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Jeans, step one


Posted on February 19, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, FreeSoftWear
CW for body size change mentions

A woman wearing a pair of tight jeans.

Just like the corset, I also needed a new pair of jeans.

Back when my body size changed drastically of course my jeans no longer fit. While I was waiting for my size to stabilize I kept wearing them with a somewhat tight belt, but it was ugly and somewhat uncomfortable.

When I had stopped changing a lot I tried to buy new ones in the same model, and found out that I was too thin for the menswear jeans of that shop. I could have gone back to wearing women’s jeans, but I didn’t want to have to deal with the crappy fabric and short pockets, so I basically spent a few years wearing mostly skirts, and oversized jeans when I really needed trousers.

Meanwhile, I had drafted a jeans pattern for my SO, which we had planned to make in technical fabric, but ended up being made in a cotton-wool mystery mix for winter and in linen-cotton for summer, and the technical fabric version was no longer needed (yay for natural fibres!)

It was clear what the solution to my jeans problems would have been, I just had to stop getting distracted by other projects and draft a new pattern using a womanswear block instead of a menswear one.

Which, in January 2024 I finally did, and I believe it took a bit less time than the previous one, even if it had all of the same fiddly pieces.

I already had a cut of the same cotton-linen I had used for my SO, except in black, and used it to make the pair this post is about.

The parametric pattern is of course online, as #FreeSoftWear, at the usual place. This time it was faster, since I didn’t have to write step-by-step instructions, as they are exactly the same as the other pattern.

Same as above, from the back, with the crotch seam pulling a bit. A faint decoration can be seen on the pockets, with the line art version of the logo seen on this blog.

Making also went smoothly, and the result was fitting. Very fitting. A big too fitting, and the standard bum adjustment of the back was just enough for what apparently still qualifies as a big bum, so I adjusted the pattern to be able to add a custom amount of ease in a few places.

But at least I had a pair of jeans-shaped trousers that fit!

Except, at 200 g/m² I can’t say that fabric is the proper weight for a pair of trousers, and I may have looked around online1 for some denim, and, well, it’s 2024, so my no-fabric-buy 2023 has not been broken, right?

Let us just say that there may be other jeans-related posts in the near future.


  1. I had already asked years ago for denim at my local fabric shops, but they don’t have the proper, sturdy, type I was looking for.↩︎

https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/02/19-jeans_step_one/index.html


La camicetta è finita.

una donna che indossa jeans neri e una camicetta ampia di voile bianco con uno scollo largo; sia lo scollo che i polsi sono arricciati con un elastico, e hanno un volant che li decora. Sotto allo scollo si vede una sciarpa azzurra.
(ignorate la sciarpa che potrebbe essere stata infilata a coprire la maglietta termica che stavo indossando sotto alla camicetta)

@Diego Roversi si è anche prestato per fare foto alla maggior parte dei jeans, per cui nelle prossime settimane spero di riuscire a finire e pubblicare i post relativi sul blog.

Quanto agli orli delle stays, quali orli delle stays?


The top is finished!

a woman wearing black jeans and a very full white voile shirt with a wide neck; both the neck and the cuffs are gathered with elastic and have a ruffle on top. there is a light blue scarf to fill the neckhole.

(don't mind the fichu-like scarf which may or may not be there to cover the thermal underwear I was wearing under the top)

And I've also had @Diego Roversi take pictures of most of the jeans, so that in the next couple of weeks or so I can hopefully finish and publish the blog posts for them.

As for binding the stays. we don't talk about binding the stays :D


E quando dicevo catena di montaggio, intendevo questo:

quattro tasche posteriori e due taschini dei jeans in cui le cuciture del lato in alto sono state fatte in modo continuo, per non dover tagliare il filo, per cui sono rimasti attaccati assieme in un anello

(settimana scorsa avevo scattato la foto, ma l'ho scaricata dalla macchina fotografica solo oggi O:-) )


oh, and when I said assembly-line, this is the kind of things I meant

four jeans back pockets and two coin pockets whose top seams have been sewn in a continuous seam, to avoid having to cut the thread, and are now all connected together in a loop

(I took pictures last week, but only downloaded the pictures from the camera today O:-) )


Macrame Bookbag


Posted on January 31, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:macrame
a macrame bag in ~3 mm ecru yarn, with very irregular knots of different types, holding a book with a blue cover. The bottom part has a rigid single layer triangle and a fringe.

In late 2022 I prepared a batch of drawstring backpacks in cotton as reusable wrappers for Christmas gifts; however I didn’t know what cord to use, didn’t want to use paracord, and couldn’t find anything that looked right in the local shops.

With Christmas getting dangerously closer, I visited a craft materials website for unrelated reasons, found out that they sold macrame cords, and panic-bought a few types in the hope that at least one would work for the backpacks.

I got lucky, and my first choice fitted just fine, and I was able to finish the backpacks in time for the holidays.

And then I had a box full of macrame cords in various sizes and types that weren’t the best match for the drawstring in a backpack, and no real use for them.

I don’t think I had ever done macrame, but I have made friendship bracelets in primary school, and a few Friendship Bracelets, But For Real Men So We Call Them Survival Bracelets(TM) more recently, so I didn’t bother reading instructions or tutorials online, I just grabbed the Ashley Book of Knots to refresh myself on the knots used, and decided to make myself a small bag for an A6 book.

I choose one of the thin, ~3 mm cords, Tre Sfere Macramé Barbante, of which there was plenty, so that I could stumble around with no real plan.

A loop of four cords, with a handle made of square knots that keeps it together.

I started by looping 5 m of cord, making iirc 2 rounds of a loop about the right size to go around the book with a bit of ease, then used the ends as filler cords for a handle, wrapped them around the loop and worked square knots all over them to make a handle.

