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Now, back to topic:
Finally I am able to participate a HSF-challenge again. Not that I didn’t sew the last month, but I had to make a christening robe for my niece and a baby quilt for my boyfriend’s cousin and his wife, whose baby arrived in january. Both patterns were modern, so nothing to show on this blog (ok well, we could argue that the quilt was made after a 1984 pattern, so according to wikipedia this would have been at least “vintage“. But it’s too late now, because I forgot to take photos anyway).
I had already written most of the post for this month’s challenge when I had to realize, that the project I was working on was doomed and that all I tried to save it only made it worse. I tried to sew a hat, using the scraps from my 40ies coat, to wear with it. But the pattern didn’t work at all with the fabric and now I have no fabric left for a second try (and no motivation, either). I don’t suppose I would have worn it a lot, anyway, so I don’t mind.
With only a few days laft to complete the challenge I adapted an idea I had already had a few weeks ago: embroidered stockings. I love antique patterned stockings, some are preserved, most aren’t. The final idea came when I saw a portrait of Richard Sackville by Isaac Oliver, wearing blue stockings with gold embroidery. I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of detail of the painting itself or its reproduction, but it looked very flat and plane to me and so I decided to paint the stockings instead of embroider them.
I owned a pair of white tights, I don’t remember for how long. What makes them special and predestined for this project, is that they are pure cotton. No elastic or artificial fibres in them, they don’t fit very snug, but always wrinkle a little, so they always reminded me of antique stockings. Now, a few months ago I managed to damage them in the topmost part, there was a hole in them, it didn’t not run, but it was a hole. I don’t know about you, but I hate to wear something damaged, even though I know nobody can see it.
I was already close to throw them into the waste bin, when I finally decided to use them as my test object. And because they do have a certain age I wouldn’t have liked to embroider them, fearing that they won’t live very long anymore.
To stick with the colour ofSackville’s stockings, I used golden fabric paint. As a pattern I chose an embroidery motive I found in the “Unterhaltungsblätter” I showed you in the last post.
To avoid stretching the motive when wearing the stockings, I cut a piece of cardboard according to the measurements of my lower leg (it is more difficult than it sounds, gauging the circumference of your lower leg with a tape measure, wearing a corset. And please do not ask why I am wearing a corset on a saturday afternoon at home, I simply wanted to. But I hope that in circles, where people sew and wear corsets, girdles and crinolines I do need neither explanation nor excuse 😉 ) and put it inside the tights. Beforehand I had put them on and had marked where my ankle was.Unfortunately I didn’t measure again before painting, so the pattern on one leg is taller than on the other, but I don’t think anybody will see this.
To transfer the motive I simply used a stencil I had cut out of a thin plastic register page. After letting it dry completely I added a second, thicker layer as well as some silver to give it as least a slightly plastic look.
The Challenge: #7 Tops and toes
Fabric: white cotton tights
Pattern: no pattern for the stockings, I just cut the legs off the tights. Pattern for the motive from 1925, found in “Schweizerische Unterhaltung-Blätter”, may 9 1925
Year: motive from 1925
Notions: gold and silver fabric paint, white cotton thread to hem the upper edge of the stockings.
How historically accurate is it? Well it was inspired by historical embroidered stockings, though you can’t call them historical at all.
First worn: last weekend, after finishing and washing it.
Total cost: I bought the tights years ago in a second-hand shop, they can’t have been very expensive. The paint cost 2€ each, years ago, too.
I was so happy seing this project finished I couldn’t help but improvise a little 20ies inspired photo session with things that I found in my closet (being aware that this is far away from being authentic).
The reason why I am sitting, besides that I wanted to show the stockings: the shoes are too small and really fragile, I fear standing on them. So I sat down on the dresser, put them on, had me photographed, put them off, stood up 🙂
Now, having talked about corsets and holes in tights and having posted photos wearing a skirt that can’t conceal that I am really wearing stockings rather than tights, I will leave it with this before it gets even more scandalous 😉
See you soon, love,