Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Patterns!

 Me: Look! My parcel is all pretty and French-looking!
Jon: It's a brown paper packet.
Me: Exactly!
I am actually pretty excited about the contents of my parcel too - my first patterns from Deer & Doe.  Now I just have to stop my hands from hurting, finish my half-made Colette patterns and then I can get started...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Silk Mitts

A couple of weeks ago I finished off these C18th/Regency silk mitts.  I've been collecting pictures of late eighteenth century mitts on Pinterest for a while so I decided to make some up before this year's Jane Austen Festival in April.  They were mostly finished for the event so I wore them but I didn't get around to doing the embroidery until the end of May.

I love my mitts! They're much prettier and more practical than gloves - good for sewing workshops when you want to be able to use your fingers.  Most mitts in museums are dated late eighteenth century so they go with my Ikea dress but apparently they continued to be worn in the Regency period, so that suits me well! I think there will be more mitts in my future.

I used this pattern. I found it on Pinterest, I'm not sure where it's from but I just printed it out full size (cut in half on two A4 sheets). I was going to use the one in Costume Close Up but printing this one seemed easier than scanning, resizing, etc. I just made them the original size from the image. The calico one I did to test the pattern fit me really well but the silk I used for the real ones was stiffer so they're a little bit snug - the side seam on the right hand one is almost pulling through, so next time I need to use a bigger seam allowance.

I used some silk dupion from my stash. The main fabric is an odd blue/yellow-green shot mix that I've never known what to do with but the colour looks nice in this. I lined the points with gold silk dupion. I think I'll make a matching reticule at some point. Silk taffeta or satin would be more accurate but this was the first pair I tried and I wanted to use something I already had. I think I'll make another pair in satin or taffeta soon, with a bigger seam allowance so they don't break! A lot of extant mitts also seem to be lined (often with leather) so maybe I'll add a lining in the future. I thought I could add it to these ones at some point but not if they're already tight!

I stitched the side seam and the point by machine but everything else is done by hand. For the hems I used a tiny spaced backstitch and used threads pulled from the leftover fabric, which I'm quite proud of. I embroidered the lines on the back of the hand with blue silk thread, using herringbone stitch and chain stitch. Many mitts also have herringbone stitch around the thumb and point so I may do that at some point but I shouldn't be doing more embroidery than I have to at the moment, with my hands/arms still being sore. Sigh.