A “baldric” is a type of sash, typically used in the SCA to show heraldry, denote an award of some kind, or designate the wearer as a holder of an office. These are similar to belt favors (link, link, link, link, link, link) but they are a little more formal and are visible from the front. Anyway, I was told that until I made the Arts and Sciences Belt Favors, the office of Kingdom Arts and Sciences Minister had possessed absolutely no regalia. Since this is a serious office that sometimes requires participation in court, I decided to at least partially remedy this lack.
These are linen baldrics about seven feet long total, though of course they are doubled over. I guess they are about seven inches wide. The Kingdom populace badge is one of the professionally embroidered patches I had made, and the A&S badge is machine embroidered. this kind of baldric is meant to be worn from the left shoulder, draped diagonally across the body to the right hip, with the badging over one’s heart.
For those of you who, either at my recommendation or independently, purchased the “Dritz Chalk Cartridge Set” chalk holder, or (perhaps more so for you who) did not purchase the Dritz model because it is made of plastic, it should be noted that the chalks that come with the Dritz holder are 3.8mm in diameter, and can be inserted into the “Koh-I-Noor 3.8mm Clutch Pencil 5356″ which is made of metal.
I have never seen the Koh-I-Noor 5356 in any store, but it is available from several online retailers. I won’t attempt to bias you for or against any particular retailer. The down side are that the 5356 does not come with a supply of chalk or a sharpener.
I have yet to compare the Koh-I-Noor colored artist’s leads to the Dritz chalk sticks in terms of marking and washability. So far, the Dritz chalks have lasted several years and one pack may be a lifetime supply.
At the most recent dyeing activity, one of our friends brought a few articles of finished clothing that she’d purchased inexpensively, specifically for the fun of shibori dyeing it in indigo. When you make up a couple of big pots of indigo dye, you might as well use them for as much as you can. They really don’t keep, and there’s so much dye in there that you can normally toss in some experiments at the end just to see how they come out.
Her experiments came out so awesome that I decided to copy her method. The online stores that sell the dye also carry a broad line of prepared for dyeing (PFD) garments, but I hate buying clothes mail order. I have plenty of simple sewing patterns, though.
I used white muslin fabric to make two shirts. One uses a sweatshirt pattern, and the other uses the beloved pajama top pattern. No buttons on the pajama top yet, because they would only interfere with the dye. I finished all the cut edges with serging, but did all the top stitching with cotton thread. The cotton thread will take up dye, but the polyester serging will not. The serging is all hidden inside, though.
Somebody is running a dyeing day next month, so now I am ready for fun.
Basically as soon as Sweetie and I had reached full immunity following our second COVID-19 inoculations (it’s not really a vaccine, you know), we went and visited my parents in NJ. They still live where I grew up in NJ, and although we did not want to go into NYC to visit fabric stores, I decided to search around the area to see what might have become available in the 30+ years since I left. Sure enough, the large presence of immigrants from Southeast Asia in my home town had resulted in some great fabric stores catering to their tastes, including one just 15 minutes from my parents’ house, called “Fabric Guy“. I was looking for some figured white silk for another project, but also wound up buying some of this lovely medium-weight silk brocade.
I suddenly decided that I needed a fancy kosode, because who doesn’t need a new fancy kosode every once in a while? One difficulty with the project is that the gold metallic threads for the flower buds (or whatever they are) are pretty much just behind those graphics. Cutting the fabric released hundreds of little whiskers, and I realized that wearing the kosode would break off more of those and they would get into everything else. The solution was to add a lining to the plan.
I had some light-weight habotai silk in my stash, so I used that. I’ve madelinedgarmentsbefore, so this was not alien territory for me, but it has been a while. The trick, for those who don’t know it, is to leave closing the neckband for the very last step. That enables you to attach the sleeve linings to the body lining easily by pulling those seams to the outside of the garment. This silk was so light that keeping it still enough to sew was something of a challenge, but it came out OK, I think.
I usually try to make at least one of the gifts that I give to Sharon for our winter holiday celebrations. Often, this is a sewing project because it’s easy to keep those a secret. I was kind of at a loss this past year regarding what to make, because we don’t spend much time out of the house. So, I decided that since the Gray Smock that I made for her last year was a success, and since I found some knit fabric in a bright robin’s-egg blue that is near to her favorite color, I would just do another poncho smock.
It came out pretty good. I managed to get an actual narrow collar band in there instead of a facing, so I am pretty proud of myself. Of course, I couldn’t post about it before late December, and then I totally forgot to get a picture of her wearing it until recently.
When I was in the fabric store to buy the flannel for the new pajamas, I took a browse through the selection of “Asian”-themed cotton prints, and found this colorful “koi in water” fabric. I don’t really need another kosode, but I need to make something out of this.
