Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #1

My Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge has had a rather "interesting" start.  I skipped the Bonus challenge and went straight for Challenge #3 "Under it All" and then doubled back to meet everyone at Challenge #1 "Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial".  That challenge actually worked quite well with my next DFWCG event I was attending.  I had planned to sew a new Teens dress and Guimpe from Laughing Moon pattern #104.  Unfortunately my plans went very awry.  To put it simply it was a Disaster!

The guimpe started out ok, but once it came down to putting the sleeves in, the lace body and sleeves got the best of me.  I had already realized that a corset cover, dress and guimpe was just too much to accomplish in two weeks and was happy to give up the dress.  Surely, I thought, I could complete the guimpe and pair that new top with an old skirt and belt.  That kind of casual look would have not looked so strange with my hatless head.  But apparently it wasn't meant to be!  After great gnashing of teeth and cursing the flimsy nature of lace fabric and proclaiming to everyone I knew to remind me never to sew lace again, I put the guimpe away and pulled out my old linen suit for repairs.  I'll talk about those repairs more in my Challenge #2  "UFO" blog.

Back to the issue of Challenge #1.

Saturday morning I finished the repairs to my suit that would make it wearable.  Then I moved on to a project that would make my short hair period acceptable.  I quickly whipped up a period hair rat.

Dunbar just Had to get those Poopsie toes int the picture!  The rat isn't anything pretty to look at.  In fact, it's really not even recognizable as anything since I used opaque fabric.  But it works, and that's all that matters.  Here's the details:

Fabric:  Spandex satin glove that I cut the arm tube off of.  Filled with my own collected hair and an old ratty clip in hair extension.

Pattern:  None.  It was a tube already, I just had to sew one end, stuff it with hair, sew the other end, and then I rolled it lengthwise one more time because it was too thick for my short hair to cover.

Year:  Any year that people used hair rats.  Rats were used across history for various things.  I used this one for purposes of my Titanic event.

Notions:  None

How historically accurate is it?  The use of hair rats is historically accurate.  Even the use of hair rats made with both real and synthetic hair.  People even collected their own hair in little hair collection pots to use to DIY these themselves.  The material is not accurate.  The gloves were modern, shiny, cheap opera gloves.

Hours to complete:  I whipped this up in about 15 minutes.  

First worn:  Jan 12, 2013 for the DFWCG Titanic exhibit meetup at the Fort Worth Science Museum.

Total Cost:  FREE!!!!!!  This was kind of the best part.  That and finishing it in 15 minutes before I had to run out the door.

My hair rat in action

DFWCG retinue in front of a Titanic exhibit installation.