Thursday, 1 May 2014

Silk Stockings

Well over a year ago I decided to make myself a pair of silk stockings. They were put away into a pretty little box for transporting to demos and events... and were swiftly forgotten about. I took them back out to work on for the UFO challenge and remembered why they were put away in the first place. I nearly ate them with frustration, but I persevered, knowing I'd feel worse if they were put away unfinished again.

And here they are! The fit is terrible! Mind, I'm not saying that as a comment on my own sewing, there's nowhere I could take in any of the extra room on these unless I planned to sit very still and not plan on walking at all while wearing them. And even then I might be looking at being sewn into them.

There are gussets sewn into both sides of each foot, and the foot fit at least is cosy. The very point of the gussets were impossible to sew completely, so I embroidered over them with embroidery floss so as not to leave any exposed seams. All internal seams are folded over in a enclosed seam; something close to a flat felled seam where possible, and something only pretending to be felled at other stages. When I was cutting these out, I was a *teeny* but short on one sock, so I just piece that up with offcut. That section fits under the fold down cuff at the top of the stocking, so it shouldn't be seen anyway.

I tried to take a full length image of the stocking to show the general shape, but at this point Suzie decided there weren't nearly enough cat hairs on the stockings and improved them beyond measure by lying on them.

 Much better.

The Challenge: Challenge #8 UFOs & PHDs

Fabric: Silk taffeta
Pattern: Drafted myself based on period methods
Year: Throughout the 16th century
Notions: Polyester sewing thread, cotton embroidery thread.
How historically accurate is it? Annoyingly when I started this project over a year ago, silk thread wasn't to be found for love nor money, so I carried on with the closest colour I could find. Now of course, there's two shops close to me that stock a large range of silk sewing thread, but I decided to carry on as I'd started. So 90% - fabric, pattern and construction are period.
Hours to complete: Quite a while, I think 10-12 hours on this. It was hand sewn fiddly work that did it's best to remind me why it had gone into the UFO pile in the first place.
First worn: I had thought I'd wear them the next time I had my court gown on, but a quick test fit for the pictures has shown these bad boys are not going to even think of staying up without the help of garters. And the garters are going to have to wait until challenge 17.
Total cost: Again, this came from stash (can you tell I used to work in a fabric shop), but if made from new, I estimate about €12.

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