Then I cut the rest of the cord into 40 pieces, each 4 m long, because I had no idea how much I was going to need (spoiler: I successfully got it wrong :D )

I joined the cords to the handle with lark head knots, 20 per side, and then I started knotting without a plan or anything, alternating between hitches and square knots, sometimes close together and sometimes leaving some free cord between them.

And apparently I also completely forgot to take in-progress pictures.

I kept working on this for a few months, knotting a row or two now and then, until the bag was long enough for the book, then I closed the bottom by taking one cord from the front and the corresponding on the back, knotting them together (I don’t remember how) and finally I made a rigid triangle of tight square knots with all of the cords, progressively leaving out a cord from each side, and cutting it in a fringe.

I then measured the remaining cords, and saw that the shortest ones were about a meter long, but the longest ones were up to 3 meters, I could have cut them much shorter at the beginning (and maybe added a couple more cords). The leftovers will be used, in some way.

And then I postponed taking pictures of the finished object for a few months.

The same bag, empty and showing how the sides aren't straight.

Now the result is functional, but I have to admit it is somewhat ugly: not as much for the lack of a pattern (that I think came out quite fine) but because of how irregular the knots are; I’m not confident that the next time I will be happy with their regularity, either, but I hope I will improve, and that’s one important thing.

And the other important thing is: I enjoyed making this, even if I kept interrupting the work, and I think that there may be some other macrame in my future.


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/01/31-macrame_bookbag/index.html


Stavo cercando altro (che poi ho trovato), ma mi è tornato tra le mani questo:

sempre utile ricordare che Mazzini e Vetinari sono la stessa persona

Ritratto di un uomo con il volto emaciato che indossa vestiti molto scuri (niente nero per Vetinari)

fonte: https://mebic.comune.milano.it/mebic/rsmoriggia/museo/OAGIC_I0160-00723?mode=2&position=51


I was looking for something else (which I then found), but I stumbled on this

periodic reminder that Mazzini and Vetinari are the same person.

portrait of a man dressed in very dark clothing (no true black, for Vetinary) with an hollowed face

from: https://mebic.comune.milano.it/mebic/rsmoriggia/museo/OAGIC_I0160-00723?mode=2&position=51


@harper the one I've made myself, of course :)

a blocky backpack, almost a parallelepipedal, backpack with a waterproof zipper on the top and sides, and webbing straps on the front and sides and a rigid handle on top. it's black with blue webbing

The fun thing was reading this post just after I had woken up after a dream where I had to describe my backpack, which had been misplaced, and I had a moment of hesitation and then answered “a black invicta”, which is closer to what I had a couple of decades ago .


E ho finito le canaline per le stecche degli #AugustaStays che ho iniziato (ho controllato il vecchio post) a novembre 2022! E la spoletta di filo è bastata! (in realtà nel frattempo ne avevo presa un'altra, dato che penso di usarla anche in altre cuciture, per cui comunque avevo delle alternative).

un pezzo di stoffa più o meno triangolare con un imbastitura tutto attorno e delle canaline cucite a mano in modo un po' approssimativo. C'è anche una spoletta di cartone con un avanzino di filo.

Dopo aver fatto la foto ho anche finito gli occhielli di un lato del centro dietro, e aggiunto le stecche ai due centro dietro e ai fianchi davanti (ma è tramontato il sole, niente foto fino a domani).

Adesso devo solo finire il resto degli occhielli, e soprattutto cucire tutto quanto. :D

Forse per gennaio 2025 ce la faccio :D se non mi distraggo con qualcos'altro.

#cucito #cucitoStorico #cucitoAMano


Aaaaaaand I've done all of the boning channels on the #AugustaStays I started in (checks for the old post) November 2022! And one spool of thread was enough! (I have another, luckily, as I plan to use the same thread for other seams, but for those I would also have had alternatives)

an almost triangular piece of fabric basted all around the edges and with somewhat irregular boning channels sewn by hands. There is also a cardboard spool with just a tiny bit of thread left over.

And since I took the picture I've also finished the eyelets on one of the center back pieces, and added boning to both of those and to the side fronts (but the sun has set, so there will be no more pictures until tomorow).

Now I only need to finish the rest of the eyelets, and most importantly to sew the whole thing :D

Maybe in January 2025 it will be done :D If I don't get distracted.


Mini Books


Posted on January 13, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:bookbinding
Two coptic bound small books, seen from the top with the pages somewhat open. One has purple and orange triangles on the cover, the other one waves in two shades of greenish blue.

In 2022 I read a post on the fediverse by somebody who mentioned that they had bought on a whim a cute tiny book years ago, and that it had been a companion through hard times. Right now I can’t find the post, but it was pretty aaaaawwww.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. One of the covers is covered in grey paper, the other one is cardboard that has been spray-painted copper.

At the same time, I had discovered Coptic binding, and I wanted to do some exercise to let my hands learn it, but apparently there is a limit to the number of notebooks and sketchbooks a person needs (I’m not 100% sure I actually believe this, but I’ve heard it is a thing).

A coptic bound small book, seen from the front. The cover is made of white cernit, with thin lines painted in gold acrylic to form a sort of B shape.

So I decided to start making minibooks with the intent to give them away: I settled (mostly) on the A8 size, and used a combination of found materials, leftovers from bigger projects and things I had in the Stash. As for paper, I’ve used a variety of the ones I have that are at the very least good enough for non-problematic fountain pen inks.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers are covered in grey paper with a piece of light blue lace on top.

