After the spinning and weaving. this is the end of the project:
Now it’s all about the Cloth.
And time to make a piece of clothing.
It began earlier in the year with raw fleece. See Parts One and Two for the spinning and weaving process. This was a Lockdown project and a half; to turn raw fleece into a finished wearable item of clothing. In the Spring this was just fleece on the back of a Zwartbles sheep.
The basis for the garment was this simple A-line shift. Made as a toile out of an old bedsheet.
After so many hours of work across several months it was bittersweet thought to go cutting into the fabric. The value of the end result is in the cloth itself. And some weeks went by before the scissors came out, out of not wanting to destroy the lovely length of cloth and fear of things all going wrong at the final stage.
The Cloth is the thing:
It’s no accident that in pre-industrial times clothing was ‘simple’, it was mostly a matter of cloth draped, pinned and ornamented according to the fashion of the day. It was the cloth itself that held the value, not the tailoring. The last thing you wanted to do was chop it about unnecessarily. The richer you were, the better quality the cloth and the more of it you wore.
In this instance we’re talking more peasant than nobility.
So, with that in mind it was time to cut and stitch. Using the modern technology of a sewing machine.
Because the cloth was only 18″ wide the skirt used four panels, tow each, front and back stitched together at the centre. A triangle was cut for shaping into the waist on each panel which was stitched onto the lower part for more width at the hem, This was a technique often used historically when looms were narrow. The bodice was just one piece for the front and one for the back.
And the result:
A basic pinafore dress. Hard to photograph clearly. But it’s perfectly easy to wear. Loose and warm and very comfortable.