Friday, January 08, 2010


Pic from my mom, budding lace knitter,
providing blog fodder from Florida,
where she's knitting Juno Regina
and even fixing her own mistakes!

Leah, meanwhile, is loving loving LOVING Patterns of Fashion, from which she is learning to draft her own patterns for historic clothing. This book was a gift from my sister for xmas and received with a squeal. This is a work-in-progress, with edges unfinished, fancy cuffs still to come, and only the underskirt of her hoop skirt, which will eventually have petticoats and a navy blue or burgundy overskirt. The top looked kind of funky at first -- neat-o construction but we were not quite sure about the execution. Then she put on that hoop skirt and the hanging fabric sections at the bottom flared out so beautifully over it and we all went, "Oh! Now I get it!" We have so much to learn.

There's an expectation of underlying knowledge that Leah might not really have, but she's figuring it out as she goes, experimenting with supplies that we have on hand (the fabric above is reincarnated from the bridesmaid dress I wore in my sister's wedding while seven months pregnant with Jesse). I have a feeling we'll someday look back on these initial efforts and smile like I do when I think of my first Hardanger embroidery, the linen threads of which were cut with an Exacto knife because I wasn't about to invest in super sharp teeny tiny pointed scissors for something I was just dabbling in. I can only hope that Leah's first experiments with sewing period clothing bloom into a full-on passion for it, similar to my Hardanger obsession that lasted many years (and would probably still continue today if I put down the pointy sticks and picked up a threaded needle).

I just noticed that the seamstress above is wearing knitting needle earrings that she made, a cable needle necklace given to her by our friend Leslie, clothing that she's sewing by hand, and likely handknit socks. Living and loving the handmade life.
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Anonymous random Cindy said...

Go Leah! That looks wonderful. She is quite the lady of grace and beauty there. Will be waiting to see the finished costume. I love historical clothing books. So much more interesting than today's styles.

9:28 AM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

I'm not sure which I like more. The top or the lovely smile on Leah's face.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Rani said...

That looks fantastic! It's really flattering and pretty. And what a good story that it came from a family wedding. It makes the piece even more authentic and interesting.

PS. I had never heard of hardanger before, so off I just went to see what this was. I recognize it - I just never knew it had a specific name!

1:33 PM  

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