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Winter wonderland of cold weather mean faux fur!
You know the feeling when the temperature drops and the cold wind blows... The wearing of some lux fabrics such as velvet, fur or felt just helps you feel warmer in the cold conditions.  So this season I have been visiting the fabric shops and finding out how to work with faux fur to make gorgeous warm and wearable fabric accessories.  A few thing about working with faux fur, it sheds so have your vacuum cleaner handy; use a walking foot to handle this thick fabric and stop it from slipping when sewing layers and tailor tack every seam. I know.... tacking everything before you sew is a lot of work! But who cares if you only have to sew it once and not unpick every seam three times. Tacking keeps all the seams in place while sewing when you remove pins. Let's face it the pile in this fabric is longer than velvet which would make it very labourious to unpick without pulling some of the fibers out while doing so.

Also use very sharp scissors and push the pile away from the blades as you cut. That way you will keep the pile intact as you cut the fabric without making more mess for you to clean up. For this hat I cut everything on the bias so the hat will fit nicely when you wear it. The lining for this hat is made of quilted silk and Thinsulate batting from 3M. Thinsulate is the insulation layer in soft shell ski wear jackets and pants. I bought my batting from Seattle Fabrics in the US and imported it using a freight forwarding service. I do not know of anywhere in Australia that will sell this fabric by the meter. The faux fur and this quilted lining makes this hat very warm even though it doesn't look it. I had a lot of faux fur left over from making this hat so I made an Infinity Scarf from the left over fabric. It's basically a long rectangle that has been sewn down one side, folded back on it's self with a couple of twists and the ends joined together. Here's instructions if you want to make one yourself: Infinity Scarf by Craft Stylish If you want to make a Cossack Hat I got my instructions from a book called Fashion Hats: Design and Make by Karen Henriksen published by A & C Black in 2011.

Refurbishing Just as Jane Austen.
Just as Jane Austen would have refurbished her bonnets and added ruffles and trims to her gowns I decided to the same thing. Time is short and university is looming very close to the horizon. This project was made a necessity with since much of my regency wardrobe is bigger than myself. I decided that this old Sense and Sensibility gown  that could be refurbished in to a draw string closing gown. This would allow me to have a smaller gown but with out the added need to unpick all the seams, resize the pattern pieces and resew it all again. I thought this gown could use updated trims such as some lace around the neck line and the sleeve caps.  I also added a ruffles as these were popular design features in the 1810's and 1820's. I have several examples of ruffle trimmed gowns from my collection of historical fashion books. I can't express how happy I am with these additions as a bit of stash diving saved the day. Keeping left over fabric from finished projects can be a life saver when you decide to change your gown in the future. I went hunting for the same print in the fabric store where I had bought the bolt of fabric from but the print hadn't been available for a quite a while. So my friends save those large pieces of left over fabric for later - there will be no heart ache and money and you feel good to boot. As you are upcycling and thinking about your environmental foot print.


Lady of the house needs a cap.
I thought after a number of years I would revisit my original regency day cap pattern and make a second version suitable for the Lady of a Regency House. Since the original Servant's regency day cap was intended for lower class or servant class use only. Day caps served a practical use as houses were often cold and day caps helped keep the head warm as well as provide a clue to whether the wearer's marital status when outdoors. The addition of lace in this new updated version indicates that the wearer is socially mobile and could afford such extravagances.
This day cap is also a very good stash buster as it takes only a very little amount of fabric and insertion lace to make. I already had the fine cotton fabric from another project, ribbon and the lace trimming for the ruffle. I only had to by the insertion lace from a fabric store. I really like the ruched fabric of this particular design as it adds extra texture to an otherwise plain clothing accessory.

Also this design sews together quickly using a sewing machine. It took about 2 days to put together from start to finish. A couple of specialised sewing machine feet help speed up the construction after pressing the fabric strips. However, if using a sewing machine to make a period accessory doesn't suit your modus operandi. Then I guess you could still make this cap using a plain hand sewing needle, thread and a lot more time. I look forward to wearing this cap to cover my short hair and give my persona a more historical look. Now on to my next project - converting a larger sized regency dress into a drawstring style to better fit my smaller frame.

Knitting experiemental socks.
I am currently finishing an a pair of experimental eyelet socks. They will be a pair but not exactly the same. I guess I suffer from the two sock syndrome - knitting the second sock is boring because I already know the pattern. When I finish this pair I perhaps will get out my silk sari yarn shawl kit and start on that. I can't have my stash and keep adding to it - it's just false economy and a waste of space.

Sock knitting
Winter is the time for sock knitting. I am working on a pair of variegated eyelet and ridge socks. I'll show you a photo when the next sock is finished. I am using Taylor's Big Book of Sock patterns as these are easy to do and have challenging patterns do make as my skills increase.

Victorian Embellishments Book
I have this book on order from Schaeffer Arts in the US:


I look forward to seeing how Victorian ladies trimmed their sumptuous gowns. According to the publisher pre-orders will be sent out June 2013. It's about US$50.00 Including P&H to Australia.



Development work on Surcoate halted until June.
Well I have a heraldic surcoate on the drawing board and half the pattern alterations are done. I am using the Burda Medieval Surcote pattern for this project and my family coat of arms.

Post photos in June of it's progress. Nothing to show right now.

Pop over to my blog
There's a new entry about my sock knitting on my blog www.rosiesstuffnsew.blogspot.com. So pop on over and have a look.

Sock journey continues...
Now on my third pair of woolen socks for winter. I doing some colour work and making stripy cuffs. First pair was just a plain turn cuff. Second pair was picot cuff and third pair are the afore mentioned stripy cuffs.  Pictures will be loaded on my blog next month. I have decided I do not like knitting with Noro Kenyon sock yarn but prefer Patons and Opal yarns as they knit up smoother.

Very slow no content
Hi, sorry if you came here to expect new content. I am very busy being a student and that doesn't leave a lot of time to do creative and internet type endeavors. If you are patient you will see some new items and stories go up on my blog sometime in June. I am mainly using my blog because I have had it a long time and the LJ is just an adjunct to it. I will post new links here from my blog so you can go and visit them.