Adventures with Linen: Long Seams

Sewing dresses by hand is all good fun until you get to the long seams.

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For my Anglo-Saxon linen underdress, I’m sewing the pieces together with a running stitch and then oversewing the seam allowances to prevent fraying.

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The shoulders and sleeves and gussets all came together pretty fast, but now I’m in the middle of sewing in the gores. Those are the tall triangles at the sides, which basically turn the dress from a long tube into something you can wear.

I’ve been watching movies to pass the time while I work on the gore seams. Lately I’ve been on a Danny Kaye kick. I watched both The Court Jester and White Christmas this week.

What do you do to keep your brain from frying on the long, boring parts of projects?

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Adventures With Linen: Why Buy Thread?

I’ve been wanting to sew some medieval garb using period materials for a long time, and I’m finally doing it!

I haven’t quite nailed down my persona yet, but I’m thinking Christian Anglo-Saxon. Between AD 800 and AD 1066?

Anyway, I forked out the cash for 100% linen and 100% wool cloth. Then I went looking for linen and wool thread. Not to be found at my fabric store. I supposed I’d have to order some online.

But of course yesterday I really wanted to begin making the underdress, and I had yet to order any thread. That’s when I remembered I’d just spent all that money on linen. I had linen.

Luckily I also happened to have a drop spindle and some wax on hand…

So now I’m making my own thread.

First I take pairs of long threads from the leftover fabric.

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Then I give them a bit of twist on my drop spindle.

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(Ok, ok, it’s a tahkli. But it’s like a drop spindle.)

Then I run them across a piece of wax.

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Et voila! “Free” linen thread.

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So far I’ve hand sewn the shoulder seams and one sleeve + gusset, and the thread hasn’t broken on me. I call this a success.

When I get to the point where I need wool thread for the overdress, I think I’ll spin it from some roving I have lying around, and then dye it with the same dye I’m using on the wool cloth.

Happy Yarning!