Friday, November 6, 2015

Silk hats from straw trash - L

Before and After
 Think to do when you're sick in bed.  Knit.  Sleep.  Knit.  Get bored and make a hat.

My fellow blogger Robin had a pile of these cheap straw costume sombreros that she was getting rid of.  Knowing I needed a couple of big hats in the near future, I asked to take some of them.  Straw is fairly compliant, once it gets wet and some of the lurid colors could easily be spray painted.

I cut the crown off the brim about 3 rows from the bottom.  Then I folded the top row over and tacked in into place.  Next I pulled apart the bands of woven straw from the crown (seam ripper!) and used the top, patterned, part to make a round flat crown.  Then I got both parts wet and ironed them into the shape I wanted.  It takes a little patience, but damp straw will eventually take a hint....

After ironing I let them sit for about an hour and dry.  Then I sewed the crown onto the little ridge I'd made and I was done.  If I am feeling more lively, I may add a wire in the brim and spray it with sizing.

In fact, after I finished, I liked the blue and natural colors so much that I made another hat to spray paint.  And I made the crown even lower, more like a bergere which is what I want.  I have some fun plans for this hat, due up in a later post......

Secret Challenge and a swing coat - HSM/HSF - L

I bought some lovely fabric years ago.  It's a loose weave wool/silk blend.  It's a light, soft, medium drape fabric.  In fact, I got two different colors of this lovely fabric.  I knew I wanted to make a swing coat and maybe a capelet (or, ya know, something fun).  Every fall I tell myself  'I need to make that swing coat' but something else gets in the way.  Since I'm trying to burn down stash fabric, I simply HAD to get this done.  I live on the California coast near San Francisco so a lightweight coat is useful most of the year, and I love 30's and 40's clothes.  I'm using the Butterick '48 vintage pattern that was recently re-issued.  That makes this coat too modern for the HSM/HSF group, however the challenge is to add something secret to an item.  I seriously hope I'm not stretching the rules too much by adding an small embroidered pocket on the inside of the coat as my 'secret'.  The plan for the embroidery is to copy a tiny painting my grandmother made.  She would have worn a coat like this, and was as fashionable as she could be on her rather limited budget.  She loved birds and took up painting them in the latter half of her life.  The challenge is entirely around my embroidery skills.
See the secret pocket??

The coat

As always, I'm did an FBA.  Bust shaping in the pattern is accomplished with a shoulder dart at the edge of the shawl collar.  I was loathe to increase the size of this dart since it looked like it would add more volume at the center front than at the actual bust.  So once again, I added a bust dart.  Basically, I slashed and spread as if I was increasing an existing dart to create this dart.  I'm trying something new.  I'm making the changes on a tracing of the pattern from the waist up.  I marked the waist on the tracing.  I used this modified pattern piece as an overlay for the front, the interface and the lining.  It saved me having to make the modifications 3 times.  The added width from the FBA was perfect to allow me to add a button to a coat that wasn't supposed to have one.

 The fabric ultimately had too loose a weave and too much stretch for this coat.  Sadly, I'm not very happy with it.  Also, my poor choice of interfacing remains crunchy even after a few wearings and professional pressing.  Hanging  it on the dress form doesn't help but I've had the flu for over a week and couldn't bring myself to take a picture in it.

The happy, happy secret:

It only took three tries to get the bluebird embroidered.  It's been a VERY long time since that Girl Scout badge so I can't even remember the names of the stitches I used.  

Giant pocket hoop tutorial - Lisa

If you are seeking historical accuracy, quit now.  Giant pocket hoops are NOT a real thing as far as I can tell.  I wanted to make some, so I did.  I started by looking at the pattern in Corsets and Crinolines, but they were far too small for what I planned.  I wasn't sure giant pocket hoops would work.  Holding up a big skirt is typically done with a pannier hoop, but my pocket hoops worked pretty well.  And they pack up small enough to fit in a carryon.  Barely.  Mine are packed away and hard to reach so all numbers are estimates.  Your mileage may vary.

Black muslin - fairly heavy weight, about 3 yards (don't remember, mine are from leftover yardage
3/8 inch flexible PVC plastic tubing - about 10 yards
1 inch twill tape for waist ties and boning channels

Figure out how wide you want each hoop.  You might choose about the distance across the front of your hips for a fairly accurate court gown silhouette.  You will then be about 3 times wider than normal.  Fun!    Diagram shows how I got my measurements.

Hoop width - 20 inches (X to B)
Outside perimeter - approx 47 inches (A to B to C)
Side - approx 10 inches (A to C)
My hoops are about 15 inches tall (1 to 3)

If you want a different width, draw a line the width you want (X to B) and bend some tubing into the curve shape (A to B to C).  This will give you your perimeter.  No math required.

For each hoop:
Cut a rectangle 47" by 35" PLUS seam allowance.  Sew in boning channels with 1 inch twill tape at the bottom (leave a seam allowance below the channel), up about 7 inches, and up another 7 inches.  Sew an angled channel that goes from 2A to 1B to 2C, in between the top two boning channels.  Keep the curve gentle.  This provides support for the other channels.  Leave about 5 inches of sewing open at the top of each channel so you can put in the tubing. There is extra fabric at the top.  Ignore it for now.

Cut a rectangle 10" by 15" plus seam allowance.  Sew it along side A from 1 to 3 and side C from 1 to 3.  Now you can put in your tubes and tack the channels closed.  You can close your hoops at the bottom.  I traced the shape on fabric, cut it out and tacked it to the bottom seam allowance.  If you want to skip that, you can.  I think it adds stability.  If your tubing is too curly, you can straighten it by dipping it in boiling water.  It straightens up beautifully.

Now for the really technical part (kidding)....  Easiest on a dress form but you can borrow a friend.  Wrap twill tape around the waist and start pinning the extra fabric.  Start at A and C about 4 to 6 inches above your top boning channel.  Pin to the twill tape.  Then start wadding/folding the rest of the top fabric to the twill tape.  Try to get a slightly tighter than 90 degree angle because this will stretch when you put your dress on it.  And it will stay stretched.  There is no right way to do it so don't worry about doing it right.  I made a 'sort of' channel at the waist so my twill tape waist can slide thru it because my waist fluctuates.  Most important is that each hoop is level with the other at the outside edge.  They won't be perfect but get as close as you can.  Trim any extra fabric.  I put twill tape across the back from 2 to 2 that rests against
my backside when I wear them.  I also have ties from 3 to 3 in front.  This keeps them from sliding around while I'm wearing them.  Mine close at the waist with the twill tape.  Tied in a bow.

The top on my hoops required a bit of fiddling to get right.  And then they stretched and I took big tucks.  That part really is an ugly mess.  I hand sewed it because it's easier than trying to get it just right to machine sew.  Despite being a fugly mess, the hoops worked perfectly.  And collapsed on themselves and fit in a small suitcase.