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I went camping this past weekend and wore my new multi-period underdress! Alas, I overfit it somewhat and need to open up the seams and insert some gores. Whoops. Otherwise, it was very comfortable. The arm holes didn’t bind, the sleeves were comfy, and my phone fit down the front between the dress and chemise, under my jacket and blanket and hood… yes, it was REALLY cold all weekend.

War in the Distance

War in the Distance

Which brings me to a new requirement. Wooly garb. I went to the thrift shop yesterday and picked up a length of teal wool that should be enough for an underdress, and a length of grey wool that was perfect for a Viking apron dress.

The Viking apron dress is already made. I bound the top edge with rust linen, and attached buttons instead of using (really expensive) proper apron pins. I will need to stitch down all the long seams by hand, and hem it (…probably by machine!) so I can wear it and be warmer this coming weekend.

Fish buttons on apron dress

Fish buttons on apron dress

I’m also re-building a smock I made years and years ago, as I never finished the seams and it’s come apart in multiple places in the wash. This means unpicking, ironing, sewing the seams back up, top stitching them down (all by machine for this one!), and adding in a couple panels for width due to the loss of width with the new seam allowances. It’s worth it, though, as this one is of a silk/linen blend that is absolutely dreamy to wear.

So that’s what I’m working on this week – altering the new dress, finishing the Viking dress, and fixing an old smock. For this coming weekend I do have undertunics that will work for the Viking dress, but the extra layer of the smock would probably be appreciated! Hopefully I can get it all done in time.

Scenery

Scenery – this was after I had walked about 2km, and I was still cold.

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Hello!

Today I’ve been playing with printing some patterns, in the hopes that once the dryer is fixed tomorrow, I can dry my fabric and then start sewing some more things!

I’ve started doing a bit more renaissance/medieval stuff again, and as the last event I went to I ended up with some heat exhaustion, I thought I’d pull some linen (or linen/cotton blend in this case) from my stash and make a new dress. A cooler dress. But under the dress I’m going to test Katafalk’s Lengberg Bodice (Not really safe for work, folks! It’s opaque, but it’s still skivvies.). She and I are apparently almost exactly the same size, so I’m using her pattern as a base. I’m going to test it with random linen scraps first, then hopefully hand stitch one in white linen.

I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve decided to make a short sleeved linen kirtle. 15th century-ish. I’m not exactly sure if it will have a waist seam or not yet, that decision will be made once I have it fit and I lay the pattern out on my fabric. Short sleeves aren’t exactly super common according to some of the research I’ve read (See: Will the Real Fifteenth Century Sleeve Please Stand up? by¬†Charlotte Johnson (Lady Mathilde Bourette)), but it will be more comfortable when it’s hot. And when it’s cooler I’ll be able to pin on sleeves and then throw on a wool overdress for the complete layered look.

I will want a real linen dress, as well as a woolen overdress. This means I’m going to be saving my pennies for a time, since linen and wool aren’t the cheapest of fabrics. Thankfully where I am, there are a couple excellent discount stores for coloured linen and wools – Atex Fabrics, and Dressew. (I buy all my white and unbleached linen at Maiwa Supplies, which is $$$ but the quality is out of this world lovely. And I need less for a shift or headdress than I do for a full dress.)

Otherwise, I need to finish my colour blocked dress today. One thing at a time, self. One thing at a time.

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Well hello there.

I realize I haven’t finished updating Me Made May yet, and I do apologize. The photos are on my camera, which I put “somewhere safe” after going camping with my parents (I did wear me-mades camping!) and yeah. I feel kind of silly about that. What I really need to do is get a tripod clamp for my phone, as it’s SO easy to edit and upload the photos from my phone. Then writing a post on my computer to get proper formatting isn’t so difficult.

Something I’ve been thinking about is lighting. There really isn’t anywhere outside my apartment, so I kind of want to get some better lighting so my photos aren’t so dark and grainy. I’m leaning towards some construction lights with paper or fabric diffusers on them, for cheapness and because they seem like they’d be easier to store. My budget is practically nil, and proper lights are expensive and fairly difficult to get here. Mostly because ordering online would be best, but I don’t have a passport so I can’t get to a US post box!

