Thursday, November 21, 2013

HSF Gratitude Challenge - Smocked Muff Cover

As previously mentioned, I have fallen very far behind on the Historical Sew Fortnightly.  I haven't given up, though!  I knew I couldn't let the Gratitude Challenge pass by without participating.  I owe too much to the online costuming and blogging community.  I know I would not be where I am today without all the help I've been given along the way, both directly and indirectly.

I would like to pay particular thanks, however, to Maggie of Costumer's Guide and Padawan's Guide.  It's the latter website that helped me immeasurably in my early days of making Padmé costumes, before I really got into historical costuming.  So it was only fitting that I again used the Padawan's Guide for this challenge.

A new muff cover of smocked velvet

The Challenge:  #23 - Gratitude
Fabric:  30" black velvet
Pattern:  No pattern, but tutorials from Padawan's Guide and The Fashionable Past
Year: 18th Century
Notions:  1 yd black bias tape, 2 yds black cord
How historically accurate is it?  I haven't been able to find any information on how old the lattice smocking technique is, but muff covers were certainly around in the 18th Century
Hours to complete: The smocking took four hours, and assembling the cover took probably another three.    
First worn:  Not yet, but I'm planning to use it for my Christmas card pictures.  
Total cost:  Stash project!  :D  

In addition to the lattice smocking technique, I used Koshka's tutorial on muff covers again.  This new cover will go so nicely with my cloak!

Here are some making-of shots:

I marked my grid of 1.5" squares using a pin dipped in white acrylic paint.  
Smocking in the car on the way to Colonial Williamsburg for Veteran's Day
One row done!  
The right side - sorry it's so linty
Half of the rows are done here.  You can see how much it shrinks down the fabric!  
The white paint worked great!  Except I messed up a couple times...
Fortunately it barely shows on the outside!   
To create the tube, I pinned the two ends together matching up the unused dots on one side...
...with the corresponding tuck point on the other side.  
All finished!  
 A couple quick pics of me in my cloak (over anachronistic t-shirt):

I was afraid the black velvet would be hard to photograph, but Brian the Engineer pulls it off!  


  1. Wow and WOW, that looks masterfully crafted! I wouldn't dream of attempting something like that. You really made a piece of art. Lovely!

    1. *blushes* Thanks! You should dream, though. And attempt. You might surprise yourself - I certainly did!

  2. Oh, this is so cute. I want one.

  3. Gorgeous! I immediately thought of Padme when I saw the technique! Thanks for sharing, I always wondered how that technique was done!

    1. It's easy once you get the hang of it. There's a natural rhythm to it that makes it go faster than it feels like it should.