Friday, November 7, 2014

Bits and pieces

Sweet Daughter picked up a pocket while in Williamsburg last year and asked that I make her another so she'd have a pair. Since, near as I can tell, 18th century pockets had their edges bound in tape so as to keep loose threads from getting tangled up with the stuff in your pockets, that's how I made her new red one. I reworked the CW one as well.

Tonight, I decided to see if the math part of my brain was working ... a dear friend had given me a cloak which had come from one of her very best friends. She was a tiny woman, and my friend thought SD might like it. She mentioned that I'd probably have to do something with the hood ....

I wish I'd taken a picture of it as I pulled it to pieces. It was the absolute epitome of cutting your coat to fit your cloth. Or making lemons out of lemonade ... or something. It was made of four vaguely trapezoidal pieces of glorious scarlet broadcloth, stitched together to make a wide rectangle, and then roughly pleated onto a collar of epic proportions. The hood was shaped like the mouth of a frog. I have no idea if it was remotely functional. This was clearly bodged together out of leftovers from another project. Nothing had been trimmed down, or squared off or anything, but it was warm, and functional and of lovely wool.

So, I pulled it to pieces and washed it, hoping it would full up a little more. Tonight, I started squaring up the pieces. I probably lost a good 4" of width on each one. This made me nervous. When I was done, I sat down with every 18th century cloak pattern I could find, and settled on the one from "Costume Close Up". It had and illustration of the pattern laid out to scale. I ended up pulling out my architects rule I've been hauling around for 30 years and used it to scale the pattern to fit the panel I'd assembled. It's probably 10% smaller than the original, and should fit SD well.

I'll let it hang for the weekend and let it finish stretching before I cut the hem even. If all goes according to plan, I should have enough to piece together for a hood. Keep your fingers crossed ...

1 comment:

  1. I stand in awe of your talent with cloth, black powder firearms, and devotion to your daughter. Take care and let us know how this works out!