Friday, May 12, 2017

Well, it started as a square...

For April's Historical Sew Monthly's challenge (circles, squares and rectangles), I decided a finishing up a fichu was a good (and easy) idea. And it went toward finishing with one of my current outfits. I like using the challenges as inspiration to get things finished that I have left lying around.

It all started easily enough as a nice square, but because of the body and crispness of the silk gauze,  when it was doubled and put around my neck, it was like huuuuuuuge. Way too much of a good thing. So, I cut it in half, and then kept trying on and trimming until it looked ok. It ended up resembling one of the shaped-neckline kerchiefs, like this one, from the Manchester Art Gallery.

The silk gauze hemmed beautifully along the straight edges. Along the curvy neckline, though, it was such a mess! So glad that's over! I probably should have used a heftier thread for the curved part. The silk thread I had kept shredding, so fullness of the hem couldn't be distributed very well.

But lucky me, I have the other half of the original fichu to finish one day, so I have a second chance to practice. I suppose I could unpick the stitches in this one, too, but right now I kind of never want to look at it again...

Actually, only one straight edge on this fichu is hemmed, as the other was the selvedge and it was fine enough to leave as-is, since I was trimming the edge in lace anyway. I whipped the lace on, hemming it at the corners.

And, so, the details:

The Challenge: #4, Circles, Squares and Rectangles

Material: Silk gauze and cotton lace

Pattern: none

Year: I was going for 1780's

Notions: Silk thread

How historically accurate is it? To the best of my knowledge. However, I personally do not know 100% for sure that silk gauze and cotton lace were combined for accessories. If someone has a reference, please do share. I was just working with what I had, as I have yet to come across some silk lace I was willing to buy and cut up. 

Hours to complete: An hour here, an hour there. I'm not sure. Though I am sure most of those went into hemming that neckline :/

First worn: Not yet! The rest of the outfit is in the works.

Total cost: About a yard of gauze at $12/yard. About 2 yards of lace at about $10/yard.

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