Thursday, 20 November 2008

Of Reasons

So I sorted out all the tablet weaving kit. I plan on making a belt for Eden. The dress below is hers for when we go re-enacting. It is a lovely soft purple. I dyed it using acid dyes which have a tendency to be quite bright and though some natural dyes can be very bright indeed the purples that they (ie medieval folk) could get were not. So I took great care to keep the mix on the silvery side of lilac which is what you can get if you use elderberries. I missed the elderberry season this year and anyway I am not into natural dying, all the mordanting wool and all the fiddle (and potential errors) that natural dying involves. Acid dyes are far easier.

So I got all the kit out, even the pattern book! And then I realised that I really should get cracking with V's tunic rather than indulge myself with a demanding fiddly new rabbit trail. Eden can do very well with a length of plaited wool for now but V's tunic must be made before our next gig at Chepstow on the 6th. I need to get my dress sorted out too but I can borrow something if needs be. I want the rest of the family in their own kit first though.

This is part of the haul from the re-enactors fair up in Leamington Spa. Pure wool that is next to skin soft. I intended this for a dress for myself (and hoped to get one for Lily out of the remainder) keeping a lovely thick linen for V's tunic. But the training day that we went to two weeks ago made me realise that linen just won't be warm enough for a December day.
This wool is a cheery, holly berry red and it suits V very well. I have enough left over to make a dress for tiny Lily but I am going to have to send off for some more wool to make a dress for myself. I am fancying a burnt orange or a moss green if possible. It will look a bit daft if we have three members of the family in the same colour I think.

And I finally saw sense and started using the sewing machine. One dress, some braeis and two underdresses would be enough handsewing for anyone. If I want this finished anytime soon it is going to have to be machine work from now on. I finish visible seams - necklines and such- by hand and very relaxing it is too now that most of the donkey work is being done by the Bernina.

An honourable mention goes to this machine by the way - it is older than me. Bought in Tanganyika* for thirty shillings over forty years ago and it is still going strong**. The whirr of this machine is one of the sounds of my childhood. Mummy was always creating something with it. She has assured me that it will come to me when she can no longer use it. I am happy to have the occasional loan for now.

Maybe I'll get a pic of V wearing his new tunic tomorrow. This post has taken ages to write and I am off to bed now.

Nos da everyone.

* Tanganyika no longer exists as an independant nation. It has been amalgamated into Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
**Which is perhaps more than can be said of Tanganyika


Technodoll said...

Can't wait to see the final products, it all sounds so divine!

My mom's sewing machine, also a staple of my childhood. Awe. Except she is a master and I can't sew to save my life. Good thing she is hanging onto it :-D

Kate quilts... said...

How lovely to be sewing on your mam's machine. I have very strong memories of learning to sew on my mother's old Empisal, and sitting beside her while she made debutante gowns for other people's daughters.

By the time my sister and I were old enough, I think we were so sick of the sight of deb dresses (and knew we couldn't really afford it) we told her not to bother. Don't think she's ever forgiven us. LOL

Have fun with your sewing. It's not nice if it becomes a chore.

Nicole said...

He he! Love the comments about the sewing machine! :)

And I agree. Reenactment aside, do the bulk of the sewing on the machine, and do the finishing work by hand. Makes much more sense.

Pippa said...

Hooray! You're finally using a sewing machine. I'm glad your poor little fingers are getting a rest. The re-enacting has certainly provided more reasons to make things - another hooray for that!