Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New hand sewing project started

Well, I've been out of it from a sewing perspective for a while.  Turns out that I gained just enough weight lately that I don't well fit into my nicer clothes.  I've started a new weight loss program and have taken 12 pounds off already.  In the mean time I'd hate to start new garb.  I decided to go back to my original SCA roots.  I've taken a step back away from Elizabethan and have decided to do a new outfit in 12th century style.  I've chosen this for a few reasons.  Been a while since I've done some hand sewing.  Also been a while since I've done an earlier period.  Most of all, the garb is forgiving for those who are shifting in size.  I'll make the outfit sized for my current girth and will simply wear it a bit loose if'/when I lose the weight.

So far I've cut and began assembling a pair of braes.  I've also cut the material for a shirt and plan on starting assembly tomorrow at sewing guild.  Nothing fancy.  Pattern was based on a layout found in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant.  The material is 100% linen purchased from ... who knows.   Found it in a bin in my basement.  Probably there for 3~6 years.  Had a tag I put on it with the yardage and material.  All I know now is that it is 100% linen.

So far I have about 15 hours of sewing in on the braes.  They are all self threaded.  I used a strip of the selvage edge and have been pulled out to used as a construction thread.  I have been using the warp threads as opposed to the weft threads as they are much stronger and hold up better to the stress of sewing.  Still I find that I must keep my threads to about 6~8 inches of working length and wax the thread well.  The self threaded style of sewing tends to fray the thread very easily.  The thread is not nearly as strong as a spool of linen thread that one might buy.  This is the first time I've tried using this construction method entirely on a complete item.  I've done it in the past for small sections, but never for the construction of a complete garment.