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 ...but fortunately not that grumpy.  I just hate driving to work in the rain, since all the other cars seem to be designed to throw up as much road spray as possible (seriously, I'm getting less blinding spray from semis), and this retarded brake-hard-when-the-rain-starts!!!omgwtfbbq!!! thing is getting old.  My arms hurt (all my joints hurt!), and I'm a mite lonely, since Bob is down at the farm preparing for the weekend o' destruction.  Still, can't bitch about the rain too much, eh?

And I've finally updated my web site!  Go here to see what's new:

There's actually quite a bit of new stuff, but like it says in the update, I've been working on this update for so long, I've forgotten which pictures are new and which are old.  Go peruse (or not, it's not like I'm paying you or anything) and amuse yourself for a bit.  Roomba the Axe-wielding Italian Courtesan from Scotland (or Hell) has not made her debut in the halls of the Attack Laurel Academy yet, but she probably will.  I have some plans for a couple of new "classes" to be uploaded for your "education" soon-ish.

I ordered cotton twill and green wool for my bed cover; I have to get over to Staples so I can make some enlargements to help me with charting the design.  Since the original is a hanging, I need to design the side panels from scratch, which should be fun.

And that's it for today.  Still grumpy, but not overly so.  Cloudy, clearing later, highs courtesy of prescription painkillers.


( 27 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Oct. 24th, 2007 11:56 am (UTC)
Extreme Costuming Website Question
Stupid Question I've been meaning to ask you: Have you seen any depictions of an Elizabethan embroidered jacket that was NOT a white linen base?

Oct. 24th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
Yes; there are two I can immediately call to mind. One is Lady Throckmorton (from about 1620-30) wearing what is clearly a satin jacket with black and gold embroidery (the picture is the one with the motto "no spring until now"), and there's one of a young man in a green jacket (not a doublet; this is clearly a more informal garment) in green satin with wold and silver work leaves all over. I'll try and look up the exact names of the portraits, but you can probably find them from the descriptions I've given. :)
Oct. 24th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
gah... Gold and silver leaves, not wold. :)
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
I love this painting :).

Book 2 of the Medieval Clothing and Textile series has a chapter on these jackets and I think it mentioned a couple that were not on linen, altho the vast majority seem to have been. Unfortunately it is at home so I can't check it.
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
The vast majority that have survived are on linen. Whther this translates to a preponderance of linen over satin is up in the air, though I'd say yes.

Certainly the ones that the embroiderer's guild workers did are often on linen, because the ground makes it easy to work, and the resulting embroidery pops more against a matte background. And anything done with counted thread work is better on linen.
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
Thank you! Yeap, I can find 'em now.
Oct. 24th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
holy crap, I've been doing it backwards! Running stitch to join the fabric and whip stitch to bind the seams. I love whip stitch and I can turn that out at a fairly prodigious rate. Very nifty, thanks for sharing!
Oct. 25th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
Just make sure you make it nice and small and tight, like the photographs. :)
Oct. 25th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Extreme Costuming Website Question
No worries there! I can do tiny :D
Oct. 24th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Roomba the Axe-wielding Italian Courtesan from Scotland (or Hell) has not made her debut in the halls of the Attack Laurel Academy

I pity poor Roomba should she ever appear.
Oct. 24th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
Roomba the Axe-wielding Italian Courtesan from Scotland (or Hell)
There's a difference?
Oct. 24th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yes there is :>
In Hell the rain falls down, In Scotland the rain falls sideways.
Oct. 24th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC)
Well, I rather like Scotland (when she's not in it)...
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great info about the hand sewn seams article. It gave me a better idea of what I need to be doing with my hand sewing. I have really just started considering doing garments by hand and have only don one piece all by hand. So this was really helpful!
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
Come to the dark side, let the zen of hand-stitching draw you in......
Oct. 24th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
I did just finish making a Jupon for Badouin all by hand. It is my favorite garment that I have made to date and I love the way it looks. I do plan to do more and more by hand.
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It *really* makes a difference in fit - especially when you consider that any pattern set up before the advent of sewing machines is not designed for that style of construction. :)

