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17 March 2012 @ 07:50 pm
Last year, I posted an entry with links to a bunch of fabric stores in it and asked for people to recommend ones I missed. In the interest of doing something that could possibly be classified as useful today, here is the updated list, with a bonus list of places to buy reproduction medieval stuff. So, if anyone has any shops they would like added to either list, let me know and I will add them. Or if you have suggestions for places to get reproduction stuff for other eras -- or even originals, if you're lucky enough to re-enact an era where that is feasible.

But seriously, when I'm done with this, I am going to bed. Or rather, I'm going to try to read in bed, but I'm really going to end up spooning my Kindle and snoozing.

FabricsStore.com -- Linen, some cotton
Fabric Mart -- Designer leftovers, Shetland wool (which is actually from Uruguay?), lots of other garment fabrics
Vogue Fabrics -- Not affiliated with Vogue Patterns or the magazine. Fabric store near Chicago.
Fashion Fabrics Club/Denver Fabrics.com -- Same stock on both websites. Somewhat unreliable when it comes to fabric descriptions.
Fabric.com -- Lots of quilting fabric, but also upholstery and apparel fabrics. Sometimes has awesome sales!

Gray Line Linen -- Line fabrics at affordable prices, without Fabrics Store's quality control issues. Thanks to [personal profile] tattycat for this one.
Burnley & Trowbridge -- Focused on 18thc, but useful for other eras as well. Lots of other historical items, too. Recommendation from many of you!
Wm. Booth, Draper -- Ditto for B&T
96 District -- Website does not have great selection, but [personal profile] tattycat assures me that the selection is better in person.
Carolina Calicoes -- They say for 18th and 19th century reenactors, but there's tons of stuff there for earlier periods if you know what you're looking for. If you're looking for something in particular and they don't have it, try contacting them to see what else they have, since everything isn't on the website. Reproduction 18thc cotton prints for $6/yd, which is the cheapest I've ever seen.

Design Diva Fabrics -- Canadian website selling drapery/upholstery fabric, which sometimes has super sales where you can get silk damasks for very little (well, for a silk damask!). Thanks to chargirlgenius!
Pure Silks, on eBay as Exclusive Silks -- Silk fabric from India. Thanks to [personal profile] nuranar
I Luv Fabrix -- Ohmigawd, the name. But! Discount fabrics. Who doesn't love a discount? Check out "Hi End Remnants" and the 80% off and 90% off sections for super deals. Again, super deals for silk damask.
Duran Textiles -- Reproduction fabrics! Droolworthy in their accuracy. Thanks to northernotter
New York Fashion Center Fabrics -- rosewalker says their silks are expensive but beautiful.

Fabric Guru -- Lots of upholstery fabric, some of it appropriate for historical costuming. Apparently they have apparel fabric sometimes, too. The silk taffetas they have seem to start at about $12/yd, too, which is pretty reasonable.
Farmhouse Fabrics -- Heirloom sewing fabrics. Expensive!
B. Black and Sons -- Good source of wool, according to everyone I know.
Burholder Fabrics -- Has quilting cottons in 1800s repro prints.
Thai Silks -- Silk from Southeast Asia.

Originals by Kay -- Dress lengths of fabric appropriate for mid-19th century clothing.
Renaissance Fabrics -- Does what it says on the label!
Jas. Townshend & Son -- Fabric under "yard goods" in the lefthand column.
Common Threads Quilting -- Repro prints.
Dharma Trading -- Undyed yardage in natural (and rayon) fibers and also other things.

Silk Connection -- Undyed silk and cotton yardage.
Silk Road Fabrics -- Yet again, silk. But also cotton and linen.
Reproduction Fabrics -- Says what it does on the label. Reproduction cotton prints for quilting, 1795-1950. Thanks to [personal profile] nuranar for the recommendation.
Heritage Trading -- eBay store for fabrics from India, including handblock prints. Thanks to [personal profile] nuranar.
eQuilter -- Quilting prints! And some fashion fabrics. Also, 2% of their sales go to reputable charities, which I think is wonderful. They've raised nearly a million dollars so far. Thanks to bauhausfrau for the rec.

Calico Cottage Quilt Shop -- They frequently have lots of repro prints in their $5/yd sale, which is quite a bargain.