I’ll be sure to update with some research and what I end up deciding on once I get to that point!

Anyone use special lighting for their photos?

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Cookies!

Yes, I know. Not sewing. I have been sewing, actually, but not taking pictures because my apartment is still not set up in any useful way for taking photos of me wearing clothes.

So today, because cookies are easier to take pictures of, I am posting about some cookies.

This is a shortbread recipe that my mom has made since I was a kid, but I’ve adapted it for my gluten free diet. It’s not by choice, so “diet” is used in the way of “foods I eat”.

Gluten Free Flour (for light coloured cookies)

  • 623g packet sorghum flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 400g tapioca starch (I find it in the Asian foods aisle)
  • 454g mochiko, aka glutinous rice flour (Asian foods aisle as well)

Mix this together thoroughly by whisking in new additions, then closing and shaking your container of choice. I use 1-gallon juice jugs because they store well, and were cheap when I got them. Note that I do not use any gums in my flour mixes. I find that most baked goods are fine without them, and too much can upset sensitive stomachs.

Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 300g flour (you can use wheat flour here instead if you are not gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits (these are what hold the cookies together)

Preheat oven to 300F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. If you’re doing this by hand, mix until the sugar granules are dissolved. Just make sure you soften the butter on the counter, as melting it or softening it in the microwave changes it somehow, and the cookies don’t really work. Gently add the flour and mix until combined. Add toffee bits and mix until distributed.

Chill the dough while you prep your cookie rolling area, as if the butter is very soft the dough can get a little too sticky.

Roll between parchment paper, to 1/4″ or 1/3″ thick. I use 2 paint stir-sticks wrapped in plastic wrap on each side. Cut out into tiny cookies. I prefer using mini cookie cutters, about 1″ diameter. Bake 20 minutes, turning half way through, or until the cookies are just turning golden on the bottom and are set. You don’t want to overbake these.

Enjoy!

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

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No, I haven’t forgotten about sewing. Mostly I’ve been too busy with other things, like work, to spend time sewing.

The denim look I mentioned in the last post got made into leggings, but I mis-marked the calf area of the pattern so I cut them off into shorts to wear under skirts. I’ve made another pair of leggings, and just got fabric to make 3 more pairs plus another pair of shorts (hopefully!).

The Hummingbird skirt I made ate the two slips I tried under it, and even stuck to the shorts I wear under skirts in the summer. It’s sitting in the “out” pile, and instead I’m wearing the *&^% out of a Hummingbird I made out of some black-and-white linen twill. SO nice. So comfy. Pockets are so perfect. Especially when lined with ghosts that look like sperms.

I made the PJ top (Grainline Scout), but it wasn’t a good fit and I couldn’t get the pattern to work without darts, so I just re-printed the front yesterday and did an FBA with darts. I’ll be making another PJ top soon to test that out. I’ve got to get my Hello Kitty PJs made! :)

The caramel knit was made into a Scout Tee, but I mucked up the neckline and need to re-do it. And also hem it level, IDK what I was doing with those pattern adjustments, but WOW. That is one messed up t-shirt. The fabric is lovely and swingy though, and I hope to do a twisted neckline like Sigrid shows here. I’ll add black bands to cuff the sleeves so it looks like it was done on purpose.

I’ve made TWO Belcarra blouses, with darted FBA’s, a 5/8″ petite adjustment above the bust, plus 5/8″ taken out of the front shoulder seam as a “forward shoulder adjustment”. The original blouse with just the FBA works, but the other adjustments just make it perfect. I have fabric for at least one more every day blouse, plus some silk charmeuse I need to find matching lace for, since I don’t have enough for sleeves.

And today I went out and purchased fabric to make a Cambie. I’m thinking the one with the full skirt will work better for my fabric. (So many great dresses here and here and here!) I got the purpley with orange and coral version, and have only seen dresses made up of the green version. Fingers crossed it turns out super amazingly awesome. Even though I’m out of her size range, Tasia’s patterns work really well with the application of an FBA. I’ll definitely be doing one (or two!) practice runs.

I’ll get some pictures up at some point. It might just end up being from my phone, but something is definitely better than nothing.

Hope your sewing is going well!

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