We had a short break in York this week, which was lovely despite vile weather. We didn’t get as much done as we’d planned, as [probably due to the vile weather] my arthritic hip gave me hell, and meant I needed an afternoon of rest and painkillers to get back on my feet. Bugger and bum! I did manage to find The Viking Loom before we left, which is where I found the beads for my lovely wife’s wedding dress when we last visited, about 6 years ago. I managed not to spend too much, but did buy a few goodies, including some cool specialist bag lining stuff, see below.
Anyway, we pootled around, had some wonderful meals courtesy of Loch Fyne and a fabulous tapas restaurant called Ambiente [VERY highly recommended, go try the Moroccan spiced goat, OMG], ate cake, and finished with a trip to Castle Howard. Gorgeous. Mind you, terrible traffic on the M1 doubled the time of our journey home…meh.
It’s my mum’s 78th birthday this week, and they chose to come to our house yesterday for a meal. Mum’s not wildly adventurous, and always chooses gammon with pineapple and chips…but I do get free rein with starter and dessert. A long day of cooking [I always make her a very special lemon and raspberry gateau] followed by a lovely evening, and quite a late night by the time we drove them home and came back again across the city.
So, today is the last day of the half term break, and I have so many projects fizzing round in my head, that I’m finding it hard to make a choice. I’ve assembled a beautiful set of green fabrics to make some more steampunk gear. There’s a set of velvety curtains which are never likely to go up at a window again, as they’ve travelled around four homes with us now and not fitted any windows. There are 2 interesting pillowcases which I found in a charity shop. There’s a beautiful piece of green wool suiting whichI found on ebay.
The greens all look good together, but the pillow case greens go beautifully with the curtain fabric and the wool, while the wool and the curtain fabric are the weakest match. The plan therefore [sort of] is to use the curtain fabric for a ‘walking skirt’, and the wool for a jacket, and the pillowcases will become some sort of swag or drape in between, and or trim on the skirt. This should make for a versatile set, rather than a more limited suit. The pillowcases are various poly/cotton blends and the curtain fabric is unidentified but probably manmade- plenty of good cotton lining though, which I will underline with to reduce any static.
I’ve also dug out a very large and well-washed cotton sheet, which is tattered round the edges. This is going to become a pair of [ooe-er] divided drawers. For that, I’m using the Laughing Moon pattern, just because. I’ll make the tucked trim on the legs, and may add lace if I feel like it… If the sheet allows, I may also get a petticoat out of it.
The jacket/cuirasse bodice will be from the Truly Victorian pattern, I’m going for the short tails and the triangular neckline. It’s shaped to wear over a corset and small bustle [says the pattern packet] and I’ll blend between two sizes for bust and waist, going on the measurements I took while wearing the corset.
I only want a very simple skirt, so, inspired by this blog post by Humblebee & Me
I decided to butcher the pattern I bought to make DD’s long wedding coat a few years ago [McCall’s 4020, shown above]. It’s one of several princess seamed full length patterns I seem to have accumulated, and is the least likely to be re-used. I’ve hacked it off above the waist, and will do some measuring to make sure I get enough clearance for waist and hips. I don’t want it to fit as closely as the blogger made hers, as I’m going more for a very late Victorian silhouette than Edwardian, but it should be straightforward enough. No train on this one, it will be level all round with just a little more fullness and swish at the back to get the outline.
All pattern pieces and fabrics are assembled and pressed ready for a mammoth cutting out session. The jacket gets to be cut out in main fabric, underlining, and lining, so that’ll be fun. It’s a good job it’s printed on heavy paper not flimsy tissue!
Final pic is the little 12 days of Xmas goody I bought at The Viking Loom. This is to make a little Xmas ornament of some sort. Wifey chose the little beads which will adorn the pieces and I also got the sort of foamy wadding to pad/quilt them with. I’ve included a pic of the bag wadding which I got for wifey’s carpetbag…coming soon!