Fashionable Fabrics -- Modern sewing, not historical.
Fabricworm -- Modern, lots of quilting.
Bunte Fabrics -- European import fabrics and notions. Modern, though you might find something useful for historical if you poke around.

Etsy sellers I like, who all sell mostly silk but sometimes other natural fibers: FabIndianFabric, Fabricana, silkfabric

They will all make custom listings with yardage for you if you want more than a fat quarter.

Anybody have any more they want to recommend? I know there are more out there -- I cannot even pretend that I have hit all the discount fabric places, let alone the ones where people end up mercy killing their wallets. So, additional recommendations welcome.

And now for the reproduction medieval stuff sites.

Bractea -- Polish site doing custom work. AMAZING wide girdle buckle, based on a van der Weyden portrait. However, very expensive. But beautiful.
Medieval Design -- Italian site, with pricing that is occasionally bemusing. For example, the $90+ wooden buckets but replica portraits starting at $130. However, they do have the silver footed goblets that I lust after, so it's good for drooling over. Also, the shoes. Look at the shoes.
Billy and Charlie's/Fettered Cock Pewters -- Many things of pewter, mostly High Middle Ages. How do I introduce these guys?
Raymond's Quiet Press -- Also many cast things. Pretty, pretty rosy brass.
Pewter Replicas by Steve Millingham -- Soooo pretty. Not limited to jewelry, but many other material culture thingies. In the UK.
Armour and Castings -- Ukrainian site, sells armor and castings. Pretty brooches and pendants that won't break the bank, along with buckles and the like. Seems to be well researched stuff, too.
Gaukler Medieval Wares -- Metal stuff. Which I am damning with my brevity here.
Ironwood Pottery/Eadric the Potter -- thatpotteryguy's pottery. I can testify to its beauty and strength and mom-pleasing qualities. Thanks to Eadric, I finally bought my mom a present which she actually uses. Also, it is a reproduction medieval pitcher which is just as beautiful today as it was a billion years ago. (History! I knows it.) Eadric does a wide array of periods, from 7th-century European to 19th-century American. So, do check him out for all your pottery needs.

My ulterior motive here is trying to find buckles for a "broad harnessed girdle" that are not super expensive. I am contemplating buying some sheet bronze and making my own, but I am also asking myself if I want to bring that sort of excitement into my life at this time. Or ever. So I am eyeballing the ones from Raymond's Quiet Press.

This entry was originally posted at http://msmcknittington.dreamwidth.org/355793.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
23 October 2010 @ 11:19 pm
I want to get this done before I forget about it, because the thank you gift that my sister got me for watching Ian was yarn for the 16th-century stranded knitting waistcoat I've been talking about making for like two years now. We ordered it from Colourmart, and I selected a silk/merino blend laceweight yarn, with a high silk content. It's in "light bottle" (a medium green) and "maize" (gold/yellow). Unfortunately, I will not be able to afford enough gold or silver-wrapped yarn to knit a waistcoat until I win the lottery. Let's just say that a thousand yards of that would probably be around a thousand dollars. Ha ha -- no.

Anyway, I want to get this written down in detail before I forget, so that I'm not scrambling later to remember why I made the decision to choose these colors. I did a preliminary list at Rachel's house when I was yarn shopping, but not in detail.

Analysis of stranded knitted waistcoats available from online museum collectionsCollapse )

Yes, that was totally worth staying up until 2 AM to accomplish. My notes are now on the internet, and everyone knows the internet is forever. Comments welcome! Please argue with me over this if you have evidence to back your thoughts up. Also, if you know of any waistcoats or partial waistcoats which I've missed, please let me know so I can add them to my analysis here.

This entry was originally posted at http://msmcknittington.dreamwidth.org/288928.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
01 September 2010 @ 12:53 am
And crossposting from DW to LJ is enabled!

What I've done for now is set it up so comments on LJ are disabled, and everyone who was on my friends list on LJ has commenting access on DW with Open ID. DW has a little guide to setting up Open ID here. Basically, what it does is allow you to comment on things using your ID from one site at other sites. It's super easy to set up -- do not be afraid of Open ID.

I'll still be reading my friends list at LJ and participating in comms, etc. there. It's just that all my entries will be posted at DW and mirrored on LJ without comments.

