Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ruff hem is 3/14ths complete

Well, the ridiculous ruff is coming along slow and steady, but faster than expected. I've now gotten a rhythm down and seem to be able to hem about 25~27 inches per hour. That sounds slow, but have you ever tried doing a 1/16th in hem with stitches that small? Well, I was able to produce another 88 inches of hem last night which brings me up to 159 inches of hem done. Ultimately I will be joining 14 sections together. They will be combined by butting the selvedge edges together. I have completed 3 of the 14 sections. I've leaving the butting together for last so that I don't have to sit and work on a hem while dealing with 60+ foot of material on my lap.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Them bones...

While visiting a friends house who lives out in the country we came to discussing where one might find bones as a source for some projects.  I have quite a few projects on my "want to do" list which are made from bones.  Well, he informed me that there was a local chop shop which butchers a lot of types of animals.  I was able to buy an entire cow leg for only $5.  Wow!  Now I have to start thinking about all the things I can do with it before I chop it all up into small pieces.  Combs, bodkins, bobbins for lace, needles, dice, game pieces, flat spools, stiletto...  what fun there is to come.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The ruff has begun

After about 6 differant attempts at a rolled hem I figured out a way that at least appears satisfactory.  Its rather tough to get a nice flat rolled hem which is only 1/16th of an inch wide.  At sewing guild last night I was able to get 72 inches done of the hem.  At the current rate I'm going it should take somewhere between 37 and 40 hours just to do the hem.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New project beginning tonight

Well, I have officially decided to start a new project tonight. You must realize that I have a ton of stuff already in the works, but I’d like to start just one more thing. I attend a sewing guild at a friend’s house once every other week. I need to cut some material tonight and begin something so that I have a project that I can easily pack and bring along. I like to do hand sewing when I’m packing to bring somewhere. Lugging sewing machines around is just not fun.

I’ve been thinking about making a ruff for a long time. I’ve also been thinking and (as of yet have not decided) to enter something into an A&S competition. I thought that someday I might enter something, so why not start thinking of a slightly more period piece now. I found 2 different ruffs in the Janet Arnold book (Patterns of Fashion 4).  

I think I’m going to make something of a combination of number 22 and number 23 from her book. One ruff is made with the selvage edge on running along the outside, the other butts the selvages together and does a 1/16th inch rolled edge. Since the ruff requires 20+ yards of material, buying 10 yards of material just to use the selvage just doesn’t seem practical. Also the selvage edge on most linen these days isn’t quite so tight and pretty as it would have been back in the day. I plan on making the rolled edge using 42 inch wide light weight linen. I’ll likely either use silk or linen thread to make the hem. I’ll run some samples tonight and see which looks better. That means I’ll have to butt 18 sections together and roll the edge on about 63 feet of material. I imagine this will be quite a long project. I plan on keeping a log of the time just to see how insane I really am. I am predicting that it will take about 60 hours to roll the edges and another 20 to finish construction. I’m guessing 80 hours of hand stitching overall. Let’s see how close I come. The book indicated that the original ruff had 570 cartridge pleats into a 16 inch neckband. Sounds like a decent challenge for a FIRST ruff attempt. I spent a couple hundred hours on my first hand stitched outfit, so this should be a nice break.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Created a new page in the blog where I'll just add projects as I complete them. I have completed quite a few already and have some digging to do to find photos of them all. You can see the new page at A&S 50 Challenge.
Wow, this is my first attempt at a blog. Came accross the A&S 50 Challenge page and decided to follow in others footsteps and create a blog to track the progress of projects.