Monday, December 16, 2013

Lots done-- none of it posted

I got rather swamped with the feast I was preparing in November and then with crazy Solstice sewing and just kept working and never got around to pictures and posting. Since I've got some more big projects coming up in January with The Realm of Venus' Fabulously Fashionable Fur mini-challenge and The Harpy's Needle and Thread Grudge Match going from January-March, I figured I'd better start playing catch-up.

I don't have all that many pictures, so what gets described is contingent on what pictures I get. First up is a gown I made for my daughter's best fried/my best friend's niece. She's 11 and looking so grown up in her first sottana.Her aunt told me she needed a dress the week before and I had several other outfits going at the same time, so this was an afternoon project and I took all the shortcuts I could.

I love doing Italian for little girls. Doing side back lacing is basically like making a modern jumper. Because I used a heavy weight upholstery fabric, I didn't add support layers to the bodice, it is just the upholstery and a broadcloth lining with lacing rings. The baragoni are scrap from my cappotto with a simple interlooped trim. I cut tabs and stacked them and then whipstitched them to the shoulder. I used the same blue for her skirt guard.  Her girdle is just beads strung on a length of beading wire (tigertail) with an extra large lobster clasp so it can adjust as she grows older and changes shape.  She loves horses, so I found a set of carved stone ones and stung them on wire for her.

I got asked about the reta a couple of times. As I said earlier. I was taking shortcuts all over the place with this one. An accurate reta would have been netted. My netting skills are minimal and very labored. I have, however, been crocheting since I was 5, so that is fast for me. Totally inaccurate since crocheting didn't come around until the Victorian age, but fast and pretty. 

I did, however, want it to be a step above the cheap snoods from overseas, so I took care to make this shaped more like an Italian one and there is no elastic involved. It hugs closer to the head than the mass market snoods and has a thick fitted band that I jeweled and pearled and that is pinned in place.

If anyone else needs a fast (totally innacurate) project, here's my crocheted Italian reta recipe. (I am terrible at patterns and this is probably totally incomprehensible, but basically you are increasing 9 each round, and then decreasing on your final 2 rounds followed by a dense single crochet band of 5 rows.)  You can also make something more decorative by using the center from your favorite doily pattern and then decreasing the final rows and adding the band.  You will want to use a hook that is at least 3 sizes too big for your yarn so you get a very loose chain/stitch. I used about a size 10 bedspread crochet thread and a size G hook.

Round 1: chain 3. slipstitch together. sc 9 times in ring.
Round 2: hdc twice in each sc around
Round 3: chain 4. hdc in first stitch. *Chain 2, skip next stitch, hdc in next stitch. repeat from * around.
Round 4: chain 5. hdc in first stitch. *chain 3, work hdc into chain 2 space of previous row, repeat from * around.
Round 5: chain 4. hdc in first stitch. chain 1,* hdc in chain 3 space of previous row. chain 1. hdc in same chain 3 space, chain 1. repeat from * around
.Round 6: chain 4. * hdc in first chain 1 space, chain one, skip next stitch, hdc in chain one space. repeat around
Repeat rounds 3-6.

Round 10. chain 3. hdc in frst chain 1 space, skip next chain 1 space. hdc in next chain 1 space. repeat around.
Round 11. Chain 3. hdc in first stitch. skip next stitch, hdc in next stitch. repeat around.
Round 12. sc in each stitch around
Round 13-16. sc in each stitch around. Finish off

As I said, I am terrible at patterns and I did this on the fly, but if you want to give it a go, I'm happy to help  you figure out what was going on in my brain.


  1. She looked so wonderful and actually asked her parents if she could wear it to school. She loves that dress and it was a fight to get it off her for bed

    1. Like I said, Lorelei saw it and informed me Faith would love it and demanded to know when I was sewing hers.

  2. Faith looked lovely and she behaved so beautifully at the event. She's turning into a wonderful young lady.