Thanks to the small size, and the way coptic binding works, I’ve been able to play around with the covers, experimenting with different styles beyond the classic bookbinding cloth / paper covered cardboard, including adding lace, covering food box cardboard with gesso and decorating it with acrylic paints, embossing designs by gluing together two layers of cardboard, one of which has holes, making covers completely out of cernit, etc. Some of these I will probably also use in future full-scale projects, but it’s nice to find out what works and what doesn’t on a small scale.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers are covered in grey paper, and they are half-covered by a piece of off-white tulle, cut on a diagonal. One of the two books has a cat eye embossed and painted in gold.

Now, after a year of sporadically making these I have to say that the making went quite well: I enjoyed the making and the creativity in making different covers. The giving away was a bit more problematic, as I didn’t really have a lot of chances to do so, so I believe I still have most of them. In 2024 I’ll try to look for more opportunities (and if you live nearby and want one — or a few — feel free to ask!)


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/01/13-mini_books/index.html


Possiamo fermarci un attimo per festeggiare il fatto che il filo della bobina sia finito a metà cucitura (ovviamente), ma l'abbia fatto su un'imbastitura non strutturale, in un punto in cui posso anche evitare di cucire la parte che manca? (linea tratteggiata azzurra, dopo la freccia rossa)

la tasca di un paio di jeans, con la parte di stoffa principale cucita sul lato curvo ed imbastita sugli altri due: mancano circa 4 cm di imbastitura su uno dei lati, ma questo non permette alla stoffa di muoversi mentre farò le cuciture successive.

#cucito #NonProblemiDiChiCuce


can we please stop for a second to celebrate the way I was out of bobbin thread while doing a non-structural basting seam, and after I had done enough of said seam that the missing bit (blue line in the picture, after the red arrow) didn't really matter?

the pocket piece of a pair of jeans, with the fashion fabric fashion sewn and basted on top: about 4 cm of basting seam on the side are missing, but the facing is still stable enough for further sewing.

#sewing #sewingPersonNonProblems


A Corset or Two


Posted on January 7, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, period:victorian, FreeSoftWear
a black coutil midbust corset, from a 3/4 front view, showing the busk closure, a waist tape and external boning channels made of the same twill tape and placed about 1-2 cm from each other at waist level.

CW for body size change mentions

I needed a corset, badly.

Years ago I had a chance to have my measurements taken by a former professional corset maker and then a lesson in how to draft an underbust corset, and that lead to me learning how nice wearing a well-fitted corset feels.

Later I tried to extend that pattern up for a midbust corset, with success.

And then my body changed suddenly, and I was no longer able to wear either of those, and after a while I started missing them.

Since my body was still changing (if no longer drastically so), and I didn’t want to use expensive materials for something that had a risk of not fitting after too little time, I decided to start by making myself a summer lightweight corset in aida cloth and plastic boning (for which I had already bought materials). It fitted, but not as well as the first two ones, and I’ve worn it quite a bit.

I still wanted back the feeling of wearing a comfy, heavy contraption of coutil and steel, however.

After a lot of procrastination I redrafted a new pattern, scrapped everything, tried again, had my measurements taken by a dressmaker [#dressmaker], put them in the draft, cut a first mock-up in cheap cotton, fixed the position of a seam, did a second mock-up in denim [#jeans] from an old pair of jeans, and then cut into the cheap herringbone coutil I was planning to use.

And that’s when I went to see which one of the busks in my stash would work, and realized that I had used a wrong vertical measurement and the front of the corset was way too long for a midbust corset.

a corset busk basted to a mock-up with scraps of fabric between each stud / loop.

Luckily I also had a few longer busks, I basted one to the denim mock up and tried to wear it for a few hours, to see if it was too long to be comfortable. It was just a bit, on the bottom, which could be easily fixed with the Power Tools1.

Except, the more I looked at it the more doing this felt wrong: what I needed most was a midbust corset, not an overbust one, which is what this was starting to be.

I could have trimmed it down, but I knew that I also wanted this corset to be a wearable mockup for the pattern, to refine it and have it available for more corsets. And I still had more than half of the cheap coutil I was using, so I decided to redo the pattern and cut new panels.

And this is where the “or two” comes in: I’m not going to waste the overbust panels: I had been wanting to learn some techniques to make corsets with a fashion fabric layer, rather than just a single layer of coutil, and this looks like an excellent opportunity for that, together with a piece of purple silk that I know I have in the stash. This will happen later, however, first I’m giving priority to the underbust.

Anyway, a second set of panels was cut, all the seam lines marked with tailor tacks, and I started sewing by inserting the busk.

And then realized that the pre-made boning channel tape I had was too narrow for the 10 mm spiral steel I had plenty of. And that the 25 mm twill tape was also too narrow for a double boning channel. On the other hand, the 18 mm twill tape I had used for the waist tape was good for a single channel, so I decided to put a single bone on each seam, and then add another piece of boning in the middle of each panel.

Since I’m making external channels, making them in self fabric would have probably looked better, but I no longer had enough fabric, because of the cutting mishap, and anyway this is going to be a strictly underwear only corset, so it’s not a big deal.

Once the boning channel situation was taken care of, everything else proceeded quite smoothly and I was able to finish the corset during the Christmas break, enlisting again my SO to take care of the flat steel boning while I cut the spiral steels myself with wire cutters.

The same corset straight from the front: the left side is a few mm longer than the right side

I could have been a bit more precise with the binding, as it doesn’t align precisely at the front edge, but then again, it’s underwear, nobody other than me and everybody who reads this post is going to see it and I was in a hurry to see it finished. I will be more careful with the next one.

The same corset from the back, showing cross lacing with bunny ears at the waist and a lacing gap of about 8 cm.

I also think that I haven’t been careful enough when pressing the seams and applying the tape, and I’ve lost about a cm of width per part, so I’m using a lacing gap that is a bit wider than I planned for, but that may change as the corset gets worn, and is still within tolerance.

