"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Sewing Project

Hello again! It's been awhile - this summer has turned out to be extremely busy. How busy, you ask? It is so busy that I had 2 1/2 weeks worth of "Trivia Today" in my Inbox and didn't even know it until just now. And now that I have that all caught up, I can post about the project I did ALL week long during the week of July 28- Aug 2. All.week.long. It was really fun but was a sewing project, not a yarn related project. Our church's VBS program began the following week and their theme was something to do with Medieval times. All the teen helpers were to be dressed like people of that time. So I made a dear young lady this costume:

Our church secretary, who by the way, made several costumes for the week, had the clever idea to use king-size sheets from Wal-Mart for the bulk of the fabric. It is the line called Home Essentials 200 thread count and the sheets are sold separately rather than in a set. It was very economical. I think what made this one very nice is the "bodice" which is actually a separate vest that snaps in the back. The gold trim makes it eye catching.

All this costume sewing reminded me of my first costume for the my first spinning demonstration. It was in the spring of 1983 and our spinning guild was asked to do a demonstration for the children's library reading program. They wanted us in early America costumes and I had never had one before. I was excited to get started and found this pattern:

This is what I looked like the day of our demonstration - don't you love the 'fro hairdo? I guess I hadn't yet made the prairie bonnet. (I probably did that after I saw the pictures.)                                                                    

The apron was one I found in an old trunk at a junk store. While I was working on the dress we made a visit to my grandma's in Tennessee where we went antique shopping. I had been trying to figure out what kind of apron I wanted and whether I would make it or use one already made. When I opened a dusty old trunk, there was the perfect apron.

I have a few old grainy pictures of our time at the library and here are a couple:

 A few years ago I realized I had most assuredly out-grown that first costume so last year I found this pattern and got busy.

Sewing a pioneer costume is a challenge with all the gathers and yards of fabric to maneuver. But here is the finished product.

And I will post about some of our great Christmas demonstrations - at Christmas time. :^)

NOTE: Just to be clear, I do realize that most of the spinning done out of necessity in early America was done by the colonist. Many pioneer women did not take their spinning wheels out west with their household goods because of space. And bolt fabric became readily available in around the 1830's. (However, many of us have more recent family history that includes a spinning grandmother or great aunt.)

We typically use calicoes for our costumes - probably because they are so pretty. And the wearing of the costumes, with all that sweeping fabric, feels like playing house.

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