If you already have a DW account, please comment on this entry and I'll add you here. I have five DW codes to give out, so if you'd like a DW account, please comment and I'll pass a code along to you.

ETA: I unlocked this post at DW and I have anonymous commenting enabled, so if you don't want to do the Open ID thing and just want a journal creation code, comment anonymously, but let me know who you are on LJ.

Oh, and I apparently have SIX! journal codes to share at DW, so strike while the iron is hot, folks!

This entry was originally posted at http://msmcknittington.dreamwidth.org/274880.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
nuranar recently contacted me to ask me for research suggestions/inspiration for a friend of hers that is interested in starting to make historically accurate clothing for a middle class woman in Elizabethan England. I asked Ginger if she minded me asking my friends list, since so many of you do make 16th-century clothing for middle-class people in England and are way better at it and more well-informed than I am. And she said yes! So . . .

Dear LJ brain trust,

What books, websites and dress diaries/blogs do you recommend to a beginner who is interested in creating historically accurate clothing for middle class people in Elizabethan England? I believe I'm correct in thinking that nuranar's friend already has some sewing experience, perhaps considerable. If you do other eras or geographic areas, please feel free to weigh in with research strategies!

What I've recommended is under the cut. I've added and refined my earlier suggestions, nuranar!

What I've recommendedCollapse )

Anybody else have any suggestions? I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of things I should have in there! I am trying to stay away from modern sewing pattern suggestions, since those aren't actually as helpful as texts/websites if you're trying to do research yourself.
05 September 2009 @ 08:31 pm
I know there are a few people on my friends list who have read Patrick O'Brian's novels about Stephen Maturin and Jack Aubrey. They are, quite frankly, absolutely delightful, as well as being dramatic and thoughtful and never ever lazily written. They are a superb series.

Stephen Maturin is a doctor, and so a deeply scientific man. He's also a spy and Irish and speaks Gaelic (among a dozen other languages) and has a strangely developed sense of compassion mixed with worldliness -- Stephen Maturin may, in fact, exist in four dimensions, rather than the usual three. Thus he is, on the whole, rather strange. I don't even think you could say that he marches to the beat of a different drum, because I don't think he marches to the beat of a drum at all. Stephen marches to the beat of . . . good lord, a barometer, maybe. The clink of dissection pins as they fall into a metal basin. A drum? That would be pedestrian.

So, what does this have to do with knitting? In Post Captain, Stephen appears in this rather perplexing garment, of which he is intensely proud, but of which everybody else is . . . well, certainly not proud. Confused, maybe. Amused. Horrified. Jack Aubrey refers to it as "subhuman" and "that vile thing". The Garment is brown, knitted, and covers Stephen from neck to ankle. It's like a union suit, but singularly ugly. It allows him to retract his head into the collar like a turtle, and was knit according to Stephen's design by another character in the series. Stephen describes it as:

"My wool garment? You have noticed it, have you? I had forgot, or I should have pointed it out. Have you ever seen anything so deeply rational?"

Deeply rational. No wonder Stephen is so enthused!

He also assures Jack that he is having one made for him. Fortunately for Jack, it never comes to be.

A Raveler, Knit1805, has been working on a recreation of the garment for a (one assumes) willing volunteer. She's discussing the process thoroughly on her blog, as well with many other very lovely historic knitting projects. She talks about it from her very first post, but the next post has more detail, and really shows The Garment in its full horror. She's also been talking about it Lesser of Two Needles, the Aubrey-Maturin series group on Ravelry. Unfortunately, you have to be a Ravelry member to read those posts. Here is one of the threads.

I cannot wait to see the final product. I expect it to be absolutely breathtaking, if only because it is, in fact, the most deeply rational garment I have ever seen.
25 May 2009 @ 12:22 am
At some point in the next couple days, I'm going to be switching over to default friends locking all my entries. I haven't purposefully made an un-friends-locked entry in forever and I'm getting tired of clicking on the drop-box.

So, if you have me friended but I have not friended you and you would like me to friend you, drop me a comment on this post and introduce yourself.
11 May 2009 @ 03:53 pm
Things I wish were silk but aren't.

