Saturday 15th September

It’s been one of those sorts of days, although on the sewing front I have achieved a lot.

First I went out to try and get some more silk from my lovely local charity shop to match the lime green brocade for the 18th C waistcoat and yes, success!


Next project all sorted, but realistically I need to complete both my period shirt and the Steampunk waistcoat for my Uncle before I start this!

So, the Steampunk Waistcoat.  I’ve currently got black thread in my machine, so this should be done first.  I used my lovely ‘gadget’ to measure out the button holes and stitched them pretty close to the edge of the fabric (I want to make sure this fits!) then added the buttons on the other side.  The buttons are in a bit so that the whole button is on the fabric – it looks very odd if the button is half on and half off the fabric.

Once the button holes were cut and the waistcoat pressed, I was pretty happy with the result:

My Uncle is down this Saturday for my Mum’s 80th Birthday celebrations so he’ll see it then.  I hope that he likes it (and it fits!)  Mum thinks it’s lovely.

Now to complete a job that I’ve been putting off – finishing the period shirt.   I’d already sewn the button holes (or tape holes if you prefer) and just needed to tie off the threads and (very carefully!) cut the holes.


I then threaded through some white cord that I had originally bought for the ‘SteamGoth’ outfit shirt, but which didn’t look right.  Guess what?  It didn’t look right with this shirt!  Probably because it’s white and the shirt is ivory.  Oh well, time to make my own tape!

I cut a strip of the material running selvedge to selvedge about 1″ wide (I used my metal ruler and then rotary cutter on each side!  Use the tools to hand! lol)

Basically I’m creating ‘bias tape’ i.e. press the raw edges to the middle and then fold in half and press.   Now, I have bias binding makers, but the material wouldn’t quite fit through (non standard size) so I used the ‘Ironing Board Pin Method’


This is a really easy method for making any sort of narrow tape – you basically press the first bit so you know the correct width and then put a couple of pins in catching the ironing board cover at this width.  Feed your material through and press as it comes out from the pins.  You can even leave your iron on the board and pull the tape under it.

Once I’d done this for the 2 raw edges to the middle, I then re-positioned the pins and repeated for the folding in half.

As well as being easy and quick, this method saves your fingers and hands from steam burns!

The pressed tape was then stitched to hold it in place.   Be careful here – I nearly lost my machine as I started too closed to the edge and about 4 inches of tape wound round my bobbin case!   40 careful minutes and a LOT of swearing later, I retrieved it and started stitching much further in.

Once laced into the shirt, I knew that I’d made the right decision – it looks perfect!


So the shirt was finally finished now all I need to do was start on the period waistcoat.

There was only one slight problem – I hadn’t yet cut the pattern out!

This is seriously one of my least favourite jobs!  I hate spending time cutting out the pattern and then the material.  Yes, I know that these are two of the most critical steps, but I still don’t like them.  So, I sat down in front of the telly to cut them out, watching some classic ‘Carry On’ at the same time.

Once cut, I ironed them – well, you have to if you want to ensure a good fit – and then cut my material on the floor in the front room, still watching/listening to the TV.

Anyway – long story short, I didn’t get back to sewing until around 9pm.   I thought, I’ll just get the basic pieces together, won’t take me more than an hour…….

I didn’t stop until after 12 – but I did get the basic structure together:


The lining/silk was a bit of a pain to sew and it frays.  Having said that, this is a pretty easy garment to sew as there are no facings – just the sides to finish, the button holes and buttons – yeah about 18 of them!!!

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