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.

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