1) Beautiful pattern, period for the 16th century
2) 58-inches wide
3) 100-percent polyester, so it would be like wearing a plastic bag

Why? Why do you do this, fabric manufacturers? I mean, even the reverse of that looks good, but it's polyester. Who pays $25/yd for polyester?

I also really like this, as it would make a cute summer dress, but it's rayon/polyester and again $25/yd.

It's like snatching candy out of a baby's mouth. :(
Current Music: Marie Douceur, Marie Colere (Paint It Black) -- Marie Laforet
07 May 2009 @ 02:19 am
I think I'm going to start posting my book reviews in my journal, because it's not like I don't spend a lot of time writing them. Also: guaranteed content!

That is, of course, unless anyone has any objection. Speak now or forever hold your peace, people! There is no turning back once I make up my mind to do something.

Book review: The Doubletree by Victoria Pade (Western historical romance)Collapse )

Um, this is also acknowledgment of the fact that I judge genre books by different standards than non-genre books. There is general fiction and then there is genre fiction, and genre fiction has an entire culture of expectations and conventions that non-genre fiction doesn't. So, my ratings for romance novels are based on romance conventions and expectations, not general fiction. If I ever read any romance that I think a general reader will like, I will advise. Otherwise, romance non-readers, don't take my high ratings on romances as a recommendation, because you will probably end up confused and/or with a broken brain.
Current Music: Teignmouth -- Patrick Wolf
19 April 2009 @ 04:54 am
New compy is a lot of work. I cannot even explain the amount of crazy-stupid time I have spent sitting in front of my computer, just clicking buttons. Yes, install this. No, don't install that. No, do not make this program launch on start. No, I don't need to install a toolbar in Firefox. Maddening.

Unrelated sidenote: Gus has become too fat to jump up on the windowsill in my room. Admittedly I am using it as a bookshelf and there's a potted plant as a bookend, but he really ought to be able to hop up there. So in order to get up on the bookshelf, he stretches up and pats it with his paw, and then looks at me, like I'm supposed to do something to solve the problem. I do, of course, and lift him up on the windowsill, where he sits and watches birds in the front yard. Darn birds! They taunt him.

By the way, thanks to everyone who commented on my kitty's adorability on my entry about Gus and fabric. He is a very handsome cat. Pretty much evil, but very charming in physical character.

I also seem to have lost my discs for MS Word. :( We'll see if I can run it from the old hard drive once I get that situation sorted. Meanwhile, I'm trialing free word processor programs to see if I can just replace Word altogether. Right now I'm downloading Jarte, and we'll see how I like that. The free version doesn't feature background spell checking (red squiggly lines while you type) or autocorrect, so if that drives me too crazy, I think I'll try Open Office next.

I went to garage sales on Friday and scored a major haul. I'd tell you, but I want to keep it a secret until I have photos. I've taken some, but I need to install Photoshop so I can edit them. It might be a couple days or more. But trust me. It was an amazing shopping adventure, if only because of the other people. But more on them at a later date.

I will tell you that I bought enough Spinnerin Frostlon Petite (67% mohair, 33% Orlon acrylic) in pale yellow to make a short-sleeved cardigan or pullove. Six skeins? For FIFTY CENTS? Damn right I snapped that up. Apparently the mother of the woman who was running that garage sale used to do square dancing, because there were tons of square dancing dress patterns and entire Rubbermaid tubs filled with nothing but yards and yards of ruffled lace. It was like it was harvest time and the petticoats were in season.

Anyway, the reason I'm so excited about the Frostlon Petite is that I have an entire book of Bernat knitting patterns from the early 60s, which includes a variety of horrifying bucket hats. Maybe a horrifying bucket hat is in my future? Maybe! Although, I do have the urge to go 1950s with my Frostlon Petite (oh, god, you just do not get yarn names like that anymore!). How cute would a little puffed sleeve sweater with a pencil skirt be? Of course, there is the torpedo boob issue, which is a serious consideration, as it would be a shame if I blind someone or myself.
06 April 2009 @ 09:58 pm
So, last night, I washed and dried the damask, and when I pulled it out of the dryer, it was still a bit damp. I draped it over pretty much everything in my bedroom to dry overnight. Went and did other things, and when I came back into my room this is what I discovered.

Ha!Collapse )