Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Wanderer Returns

It’s fair to say, I’ve been an absolutely awful blogger of late. Everything happened at once, leaving uni, moving house, two new jobs, off on holiday, and now another new job for the next few weeks. It’s been all go. But I’ve finally sat down with a sprinkling or energy which for once is simultaneous with a (mostly) working internet. There is so much to catch up on. We finished the dagged hoods (previous post) and moved on the the main part of the outfits; the gambesons. A sort of historical puffer jacket worn under armour.

Just for a bit of fun, we made the mock-up (above) out of this completely inappropriate floral fabric, very many we thought. The sides don’t match because we tried different patterns of quilting. I prefer the side with less diagonal in it personally.


Aside from the quilting, the actual pattern was very simple. Just a standard straight jacket. But for each pattern piece, there was a long process to go through to get it ready. It was made of four layers, a beautifully soft brushed cotton lay next to the skin, a wadding, and then two layers of linen. The wadding was an authentic cotton, it was so much nicer to use than the normal man-made stuff. As the gambesons were going to be broken down, we used two upper fabrics so that we could really work into the top one, and where holes were formed you just saw a slightly differently coloured linen; rather than straight to the wadding (below).


When all the layers were so completely pinned we almost faced the catastrophe of empty pin pots, it was time to quilt. First with a standard straight stitch to hold everything in place, and then with a decorative one over the top. The second layer of stitching is what can be seen above in grey, large stitches which the machine goes back over 3 times. It took a long time going backwards and forwards like that, but it was definitely worth it, the quilting was much more visible (see difference between the two sleeve panels below). We also added strips of leather between every other row of stitching, for an extra dimension.


After all the panels were ready it was assembled together. So that the panels flowed together nicely, we waited until this point to add the leather pieces which would cross seam lines, which especially across the back gave it better continuity. I hand stitched cotton twill tape over the top of every single seam on the inside, grading down and enclosing all the seam allowance.  It took hours, but was completely worth it, it really finished off the inside. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a picture.

After I had done that, Denise bound the edges in leather, and our work was complete. 


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