Saturday, May 26, 2012

And so it begins...the pre-Pennsic sewing frenzy

When I can squeeze it into my busy schedule, that is. I sorted through a big bag of wool tartan scraps that a dear friend donated to me and picked out the biggest pieces to do something with. After a long contemplation over my historical pattern collection, I decided that I'm going to bodge together something late- period. I'm going for something a bit like this:

From Drea Leed's web site -
I have some lightweight wool gabardine in a solid color to do the kirtle (underdress) and I'm hoping to piece together enough of the tartan to make the gown. Many years ago, I attended a class that Drea Leed gave at Pennsic on constructing a 16th c. Flemish womans garb, and then she published her notes from that class as a book, which I have: The Well-Dress'd Peasant: 16th Century Workingwoman's Dress - out of print. It provides detailed instructions on drafting the patterns. However, there are lots of other resources available on her web site here - also sells a full-scale pattern that would work nicely.
I'm not too concerned about mashing up a tartan fabric with a Flemish design. Wool is wool. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Books on Audio: At Home

I recently listened to Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life on audio, read by the author, and I really enjoyed it. It's something I could probably listen to multiple times. In At Home, he provides a rich perspective on things we take for granted today, like why we live in houses, why we have flush toilets, furniture, electric lighting, gardens, and so on, by taking a deep look into the history of his home - a rectory built in 1851 in England. He talks about the architects and inventors that made all the comforts of home that we enjoy today possible. Prior to the 19th c., most people scratched out a living and had very few comforts to speak of.

Things to add to the bucket list:

Visit Skara Brae
In At Home, Bryson talks about some of the earliest known homes - Skara Brae being one of them.

Visit Catalhoyuk
This is another curious site of early homes found in Turkey - Catalhoyuk - Bryson referred to.

Catalhoyuk dates back to 7500 BCE - 5700 BCE, and Skara Brae dates back to 3180 BCE–2500 BCE. Both predate the Pyramids, and Stonehenge.

Monday, May 07, 2012

BurdaStyle bag: finished

And here is the finished bag:

Made from an old coat that my mom gave me (to recycle). It looks surprisingly expensive, and it was practically free! I used the bag pattern from the new BurdaStyle book, and I had the other materials on hand.

I love the new Singer Heavy Duty machine, which made possible completion of this project.
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