Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chillicothe Shout-Out

From the Adena Mansion & Gardens website,  http://adenamansion.com/

At the almost very last minute, I decided that I wanted to go to the Adena Mansion & Gardens in Chillicothe, OH, to join the First Regiment in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the raising of Brush's Company in the War of 1812.  I rode down with my friend Beth, and I think it's safe to say we had a blast!

My favorite room on the mansion tour.
The Adena Mansion & Gardens is a wonderful site, beautifully kept, and the staff and volunteers were so welcoming!  The tour of the mansion was well worth taking--it was over an hour, but so full of information that the time flew by.  It's been really nicely restored and what's exceptional about it is that the Ohio Historical Society and Adena still own a lot of things that belonged to the original family, the Worthingtons.  It seemed like every other room had a desk or table or dish that belonged to a member of the original home owners, and the OHS also has documents and correspondence from the Worthington family as well.
Fritz helps Craig fit a regimental.
The event itself was extremely relevant to the site, too.  Brush's Company was raised right there in Chillicothe, the same weekend in July 200 years ago.  It was really amazing to be a part of the commemoration, right there where it happened!  There are more pictures of the event as well as the Ross County Historical Society museum here on my flickr.

On top of everything, I really do love the First Regiment.  Everyone is just so great, and we have so much fun together, both with each other and also talking to the public.  There were awesome crafts for kids to do, civilian and military interpretation, and just generally something for everyone to enjoy.

Also, I met so many people who follow my blog!  (Hi everyone!)  It was really touching and special when people would come up and ask, "Are you Katie Jacobs?" and tell me they read this ol' thing!  I really appreciate it, and I just think it's so cool that the internet connects us like that.  When you contrast that with the scads of letters and diaries that the Worthington family produced, that have been meticulously saved and preserved all these years, how amazing is it that we know people all over the world and can communicate like this?   I dunno, I just think it's pretty darn cool.

I also know I gave out a lot of business cards over the weekend, so for anyone who received one and is looking for information I mentioned, I have a list of resources linked over to the right side of the page and feel free to email me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Corded Ruffles: A Tutorial

So, corded ruffles.  Specifically, ruffles with little cords in their wee little hems.  I've seen them on several original garments from various eras...not so much on reproductions.  My (admittedly brief) research on Google Images seems to indicate that corded ruffles have become something used on odd looking draperies and clothes worn by fashion-forward women with small breasts and long necks.

To be fair, most of the corded ruffles I've seen on extant garments aren't nearly so...exuberant.  They're usually cute little things, and the cording keeps them perky and cheerful-looking even after decades of disuse.  The dress from Bradfield's Costume in Detail that I'm using for my current project inspiration has two ruffles at the hem, edged with a cord.  Grudgingly, I decided to try it.

Why grudingly?  Because I'm going to be hand-hemming miles of bias-cut worsted wool, that's why!  Do I look crazy to you?  (Don't answer that.)  On the other hand, it's a really cool detail that you don't see done very often, and it's actually really easy.  If you're going to be hemming your ruffle by hand anyway, it's not any more complicated to cord the hemmed edge as you go.

Prep your ruffle pieces however you need--in my case, I had to piece the length of it and I actually sewed it into a big tube before I started hemming.  Once you've got everything assembled how you want it, press your hem edge folded over once to the inside, twice as wide as you want your finished hem to be--this is somewhat determined by the thickness of your cord.  I wanted my finished hem to be about 1/8" and I'm using Sugar & Cream crochet cotton for my cording, so I pressed my hem edge over about 1/4".

Hem edge pressed to the inside 1/4", plus Sugar & Cream cotton for cording.
For me, it's fastest to sew seams and hems with the hem edge held in my left hand, facing left, and stitch moving away from my body with my right hand.  For some people, that's not the case, so just set yourself up to sew some loooong hems, whichever way is most comfortable for you.  Then, you sew.

Center your cording in the hem.  I didn't pin this, just worked a few inches at a time and held the cord in place with my fingers.  Take a tiny stitch above the hem, through just the main fabric of your ruffle (above the cording & folded edge), then catch the folded edge with your next stitch.  Don't pull it tight yet.  Take another little stitch above the cording, then the folded edge again.

Do this three or four more times, leaving your stitches loose until you get a few in a row.  Take one more stitch above the cording, then pull your thread tight.  The folded edge will curl around the cord, et voila!

Now, you'll notice in the video that I'm sewing with the ruffle held perpendicularly to my body, so I'm actually stitching from right to left.  If that doesn't work for you, try holding the ruffle horizontally, so the folded edge points up and away from your body with the fold pointing down and towards you.  That's usually how I do rolled hems, but because I needed to use my left hand to hold the cord in place, I found it easier to switch things up.  Keep in mind, though--do what's comfortable for you!  While a lot of things have a "right" and "wrong" way to do them, how you hold your sewing is a matter of personal choice.  And remember to sit up straight...your back will thank you later!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Horse Sense

It's been cotton-pickin' hot here, but that hasn't stopped me from spending time with Jackson.  He just had a tooth removed about a week ago and seems to be feeling better by the day.  Below, you can see us together doing nothing particularly interesting.  It was hot, what can I say?

I didn't get pictures, but the tooth that came out was pretty nasty.  It was split all the way down to the root and rotten inside, so the poor fellow had to deal with the split portion wiggling whenever he would chew.  I'm curious to see if he'll put on some weight now that the tooth is out, since he was pretty skinny when he came to us.

Horse whiskers!
His appetite certainly hasn't been negatively impacted by his surgery, as you can see by the green gunk in his mouth above.  To the left of the gunk, you can see a couple of his stitches.  I will say, he seems much more cheerful about life than I did after having my wisdom teeth removed!  I did nothing but lie around in misery and woe for a week.  Jackson seems full of pep and ready to go, even moreso than usual.  Also, he was very sweet about me sticking my fingers in his mouth in order to take pictures.  He shook his head at me a couple times but seemed content to let me take pictures as long as I didn't try to prod any further into his mouth than you can see above.

No bit here!
Because of the location of his stitches, Jackson can't wear a bit for the next few weeks.  And rightly so!  Because of this, I've been riding him with a hackamore, a bitless bridle, for about a week.  When Sarah, my teacher and Jackson's owner!mom told me about it, I was hesitant and intrigued.  I figured it had the potential to be a total disaster, but we'd try it and see how it went.  At the very least I'd have something to tell my friends about, right?

Nothing bit-shaped here, either.
In actuality, nothing happened.  It isn't very different from riding with a bit at all.  Maybe it's because Jackson is a total sweetheart and tries super hard, maybe it's because he was really well trained, or maybe it's just easier than it sounds.  Either way, I actually haven't noticed much of a difference.  The only lingering question I have is: does he naturally just drool a lot, or is he slobbery because of his tooth situation?

Ha ha, no, just kidding.

...Seriously though.  He really does enjoy drooling on my shirts.