All those weird curved seams and fancy edges work completely differently with hand sewing - and *much* better. *evil grin*
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 24th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
You're really welcome! :)
Oct. 24th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
OMG! That make sooo much sense to finish off the seams first. I can't wait to try it... now I just have to finish the eyelets on my corset/pair-of-bodies, so I can make some clothes to wear over it.
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
You won't believe how easy it makes the curved seams and inset gussets/gores; it's like magic. :)

Do you do your eyelets with grommets, rings, or alone? I find tht if I use a slightly heavier linen thread and keep the shape with an awl, they go pretty fast. I sometimes use grommets for extra speed and consistency in covering, but I have to be careful to use thinner thread, because they turn out pretty small. For some reason, I've never used rings - my bodies fabric is usually pretty sturdy, so has less tendency to rip out.
Oct. 24th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oo, thank you for the details on hand sewing. I've been lurking here, since I found your website. *grins* I love the work you've done, its just gorgeous. Couple questions though... I've been working on handsewing tunics for my son, both as practice and because its difficult for me to do those twice turned under hems for such tiny things in the machine. When i washed it, it got all bunchy. Could this be due to the stitch size? One other thing... Are smaller stitches stronger?

My mother seems to think that there's no real reason to handsew anything if there is a machine around, but.... There's just something about doing it the right way. *grins* Sorry that was so long! Thanks again
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Hmmm - without knowing what fabric you're using, it could be a couple of things:

1. Shrinkage. If you're using a running stitch instead of a whip stitch as a seam, then it's possible that the thread has shrunk in the wash (assuming you're using linen thread and have washed the fabric), and as the threads have shrunk, they've pulled the fabric together.

2. Your fabric likes to bunch or fray, and has either ravelled on the seam a bit (check for clumps of loose threads all knotted up) or will straighten out with a little judicious ironing. Linen blends like to do this more than straight linen, and heavy cotton can also fray some because the fibers are usually shorter and break more easily.

If it's #1, then switch to washing in cold water - it works as well as hot for most things, and stubborn stains can be pre-treated. Or you can use the smaller whip/overstitch method of sewing the seams, which will counteract any tendency of the thread to shrink. If it's the hem stitching (turnover at the seams, rather than the seam itself) that's shrinking, you can ease it back into shape by ironing the seams where they're stitched down,a nd the linen thread should stretch back out again. Making the running stitches smaller will put less fabric in between each stitch, and will also help it to stop bunching.

But washing in cold water should alleviate much of the shrinkage, as will hanging the tunics to air dry instead of running them through the dryer (80% of shrinkage happens in the hot air of the dryer).

If it's #2, you have bad-tempered fabric that will need a quick iron each time it's washed. If you double-turn the hems at the seams, it won't ravel the same way. If you're already doing that to prevent fraying, swear at the fabric a little and threaten it with death - I'm afraid it's about as effective as anything else.

...but I think it's probably the thread shrinking if you're using linen thread. Switch to cold wash and air-dry - it will help, and it's good for your budget. :)
Oct. 25th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
Ahh, thank you. its probably cause I may have neglected to pre-wash... *mumble blush* And I did wash in warm. I'll try the cold. Linen thread is a lot better than the poly cotton for the machine?
Oct. 25th, 2007 09:55 am (UTC)
I don't know - all I know is it's nicer for the hand-sewing (use beeswax). If you're not pre-washing, that's probably what's causing it. Most modern fabrics are sized and pressed so that they're stretched nice and flat for the bolt - count on losing about 1/2 inch per yard for shrinkage (which only really matters when you're buying in bulk yardage). :)
Oct. 25th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
Okay, so the last time I tried whipstitching the seams on a doublet, they were far more puckered than I wanted, and thus I pulled that out and went back to doing a backstitch for the seams (it's faster for me than a running stitch). Given the pictures on your website (thanks for posting, btw), I guess the next time I pull out the handsewing again, I'll try with the infinitesimal spacing of the stitches. :)
Oct. 25th, 2007 09:56 am (UTC)
It's the small spacing that makes it work - if you make the stitches too big, the fabric will pull together. It goes faster than it looks, because you don't have to think about spacing the threads.
Oct. 27th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
I have some questions about some embroidery things that I would love to get a chance to talk with you. If you have some time I would love to take this off line to talk to you.
( 27 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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