The House of Tatterdemalion


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Dark Brown Wool Skirt

September 27th, 2008 by tatterdemalion

These photos were shot the same day as all the cherry-dress prictures I uploaded. We took a lot less pictures of this; I think it is because it the outfit suited me so much better it seemed less awkard. The lighting was awful though, because it was either too dark in the shade or far too bright out of it.

This garment is held in contrast to the cherry dress in other ways, besides what I mentioned in my last post. After taking such a ridiculously long time making the cherry-dress, I challanged myself to “just do it” for my next garment. Just draft it, cut it, and sew it. No muslins. No obsessing. No looking back. And that’s what I did.

The waist is not snug enough, and the skirt has a tendency to slide down. I didn’t make belt carriers, so I can’t properly belt it into submission. Because it slides down, it is a few inches longer than I meant it to be, which can be frustrating on stairs.

However, I’ve worn it more times than the cherry-dress, and I’ve loved wearing it every time. It is exceptionally comfortable, I find it very flattering, and it is incredibly warm. I always used to pity people who wore skirts in bitterly cold weather, as imagined the icy-cold drafts so easily slipping under the hem. Instead, I was far warmer wearing this skirt; I think it follows the same logic as why mittens are warmer than gloves, for one thing. The only downside to that is while I would be comfortable walking around outside, I would sometimes find myself breaking into a sweat inside of well-heated homes. And if this is a testament to the insulative powers of wool, then I think we should all go back to making the investment in wool clothing, from sweaters to long-underwear, and save about a gazillion dollars in heating bills during the winter.

At some later date, I’ll post pictures showing construction details, but I hope you aren’t looking for too much in the way of instruction, because I always forget to take notes and have to re-figure it out the next time. My only hope is that if I keep sewing often enough, I’ll actually be able to remember how to do thing from garment to garment.

Under the Willow Tree:





Deep red looks better on me than a lighter or brighter red.

on the bridge

Don’t ask me what I was looking at, because I don’t know. You don’t want to see my face anyway, because I was squinting in the harsh sunlight. You do know they predicted an overcast day, don’t you? I suppose that should have been our first clue it wasn’t going to be.

uno Yes, my skirt has pockets! Two of them! They came out very nice, but when it came to working on the next garment with pockets, I didn’t have the foggiest idea how I’d done them before. I’ll show you better pictures later.


Blotchy sunlight makes your face look weird.


Now I’m not blotchy, but it’s far too shady. And my hands are itching to work on something. Standing around doing nothing is counter to my nature. I should have taken along my knitting, or something, but that of course would have obscured the skirt, which we were attempting to document. So my hands hang awkwardly.


The End.

Posted in Cloth, Color, Completions, Projects | No Comments »

I wish Threads would run articles like this. . .

May 23rd, 2007 by tatterdemalion

I found this article to be fascinating and informative. It’s all about how sheep-breeders are milking the hype over super-fine wool (you may have heard them referred to as Super 120, Super 150, Super 180, etc). At the end of the article, it kind of points out that all of this super-fineness has it’s downsides, namely in—and you’d think this would have been obvious to begin with—durability and elasticity. The English Cut blog was much more blunt in simply saying

To qualilify as a good, hard-wearing and attractive wool worsted, it must be rated at least in the upper 80’s and 90’s.

The Super 120’s and higher are beautiful cloths, but there’s a price to pay, and not only financial. Although they do feel wonderful, the simple fact is they don’t wear very well. They’re simply not as durable as their lesser-numbered cousins.

This whole deal vaguely reminds me of food processing. There was a time when “refined” white flour was simply the best of the best, and now everyone telling you it’s horrible for you and you should eat whole wheat. I don’t think it should really be a surprise to anyone—either that the more you take out of food, the less there is in it, or that the more you breed for fineness the less you’ll have in strength.

Nonetheless, this is the kind of educational article I wish Threads would run. I nearly cried the time they ran the article on which pins for which purposes, because I don’t think I learned anything I didn’t already know from reading the back of the pin packages and the signs in the notions aisle in JoAnn’s of all places. Such rudimentary and easy to find information, and what I’d really like to be seeing is the harder to find, technical types of articles like this one. Especially on different types of cloth, because the cloth is such an huge percentage of how a garment will turn out, and the more understanding you have of your cloth, the better you will be able to use it. And dyes; I’m fascinated by them as well.

I just wish that Threads would take sewing more seriously. It certainly takes itself as a magazine very seriously, and there’s a lot of emphasis on photography and layout and graphic design, but really? The content is a million times more important to me than the layout, and I want content that takes sewing seriously. (It doesn’t have to be Threads, but honestly, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of choices.) All this lightness and fluff. . .is like Super 180 wool. It might feel good at first, but it wears out really, reallly fast. I’d like a magazine that isn’t quite so pretty but is more long-lasting and hard-working.


Posted in Articles, Cloth, Contemplations, Technical | No Comments »