Dress Like a Peasant – Parte Ye Forth

Okay, it looks as though all of the technical problems which have been plaguing Reconstructing History of late have been addressed!  We’ve got our WYSIWYG editor back on-line, and I’ve got some exciting news to tell you.

During the gap in posts, my hands were not idle.  Things had been cut, sewing was taking place, and Bob was Busy as a little Bee.

Remember a few days ago, when I was talking about the Coif?  Well, my angels, let me tell you about that learning experience. 

Why, O why, had I never learnt about fabric ‘walking’?  How, I wondered, does fabric ‘walk’?  It turns out that, when you sew two pieces of fabric together, one side of it moves, is compressed, more than the other side.  This can be a real surprise when you’re sewing something that’s supposed to fit tightly to your head.

At right is an image of my Coif. (I apologize for not snapping any pics of the unassembled Coif; I didn’t rightandwrong.jpgexpect to run into this problem.)  Mine is on the right; one Kass made for me is on the left.  The one on the left fits perfectly, framing my angelic visage to excellent effect.

As any fool can plainly see, the one on the right is fit for a child of about ten winters, not a fully grown gormless sewing n00b. How did this happen?  When I cut the pieces in the first place, they exactly corresponded to the Coif on the left.

I admit to no small perplexity. Of course, your humble correspondent being who he is, ‘perplexity’ = words used by sailors.  Let me tell you exactly what happened.

I cut the thing out and started stitching – oh, and by the by, this Bockens linen thread is Teh Tits.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you really ought to go buy some. Bronze needle flailing, I was a stitching machine! 

coifgood.jpgAt left is a picture of what I was aiming at.

I started at the back – where the Coif meets the nape of my neck – and sewed toward the front. Then, when I finished both sides, I noticed something weird – the side pieces really overlapped the bit what goes up the middle. I didn’t think anything of it, so I cut off the excess along the same sort of shape as the original.

This was an exceedingly stupid thing to do.

At that point, I should have donned the Coif to check the fit.  Instead, I immediately began to flat-fell the seams, and flat felled them all.  

When the flat-felling was finished, I made tiny little rolled hems and stitched those to a fare-thee-well with tiny little attractive stitches.

This was also an exceptionally stupid thing to do.

It was only then that I donned the Coif.  Immediately, I deduced that something was amiss.

“Um, sweetie?” I quavered.

“Hrmph,” replied Kass, who was busily needling something horribly complicated.

“Would you mind terribly having a look at this?  Thanks awfully.”

When she could once more draw sufficient breath to speak – for she appeared for all intents andcoifbad.jpg purposes to be suffering from an acute attack of hiccoughs – she asked what the devil I was playing at.

I responded with what dignity remained to me that I was simply following instructions.  It was then I got my lesson in fabric walking.

See, I didn’t know that when you sew two pieces of fabric together, more tension is placed on one than the other. This causes all manner of weird sh!t to happen, like is pictured at fabricwalks.jpgleft.

See the wicked bad puckering?  I didn’t know what it was, so I astutely ignored it, figuring all would be right in the end.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

So I learned two things: 1. Watch out for fabric walking; and 2. Check your work more often whilst still in the middle of it.  If you don’t and make a boneheaded mistake, you’ll only have that much more seam work to undo.

Rather than pull all that nice stitching, I donated my Coif to a distinguished recipient much bettercoifSeb.jpg suited to make use of it.  Don’t laugh too loudly; while his bark is worse than his bite, his teeth are a danger of the worst description.

In our next instalment, my little droogs, we see what happened when Bob tried to build a Tunic!

Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!