Also, on the morning after I had finished the corset I woke up and realized that I had forgotten to add garter tabs at the bottom edge. I don’t know whether I will ever use them, but I wanted the option, so maybe I’ll try to add them later on, especially if I can do it without undoing the binding.

The next step would have been flossing, which I proceeded to postpone until I’ve worn the corset for a while: not because there is any reason for it, but because I still don’t know how I want to do it :)

What was left was finishing and uploading the pattern and instructions, that are now on my sewing pattern websiteas #FreeSoftWear, and finally I could post this on the blog.


  1. i.e. by asking my SO to cut and sand it, because I’m lazy and I hate doing that part :D↩︎

https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/01/08-a_corset_or_two/index.html


Random Sashiko + Crazy Quilt Pocket


Posted on January 5, 2024
A 18th century pocket in black jeans with a random pattern of pink running stitches forming squares and other shapes. The unfinished edges of the pieces of jeans can be seen, running more or less diagonally.

Lately I’ve seen people on the internet talking about victorian crazy quilting. Years ago I had watched a Numberphile video about Hitomezashi Stitch Patterns based on numbers, words or randomness. Few weeks ago I had cut some fabric piece out of an old pair of jeans and I had a lot of scraps that were too small to do anything useful on their own. It easy to see where this can go, right?

The wrong side of a pocket piece, showing a light coloured fabric with a grid drawn in pencil, a line of small stitches all around the edges and a mess of thread ends left hanging.

I cut a pocket shape out of old garment mockups (this required some piecing), drew a square grid, arranged scraps of jeans to cover the other side, kept everything together with a lot of pins, carefully avoided basting anything, and started covering everything in sashiko / hitomezashi stitches, starting each line with a stitch on the front or the back of the work based on the result of:

import random
random.choice(["front", "back"])

The wrong side of the other pocket piece, with just three lines of stitching and a piece of paper to mark the pattern. There are bits of jeans peeking out of the sides.

For the second piece I tried to use a piece of paper with the square grid instead of drawing it on the fabric: it worked, mostly, I would not do it again as removing the paper was more of a hassle than drawing the lines in the first place. I suspected it, but had to try it anyway.

The front of the pocket seen from the wrong side, with a machine seam around the lit, whose end has been cut in a triangle so that it can be turned.

Then I added a lining from some plain black cotton from the stash; for the slit I put the lining on the front right sides together, sewn at 2 mm from the marked slit, cut it, turned the lining to the back side, pressed and then topstitched as close as possible to the slit from the front.

The finished pocket attached to a belt made from the waistband of a pair of jeans (with button, buttonhole and belt loops still attached) whose raw edges (left when unpicking away the jeans) have been sewn shut by hand.

I bound everything with bias tape, adding herringbone tape loops at the top to hang it from a belt (such as one made from the waistband of one of the donor pair of jeans) and that was it.

The back of the pocket, showing another random pattern in two different shades of pink for the vertical and horizontal lines of stitching.

I like the way the result feels; maybe it’s a bit too stiff for a pocket, but I can see it work very well for a bigger bag, and maybe even a jacket or some other outer garment.


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/01/05-sashiko_crazy_quilt_pocket/index.html


Crescent Shawl


Posted on January 2, 2024
a woman wearing a shawl, seen from the back where it looks like a big dark grey triangle with a light grey border and another light grey border with a grid of holes. There is also a double line of holes in the center of the back, and two single ones towards the sides.

One of the knitting projects I’m working on is a big bottom-up triangular shawl in less-than-fingering weight yarn (NM 1/15): it feels like a cloud should by all rights feel, and I have good expectations out of it, but it’s taking forever and a day.

And then one day last spring I started thinking in the general direction of top-down shawls, and decided I couldn’t wait until I had finished the first one to see if I could design one.

For my first attempt I used an odd ball of 50% wool 50% plastic I had in my stash and worked it on 12 mm tree trunks, and I quickly made something between a scarf and a shawl that got some use during the summer thunderstorms when temperatures got a bit lower, but not really cold. I was happy with the shape, not with the exact position of the increases, but I had ideas for improvements, so I just had to try another time.

Digging through the stash I found four balls of Drops Alpaca in two shades of grey: I had bought it with the intent to test its durability in somewhat more demanding situations (such as gloves or even socks), but then the LYS1 no longer carries it, so I might as well use it for something a bit more one-off (and when I received the yarn it felt so soft that doing something for the upper body looked like a better idea anyway).

I decided to start working in garter stitch with the darker colour, then some garter stitch in the lighter shade and to finish with yo / k2t lace, to make the shawl sort of fade out.

The first half was worked relatively slowly through the summer, and then when I reached the colour change I suddenly picked up working on it and it was finished in a couple of weeks.

the same shawl, worn before blocking: the garter stitch part

looks denser in a nice way, but the the lace border is scrunched up.


Then I had doubts on whether I wanted to block it, since I liked the soft feel, but I decided to try it anyway: it didn’t lose the feel, and the look is definitely better, even if it was my first attempt at blocking a shawl and I wasn’t that good at it.

the same shawl, blocked, worn and seen from the front, where it falls in wide falls from the shoulders between the arms and the body.

I’m glad that I did it, however, as it’s still soft and warm, but now also looks nicer.

The pattern is of course online as #FreeSoftWear on my fiber craft patterns website.


  1. at least local to somebody: I can’t get to a proper yarn shop by foot, so I’ve bought this yarn online from one that I could in theory reach on a day trip, but it has not happened yet.↩︎

https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2024/01/02-crescent_shawl/index.html


finito!

vista a 3/4 di un corsetto di coutil nero; si vede la chiusura e le canaline per le stecche esterne ed abbastanza larghe fatte di nastro spigato, un nastro sulla vita fatto dello stesso materiale, e rifinito in alto e in basso con sbieco di cotone nero abbastanza sottile.

ok, quasi. devo fare ancora i ricami che tengono ferme le stecche, ma quelli possono aspettare dopo che l'ho indossato un po' di volte.

