Friday, May 11, 2012

Leather applique on the muff

Very much in the middle of this project, but thought I'd check in and show you what is going on. I considered doing a rounder thinner muff this time around rather than the envelope style with the buttons, but well, I adore buttons. My other two muffs have been pretty much about the fur and fabric with some simple trims, so this time I wanted to do something a little more exciting.

  I went looking through modelbuchs today for pattterns. Rather amusingly I was doing the same thing basically a year ago exactly. Just like then, we're headed to the Ren Faire tomorrow for my Mother's Day present. Man, I'm predictable.  This design is from Giovanni Ostaus' Perfection of Design. (which I also have babbled about before.)  Page 56 of the PDF. Rather than drawing it up, I just zoomed the pattern to the size I wanted, printed it and cut it out directly. Then I traced it on to a thin maize colored pigskin leather. I've still got several more lengths of it to cut out, but it's going pretty quickly. I'm stabilizing the blue silk with an interlining of linen and then lining it with a faux mink reused from a thrift store jacket. My other muffs are vintage fur, but I picked this up to do hats for my kids and it has a large piece that is perfect for a muff, while still leaving large pieces for the hats. Since I had it pulled to pieces and out, it was convenient and I grabbed it rather than piecing fur. It's actually a really nice fake.

I'm going to further define the applique with rows of the silk herringbone ribbon on each side and coordinate the muff my loose gown a bit by using the same style buttons. I certainly had practice making them. I figure the more pieces I have that coordinate the more mixing and matching I can do.


  1. I absolutely LOVE the way thats looking.
    Between watching this, and Hannah's leather applique I'm soooo tempted to try some myself..
    I still have a rather large large large beautiful grey piece that was ordered to do Vilhelms Elevation outfit originally but ended up being too small.
    I thought about making slippers with it though, after yours of course :P

    your my craft hero/inspiration!

    1. Slippers don't really take much leather. You probably have enough to do both :)

  2. Very nice. Have you played with the negative/positive strips? The ones where cutting yields two identical pieces (no waste)? Some representative ones are on p 33, 36, 37 and 38 of this reprint:

    I am dead on positive that they were used for leather, but I have no sources to prove it. BTW - check out the rest of Mistress Kathryn Goodwyn's Flowers of the Needle reprint series here - all for free! Enjoy, K.

  3. Kim, I've done some modern felted objects with those patterns but nothing period. I am fascinated by their similarity to syrmaks/syrdaks and wanted to make something with nomadic feel and Europe flavor so I played around with the interplay of 16th century patterns and felt rugs. Their intended use being for leather certainly rings true to me.

  4. Cool! That's also a nifty line of inquiry.

    There's another technique I've run across that reminds me of this stuff. It's seen on boots and clothing from areas not far from where syrmak originates. In it a layer of thin (usually brightly dyed) leather is laid down and patterns are stitched in back or double running, often in a contrasting color thread. Then the leather is cut about 1/16 of an inch away from the stitching, leaving a thin band that meanders with the sewn line. Patterns are mostly spirals and geometrics, with some (rare) simple vine or floral shapes.

    I ran into this technique when I was an intern at the Peabody at Harvard, long, long ago - on items collected in the mid to late 1800s, but not well dated beyond that.

    Just more fodder for the mill. :) -k.