Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Knitted Star Bag

The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work (1847) by Jane Gaugain is an incredible book. Not only does it have a pattern for the rather famous pineapple (I've knit one! Blog post eventually!), but it has many clear, easy to understand, followable patterns! Amazing for Victorian knitting. One that I found particularly intriguing was the Knit Bag of Purse Twist and Steel Beads. So, I made it, and even though the pattern was clear, made a chart and wrote the directions out more fully, complete with charts and row by row instructions.

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Knitted and crocheted bags with star motifs at their bottoms were popular during the Victorian era. And why not? Not only are these stars attractive, but they’re one of those deceptively simple things to knit. Once you get past the probably most awkward knitting ever—casting on eight stitches over four double pointed needles—it’s incredibly logical and the design progresses quickly. Don’t be intimidated by the 5/0 needles. They’re remarkably quick to adjust to. They’re quite the conversation piece as well—who doesn’t occasionally like impressing others with knitting?

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Adjustments to original: Mrs. Gaugain’s original pattern was remarkably clear. The only adjustment I’ve made to it is to add a row of eyelets near the top to thread a drawstring though. She makes no mention of how the bag should be finished. Contemporary bags in museums often have a row of eyelets, so I decided to include them. My bag—like many originals—is lined. I used a tube of silk taffeta, gathered at the bottom and whipstiched into place just below the eyelets.

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Here's a link to my Ravelry project page.
And here's a link to the pattern page on Ravelry.

The pattern is below the cut!

I'm also going to include a PDF of the pattern. I can't do it on my almost seven year old computer though, and will post it once I can do it at work :)

And a PDF of the pattern! I downloaded an app for my phone--I'm surprised I didn't think of that first!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Cotton Print Sacque, or Robe a la Francase

It's about time I got back to the Williamsburg wardrobe postings, isn't it? So here's my cotton print sacque, rather fully tutorialed already! (Yes, tutorialed is a word.) The tutorial is here (part nine of a series), the muff cover is here, and the cloak tutorial is here.

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I'm wearing it over a shift, stays, pocket hoops, and two petticoats. My cap is one I started in a class at Costume College taught by Janea Whitacre and Angela Burnley. It's silk organza and silk ribbon. And it's so silly it makes me happy :)

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The dress fabric is from William Booth Draper. I was very lucky--I got the last they had in stock (six yards, I think it was?). It was intended for a caraco, but things changed!

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It was a windy wet day, and I felt like I belonged in a satirical engraving the way the wind was blowing everything around!

Cotton Print Sacque 7 threads of feeling

The wind did die down enough for one good shot! My skirt is pulled up through my pocket slits, though it still did get some Authentic Williamsburg Mud on it. You can see that the back panel is plain. Six yards isn't much, even when you're short! It was a perfect dress for the museum, where of course, the textile gallery was closed.