#corsetto


it's done!

3/4 view of a worn black coutil corset showing the busk in the front, wide external boning channels made of tape, an external waist tape made of the same tape and bound at the top and bottom with narrow black bias tape

ok, almost. I need to floss it, but that can wait until I've worn it a few times.

#corset #corsetmaking


I've been influenced


Posted on December 30, 2023
A woman wearing a red sleeveless dress; from the waist up it is fitted, while the skirt flares out. There is a white border with red embroidery and black fringe at the hem and a belt of the same material at the waist.

By the influencers on the famous proprietary video platform1.

When I’m crafting with no powertools I tend to watch videos, and this autumn I’ve seen a few in a row that were making red wool dresses, at least one or two medieval kirtles. I don’t remember which channels they were, and I’ve decided not to go back and look for them, at least for a time.

A woman wearing a red shirt with wide sleeves, a short yoke, a small collar band and 3 buttons in the front.

Anyway, my brain suddenly decided that I needed a red wool dress, fitted enough to give some bust support. I had already made a dress that satisfied the latter requirementand I still had more than half of the red wool faille I’ve used for the Garibaldi blouse (still not blogged, but I will get to it), and this time I wanted it to be ready for this winter.

While the pattern I was going to use is Victorian, it was designed for underwear, and this was designed to be outerwear, so from the very start I decided not to bother too much with any kind of historical details or techniques.

A few meters of wool-imitation fringe trim rolled up; the fringe is black and is attached to a white band with a line of lozenge outlines in red and brown.

I knew that I didn’t have enough fabric to add a flounce to the hem, as in the cotton dress, but then I remembered that some time ago I fell for a piece of fringed trim in black, white and red. I did a quick check that the red wasn’t clashing (it wasn’t) and I knew I had a plan for the hem decoration.

Then I spent a week finishing other projects, and the more I thought about this dress, the more I was tempted to have spiral lacing at the front rather than buttons, as a nod to the kirtle inspiration. It may end up be a bit of a hassle, but if it is too much I can always add a hidden zipper on a side seam, and only have to undo a bit of the lacing around the neckhole to wear the dress.

Finally, I could start working on the dress: I cut all of the main pieces, and since the seam lines were quite curved I marked them with tailor’s tacks, which I don’t exactly enjoy doing or removing, but are the only method that was guaranteed to survive while manipulating this fabric (and not leave traces afterwards).

A shaped piece of red fabric with the long edges bound in navy blue bias tape and all the seamlines marked with basting thread.

While cutting the front pieces I accidentally cut the high neck line instead of the one I had used on the cotton dress: I decided to go for it also on the back pieces and decide later whether I wanted to lower it.

Since this is a modern dress, with no historical accuracy at all, and I have access to a serger, I decided to use some dark blue cotton voile I’ve had in my stash for quite some time, cut into bias strip, to bind the raw edges before sewing. This works significantly better than bought bias tape, which is a bit too stiff for this.

A bigger piece of fabric with tailor's tacks for the seams and darts; at the top edge there is a strip of navy blue fabric sewn to a wide seaming allowance, with two rows of cording closest to the center front line.

For the front opening, I’ve decided to reinforce the areas where the lacing holes will be with cotton: I’ve used some other navy blue cotton, also from the stash, and added two lines of cording to stiffen the front edge.

So I’ve cut the front in two pieces rather than on the fold, sewn the reinforcements to the sewing allowances in such a way that the corded edge was aligned with the center front and then sewn the bottom of the front seam from just before the end of the reinforcements to the hem.

The front opening being worked on: on one side there are hand sewn eyelets in red silk that matches the fabric, on the other side the position for more eyelets are still marked with pins. There is also still basting to keep the folded allowance in place.

The allowances are then folded back, and then they are kept in place by the worked lacing holes. The cotton was pinked, while for the wool I used the selvedge of the fabric and there was no need for any finishing.

Behind the opening I’ve added a modesty placket: I’ve cut a strip of red wool, a strip of cotton, folded the edge of the strip of cotton to the center, added cording to the long sides, pressed the allowances of the wool towards the wrong side, and then handstitched the cotton to the wool, wrong sides facing. This was finally handstitched to one side of the sewing allowance of the center front.

I’ve also decided to add real pockets, rather than just slits, and for some reason I decided to add them by hand after I had sewn the dress, so I’ve left opening in the side back seams, where the slits were in the cotton dress. I’ve also already worn the dress, but haven’t added the pockets yet, as I’m still debating about their shape. This will be fixed in the near future.

Another thing that will have to be fixed is the trim situation: I like the fringe at the bottom, and I had enough to also make a belt, but this makes the top of the dress a bit empty. I can’t use the same fringe tape, as it is too wide, but it would be nice to have something smaller that matches the patterned part. And I think I can make something suitable with tablet weaving, but I’m not sure on which materials to use, so it will have to be on hold for a while, until I decide on the supplies and have the time for making it.

Another improvement I’d like to add are detached sleeves, both matching (I should still have just enough fabric) and contrasting, but first I want to learn more about real kirtle construction, and maybe start making sleeves that would be suitable also for a real kirtle.

Meanwhile, I’ve worn it on Christmas (over my 1700s menswear shirt with big sleeves) and may wear it again tomorrow (if I bother to dress up to spend New Year’s Eve at home :D )


  1. yep, that’s YouTube, of course.↩︎

https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/12/20-i_ve_been_influenced/index.html


TFW a metà mattinata passi da piazzale Kennedy a Varese e ti casca l'orecchio su un avviso di guasti agli impianti in stazione a Saronno, per cui decidi di passare al volo in stazione a vedere cosa sta succedendo.

