Monday, June 10, 2013

Catching Up

I have been incredibly lax in my blogging these past weeks! It's been a whirlwind. On top of moving apartments I received two costume commissions from my job at Frightful Acts. I'm very excited because these are some of my first real sales of my work! In between moving and commissions I did manage to complete the latest Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge, albeit a week late.

For the Squares, Rectangles, and Triangles challenge I chose to make a haori. A haori is a short coat worn over a kimono and they can range from everyday wear to very formal wear. I found some gorgeous mauve and gold gingko leaf patterned fabric on clearance a few months ago and bought it all up. It was an upholstery cloth so it's a little thicker and heavier than is proper for a historical haori, but I thought it would make a nice fall coat. Fall came and went, and then so did winter and spring. The challenge gave me the perfect excuse to finally get around to the haori, just in time for the weather to get too warm to need a jacket.  Oh well, it will be fall again soon enough.

The Challenge: Squares, Rectangles and Triangles

Fabric: 3-ish yards of mystery upholstery cloth and 2 yards of cotton for the lining

Pattern: Folkwear #129 Japanese Hapi and Haori

Year: Traditional Japanese clothing hasn't really changed much in the past few centuries, so its hard to place it in a certain year

Notions: Cording for the ties I haven't sewn on yet (oops)

How Historically Accurate is it? Admittedly not very. The fabric pattern looks about right, but it's woven in instead of silkscreened like I think most Japanese cloth was, and the weight and material is all wrong. It's all just cosmetically historical.

Hours to Complete: I lost track completely but I think it's pushing 10 hours

First Worn: I've been wearing it around the house since yesterday, it's very comfy!

Total Cost: Estimating about $45

Part of the reason this challenge took me so long is that there was a lot more hand sewing involved with this pattern than I had thought. I am not a hand sewer. It takes me forever and my stitches are always so crooked. Admittedly if I just practiced more it wouldn't be so bad, so I bit the bullet and hand sewed all the bits called for in this pattern. I'm actually pretty proud of how it came out, I managed to make my stitches almost invisible where the facings were sewn down to the linings!

My best hand stitching yet!
I would really like to make this pattern again in a proper weight of cloth, something a little more silky and drape-y. The cloth I chose is beautiful, but it is bulky and will not press nicely at all! I ironed the seams multiple times and the whole thing still looks like I didn't iron it once! I think the rest of this fabric might get used to make a handbag or some curtains, it's not really fit for making clothing with.