Monday, May 9, 2022

Green Linen Tie-On Sleeves In The Italian Style

 Are you getting bored with sleeves yet?!

I recently finished another pair, this time in a pretty green linen.

They are constructed in the same way as the rest. I cut out my favourite roomy sleeve pattern in the lining and fashion fabrics and edged them with zigzag stitch on the  machine. The seams were sewn on machine with straight stitch and opened out and stitched down. 

I sewed the green linen fashion fabric and lining together at the sleeve head (wrong sides out), and clipped the curves to reduce bulk before turning the right way out. 

I hand stitched around the top of the sleeve to stop the lining rolling out. 

I sewed the wrist hem by hand and then whipped the lining in with another row of stitching. This seems like extra work,  but if the lining ever stretches, it means I can re-hem it without affecting the hem on the green fashion fabric.

I worked eyelets around the top of the sleeve for tying on and then put my trusty 'L' on the inside of the left sleeve.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Khaki Tie-On Sleeves in the Italian Style

 Another pair of sleeves finished!

These are made out of a cotton fabric remnant that I found in an op (thrift) shop.

They are constructed in the same way as all the others; the lining and fashion fabrics were cut out using my favourite sleeve pattern and edged with zigzag stitch. The seams were sewn on machine with straight stitch and opened out and stitched down. Then the fashion fabric and lining were sewn together at the sleeve head (wrong sides out), curves clipped and then turned right way out. The top of the sleeve was top stitched by hand to stop the lining rolling out. The wrist hem was sewn by hand and the lining whipped into place. Eyelets were worked by hand at the top of the sleeve and an 'L' was sewn into the left sleeve to make lacing the sleeves on in a hurry easier.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

'Baronial Beautification' Group Project

I'm currently involved in our Barony's efforts to prepare items for a future royal visit. Lots of projects are planned to improve our infrastructure and increase the pageantry at the event. 

I haven't been well enough to attend weekly meetings, but the project manager (Sir Eva), is very empathetic and likes to give everyone a chance to be a part of these sort of projects if they would like to. So I had the opportunity to work on some sewing for the project at home.

It felt good to be able to contribute to a group project, and nice to have a change from the UFO pile. Who would have thought that 'sewing homework' would be such a breath of fresh air?!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Red-Gilt Tie On Sleeve in the Italian Renaissance Style

I finished another pair of sleeves this week, and boy! are they pretty. The fabric was purchased from etsy several years ago. A miscellaneous fibre content includes gilt threads. They were sold as silk brocade but I would be very surprised if they actually contain silk.

I'm very pleased with these sleeves. Eyelets are still very hard on my hands but I am getting faster at working them.

I made these sleeves to the same pattern and in the same way as the others I have blogged about recently. The lining is purple broadcloth.

Putting a small running stitch along the inside of the top edge to stop the lining rolling out with wear.

Hemming the sleeves. I sewed down the fashion fabric hem with tiny stitches, and then hemmed the lining separately.

Working the eyelets. (I've added an L for Left to save time getting ready before events.)

The finished product. The pictures fail to capture the richness of the fabric.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Red Tie-On Sleeves in the Italian Style

I finished another pair of sleeves this week. The majority of the sewing had been completed and it was just -you guessed it - eyelets needing to be done. On a positive note; I am getting faster at eyelets now, and hating them slightly less. (Good thing too, as no doubt have hundreds in my future!)

These sleeves were constructed in the same way as the others listed previously. I'm not sure what the fabric content is but they certainly have some metallic threads in them. They have a bit of a shine as the light moves over them. They are not a bright red, but are brighter in real life than the brown-red shade that they look like in the final pictures.

Whip stitching the lining wrist hem into place.

My trusty 'helper'

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Pale Blue Tie-on Sleeves in the Italian Style

Another pair of sleeves complete and out of the UFO pile! This pair is made from a light blue brocade type fabric that I found in a remnant bin at a thrift store and is based on the Italian tie-on style.

The camera has was washed the colour out a bit:

The sleeves were created in the same way as outlined in my previous post. 

As usual, the eyelets were what was holding me up.

I've embroidered an 'L' on the left sleeve because I always seem to be in a rush when it is time for events, and nothing wastes more time or adds more stress than struggling into a big dress only to find out you laced your sleeves on wrong - and then have to struggle back out of it, unlace them and then re-lace them on the correct sleeves. Ask me how I know, haha.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Italian Tie-On Sleeves Made From A Thrifted Green Sari Skirt

I finished a pair of sleeves that was sitting in my UnFinished Objects pile.

This pair has not been waiting to be finished as long as some others in the pile. (I only started them in 2021.) I picked up a pretty skirt made out of sari fabric at an op shop and thought it would made a nice pair of sleeves. The skirt was child size so there was some careful unpicking and placing to be done. 