E boh, avvisano di potenziali ritardi, ma tutto sommato la situazione è abbastanza tranquilla.

Ci sono linee privilegiate, per quel gestore ferroviario.

foto del tabellone della stazione di Varese Nord, c'è un messaggio che avvisa di problemi in stazione a saronno, ma solo i primi due treni hanno ritardo, di 3 e 10 minuti rispettivamente

@LaVi 🕊️📚🐈 @Fabio #trenò


eyelets, eyelets everywhere.

occhielli, occhielli per ogni dove

closeup of the center front opening of a dress: one side has many handbound eyelets, the other side has just as many pins to mark the position of more eyelets.


Quella sensazione di quando carichi del filo per cucire di seta nuovo¹ sulla macchina, sperando a) che funzioni per cucire a macchina e b) di averne abbastanza per cucire tutto il vestito, visto che è stato comprato online.

una macchina da cucire con un piccolo rocchetto di filo di seta rosso che è appena stato parzialmente avvolto sulla spoletta.

(il rocchetto nella foto è da 50 metri, ma ne ho un altro.)

¹ Ho usato lo stesso filo per la camicia rossa, ma quella è stata cucina interamente a mano. Ho anche già usato del filo di seta per cucire a macchina, ma era di un'altra marca.

#mastoCucito


TFW you load a new¹ silk thread on the machine and really hope that a) it will work with the machine b) you have enough to finish the dress, since it was bought online.

a sewing machine: there is a small spool of red silk thread which has just been partially loaded on a bobbin.

(the one in the picture is a 50 m spool, but I also have another.)

¹ I've used it before for the garibaldi blouse, but that one was completely sewn by hand. I've used silk thread in the machine before, but it was another brand

#sewing


Piecepack and postcard boxes


Posted on November 4, 2023
An open cardboard box, showing the lining in paper printed with a medieval music manuscript.

Thanks to All Saints’ Day, I’ve just had a 5 days weekend. One of those days I woke up and decided I absolutely needed a cartonnage box for the cardboard and linocut piecepack I’ve been working on for quite some time.

I started drawing a plan with measures before breakfast, then decided to change some important details, restarted from scratch, did a quick dig through the bookbinding materials and settled on 2 mm cardboard for the structure, black fabric-like paper for the outside and a scrap of paper with a manuscript print for the inside.

Then we had the only day with no rain among the five, so some time was spent doing things outside, but on the next day I quickly finished two boxes, at two different heights.

The weather situation also meant that while I managed to take passable pictures of the first stages of the box making in natural light, the last few stages required some creative artificial lightning, even if it wasn’t that late in the evening. I need to build1 myself a light box.

And then decided that since they are C6 sized, they also work well for postcards or for other A6 pieces of paper, so I will probably need to make another one when the piecepack set will be finally finished.

The original plan was to use a linocut of the piecepack suites as the front cover; I don’t currently have one ready, but will make it while printing the rest of the piecepack set. One day :D

an open rectangular cardboard box, with a plastic piecepack set in it.

One of the boxes was temporarily used for the plastic piecepack I got with the book, and that one works well, but since it’s a set with standard suites I think I will want to make another box, using some of the paper with fleur-de-lis that I saw in the stash.

I’ve also started to write detailed instructions: I will publish them as soon as they are ready, and then either update this post, or they will be mentioned in an additional post if I will have already made more boxes in the meanwhile.


  1. you don’t really expect me to buy one, right? :D↩︎

https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/11/04-piecepack_and_postcard_boxes/index.html


Forgotten Yeast Bread or Pan Sbagliato


Posted on October 29, 2023
a wide and flat round loaf of bread with a well cooked crust

I’ve made it again. And again. And a few more times, and now it has an official household name, “Pan Sbagliato”, or “Wrong Bread”.

And this is the procedure I’ve mostly settled on; starting on the day before (here called Saturday) and baking it so that it’s ready for lunch time (on what here is called Sunday).

Saturday: around 13:00

In a bowl, mix together and work well:
  • 250 g water;
  • 400 g flour;
  • 8 g salt;

cover to rise.


Saturday: around 18:00

In a small bowl, mix together:
  • 2-3 g yeast;
  • 10 g water;
  • 10 g flour.


Saturday: around 21:00

In the bowl with the original dough, add the contents of the small bowl plus:
  • 100 g flour;
  • 100 g water;

and work well; cover to rise overnight.


Sunday: around 8:00

Pour the dough on a lined oven tray, leave in the cold oven to rise.


Sunday: around 11:00

Remove the tray from the oven, preheat the oven to 240°C, bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for 20 more minutes.

Waiting until it has cooled down a bit will make it easier to cut, but is not strictly necessary.


the loaf cut in half, to show thin stripes of crumb from the high hydration.

I’ve had up to a couple of hours variations in the times listed, with no ill effects.


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/10/29-forgotten_yeast_bread_or_pan_sbagliato/index.html


Forse qualcuno si ricorda che l'anno scorso ho #cucito a mano una camicia di lana rossa, ma ora che l'ho quasi¹ finita era già troppo caldo per andarci in giro.

Finalmente è arrivata la Stagione Per Bene, e posso metterla!

Ci sarà un post sul blog. Prima o poi.

Una tizia che si allontana dalla macchina fotografica; indossa una gonna nera lunga, bretelle e una camicia rossa con maniche ampie e molta stoffa arricciata nel centro dello sprone. Il colletto è solo una banda e c'è un bottone per attacare un colletto separato, che al momento non c'è.

La stessa cosa da davanti; sopra alla vita non c'è molta stoffa extra (e sotto la vita è nascosta dalla gonna in cui è infilata), e l'apertura è chiusa con tre bottoni.

