Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Sampling is the part of the design phase in which I learn the characteristics of the yarn I want to use.  This is Jaggerspun 2/20 Maine Line, in Bittersweet, Natural, and Williamsburg Blue, set at 32, 36 and 40 ends per inch.  Twill and tabby each behave differently, and the very slightly sticky shed is something I'll need to get used to.   The hand of the twill at 40 epi is really lovely.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Primitive Smock

Recently I decided to make a smock, based (loosely) on the modern fisherman's smock, which seems to survive today primarily in Cornwall and Brittany; the Norfolk slop; and smocks that show up now and again in nineteenth century photographs.

I adapted the techniques I'd previously used for making an eighteenth century shirt.  The smock is cut entirely of squares and rectangles.  Some of the squares are folded in half and used as triangles.  I used some linen that had been in my stash for about 10 years.

The most interesting feature of these smocks is that there is no front opening.  This makes the smock faster to make up and is a better functional choice if the goal is to keep out sea spray, dust, chaff, and the like.

I guessed, mostly right, on the size for the neck opening.  Quite a bit of arithmetic was involved to account for the amount that the neck gusset added to the neck circumference.  The next time I make up the smock, I'll make the neck opening about an inch smaller.

I didn't make the side vents deep enough, which means that I have to hike up the smock a bit if I want to put my hands in my pockets.

Seams and hems were sewn by machine.  The sleeve and body seams were flat-felled by hand.
Neck gusset and collar band

Sleeve gusset
The hip gussets were sewn in by hand.
Hip gusset at the left
Marked so that everybody knows it's mine