Sunday, 10 July 2011

Making the Fantail skirt... thinking time

The back of the fantail skirt has bothered me ever since I finished it; the  overlap is too great.  A minor detail, especially as it will be hidden under the overskirt but I don't like untidy or inexact, it would always bother me if I didn't sort it out now.

So, after much procrastination, and with a nice quiet morning ahead of me, I unpicked, tightened the gathers, and trimmed the excess.  The waistband is now 4 inches narrower, not a huge amount, but 2" in a 5" gather does make a difference, the tighter gather creates a more pronounced and fuller shape.

Sitting, stitching, is always thinking time for me.  Today's little exercise was my Sunday meditation; and today's thoughts were about my love of exactness and detail.  I would not say that I am a perfectionist, I do not necessarily strive for perfection, but I do like things to be correct.  To have left the skirt was really never an option; it could not be left "a mess".  For myself, I see no harm in wanting things to be "just so"; it keeps me striving to be better in myself and all that I can do.  How this extends to those around me is perhaps less successful; I can be bad-tempered if things are not done as and how I would do them! is a detail of myself I must learn to temper. 

As the thinking progressed I was distracted again by the subject of hemming my skirt: another detail I need to get correct!  To just hem it would not be enough, it needs something to give it body.  To use modern horsehair braid also does not seem right; as lovely as it is, the Victorians would not have used beautifully manufactured polyester trim.  In researching original braids, they looked to have been flat woven plaits of horsehair, looking almost like shoelaces today.  Buying a 4 1/2+ yd length of shoelace doesn't seem quite right either, but at the supermarket this afternoon I spotted and bought some undyed cotton twine; at 80p for 80m I wasn't going to be an expensive experiment!  It's only 2-3mm thick so I am hand knitting it into a braid.  I'm hoping the end result will be more authentic, if not the material... certainly, my test length worked really well.  It can be sewn into (hidden in) the hem seam, lies flat and gives definition to the skirt's edge.

So, I am handknitting every chance I get... I even took it as I walked the dog up the field before dinner!
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