¹ voglio aggiungere ancora qualche variante di colletti e polsini separati, per variare lo stile, ma la loro assenza non mi impedisce di indossare la camicia così com'è.


Some of you may remember that last year I have been #handsewing a shirt in red wool, but by the time I've mostly¹ finished it it was already too warm to be able to wear it significantly.

At least, the Sensible Season seems to have started, and I can wear it!

There will be a blog post. At some unknown time in the future.

a woman walking away from the camera wearing a black long skirt, grey braces, and a red shirt with wide sleeves and a lot of fabric gathered in the middle part of the fitted yoke. The collar is just a collar band, and there is a button in the nape of the neck for a detached collar that is not being worn.

The same, standing still, from the front; there is little fullness above the waistline (where it's tucked in the skirt), and it opens with a button placket in the front with 3 visible buttons.

¹ it does need a few detachable collar and cuffs variants, to style it a bit differently, but those don't prevent me from wearing the shirt as is.

#historyBounding #FreeSoftWear


@Kenobit @Nelson @Nicola Bernardi @RetroBigini

sigh, tra pioggia e buio e il case incastrato non è stato facile :(

l'interno di un vecchio computer

idem come sopra

il case e gli hard disk mi servono. dell'alimentatore si può parlare (se non è rotto posso riusarlo, ma ne ho anche altri). tutto il resto è a disposizione.

Se ho ben capito c'è una possibilità di consegna zona Varese, che sarebbe perfetta?

(e OMG, mi ero dimenticata di quella ventola sopra al dissipatore della CPU a forma di RAZZOMISSILE)

(e con “dimenticata” si intende “avevo rimosso” :D )


@Rapita dagli alieni e grazie alla spinta del voler dimostrare di avere *tecnicamente* ragione¹:

due fogli A6 di carta leggera: in trasparenza si vede del testo stampato sull'altro lato. L'ultima riga dice Fabriano Traccia su un foglio e Favini Schizza e Strappa sull'altro. Passando nella stampante i fogli si sono arrotolati.

Font sans serif di default di Inkscape (mi è venuto in mente dopo che poteva essere rilevante, non ho ancora fatto colazione), in nero, generatore di Lorem ipsum di inkscape senza aver fatto niente di particolare. Stampante laser casalinga Samsung CLP-415.

È carta che mi aspetto di vedere usata da chi fa fotocopie? lol, no :D Non ha neanche apprezzato molto il passaggio nella stampante, onestamente.

¹ technically correct is the best kind of…


Chickpea Crackers


Posted on September 20, 2023
A flatbread, prescored into small portions, but still in one piece on top of a plate and overflowing to the side (it's about 10 cm × 30 cm or so). A side is thin and more browned, the other side is a bit thicker and paler.

And another half-written article I had in my repo. (Am I doing #FallFinishAlong with blog articles instead of / in addition to craft projects? it feels so).

I was in need of snacks. I wanted something bready, but with a bit less carbs and more proteins. I had a bag of chickpea flour.

Ingredients were:

  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 100 g chickpea flour
  • 100 g water
  • 3 g salt
  • 1 g dry yeast

Mix everything as usual for bread, leave to rise for 4-6 hours.

Divide in 4 parts, roll them out to a thickness of about 1 – 2 mm, prick them with a fork (or the fancy cracker pricking tool that you don’t really need but I may have bought).

Optionally spray with a bit of water and sprinkle with salt (coarse or flake is best).

Preheat the oven to 240°C and cook for 5 minutes, or preheat the oven to 210°C and cook for 10 minutes for a dryer version.

I’ve tried both cooking temperatures: the 210°C had the big advantage of being the same as the common bread I was already making, so no additional oven time was required (it was summer. this was a consideration.), but I’m not sure which version I like best, so I think in winter I will alternate between the two.

Put it in a cotton (linen?) bag and keep it in a dry place, where it will keep for weeks (assuming you’ve made a bigger batch :D ).

This is now part of my staples.


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/09/20-chickpea_crackers/index.html


Nello spirito di #FallFinishAlong, 3 giorni fa (3 giorni???) ho postato una partita vinta a #YarnChicken a metà dello scialle che sto lavorando ai ferri.

Di cui posto una foto adesso, perché son lenta a trasferire le foto dalla macchina fotografica al pc. :D

Uno scialle in maglia legaccio, ancora sui ferri; è alla fine di un ferro e avanzano circa 80 cm di lana.

Comunque, lo scialle è lavorato con quattro gomitoli di lana, ho iniziato a metà giugno, finito di lavorare il secondo gomitolo 3 mesi più tardi. E adesso ho quasi finito il terzo, e credo oggi di iniziare il quarto.

Che sarà più lento, dato che non è più a maglia legaccio, ma insomma. Dubitavo di riuscire a finire per dicembre, e invece la cosa inizia ad essere anche abbastanza fattibile.

#lavoroAiFerri


Sto lavorando ai ferri uno scialle in due colori, e in base alla bilancia di precisione ho esattamente la lana che mi serve per fare ancora due ferri con il primo colore, prima di passare al colore successivo.

Ho infilato un filo di sicurezza (si chiama così in italiano?), perché so che perderò questa mano di #yarnChicken.

Solo che adesso dovrei fare colazione, ma farla ritarda il momento in cui scopro *chi ha vinto*.

#lavoroAiFerri



In the spirit of #FallFinishAlong, 3 days ago (3 days??? just 3 days???) i posted about a #YarnChicken victory at the middle of the shawl I'm knitting.

