tape to my doublet lining, then sew that onto the outer fabric. This didn’t work. For some reason, the hook and eye tape decided to curl oddly. So much so that I though perhaps I had forgotten to cut down the front of one of my side-fronts. I took the hook and eye tape out.

The fronts lined up perfectly, so I sewed the lining to the outer fabric along the bottom and top collar. Suddenly, it behaves… Bother! Anyways, my plan is now to rip out a bit of the seams, re-attach the hook and eye tape to the lining, and then stitch the layers together nicely. Next time I’ll just leave it in.

Oh, and I need to drop the waistline in the back by half an inch. I made it too high.

This project is a disaster. Everything is going wrong. The actual doublet, however, is turning out very nicely.

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Doublet Design

While putting together the base of my red doublet, I’ve been thinking about its overall design. Since the red is so vibrant I’ve decided to do the trim in black. The overall design is inspired by a padded doublet at the Met Museum. This will consist of wrapped buttons and a a fair amount of fingerloop braid. The buttons will be decorative, with hooks and eyes for the actual closure. I’m still trying to decide between wool and linen thread for the buttons/braid.


Red doublet in progress

And here’s where I am so far. The base layers have been competed and I’m almost ready to join the front layers and the lining together. I’m using three layers of linen in this doublet – the red outer fabric, the black lining, and a white heavier linen interlining. The interlining serves two purposes. Firstly, it keeps the black from showing up underneath the red linen, and secondly, it gives the body a little more stiffness. I’m hoping this (as well as all the cording) will help hide the otherwise quite noticeable horizontal bodies-line along my front bust.

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Gambeson – Part 1

I’ve promised the hubby a new gambeson for his birthday.

I made his first gambeson five years ago, based on the instructions by Inga the Unfettered. For the body block, I used a commercial PJ top pattern (McCalls 4244 to be exact), and then modified it from there. I keep a copy of all the patterns I use, so I still have the original pattern. The new pattern will be a little wider in the chest, and quite a bit longer than the original.

We’d ordered the fabric some time ago. It’s going to be blue with a dark purple lining and black bias around the edges, all in a heavy linen (7.1 oz). The padding is 100% cotton batting.

The first step is to quilt the layers of fabric and padding together. I do this before cutting out the pattern, as some of the fabric gets taken up as it’s quilted and I don’t want the gambeson to end up being too small. I do break the fabric down into smaller pieces to make it easier to quilt, though. I like to use a fairly small diapering pattern, so as the cotton breaks up over many washes it can’t travel too far from where I want it and get all clumpy. The last gambeson was done in 1″ squares on the diagonal. For this one, I’m doing a long and short rectangle pattern.


The quilted fabric

Then, I make the bias binding. Yards and yards of it. Enough to bind all seams and edges. Truth be told, I usually alternate between these first two steps, as there’s only so much bias binding or quilting a person can handle in one sitting. Whatever works. Really, most of the work of making the gambeson happens in these two steps.

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