I used my trusty pattern which makes a roomy and comfortable sleeve. Placement was key to try and get best use from the fabric and make sure the motifs were all going in the same direction.
Luckily, I have a great helper!
Edges were zigzag stitched on the machine and the seams ironed open and tacked down. Linings were given the same treatment.
The sleeve and lining was sewn wrong side out then I clipped the corners and turned the right sides out.
I whip stitched around the top of the sleeve head to stop the lining pulling to the outside over time as a bit of pressure is put on the sleeve head from the lacing.
I turned the hem under at the wrist and secured it with tiny stab stitches.
Then I folded the lining hem under and hand sewed it in place.
Finally, I added five eyelet holes at the top of each sleeve so it can be tied into place.
The finished sleeves. I am pleased with how these turned out. I only *just* had enough fabric to get sleeves out of the skirt. The gilt thread in the motif makes the sleeves look quite opulent. I don't expect that they will be the most durable sleeves ever, but they sure are pretty.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Beading a Necklace

I have had a few health issues over the holiday break and have not been as productive as I would have liked. I have been working on very small and unexciting projects like mending.

One thing that I did get finished was the stringing of a pearl necklace. A dear friend made me a lovely pendant for my birthday, and I was very keen to wear it so I strung it up on tigertail wire straight away. Only to realise that I didn't have any silver crimps and needed to order more. Well, they finally arrived and so I could finish the necklace. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Mending and Adjustments

 Hello friends! I hope this new year is finding you safe and well. 

I haven't posted in a while because my illness(es) flared up over Christmas and I have had a hard time getting back to normal. I have not been doing much of craft-related interest except for mending and alterations, and working on the Perpetual Pile of Sleeves. 

As you would probably know by know, I loathe a sewing do-over, and that is exactly what mending (and associated activities) feels like, so it is very easy to put the chore off and do more exciting projects. So I have been working to whittle down the list of things waiting to be fixed or adjusted - with varying degrees of success. It does seem like a Magic Pudding type situation, but I am plodding along.

Adjusting a slip

(For those of you who are not familiar, The Magic Pudding is an Australian children's book about - you guessed it - a magic pudding that you cut a piece from and it magically restores itself. Apparently much like my sewing to-do pile.)

The characters from The Magic Pudding. (Image from:

The Perpetual Pile of Sleeves is starting to look more manageable, as I have just kept at it; a little bit every day. 

Predictably, I have left all the eyelets til the end.


Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

Thank you for all your support over the last year. Here's to a more precedented and uneventful, less challenging year in 2022. Stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Trading Card - Pink Luttrell Dragon

 Here is another scribal trading card I painted earlier in the year. The painting is done on a commercially produced card with Winsor and Newton gouache. 

The dragon/monster is from the Luttrell Psalter -


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Stay safe over the Holidays

Thank you all for following my blog this year. Stay safe over the Christmas period and I hope that you get time to spend on things that you enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Tie-On Sleeves of Red and Gold WIP

I am still trying to work through my UnFinished Object pile. I pulled these sleeves out this week; they have been unfinished since 2019 and I had completely forgotten about them! What a nice surprise to find them when I was looking for interfacing for a  mundane sewing project. The fabric is lovely and vibrant (the photo doesn't really do them justice).

The sleeves have been cut out and edged and have the cotton lining with them. They just need to be hand finished, hemmed and have eyelets put in to be wearable, so that is my next project to work on.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Experimenting with Needlelace Tassels

I made these tassels for a friend's event some months back. I have wanted to try to recreate the style of woven tassel heads I have seen in some extant Elizabethan pieces, and this was my first experiment.

  The tassels are created in by winding threads over the hands, as seen in this picture tutorial: :

The tassels were made out of crochet cotton because I wanted a fairly robust tassel. Silk would look very nice, I think.

Once the tassels were made up, I took a length of crochet cotton and anchored it with a big knot inside the head of the tassel, bringing the thread up near the centre of the tassel head. I then worked a detached buttonhole stitch around and around the tassel head, anchoring it to itself with a discreet knot when I reached the bottom. I then hid the tail of the thread back inside the body of the tassel before trimming the length.

The final part of the exercise was to add the rings of blue and white buttonhole stitch around the base of the tassel head. 

I'm really pleased with how these turned out. I would like to experiment a bit more with this style of tassel and examine images of extant ones. I think I remember seeing tassel making in Jacqui Carey's Sweet Bag book, but, as is always the way, I did not have a copy to hand when I needed it, so I had to work from  vague memories and imagination.

A selection of sixteenth and seventeenth century French tassels from the Met Museum

 via Pinterest