Pictured here, because I'm slow at moving pictures over from the camera to the pc :D
a work in progress garter stitch shawl on the needles; it's at the end of a row and there are about 80 cm of yarn left

Anyway, the whole shawl is made of 4 balls of yarn, I started it in mid June, finished #knitting the second ball 3 months later. and now I've almost finished working the third ball, and I'm ready to attach the last one.

The last quarter of the work is probably going to go significantly slower, because it's no longer garter stitch, but still. I wasn't sure this would have been ready for December, but now it's starting to look realistic.


I'm #knitting a shawl in two colours, and according to the precision scale I have exactly the amount of yarn I need to knit another two rows with the first colour before moving on to the next one.

I've added a lifeline, in case I lose this round of #yarnChicken.

And now, I should really stop knitting and have my breakfast, but that would delay *knowing*.



Non-e (Note)Book


Posted on September 18, 2023
A coptic bound book with a blue PCB as the cover.

Some time ago our LUG bought some things from soldered.com and while browsing around the website my SO and I decided to add a junk box to the order and see what we would get.

Other than a few useful things, there were two mostly unpopulated boards for the inkplate 10 which would have been pretty hard to reuse as electronics.

Two PCBs for the Inkplate 10 from eradionica, unpopulated. They are rectangles with a long slit close to one long side, a few holes and a notch at the bottom.

On the other hand, at 23 cm × 18 cm they are a size that is reasonable for a book, and the slit near a long edge made them look suitable for the cover plates of a coptic bound book.

Since the size isn’t a standard one, I used some paper I already had in big (A1) sheet: Clairefontaine Dessin Croquis Blanc at 120 g/m², and cut 32 sheet 466 mm × 182 mm big, to have room to trim the excess at the end and straighten the edges. This would make 8 signatures of 4 sheet each, for a total of 128 pages.

The paper will make it suitable both as a notebook (where I’ll write with liquid ink, of course, not ballpoints) or as a sketchbook for pencil (but not wet techniques).

I could have added a few more signatures, but this felt already good enough, and the risk to end up with an half-empty notebook was non-trivial (I will already have to force myself to actually use it, rather than keep it for a good topic that will never be).

First we finished depopulating the boards, using it as a desoldering exercise and trying (and not always succeeding) to save as many components as possible, even if most of them were too tiny for our current soldiering skills.

The book, closed, partially sewn.

And then I only had to sew the book, which was done mostly while watching the DebConf streams.

The finished book seen from the front edge, showing that the trimming isn't very smooth.

And a couple of days later, trim and sand the pages, which as usual I could have done better, but, well, it works.

The next time I do something like this I think I will have to add a couple more mm also to the height, to be able to trim also those edges.

A coptic bound book, open between signatures, on white pages.

And now of course the Big Question is: what should I dedicate this notebook to? Will I actually use it? This year? This decade?


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/09/18-non-e-note-book/index.html


@devrtz :debian: ,
btw, I think I need a t-shirt with these words. or a patch on my backpack. Yeah, I think a patch for my backpack will happen in the near future. And if anybody wants to print stickers or anything else, I will submit this to the usual places :D

black hexagon with the words “my phone runs debian btw” in white on top of a debian swirl

(And until I've submitted it to the right places, the source can be found on https://eoval.org/YFf9WaTC#debian_phone-source.svg , under the same license as the debian logo)

@Fabio , @Diego Roversi and the other locals: if you also want something with these words, we can talk about it :)


Content warning: goat? droppings


Content warning: goat? droppings


@LaVi 🕊️📚🐈, @Fabio non so perché, ma vedendo questo cartello ho pensato a voi :D

Schema delle linee ferrovie Nord Milano Esercizio con il nome di Francesco Ogliari e lo slogan “Nord la tua ferrovia”

Era attaccato a:

Modello in scala del ponte di Malnate, un ponte ferroviario ad archi che supera una valle profonda dove scorre un fiume e, all'epoca del modello, passava un'altra ferrovia.

E il cartello dall'altra parte lo descriveva come “Sulla linea Como - Laveno”, per dire quanto è vintage :)


Banners and Signs


Posted on September 8, 2023
I forgot to write down the details back when it happened, but now that the surprise has been delivered I can write about it.

A triangular fabric banner, black with a reflective grey border, and a penguin outline where part of the outline is in the shape of Lake Como screenprinted in white and light blue.

Some time ago, I decided to make a small banner with the GL-Como penguin for a friend, because reasons.

However, this friend has a big problem, he, well, is from Pisa (no, I’m not from Leghorn, why do you ask?), and I had a screen printing kit, openclipart and no inhibitions.

Three fabric banners: one is the one mentioned above, two are square with a yellow corded border, a yellow triangle and a tower of Pisa in black in the middle. The yellow triangles aren't perfectly flat yellow, but somewhat ruined, one more than the other.

So, with the encouragement of a few friends who were in the secret, this happened. In two copies, because the first attempt at the print had issues.

And yesterday we finally met that friend again, gave him all of the banners, and no violence happened, but he liked them :D

An ISO 7071-style triangle warning sign with a simplified tower of Pisa in black on yellow background.

If somebody is interested, the source image I used is on openclipart, with links to all of the sources I’ve used.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but when I was working on the Pisani sign I also stumbled on the “no dogs” sign and decided that the world needed a “mandatory cat” sign, and well, here is the full set (all images are a link to the openclipart page).

ISO 7071 “no dogs” sign, a black dog on white background with a red circle with a diagonal line.

ISO 7071-style “mandatory cats” sign, a white cat on blue circle background.

ISO 7071-style “mandatory dogs” sign, a white dog on blue circle background.

ISO 7071-style “no cats”, a black cat on white background with a red circle with a diagonal line.


https://blog.trueelena.org/blog/2023/09/08-banners_and_signs/index.html


I might have accidentally a new pair of experimental soles, some assembly required.
a ball of twine and a tube of rubber coating

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