Here are some details that will mean nothing unless you are a kosode geek: The fabric was a little narrow, but I can still get away with wearing 14-inch wide panels, and I had gotten enough fabric to make it knee-length like I like them now. The sleeves are almost fully attached to the body, but I still like to give them a little flappy bit at the bottom. The sleeves themselves are about 18-inches tall, and the opening is half of that. It has a 3-layer neckband that is only about 2 inches wide.
Here is a close up of the fabric so that you might appreciate how pretty it is:
After 16 (!) years, my hydrangea-print flannel pajamas (the first pajamas I ever made) are well on their way to being entirely worn out, so I decided to get around to doing some more sewing and make myself some new flannel pajamas.
These use a great shibori-print “Snuggle” brand flannel from the fabric store and (again) my favorite sewing pattern of all time. Again, though, I left the pockets and false fly out of the pants. I did wind up cutting the fabric too short for the pants legs, so I added the same style cuff to the legs that the pattern has for the sleeves.
I decided that I wanted to make one more shop coat. The other two are great, even though I have less opportunity to wear them lately, but I thought that a third coat made from oilcloth would be a handy thing to have. The oilcloth would make it water resistant, if not waterproof.
Then, I had to find a source of oilcloth. Most oilcloth you can find on the net is not real cloth, it’s that flannel-backed vinyl that people use as tablecloths. Real oilcloth is real cloth (usually cotton canvas) that’s been soaked in boiled linseed oil and allowed to dry. It’s easy (if pricey) to buy garments made from oilcloth, but not so easy to find the raw material, and I didn’t want to make it myself.
At least one of the merchants at Pennsic usually carries oilcloth, but there was no Pennsic this year and none of the merchant websites listed oilcloth. Eventually I found Hamilton Dry Goods. They have a selection of real cotton oilcloth in stock and their service was reasonably fast.
Anyway, here’s the coat:
Because it’s meant to be worn in wet conditions, exterior pockets seemed like a bad idea. Because the oilcloth feels a little greasy even when it’s dry, I decided to put a lining in the coat, and put pockets on the lining.
I had some of this rosy poly-cotton fabric all the way down in the bottom of one of my fabric supply bins, held in reserve for a project I was unlikely to ever make. It was a good hue match for the burgundy shell fabric, and a better feel against the skin.
The pattern doesn’t include instructions for adding a lining, so I had to figure all that out on my own. I only messed it up a little bit, at the lapels. I managed to effect a save without ripping out all the collar stitching.
A quick trip to the fabric store for some brass buttons, and this project was complete. Some time I need to figure out how to make one of these with a zipper instead of buttons. Not soon, though.
I was in the fabric store that shall not be named a couple of weeks ago, and they were having a sale on all cotton prints. Their selection of Japanese prints was pretty bad, so I bought a cute bunny rabbit print from the “Easter” colection, to make a new pair of pajamas.
There’s no crosses or anything, just white bunnies cavorting on a pastel purple background. Very cute, and the cotton fabric is lightweight and good for summer wear.
I used my favorite pajama pattern, since I know that I like the fit. I think I did a better job of placing the shirt pocket on this iteration than I did on the natural shop coat, and the collar attachment was quite smooth.
I greatly simplified the pants, though. I left out the false fly, which is a nice accent, but serves no functional purpose. I also left out the pockets, which are nice to have sometimes, but rarely used and not worth the added bulk and trouble in my experience. I also did a drawstring waist instead of an elastic waist, but I usually do that.
This project took me about two days worth of work. I’m very happy that this kind of thing is a weekend project for me now.
Not so much lately, given the extreme heat we’ve been having, but for much of the Spring I found my blue shop coat to be extraordinarily handy. I’m the kind of person who won’t really leave the house without a jacket or coat of some kind, so a mid-weight, durable chore coat was nice to have. If I’d worn it recently for actual woodworking, it was probably too dusty to wear out in public, though.
I thought it would be handy to have a second shop coat, but I didn’t like any of the other colors of cotton duck cloth that the store had in stock. Blue is a good neutral color, but I didn’t want another blue one, and black is really not my style. I decided to use this “natural” duck cloth.
Sharon points out that the unbleached “natural” color will probably hide sawdust very well. It sure does get wrinkly in the wash, though. That “crumpled paper bag” texture you can see in the photo is not exaggerated by the lighting; that’s what it really looks like.
Also, for some reason I wound up attaching the pockets really low on this one. The upper pockets on the blue coat are up near the first button, but there are down at the second button, about 5 inches lower. The pockets are also larger on this one, so it gives the coat a bottom-heavy appearance. It’s far too late to worry about it now, though. Maybe I will add a pocket or two higher up, or some decorative embroidery.
I also added a button to the left breast pocket. I found that it was very tempting to put my phone in that pocket, but on the blue coat there was always a risk that the phone could slip out and be damaged on the shop floor (like my last two phones were). I should really add a flap or something to the blue coat’s breast pocket.