May I present my not-at-all-historically-accurate Muff 2.0:
I was inspired by late 18th century silk muffs, like this one (obviously without the mezzotint):
I’m using this muff as a prototype for a class I’m teaching, so I focused on making it work in a modern context, and playing with the construction, rather than on historical accuracy, or even research, as I did with my fur muff.
It was supposed to be a simple two-hour project, but I got a bit carried away when it came to trim. First I decided that none of the ribbons I had in my stash looked right with the fabric (and that was after I’d already spent about four hours rummaging through my stash trying to pick the right fabric and match fabrics), so I had to make self fabric strips to pleat round the muff.
Because this was a modern muff, I hemmed the strips with a roll hemmer, rather than leaving them raw. Then the pleating had to be done by hand, then it didn’t look dynamic enough when it was done, so it needed another layer of ribbon trim, then that was too flat, so I hit upon the idea of tying a french knot in the ribbon every other pleat…
Note to self: don’t decide to tie french knots in ribbon every two inches and then machine sew it down if you don’t want to drive yourself crazy!
It was worth it though. I’m quite pleased with the trim.
The muff is lined with not-remotely-accurate craft cotton with a toile de jouy pattern of carousels and swans and a park. And it has an inner zippered pocket. So, not historical!
It does make me very happy though. There is something about a muff that is just so frivilous and joyful. When it was done I did my little happy dance around the house with my hands tucked in it singing “Muff, muff, look at my pretty muff….” while Mr D said “Ummmmm….” (last time I made one he asked me “you do know what that word means, right?”)
Dancing done, I made Felicity pose with it. She was less than impressed:
This morning she consented to another, less undignified, photo session:
The Challenge: Squares, Rectangles & Triangles
Fabric: A scrap of shot gold-blue dupion silk, lined with carousel toile-de-jouy craft cotton.
Pattern: A rectangle for the outer, a rectangle for the lining, two squares for a pocket, long rectangles for trim.
Year: 1785-1810 inspired
Notions: Cotton thread, a zip, wool batting, stiff non-fusible interfacing
How historically accurate is it?: 25%, if I’m being generous. The general aesthetic is reasonable, and the colour is a popular late 18th century colour (though not necessarily for muffs). Dupion is not a period accurate fabric, nor is cotton an accurate lining, plus its got a zippered pocket, and is predominantly machine sewn. Transported back to 1800 it would baffle the fashionistas.
Hours to complete: 5, if we don’t count the time I spent looking for the right fabric.
First worn: Not yet, though it will go on display at Made on Marion today.
Total cost: $5 for the batting – everything else was scraps left over from other projects, or has been in my stash so long I can’t remember where it came from or how much it cost (and for me, that’s a long, long time).
Last thing: It needs a better name. I was thinking Verdigris, but am not loving that. Suggestions?