Doin' de Gheyn - Volume V

Time once more, good friends, to revisit RH111 - De Gheyn Musketeer or Pikeman.  

Progress continueth apace.  Things have been cut out! 

At right is a picture of the pattern laid over the fabric I chose.  The blue is a scrumptious wool flannel.  The red is scraps of wool flannel I'm using for piping/edging, and the yellow is a mustard-colored wool flannel.

Blue goes on legs, mustard on body.  All highlighted with red.  And that's not a subdued red, people; it's frelling RED.  

Thus will Bob be one big-ass exercise in primary colors.  Yeah, baby; that's ME.

Of course, right after I took the picture, the phone rang and I had to go into Customer-Service mode.  Figures.  

(NB: I never, ever begrudge customers calling.  You, dear customers/readers, are the ones who permit me to go on these exciting journeys into crap I know nothing about.  So "Thank you," customer.  Srsly.)

Next step: Pressing wool.  

I was going to just lay out the pattern and start cutting.  This is the first instance where Robin - remember Robin? RH Minion Extraordinaire?She's the one with the smarts. - intervened, saving me from myself.

See, I only had four yards of wool.  The cry goes round the sewing circles, "Sew what?*  Four yards is plenty for a pair of late-C16 breeches."  

Maybe so, but these breeches are HUGE, and the fabric was only 36" wide.  So cleverness was called for.  

Good old Robin.

She sent me off to the kitchen, where the iron and ironing board live, tucked cosily away in the downstairs powder room.  Apparently cutting cangang aft agley, as the poet Burns puts it, when your fabric is full of whacking great wrinkles, as mine was.  A few passes with the good old steamy device put that right, then it was time for layout.

Left, you can see the pattern pieces laid out.  Okay, barely; the lines are very delicate because the RH Poltergeist apparently ate every single piece of chalk, tailor's or otherwise, in the building.  So we had to draw the lines with scraps of beeswax left over from making Wax Tokens for Gulf Wars.

There were two benefits of that hunk of improvisation: Nice, fine lines, and a sweet smell of beeswax.  Yum!  

(There's more on beeswax later. Cue dramatic music.) 

Cutting was swift and sure.  I decided to use a pair of our 8" Scissors for cutting.  Let me tell you something: They're not really set up for cutting in the flat - wrong shape - but they are SHARP with a capital SH.  They went through the wool like a lightsaber through a Sandperson - though I didn't whine like a little bitch after I did it.  Yeah, I cut those dirty little fibers, I laughed while I did it, and I'd do it again.  I slaughtered them like animals.  Because they come from animals.  

/existentialist commentary on Star Wars

Anyway, there's the breeches legs at right, all cut out and ready to go.

Did I say "ready"?  

Billy Mays says, "But wait!  There's more!"

I'm not just making a pair of True Coventry Blue breeches.  I'm-a trick those f*****s out with contrasting piping, all red an' sh*t.

Okay, I want to trick 'em out with red piping.  Trouble is, I haven't the foggiest notion how to go about it, and Kass thoughtlessly left such unimportant ... er ... vital instructions out of the ... er ... Instructions.  So I asked Robin.

Robin also taught me something important: How to splice strips of fabric so your piping - which, invariably, isn't quite long enough - doesn't look like poo after you sew it in.  Of course mine is in pieces barely longer than 12 inches.  So I've got some piecing to do.

Here's how: 

You set it at right angles.  See photo at right.


I'd've thought you just kind of sew it together.  Wrong.  Then you lay a ruler across to see where the stitches need to go.

Then, of course, you stitch it down, trim/snip the excess, turn it over, and press it flat.  Those photos follow.

By the way, those are Robin's hands, not mine.  

Contrary to what you might have heard, pink is NOT my color.

And I don't have a great big rock on the ring finger of my left hand.  [sniff]

After sewing the piping into strips long enough to be set into the outseam, it's time to pin 'em up and stitch 'em down.  

That's the subject of our next installment, folks.  

Until next time, dear readers, I remain, with your permission,

Yr Obt Svt,


* This sort of punning happens.  Remember, you clicked "Read More", not me.  You have only yourself to blame.